Cancún is one of Mexico's most popular tourist destinations, located along the Yucatán Peninsula. Beautiful beaches are popular with spring break tourists and families alike, with the region enjoying a mild tropical climate and warm, calm waters year-round.


1.Playa Ballenas

Playa Ballenas
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Playa Ballenas is a relaxing beach in Cancun's Zona Hotelera, awarded the prestigious Blue Flag Mexico certificate for its dedication to environmentally sustainable management practices. The beach, which is tucked between several major resorts, showcases beautiful pristine white sands stretching in front of turquoise waters, making for perfect conditions for sunbathing. Popular watersports at the beach include jetskiing, parasailing, and windsurfing, with football and volleyball courts available for visitor use on the beachfront. Visitors should note that the beach does not offer a food court, but clean, safe public restrooms and showers are offered for visitor use, with lifeguards staffed on duty during the morning and afternoon hours.

Rtno. del Rey 36, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico

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2.Playa Caracol

Playa Caracol
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Playa Caracol is one of Cancun's most lively public beaches, located within its Zona Hotelera at the end of Boulevard Kukulkan between Playa Gaviota Azul and Playa Tortugas. The beach's central location makes it a prime spot for area vacationers, located conveniently near many of the region's top shopping and dining destinations. Calm waters and gentle wave conditions make the beach a top snorkeling spot, with beautiful white sands and turquoise waters as far as the eye can see. Flat seabeds in the area make for excellent safe swimming conditions for young children, making the beach a family favorite. Though public restrooms are not offered on site, a concession stand serves up lunch fare, with many vendors and businesses offering seating nearby.

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3.Playa Chac-Mool

Playa Chac-Mool
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Playa Chac-Mool is one of Cancun's quieter public beaches, directly bordering Playa Gaviota Azul and Playa Marlin within the area's Zona Hotelera at the end of the Boulevard Kukulkan. The beautiful Riviera Maya beach is a well-kept secret for visitors looking to get away from tourist crowds, offering pristine Blue Flag Mexico-designated clean sands and turquoise waters that make for prime swimming and sunbathing conditions. A surf school in the area offers surfing lessons on the beach, with standup paddleboarding rentals and lagoon tours available for visitors. Though no concession stands are offered directly on the beach, a number of restaurants and shops are provided near the beach's access point adjacent to Señor Frogs.

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4.Playa Coral

Playa Coral
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Playa Coral is a Blue Flag Mexico-designated beach located near Cancun's Zona Hotelera area, spanning 500 meters just past the popular Playa Delfines and Punta Nizuc beaches and the Mayan El Rey ruins. The beach, which is also known as Mirador II, is Cancun's top dog-friendly beach, allowing beachgoers to frolic along the ocean shoreline with their four-legged friends. Charming natural scenery includes palm trees and meadows, which are unique sights along most of the Cancun coast. Visitors should note that the beach's access road is not accessible via public transit or bicycles, though taxis and rental cars are viable transportation options. Public restroom facilities are offered, along with special bins for disposing of dog waste.

Pacífico Norte, Ciudad Juárez, CHIH, Mexico

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5.Playa Delfines

Playa Delfines
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Playa Delfines is one of Cancun's local favorite beaches within the Zona Hotelera, located approximately 10 miles from the region's downtown district and accessible via bus or taxi. Free parking is offered at the beach, which is open to the public all hours of the day and night for free. Wide sandy beachfront stretches offer impressive oceanfront views, with excellent swimming and surfing conditions offered within its pristine turquoise waters. Dolphins can often be seen from the beach's shoreline, with chartered tours available for visitors wanting an up-close experience. Children's playgrounds are offered, along with an outdoor gym, handicap-accessible showers, and a surf school offering lessons and rental boards. Though no proper concession stand is offered, a variety of Mexican-style street vendors frequently line the beach, serving up local specialties such as kibis and fish wrapped in banana leaves.

Boulevard Kukulcan, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico, Phone: +52-48-13-80-79-51

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6.Playa El Nino

Playa El Nino
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Playa El Niño is a family-friendly beach in Cancun's Zona Hotelera, stretching approximately 500 meters within the city's Playa Blanca district, which is a popular site for rental holiday homes. The beach, which is located adjacent to the Mayan ruins of El Meco, offers comfortable Blue Flag Mexico-certified clean sands and clear blue waters, with a wide variety of amenities available, including restrooms, showers, and handicap-accessible areas. Lifeguards are staffed on duty to oversee young swimmers, with ample space for picnics, sunbathing, and beachfront sports and play. A wide variety of vendors sell traditional Mexican snacks such as tacos and kiwi fried meatballs, with a number of local fish and seafood restaurants offered nearby.

López Portillo 2, 85, 77525 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico, Phone: +52-93-81-52-31-67

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7.Playa Gaviota Azul

Playa Gaviota Azul
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Playa Gaviota Azul is one of Cancun's busiest and liveliest public beaches, commonly referred to as the Playa Forum by local residents. The one-kilometer beach is located within the city's Zona Hotelera near the Club Coco Bongo, offering convenient access to a wide variety of nearby restaurants, shops, and nightlife spots. A diverse crowd flocks to the beach year-round, which offers opportunities for swimming, surfing, fishing, and a variety of water sports. A plethora of restaurants and bars line the beach's border, with many offering waterfront seating. For visitors looking for a more low-key experience, the beach's eastern end offers fine sands and shallow waters with less tourist action.

