Does Cancun Have Nice Beaches (and is It Safe to Swim and Snorkel)?

Cancun boasts beautiful beaches with pristine white sands and clear turquoise waters. It is perfectly safe to swim and snorkel at the beaches in Cancun, as long as you follow the instructions of lifeguards and watch out for safety flags.
Does Cancun Have Nice Beaches
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Few spots along Mexico’s long coastline can compare to Cancun when it comes to soft white sands and clear blue waters.

Whether you fancy surfing, sunbathing or people-watching, there’s a beach in Cancun just for you.

Read on for the ultimate guide to Cancun’s beaches.

What Part of Cancun Has the Best Beaches?

The Hotel Zone in Cancun has the best beaches.

Shaped like the number 7, Cancun’s Hotel Zone is the epitome of beach perfection.

Lined by high-end resorts and hotels, the area has a calmer northern end that is ideal for families and couples, and a livelier eastern side with rougher waters and bigger crowds.

What is the Best Beach in Cancun?

The best beach in Cancun is Playa Delfines.

While most beaches in Cancun are beautiful with soft white sands and clear turquoise waters, Playa Delfines is exceptional for the fact that there are no hotels, restaurants or anything else built on this beach.

What is the Most Beautiful Beach in Cancun?

Boasting powdery white sands and crystal-clear blue waters, Playa Delfines is the most beautiful beach in Cancun.

Moreover, Playa Delfines is completely unspoiled with no hotels, restaurants or other structures built on the beach, which makes for a truly blissful and relaxing getaway.

Which Resort in Cancun Has the Best Beach?

The best beach in Cancun is Playa Delfines, and the Iberostar Selection Cancun is the resort located closest to Playa Delfines.

Which All Inclusive Resort in Cancun Has the Best Beach?

Playa Delfines is the best beach in Cancun, and the Iberostar Selection Cancun is the all-inclusive resort nearest to Playa Delfines.

How Do You Get to the Beach in Cancun?

You can take the bus to get to the beach in Cancun.

Simply get on the bus at Avenida Tulum and get off at one of the public access points.

The best public access points in Cancun’s Hotel Zone are:

  • Playa Delfines (18km) – entrance just south of the Iberostar Hotel
  • Playa Gaviota Azul (9km) – entrance next to Coco Bongo
  • Playa Marlin (13km) – entrance next to Kukulkan Plaza
  • Playa Chac Mool (10km) – entrance across the boulevard from Senor Frogs

Are the Beaches Clean in Cancun?

Yes, the beaches in Cancun are generally clean.

Most hotels and resorts in Cancun regularly clean the beach in front of their property to remove seaweed and other trash found on the sand and in the sea waters.

Is Cancun Sand Real?

Yes, Cancun’s sand is real.

Stretching over 14 miles, the shimmering soft white sands found on Cancun’s beaches are actually made of crushed coral.

This is the reason why Cancun’s sands always feel cool underneath your bare feet, even in hot weather.

Are the Beaches in Cancun Full of Seaweed?

No, the beaches in Cancun are not full of seaweed.

The amount of seaweed on Cancun’s beaches varies from one day to the next due to ocean current activity. As such, on some days you may not find any seaweed, while on other days there’ll be a lot.

That said, seaweed does not generally accumulate on the beaches in Cancun as it often washes away. Moreover, resort staff often clear the seaweed every day to maintain a beautiful beach.

What Months is Seaweed Bad in Cancun?

Seaweed season in the Caribbean runs from May through October.

The worst time for seaweed in most of the Caribbean, including Cancun, is during the summer months.

Are the Beaches Safe in Cancun?

Yes, the beaches are safe in Cancun.

Most beaches in Cancun have lifeguards on duty and warning flags posted. Resorts often have their own lifeguards.

Cancun’s beaches are also patrolled by the local police and the Mexican Navy.

The safest place to swim is at the beaches along the northern part of the Hotel Zone. Here, ocean waves are buffered by Isla Mujeres, a small island that lies off the coast of Cancun.

Do You Need Water Shoes in Cancun?

No, you do not need water shoes to visit the beaches in Cancun.

This is because the sea waters are clear and the beaches are sandy, without too many rocks.

That said, if you will be visiting the cenotes for swimming or snorkeling, you may need water shoes to protect your feet both in and out of water. This is because these fresh water jungle pools are typically surrounded by limestone rock.

Where Can You Swim in Cancun?

