Enough talking about Cancún. Let’s talk about the best beaches in Cancún.
The best beaches are located in the second part of “Zona Hotelera” starting from Coco Bongo. Below you will find a list of “public beaches” located in Kukulkán avenue. From closest to furthest… starting from kilometer 0.
First let me define what is a “Private beach” and “Public beach“.
As you can see by the photos there are hotels along the beach and if you are hosted in one of them then you will have access to “its” beach right in front of it. You will have access to the benches and hammocks. Not bad hah! but if you are staying in a Hostel/Hotel in the city then you will take your bus -Ruta 1- and you will to go a “public beach” where there is not hotel in front of it.
The truth is that our constitution says that beaches are part of Mexican soil, it belongs only to México and cannot be privatized in any way. So If I say “public beach” I make reference to the access that is public because there is no hotel to stop you from accessing it.
You could easily access the beach in Kilometer 0 and walk all the way till kilometer 18 or 20 if you could (not possible) and security, bodyguards or any person from the hotel will not be able to kick you out from “their beach”. One thing is for sure. They will keep an eye on you – more if you are a brown guy like me – so you don’t disturb their guests or use their benches/Hammocks.
Please note that it is not possible to walk on the beach all the way from Kilometer 2 to 18. Near kilometer 4.5 there is a river that connects the lagoon and the sea and it’s also the port to take Captain hook tour.
Then the next public access to the beach is in Kilometer 5. If you keep walking you will reach The Lighthouse and there is only rocks around. Go to the next beach Playa Lagarto and then you will be able to walk more than 8 kilometers.
Having said that…. let’s take a look to the beaches.
Rates go from 1 to 10. Being 10 the beast one.
Playa Las Perlas – kilometer 2
It is the closest one to the city and also the ugliest one (in comparison with the rest of course). There is not much there to be honest plus is full with boats.
Playa Langosta – kilometer 5
Now it’s when it gets better. The beach is wider with white sand. The disadvantage is that there is no convenience store close (closest is 5 min walking).
There are less boats than in playa Las Perlas. Oh! and there is a playground for kids just before accessing to the beach.
Playa Tortugas – kilometer 6.5
This beach could be very good however the port is taking lot of space and killing completely the view. Keep walking to find a good spot for you. The advantage over the previous ones is the Oxxo that is just 50 meters away from the beach. Yes. 50 meters.
Let me tell you what I did one day in here.
I wanted to go running but also I wanted to go to the beach and wasting time was not an option that day. So I packed everything I needed in a small backpack. My towel, wallet, keys, hat, sunscreen, swimming pants and… That’s it. I went running from my flat to the beach. I changed my clothes and I swam 10-15 minutes then grabbed couple of beers, bought some food (kibis) and relaxed as much as I could.
When I had enough. I packed everything and went back running to my place. It was my sweet spot when I wanted to run and rest on the beach with nothing but essential things on my backpack.
Playa Caracol – Kilometer 9
This beach is… special because it is on the end of the first part of Zona Hotelera and if you look to the right you will see a bunch of rocks that give you the impression there is nothing else after but exclusive hotels and private beaches.
On your left hand side there are good spots in front of the hotels. The interesting part is keep walking to the right side. Jump the rocks and keep walking and you will find The Lighthouse at the end.
Yes, a Lighthouse. 200 meters before you need to jump the bridges and bunks and there is one part where there is no other way that to take the hotel’s side walk.
Don’t be surprised if they stop you and take you a picture. It is for security purposes. That’s what they told me.
Playa Lagarto – Kilometer 10 – Coco Bongo
This might be the coolest place to stay – If you arrive early enough – because it is next to Coco Bongo nightclub. They beach is beautiful, the white sand and crystal clear water make it a perfect place and on the background you can listen music from Mandala Beach Club.
There are stores close enough (150 meters) to buy all you need. Beer, water, lays, hot-dogs, more beer… It’s a good place. The disadvantage is how good the place is. It’s so good that for exactly the same reason it’s crowded and if you don’t arrive early enough there won’t be much space where to stay.
Playa Chac Mool – kilometer 11
There is an Oxxo at 200 meters. The beach is as good as in Playa Lagarto. less people and that’s it what is makes it The Perfect beach.
From here the beach remains exactly the same with more or less people, in terms of colors, sand and water with one exception. Playa Delfines.
Playa Delfines – Kilometer 18 – Cancún letters
This is the most shocking beach in Cancún for a very good reason. The view. The moment you pass near by you will see lots of people making a huge queue to take THE PICTURE for Instagram or whatever. Cancún letters as foreground and 50 meters below the Caribbean sea as background. Cancún and its beautiful colors… just amazing.
They only disadvantage is the location because it is already faraway from anything yet beautiful.
I know there are other beaches between kilometer 11 and 18 and I would mention them if they had something different but it’s not the case. All depends what you want . To rest, to have some fun after or if you don’t mind that it’s too crowded.
So there you have it. The best beach is PLaya Chac Mool followed by Playa Delfines.
If you don’t believe me. Go there and check by yourself 🙂