Acapulquito Beach in Cabo. Playa Acapulquito is a charming beach located at the Cabo Surf Hotel, and is great place for those who are learning how to surf. This charming beach is very popular and attracts many surfers with Mike Doyle Surf School ready to give you lessons or rent a board. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, this spot is a great place to catch some waves!
Santa Maria Beach in Cabo. Boasting a reef with countless different types of tropical fish, the Santa Maria cove is a popular stop on many snorkeling tours. The beach is rather secluded during the week, with only a few portable restrooms and an array of beach vendors. If you’re looking for a relaxing snorkeling experience away from the crowds, this beach is perfect.
Chileno Beach in Cabo. Though it isn’t Cabo’s most popular beach, Chileno Beach, situated in the Los Cabos Corridor, is an ideal beach in many ways. With palapas to rest under and great snorkeling, boating and other equipment available for rent, along with tide pools for small children to play in, Chileno offers something for every member of the family. Chileno is indeed packed on the weekends, just like Medano Beach, but despite this, it’s still less chaotic and crowded.
Playa Langosta Cancun Playa Langosta is conveniently located among the many high-rise all-inclusive hotels in the Cancun Hotel Zone. That means it's easy to get to, either on foot, public transportation, or by taxi. Locals absolutely adore this beach for its sun-bleached sand and the fact that it still flies under the tourist radar. The beach itself is cut by a long pier, but the water is calm and shallow and perfect for splashing around.
Playa Forum Cancun If you're looking for the best beaches in Cancun that are in the heart of the action, look no further than Playa Forum, otherwise known as Play Gaviota Azul. Located smack dab in Cancun's Hotel Zone Beach strip, this stretch of powder-soft sand is within steps from the pulsing heartbeat of Cancun's tourist zone. The great part about Playa Forum is its social atmosphere and proximity to so many hotels, restaurants, and beach hangouts.
Playa Tortugas Cancun If you are searching for that slice of local Cancun, look no further than Playa Tortugas. Known as a top beach spot for locals, it's popular for its chill vibe, pristine sand, and many beachfront restaurants. Just north of the Hotel Zone, the beach is a popular jumping-off point from which to visit Isla Mujeres. A pier has a daily ferry service that shuttles tourists and locals across the calm, turquoise water.
Playa X'cacel Cancun If you thought Akumal was turtle paradise, wait until you feast your eyes on Playa X'cacel. With the finest Caribbean sand, X'cacel is one of the very best spots to view turtles near Cancun and the Riviera Maya. In fact, every spring and summer, hundreds of turtles nest on the powder-soft sand. There is a local sanctuary that protects the turtle nests and the eggs, and they request a donation of about 10-20 pesos per person to help keep the program going.
Playa Playacar Cancun Just south of Playa del Carmen is the gated community of Playacar. This high-end residential and hotel area is guarded from the main throngs of Playa del Carmen's bustling Fifth Avenue. But since all beaches in Mexico are public, it's easy to just walk down the sand to reach the picture-perfect shores of Playacar.
Playa Xpu-Ha Cancun Locals and tourists are both obsessed with the sugary shores of Playa Xpu-ha in Puerto Aventuras, just south of Cancun. This quiet haven is much more private than the crowded beaches in Cancun, though visitors will be asked to pay a small entrance fee.
Playa Akumal Cancun South of Cancun, travelers can stumble upon the quaint beach town, Akumal, and the beach of the same name. In addition to the powder-soft sand and sweeping turquoise bay, travelers come to Akumal to snorkel with the sea turtles. At night from April to October, hundreds of turtles migrate ashore to lay their eggs on the beach. As such, it's a stunning habitat for snorkelers and divers to frolic under the waves with these beautiful creatures.
Playa Paraiso Cancun Absent of high-rise hotels, Playa Paraiso in Tulum is often said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, not to mention one of the best beaches in Cancun. The beach is long and seemingly endless, giving visitors the impression that, despite its popularity, they are one of the few there.
Playa Maroma Cancun One of the region's most popular (and photographed) beaches is Playa Maroma, between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Home to several of the area's most exclusive resorts, this beach is known for its wide stretch of bone-colored sand and many different hues of turquoise water. A small marina can be found on the sand, from where visitors can arrange snorkeling or fishing trips.
Playa Chac Mool Cancun While still the same stretch of sparkling sand as other more popular Cancun beaches, Playa Chac Mool is heralded for its under-the-radar status. Just next to the more boisterous Playa Gaviota Azul (Playa Forum), Chac Mool is the perfect place to plant yourself under an umbrella with a good book. (But bear in mind, Playa Forum is rather raucous, and there can be the occasional spillover.)
Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve Cancun Daniel Defoe (author of Robinson Crusoe) would be hard-pressed to find a more idyllic, storybook beach than the ones in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. South of Tulum, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the best preserved habitats in Mexico, home to 23 archaeological sites, and among the most pristine and undeveloped beaches in the world.
Playa Norte Cancun Just off the coast of the Hotel Zone is one of Cancun's best-kept secrets: Isla Mujeres. And on Isla Mujeres is one of Cancun's best beaches: Playa Norte, known for its string of hotels and energetic beach restaurants. This beach is the one that postcards are made of, from crystalline, shallow waters to powder soft, sugary sand.
Costa Mujeres Cancun About 30 minutes north of Cancun's Hotel Zone is a new, gated luxury development perched on a swath of sun-drenched sand. Costa Mujeres is a gated community with several all-inclusive resorts, restaurants, golf, and more. Costa Mujeres has its own impressive natural landmarks to explore, as well, like the Isla Blanca beach, archaeological sites, the Chacmuchuc lagoon, and more. Note: Isla Blanca beach is often regarded as the best beach in the area.
Playa delfines Cancun Sandwiched on either side by sweeping stretches of resort-dominated beach, Playa Delfines is Cancun's largest, most popular, and arguably most beautiful public beach. Picture blindingly bleached sand backed by the most electric blue water. Along the sand, you'll find umbrellas for rent, thatched palapas, and restrooms.