What Travel Writers Say

Beautiful Beaches

© By Adam Southwood

  Cancun acts as the dynamic hub for snowbird pleasure, offering inviting temperatures that range from 27 C. to 35 C. with sunny days throughout most of the year. From the hub, you can tour the Mayan Riviera and check out nearby Playa del Carmen, Xcaret and Xel-Ha, ancient Mayan ports. Also close by is Tulum, a striking archaeological zone by the sea and the only walled city built by the Mayans. For the water lovers, there's Isla Mujeres and Cozumel with unparalleled snorkeling and scuba diving amidst the stunning coral reefs, made famous by Jaques Cousteau. Accordingly, Cancun is Mexico's most important tourist destination and one of the world's best-known resorts.
     The Caribbean Sea's turquoise-blue water and white-sand beaches invite one to linger particularly with frosty weather back home. Along the hotel strip which spans more than 30 kilometers (19 miles), you may choose accommodations from villas and five-star hotels to exclusive resorts and spas. For the shopper, modern shopping malls abound, and with 500 restaurants and numerous bars and discos, there's not much need for home cooking.
     My favourite activity is walking along soothing beaches beside crystalline blue water, a wonderful way to de-stress. While others might take a spin on a wave-runner or a banana boat, play volleyball, windsurf or swim, I am blissfully content to meander along the brilliant white sand. And, there's lots of choice. Here are thirteen beaches guaranteed to satisfy the locomotive urge while allowing beautiful vistas along the way:
  • Playa Langosta is located at km 5 in the hotel zone, just west of Punta Cancun, one of Cancun's most visited beaches. Tour boats take you to the Isla Mujeres.
  • Playa Tortugas is located at km 6, west of Punta Cancun with calm, shallow water, an ideal family spot. If you want to stretch, there is a platform for bungee jumping in front of the pier.
  • Playa Chac-Mool is located at km 10 in the hotel zone, in front of the Bojorquez Lagoon, offering moderate surf, a popular spot for sunbathing.
  • Playa Marlin is located at km 13 in the hotel zone, half a kilometer south of Yamil Lu'um, an archaeological site.
  • Playa Ballenas is located at km 14 in the hotel zone, north of Punta Nizuc providing one of the best panoramic views of Cancun.
  • Playa Delfines is located north of Punta Nizuc at km 18 in the hotel zone, another sunbathing opportunity with a lookout point that enables one to capture wonderful pictures of the sparkling Caribbean Sea.
  • Isla Mujeres is located 14 km off the coast of Cancun, one of the most beautiful spots in the Mexican Caribbean. The island is 8 km long and 1.5 km wide. Take a ferry or speedboat from Puerto Juarez, Punta Sam and Playa Linda.
  • Playa Gaviota Azul is located just behind Plaza Forum and south of Punta Cancun at km 18 in the hotel zone, an excellent spot to swim.
  • San Miguelito is located in the hotel zone at km 16.5, between Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc, offering ruins at a small archaeological site called San Miguelito.
  • Yamil Lu'um is located at km 12.5 in the hotel zone, south of Playa Chac-mool with two Mayan structures for the historical-cultural buff.
  • Playa Las Perlas is located at the beginning of the hotel zone and west of Punta Cancun at km 2.5, a balmy beach, ideal for sailing, surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming. Ferries depart to the Isla Mujeres.
  • Playa Linda is located at km 4, where the hotel zone begins, 1 km west of Playa Langosta. Mujeres Bay's calm waters render it a safe spot to swim. It is a main stopover and departure point for cruise ships and boats heading for Isla Mujeres.
  • Playa Caracol is located at km 8.5, between Playa Langosta and Punta Cancun. The shallow waters make it ideal for swimming for children and beginners. It is also super for water-skiing.

     When you are finished with all of that beach walking (you could spend a day per beach for two weeks) and related water sports, Cancun is also a great spot for fun at night, dancing to the beat of Latin rhythms at the Cocobongo, located in Plaza Forum or for those who like pop and electronic music, The City, El Alebrije and La Boom. Along Kukulkan Boulevard, enjoy Latin and Caribbean sounds at Mango Tango.
     In the morning, it's back to the beaches!

Adam Southwood writes for Canadian, U.S. and European magazines and newspapers. He is a graduate of both McMaster University in Hamilton and UWO in London with an interest in culture and history. He has produced several educational programs for TV..

Photo Credits
Mexico Tourism Board

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