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8.Playa Langosta

Playa Langosta
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Playa Langosta is a favorite local beach in Cancun, retaining much of its traditional charm despite development around it within the city's Zona Hotelera. The beach, which is located approximately four miles from downtown Cancun along Boulevard Kukulkan, is open to the public all hours of the night and day with an entrance fee required. A watersport center is offered for visitors looking to enjoy the area's excellent surf conditions. Safe and shallow waters make the beach a prime spot for families, with lifeguards staffed on duty and roped-off areas for swimming safety. A public dock is also offered, along with a wide variety of street vendors, restaurants, and bars offered nearby.

Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico, Phone: +52-99-88-45-21-62

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9.Playa Las Perlas

Playa Las Perlas
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Playa Las Perlas is one of Cancun's most elegant beaches, located along the Boulevard Kulkulkan near the Imperial las Perlas Cancun resort. The beach is lined with world-class restaurants, with many offering waterfront dining experiences for tourists looking for elegant cuisine and stunning water views. Strong waves in some beachfront areas make for some of the region's best surfing and boogie boarding conditions, though many areas offer calm, safe water conditions for swimming, even for young and novice swimmers. Pick-up volleyball games are common along the beachfront, with a children's playground nearby and ample space offered for sunbathing and relaxation. The beach's dock also offers a visitor shuttle to nearby Isla Meujeres.

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10.Playa Linda

Playa Linda
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Playa Linda is one of Cancun's most unique beaches, located at the junction of the Lagoon Nichupté and the Caribbean Sea. The lively beach is a favorite spot for tourists looking for more entertainment and amenities than average beachfronts, offering a full entertainment center at the Theatro Cancun, which showcases theatrical and musical productions periodically during the evening hours. Live music is presented on the weekends at the theater's restaurant, which serves up a variety of seafood entrees and cocktails on a beautiful terrace with oceanfront views. A rotating observation tower offers spectacular views of the surrounding Zona Hotelera and downtown Cancun, with helicopter tours available for a bird's eye view of the region and fishing tours offered at nearby locations. Family-friendly pirate-themed shows are offered aboard the Jolly Joker, while lively music-fueled parties are hosted aboard the Dancer Partyboat.

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11.Playa Marlin

Playa Marlin
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Playa Marlin is one of Cancun's most popular public beaches, located within the Zona Hotelera off Boulevard Kulkulkan near the end of Tepen Road. Though the extensive white sand beach is a favorite with locals and tourists alike, ample beachfront space ensures that the beach is never particularly crowded, even during peak tourist times. High winds and waves make for excellent surfing and boogie boarding conditions, though visitors should note that potentially hazardous currents can make swimming difficult, with safety flags posted to alert visitors of dangerous conditions. Pick-up cricket and volleyball games are popular, with street vendors offering a variety of traditional Mexican fare options. Visitors should note that the beach offers no public restroom facilities, though restrooms are offered at nearby Kukulcan Plaza.

Tepen, Zona Hotelera, 95500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico

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12.Playa San Miguelito

Playa San Miguelito
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Playa San Miguelito is a laid-back, picturesque beach in Cancun's Zona Hotelera, spanning 1.5 kilometers along the Caribbean Sea coastline. The radiant white sand beach offers stunning views of the Caribbean's sparkling turquoise waters, flanked by a number of all-inclusive resorts. Though the beach has no public entrance, non-resort guests can access the beach from nearby Playas Delfines and Ballenas on foot. Ample opportunities for water sports abound, including opportunities to jet skii and book parasailing excursions. On the shoreline, visitors can engage in pick-up football and volleyball games, with a number of nearby bars offering live music performances throughout the evening. Visitors should note that no public amenities are offered at the beach, including public restrooms.

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13.Playa Tortugas

Playa Tortugas
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Playa Tortugas is one of Cancun's most famous tourist beaches, located within the Zona Hotelera approximately five miles from the city's downtown district along Boulevard Kukulkan. The exciting beachfront is emblematic of the city's lively party atmosphere, located within the Zona Hotelera between Playa Caracol and Playa Langosta. Beach chairs are offered for visitor use, with clean and safe waters offering prime swimming conditions for visitors of all ages and skill levels. Excellent diving conditions offer opportunities to see the impressive Great Mesoamerican Coral Reef, with a public bungee jumping tower available on the beach's jetty, which also offers daily ferries to nearby Isla Mujeres. Opportunities for parasailing, jetskiing, snorkeling, and fishing also abound, with many restaurants, tourist shops, and nightlife spots with live music performances offered nearby.

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14.Punta Nizuc

Punta Nizuc
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Punta Nizuc is one of Cancun's hidden gems, located within the Zona Hotelera in front of Club Med along the Boulevard Kukulcan. The spacious, relaxing beach is best known for its access to the nearby Great Mesoamerican Coral Reef, with snorkeling opportunities offering chances to see beautiful marine life up close. Waves can be strong during stormy conditions, with rocky shoreline areas making for dramatic landscapes. The nearby Lagoon Nichupté is a popular spot for kayaking tours, with a variety of Mexican restaurants and bars offered along the beach's shoreline area. The beach is also home to the MUSA Underwater Museum of Art, which showcases the gorgeous "Gardener of Hope" statue crafted by artist Jason Taylor deCaires. Visitors should note that public restrooms are not offered at the beach, though amenities are offered a number of nearby establishments.

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14 Best Cancun Beaches