Want to experience the beaches of Cancun without shelling out a hundred or thousand bucks? Well, while most Cancun visitors think that the only way to enjoy the beach in the area is to stay in an expensive beachfront hotel, the truth is that there are public beaches in Cancun that are accessible to just about anybody. All you need is to know how you can access these beaches without having to go through hotels.
(Important note: The whole stretch of beach in Cancun are Federal property, hence, the beach is ALL PUBLIC. But hotels and resorts are private properties, therefore, access to the beach thru these properties is not allowed. Through the different public-accessible entrances, though, walking or even using the beach in front of even the most expensive resort or hotel is allowed.)
Playa Las Perlas
Where it’s located: Km. 2.5 in the Hotel Zone.
What you can do here: You can swim and try water sports in this beach, or simply hang out in its bars and restaurants.
Where it’s located: Kulkulan Boulevard, Km. 3 in the Hotel Zone.
What you can do here: The place is ideal for those who simply want to swim or try water sports.
Where it’s located: Km. 4 in the Hotel Zone, facing Bahia de Mujeres.
What you can do here: Great for those who want to swim, with changing rooms and also restaurants. This is also perfect for those who are into diving and would like to try a submarine tour since its dock is usually the departure point of such tours.
Where it’s located: Km. 5 of the Hotel Zone (middle of north end area in the hotel zone), facing Bahia de Mujeres.
What you can do here: Swimming, water sports, or hanging out in bars and restaurants located along the beach. In its dock, there are shuttles going to Isla Mujeres and other places for those who want a tour.
Where it’s located: Km. 6.5 in the HHotel Zone. The entrance is next to Fat Tuesday’s.
What you can do here: Aside from swimming and water sports, its dock also has shuttles available for those who want a tour to Isla Mujeres and other places.
Playa Las Palmas/Caracol
Where it’s located: Km. 8.5 in the Hotel Zone, near Punta Cancun. Accessible through the Xcaret bus terminal or through a small wooden gate next to Fiesta Americana Coral Beach.
What you can do here: Ideal for outing and swimming with kids because of its flat and shallow sand bed. First timers will enjoy this beach.
Playa Chac Mool
Where it’s located: Km. 10 in the Hotel Zone, near Punta Cancun. The entrance is across the street from Senor Frog’s.
What you can do here: Perfect for water sports such as parasailing and sail boarding. (Caution: Current in this beach can be strong.)
Where it’s located: Km. 13 in the Hotel Zone, between Punta Nizuc and Punta Cancun. Entrance is behind the Kukulcan Plaza shopping mall.
What you can do here: Perfect for those who want to meet locals as this is a beach mostly visited by those living in the area. It’s also ideal for sunbathing—great view and there are shade shelters around. (Caution: Currents can be dangerous at times.)
Where it’s located: Km. 14 in the Hotel Zone, between Punta Nizuc and Punta Cancun. Entrance is along the Meridien Hotel wall fence (sidewalk).
What you can do here: Perfect for sunbathing and sightseeing. (Caution: Currents are typically dangerous here.)
Where it’s located: Km. 18 in the Hotel Zone, near Punta Nizuc.
What you can do here: Great for those who want to sunbathe and just enjoy the view, especially because there are stone benches where one can sit and just take in the scenery. Also great for swimming with the free outdoor showers and washrooms. (Caution: There are times when currents are strong and swimming is dangerous.)