Cancun Beach © Rick Gonzalez
Cancun is famous for its powdery white sand, which magically seems to resist getting too hot under the often sweltering Mexican sun. The coast is built up - this is the country's most popular beach resort destination after all - and those wanting wild and secluded beaches may be disappointed; however, for watersports, people watching, sun lounging, clear blue water, beach bars and restaurants, and great tourist facilities, Cancun is unbeatable.
Some of the most popular beaches on the northern stretch of Mujeres Bay include: Playa Langosta, Playa Las Perlas and Playa Tortugas, which get good waves and have extensive facilities for watersports and beach games, as well as numerous bars and restaurants; Playa Linda, which has a dock that is the launching point for various submarine, boat and dive tours and the main shuttle to Isla Mujeres; and Playa Caracol and Punta Cancun, which are excellent beaches for family fun, with shallow, calm waters and good facilities.
On the east side the beaches tend to be breezier and have rougher surf: Chac Mool, Playa Marlin, Gaviota Azul and Playa Ballenas are ideal for parasailing, windsurfing and other wind-reliant watersports; Punta Nizuc and Playa Delfines are beautiful beaches perfect for a day of sand and surf; and San Miguelito boasts some small Mayan ruins, adding a cultural aspect to the beach scene.
Those wanting to scuba dive will find wonderful dive sites between Cancun and Isla Mujeres, where reefs like El Tunel, Grampin, Chuchos, Largo and many more provide colourful and exciting underwater worlds. The Cancun Underwater Museum (MUSA) is also a fantastic option for divers.