(Last updated on: 06/11/2020)
Where are the best beaches in Cancun? Well, surprisingly, this is a question that most tourists who travel to Mexico do NOT ask!
Cancun is an all-inclusive lover’s paradise. It is one of the biggest enclave tourism destinations in the world. Cancun is filled with luxury resorts with private beaches, they offer everything a person could need. As a result, most tourists spend very little time outside of their hotel complex.
But for those of you who know me (if you don’t, follow along on Instagram!), you will know that I typically avoid these types of holidays. If lazing around the pool and eating at the hotel buffet each night is your thing, then there’s nothing wrong with that. But I prefer to explore a little…
During our road trip through Mexico we spend several days in the Cancun area. We spent most of our time (even when it rained, sadly), at the beach and we tried a different beach each day.
Below I have outlined what we thought were the best beaches in Cancun.
The best beaches in Cancun
Cancun, a city on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, is popular with holidaymakers from around the globe. It’s known for beaches, sunshine and nightlife.
Most tourists don’t leave their hotel complex, as generally there is no need to. With various restaurants, large pool areas and private beaches – why would you?
Because of the excessive tourism development over the years, there aren’t a lot of public beaches in Cancun anymore. However, there are some stunning ones IF you know where to look…. and lucky for you I do….
#1 Isla Blanca
Isla Blanca, is without a doubt, one of the best beaches in Cancun. We LOVED it here! With glorious soft sand and crystal clear waters it is unspoilt and natural- everything I love in a beach!
With pristine white sand and clear water as far as the eye can see, Isla Blanca is a hidden gem. You’ll see very few fellow tourists! There are a couple of food stands and some clean public bathrooms to use, and palm trees blowing in the breeze. But mostly, it’s just an expanse of perfect beach.
If you have hired a car in Cancun then you can drive to Isla Blanca, and parking costs around 50 pesos. Take a picnic, a book and your SPF for a day in pure paradise!
#2 Playa Delfines
Playa Delphines is the biggest public beach in Cancun. Here you’ll find the colourful Cancun sign, perfect for getting a great photo for Instagram or your family photo album!
Sparkling turquoise water and soft sand make this the ideal place to spend a day at the beach. There are plenty of umbrellas providing shade too! Fruit stands, rinsing areas to get rid of the sand and a decent-sized car park make this the ideal beach to visit as a family. Tiki bars and massages are also available if that’s something you’re interested in.
It isn’t the quietest, but it isn’t mega crowded either! All in all, Playa Delfines is one of the best beaches in Cancun. There’s something for everyone.
#3 Playa Chac Mool
Often touted as one of the best beaches in Cancun, Playa Chac Mool is the one for you if you want to get in the water. While many people are happy to just lie back and enjoy the sun, there are definitely some who want to dive into the Caribbean waves! You can rent water sports equipment here, too. Playa Chac Mool is one of the busier beaches, due to its location. Nearby you’ll find various golf courses and casinos as well as the historical site of Yamil Lu’um, some Mayan ruins.
It can get busy at Playa Chac Mool, but there is plenty of space – as well as plenty of food and drink stalls. Public bathrooms are available, and there is a car park.
#4 Playa Forum
Want some where close to the action? Playa Forum is one of the best beaches in Cancun for those who want a bit of everything.
It has your typical silky white sand and beautiful blue water but it is located just behind the best nightlife area in Cancun too. There is a mall nearby and plenty of restaurants! For those interested in partying and being part of a crowd, Playa Forum is ideal. Head to Oxxo, the nearby shop, and buy yourself some beers and food to enjoy on the beach for the perfect budget beach day.
If you want to know what Spring Break is really like, then Playa Forum is the place to be. There is a car park (15 pesos for 3 hours). You can also rent sun loungers and umbrellas – though this is costly and you’re likely to be partying, rather than sunbathing, at Playa Forum!
#5 Playa Marlin
For somewhere calm with incredible views, Playa Marlin is the one.
Sand so white it reflects every last drop of sunshine, and sparkling electric-blue water make for the perfect sunbathing backdrop. The current can have a bit of an undertow so if you aren’t the most confident swimmer, stay close to the shore. But the clean water offers a cool bit of magic.
Take your snorkel and see what you can see! It isn’t too expensive to rent a sun lounger and umbrella, and fresh coconuts are available to buy. Definitely one of the cleanest and best beaches in Cancun, Playa Marlin is a dream to visit.
You can get to Playa Marlin by bus. Take either the blue line (#46) or the green line (#41). Parking is available and the beach is wheelchair accessible.
#6 Playa Linda
If you want to catch some boats coming in and out, Playa Linda is one of the best beaches in Cancun!
There is a market within walking distance, and you can buy food and drink on the beach too. It can get busy but there is plenty of space. With rocks at the shoreline and plenty of driftwood, Playa Linda is ideal for beach exploration. Kids love it too! There are golf courses nearby and the Iglesia de Cristo Rey (a beautiful and interesting church) is just a couple of miles away if you want to combine your day of sunbathing with a bit of history and culture.
Playa Linda can be accessed by bus or car. There are various bars and restaurants near the beach, and there is a pirate ship which hosts a musical performance of an evening too.
Tips for visiting the best beaches in Cancun
All of these beaches are great in their own way. Some are perfect for partygoers, and some are fun for families. Consider what you want from your beach experience, and decide which will be best for you. Always wear SPF and stay hydrated. Be sure to check the weather and keep an eye on the water, as safety is imperative. But most importantly, have fun! Sit back, sip your drink, and just relax.
Cancun is a wonderful part of Mexico that has so much to offer. You can sunbathe, explore historical sites and go clubbing all in the space of 24 hours. It’s such a diverse holiday destination!