The 5 Best Beaches in Cancun, Mexico

by | Dec 14, 2018 | Category North America, Guest Blog | 2 comments


From Cancun to Tulum, each beach affords its visitors warm waters and plenty of sun. What can make or break a beach is the number of hotels and shops. While tourists are great for the local industry and undoubtedly helped build Cancun into a vacation Mecca, they sure do have a way of lessening a day at the beach. Our rankings are based off of the distance to Cancun, business of the beach, and of course the beach itself. Be sure to let us know in the comments which beach sounds the best to you! Do you know of any other beaches that should be in our top 5?


Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox is a travelers dream. Lying on the northern end of the Yucatan Penisula, the small island has remained pristine through the years. Few travelers make the 3-hour journey northward which has left the island in incredible condition. You won’t find any large hotels or even an ATM. All you’ll find is white sand stretching into the horizon.


For more adventurous travelers, a trip can afford the opportunity to swim with whale sharks. You read that right, people are willing to pay money to hop in the water and swim with the world’s largest shark. As they migrate each year, whale sharks stop just off the coast of Isla Holbox for several months. Expeditions are lead into the warm waters just off the coast and in the adventurers go! For those more suited to life on land, we encourage you to explore the island’s unspoiled jungles and view the many birds that call Isla Holbox home!


Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos is just a short 30-minute drive south of Cancun. As the crabs (sunburned tourists) begin to flock to the ever-popular Playa Delfines hop in the car and lay back in Puerto Morelos. The relaxed, quiet fishing village has all the amenities you could want but none of the crowds!

Puerto Morelos

The village does an incredible job of upkeeping their beach and reef, constantly grooming and closing endangered sections of the reef. This makes it a perfect place to spend the day as a family. You can introduce everyone to snorkeling over the beautiful reef just off the coast or spend the day relaxing on the soft sand. Whatever you choose, remember to pack the sunscreen!


Tulum Ruins Beach

Just 75 miles south of Cancun is one of the most stunning beaches in the world. After a quick hike past ancient Mayan ruins and tropical jungle, you’ll stumble towards bright blue waters lapping against towering cliffs. A short and steep staircase spits you out over soft sand. Above you the cliff walls rise giving way to El Catillo standing prominently over the ocean. It’s hard to imagine a more inspiring view.

Tulum Ruins Beach

Tulum is just close enough to be a perfect day trip during your time in the Yucatan. We recommend starting off early and exploring the town in the morning. It is well known for its rustic charm and quaint restaurants. Luxury resorts have begun to realize the beauty of Tulum and resorts are beginning to dot the surrounding countryside. After a morning and lunch in town, visit the ruins and spend an afternoon in the sun before returning to Cancun.


North Side Cancun

The north side of Cancun is perfect for families looking for calmer waters and smaller crowds. The north shore is slightly less vibrant than its east side companion. The water is a deeper blue, and the sand isn’t quite as powdery white, but the lack of crowds more than makes up for the lack of color. The entire north shore is protected by Isla Mujeres making for a secluded, calm beach getaway.

North Side Cancun

For those looking to try kayaking, parasailing, or jet skiing, look no further. The shore’s calm waters are perfect for all kinds of water sports. They are also perfect for those looking for a safe place to play. Young or old, the north side of Cancun has something for everyone without the crowds you’d expect. There are also beautiful hotels and homes for rent on the north shore that offer great deals to families looking for an affordable vacation!


Playa Maroma

We can’t say enough about Playa Maroma. First off it is absolutely huge. Big enough that even if there was a crowd you wouldn’t even notice. Second is the color of the water, it is unbelievable. As incredibly bright blue as the sky. Third is the access to amazing snorkeling. Just off the beach is some of the most amazing snorkeling in the world with hundreds of species of fish circling the waters below you.

Playa Maroma is slightly harder to access. You either have to be a guest at one of the resorts lining the beach or go through the Riviera Maya Beach Club. Don’t let this deter you though. It is worth it! Once you get in, we recommend heading towards the southernmost point of the beach. The snorkeling is incredible on the south end and you should be able to have the reef to yourself for a bit!

Playa Maroma


Our final thoughts about the best beaches in Cancun

With enough sun and sand for everyone, Cancun is the perfect place for a beach vacation. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly beach, a honeymoon getaway, or a water sports paradise, the Yucatan Peninsula has it all. Be sure to check out at least one of our top beaches in Cancun and don’t be afraid to go find your own! Thanks for following along!


About the Authors

Kestra and Jacob are a Christian Travel Couple known as The Agape Co. The duo travels the world together and shares their global adventures, handy travel hacks, and inspiring stories with their followers. From alpine lakes to sunny beaches, snow skiing to parasailing, they’ll help you to explore the world as they have. Be sure to check out their journey at: and to give them a follow on their social media.

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