Cancun Beach List

Cancun has almost 14 miles (22 kilometers) of beach.  Cancun has two types of beaches, the northside beaches which have more tranquil water and the eastside beaches which have more exciting waves.  Generally the further east you go in the Hotel Zone the more turquoise the color of the water is.  Below is a listing of public access beaches in Cancun’s Hotel Zone.  Most of the hotels in the Hotel Zone are located on the beach, so guests have easy beach access.  Unless noted each beach has easy nearby parking.

Also be sure to check out the Cancun Beach FAQ page which has info on beach safety, nudity, snorkeling, water temperatures, Cancun’s special sand and more.

Cancun’s Northside Beaches
These beaches are located on the northside of the 7-shaped island of Cancun.  Northside beaches are protected from the open ocean by Isla Mujeres.  They all have tranquil water and are generally safe for swimmers of all ages.  There are numerous docks and water sport rental facilities on the northside.

Playa Las Perlas – Pearl Beach
Location: Hotel Zone – Boulevard Kukulcán – km 2.5
This beach is located midway between the mainland city of Cancun and the bridge on the northside.
Getting There By Bus: Blue Line Stop #84, Green Line Stop #89

Playa Las Perlas is the closest beach to the city of Cancun. Normally there are almost no waves there, making it safe for younger swimmers. There are several large and beautiful homes close to this beach. Because of it’s protected western location the water at this beach is not the magical turquoise color of the beaches further east.

Playa Linda – Pretty Beach
Location:
Hotel Zone – Boulevard Kukulcán – km 4
This beach is located just west of the Puente Nichupte, which is the bridge on the northside.  Parking is at El Embarcadero and the Teatro de Cancun.
Getting There By Bus:
Blue Line Stop #80, Green Line Stop #81

Playa Linda is not one of Cancun’s finer beaches, and does not live up to it’s name.  But you might enjoy a stroll along it if you happen to be in the neighborhood.  Playa Linda is at El Embarcadero, the launch site of the Pirate Galleon Cruise ships, it is also where you’ll find the Rotating Scenic Tower and other attractions.  There are kayak and jet ski rentals available on the beach at Playa Linda.

Playa Langosta – Lobster Beach
Location:
Hotel Zone – Boulevard Kukulcán – km 5
This beach is located near the the big Mexican flag and the Casa Maya Hotel, midway along the northside of the island.
Getting There By Bus: Blue Line Stop #74, Green Line Stop #77

The Playa Langosta beach is popular with locals.  Playa Langosta is also the dock for Dolphin Discovery and for one of many Isla Mujeres Ferries.  The water at this beach is tranquil and is generally safe for children.  Enjoyable seaside dining can be had at La Cueva, aka the Cove Restaurant, which features a nice (and nicely priced) buffet and many seafood dishes.

Playa Tortugas – Turtle Beach
Location:
Hotel Zone – Boulevard Kukulcán – km 6.5
This beach is located between the big Mexican flag and the corner of the 7, which is the heart of the Hotel Zone.
Getting There By Bus: Blue Line Stop #70, Green Line Stop #75

Playa Tortugas has deeper water and better “grown-up” swimming than most other beaches along the northside.  But it still has plenty of shallow areas for children.  The water at this beach is a deep turquoise color.  There is a dock with a ferry to Isla Mujeres and an indoor craft and flea market.  There are several restaurants where cold beer can be happily consumed beach-side.  This beach is quite popular with locals on weekends.  Our favorite patch of beach is to the right, past the rocks, but a close friend swears the beach is nicer if you go left…

Playa Caracol - Snail Beach
Location:
Hotel Zone – Boulevard Kukulcán – km 9
This beach is located near Plaza Caracol and the Xcaret dock, close to the heart of the Hotel Zone.
Getting There By Bus: Blue Line Stop #64, Green Line Stop #65

Playa Caracol has clear blue tranquil water. If this beach is crowded a short stroll west, to the left, will bring you to a lovely and less crowded beach.  There are many water sport rentals along the beach to the west of Playa Caracol.

