Beaches in Cancun

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Cancun is located on the Yucatan Peninsula in southern Mexico, and its beaches lay on the warm shores of the Caribbean Sea. It is divided into three distinct areas: the city, the resort island, and the ecological reserve. "Ciudad Cancun" (Cancun City) is on the mainland, a somewhat typical Mexican town. "Isla Cancun" (Cancun Island) is the tourist center with hotels, resorts, and famous beaches.

The island is a 15 mile-long sandbar located off the mainland and connected by causeways on either end. The body of water between Cancun Island and the mainland is called the Nichupte Lagoon.

The Famous Beaches

The long, narrow island offers beaches all the way around its length, and all of the beaches of Cancun are free and open to locals and tourists alike. The hotels and resorts on the Caribbean coast prefer to keep “their” beaches for the use of their patrons, but they cannot keep other visitors from enjoying the pristine sand and warm water.

The famous white-sand beaches are of course the main attraction.  For visitors that have not had the pleasure of such a beach, there is a pleasant surprise waiting: the white sand stays cool even under the tropical sun. The cool white sand and the warm Caribbean waters are an ideal combination for a relaxing afternoon.

Areas of the beaches are given names and have slightly different characters, so it can be easy to find just the right spot to enjoy.

North Side Beaches

For gentle water and wind currents, which make great places for families and leisure swimming, try the North Side beaches, like Playa Las Perlas, Playa Linda, Playa Langosta, Playa Tortugas, and Playa Caracol.

In addition, some beaches offer excellent opportunities for more fun, like scuba diving in the calm, clear waters of Playa Linda; or more active water sports such as waterskiing or boating at Playa Langosta and Playa Tortugas.

East Side Beaches

On Cancun’s East Side, the beaches offer higher waves and stronger breezes, making them havens for more adventurous visitors. From north to south:

Gaviota Azul, Chac Mool and Playa Marlin offer plenty of space to relax and enjoy the sunshine. Also, with the highest offshore wave action at these beaches, windsurfing and parasailing are popular.

Playa Ballenas is centrally located and known for family-friendly activities, like swimming, tubing, boating and waterskiing; and San Miguelito allows visitors to explore ancient Mayan ruins while playing in the sand.

Cancun is a family-friendly paradise for beach lovers of all ages.

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