Cancun’s Eastside  Beaches
Beaches on the eastside of Cancun’s 7-shaped island face the beautiful Caribbean Sea.  They generally have large enough waves for some great body surfing.  The sea there is the rich turquoise blue color.  If you stay in a hotel on the eastside be sure to get up (or stay up) to watch the sunrise over the Caribbean; Cancun is blessed with perfect sunrises.

Playa Gaviota Azul – Blue Seagull Beach
Location:
Hotel Zone – Boulevard Kukulcán – km 9.5
This beach is located near Plaza Forum and The City Beach Club. It is close to the heart of the Hotel Zone. There is no public parking for this beach, we suggest you park either in Plaza Forum lot (paid) or on the street near the NH Krystal Hotel.
Getting There By Bus: Blue Line Stop #62, Green Line Stop #61

Playa Gaviota Azul is that lovely turquoise color that everyone loves.  This beach is popular and always has lots of body surfers playing in the waves.  This beach is usually busy due to it’s proximity to the heart of the Hotel Zone.  It’s worth taking a stroll to the south from this beach, the beach changes a lot along there and is interesting.

Playa Chac Mool – Chac Mool Beach
Location: Hotel Zone – Boulevard Kukulcán – km 10
This beach is located across from Señor Frog’s, just south of the busy heart of the Hotel Zone.  There is no parking lot for this beach.   We usually walk to this beach from Playa Gaviota Azul.

Getting There By Bus: Blue Line Stop #60, Green Line Stop #57

Playa Chac Mool is lovely, the water is a deep turquoise color and the waves are quite fun.  To the north the beach is rocky and interesting, to the south are miles of perfect beach.

Playa Marlín – Marlin Beach
Location:
Hotel Zone – Boulevard Kukulcán – km 13
This beach is located near the Carisma Courts and the Tucancun Hotel, behind Plaza Kukulcán.
Getting There By Bus: Blue Line Stop #46, Green Line Stop #41

Playa Marlin is spectacular, as are most of the beaches along the eastside of the 7-shaped island of Cancun. The water is always a lovely deep turquoise and good swimmers enjoy playing in the waves there. There are kilometers of great beach in either direction so if you find the beach at Playa Marlin to be crowded just take a little walk and find your spot. Access to this beach is behind Plaza Kukulcán.

Playa Ballenas – Whale Beach
Location:
Hotel Zone – Boulevard Kukulcán – km 14.5
This beach is located just north of the Cancun Palace Hotel and just south of Le Meridien Hotel, parking and beach access are off of Calle Ballenas.
Getting There By Bus: Blue Line Stop #38, Green Line Stop #33

Playa Ballenas is a superb beach with spectacular turquoise water and fun waves.  Jet ski rentals and parasailing are available there.

Playa Delfines - Dolphin Beach
Location: Hotel Zone – Boulevard Kukulcán – km 18
This beach is located near the Ruinas El Rey along the southern end of the eastside.
Getting There By Bus: Blue Line Stop #20, Green Line Stop #17

Playa Delfines is very popular, but is large enough to comfortably accommodate everyone. The water at this beach is a perfect turquoise color and there are fun waves there. There are no hotels in the immediate vicinity which makes this beach a little more relaxed than others that are further north. Usually there are jet-ski rentals available close to this beach.

Playa Punta Nizuc - Point Nizuc Beach
Location:
Hotel Zone – Boulevard Kukulcán – km 24
This beach is located at the southern tip of the 7-shaped island of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, close to the Parque Nizuc waterpark.
Getting There By Bus: Blue Line Stop #4, Green Line Stop #3

Playa Punta Nizuc is located away from the crowds and the hotels, near the Parque Nizuc Water Park. It’s location around the corner of the southern tip of the 7-shaped island means that the water there is placid and has almost no waves. The water there often has seaweed and I usually do not swim there. This beach is not popular and I’ve never seen a crowd there. Unlike most of the beaches in Cancun, the beach at Playa Punta Nizuc is bordered by jungle rather than hotels. Parking is plentiful and access to this beach is easy.

Also be sure to check out the Cancun Beach FAQ page.