Here is a list of places where you can swim in Cancun:

  • Your Resort’s Beach: If you’re staying at one of the beachfront hotels in Cancun, simply walk out the back entrance to get right onto the beach.
  • Public Access Points: There are a few public access points where non-resort visitors can get onto the beach and swim.
  • Northern Beaches: The waters here are calm with little wave activity, which makes the area popular for weak swimmers and families with children.
  • Eastern Beaches: This area boasts the best waters in Cancun: crystal-clear with an electric blue appearance.
  • If you enjoy playing in the waves, head over to Playa Delfines or Playa Marlin. Delfines offers a quieter beach, while Marlin has convenience stores nearby where you can stock up on drinks.
  • If you prefer a relaxing swim in calmer waters with little waves, head over to the public access point near Coco Bongo.
  • If a swimming pool is more your thing and you have some cash to spare, go splurge at Mandala Beach Club. Here you can enjoy a pool with fantastic beach views.

Can You Swim in Ocean in Cancun?

Yes, it is possible to swim in the ocean in Cancun.

Just be sure to watch out for the flags: if they are red or black, stay out of the water.

Red flags mean that the ocean is too rough with lots of waves and strong currents; while yellow flags mean that the ocean is fine.

Always follow the instructions given by the lifeguards.

How is the Beach Water in Cancun?

Various factors will determine the beach water conditions in Cancun.

These are:

  • Water Temperature: Cancun records average sea water temperatures that rise to highs of 29 degrees Celsius and fall to lows of 25 degrees Celsius. As such, Cancun experiences pleasantly warm sea temperatures year-round, which are ideal for watersports activities.
  • Clarity: In summer, the sea in Cancun is generally calm which gives rise to crystal-clear waters. However in the rainy season, the sea is often rough and turbulent, which reduces clarity and visibility for snorkeling and scuba-diving.

Is Cancun Ocean Water Clean?

Yes, the ocean water in Cancun is clean.

Is the Water Calm in Cancun?

The calmness of the waters in Cancun depends on which beach, and what time of the year you visit.

The sea in Cancun is normally calm with hardly any waves. This makes it safe for swimming, and ideal for snorkeling and scuba-diving. However, during a stormy, rainy day, the sea in Cancun can get rough and turbulent with strong waves.

Looking at a map of Cancun, you will notice that the Hotel Zone is shaped like the number 7. The resorts at the top of the seven have calmer waters with little waves, unlike those at the stem of the seven which typically have rough waters. Situated off the coast of Cancun, Isla Mujeres also has calm waters.

Is the Water Clear in Cancun?

Clarity of seawaters in Cancun will depend on the presence/absence of waves.

On a sunny clear day when the Caribbean Sea is generally calm without wave activity, the waters around Cancun’s beaches will be clear. But on a rainy, stormy day with strong waves, the seawaters will be rough and turbulent, which reduces clarity.

Why is the Water So Clear in Cancun?

The water in Cancun is so clear because it contains little plankton and other substances that tend to make sea waters opaque.

Moreover, the waters are relatively shallow, which means that most of the sunlight is reflected, thereby giving rise to crystal-clear waters.

Is It Safe to Swim in the Ocean in Cancun?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to swim in the ocean in Cancun.

Just be sure to follow the instructions given by the lifeguards, and always watch out for the safety flags.

Depending on wave activity, every section of the beach will be marked with a flag indicating whether or not it is safe to swim:

  • Black Flag = No Swimming
  • Red Flag = Use caution, conditions could be dangerous
  • Yellow Flag = Swim with caution
  • Green Flag = Safe for swimming

Are There Sharks at Cancun?

Yes, many shark species are found in the seawaters surrounding Cancun.

However, there is no need to be worried about sharks ruining your vacation in Cancun.

This is because incidences of shark attacks have been rare in Cancun. In fact, only 3 shark attacks have occurred in Cancun over the last 10 years.

Are There Sharks Near Cancun?

Yes, many shark species are present in the Caribbean Sea waters near Cancun.

Is There Great White Sharks in Cancun?

No, there are no Great White Sharks in Cancun.

The species of sharks found in Cancun include:

  • Bull Sharks
  • Mako Sharks
  • Caribbean Reef Sharks
  • Hammerhead Sharks
  • Lemon Sharks
  • Whale Sharks
  • Nurse Sharks

Have There Been Any Shark Attacks in Cancun?

Yes, there have been 3 shark attacks in Cancun in the last 10 years.

These attacks occurred while the victims were swimming at Seagull Beach and Gaviota Azul Beach in Cancun.

The last shark attack in Cancun was recorded in 2013.

Is Cancun Good for Snorkeling?

Yes, Cancun is good for snorkeling.

In fact, certain areas in Cancun are regularly ranked among the world’s best snorkeling spots as they offer crystal-clear waters with incredible visibility and lots of colorful marine life.

Are There Coral Reefs in Cancun?

Yes, there are coral reefs in Cancun.

In fact, Cancun borders one of the world’s largest coral reefs – the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.

Located 26 miles south of Cancun in Puerto Morelos, the Mesoamerican Reef or Great Mayan Reef is accessible via a guided boat tour.

Here snorkelers and scuba-divers can enjoy unspoiled coral reef and an amazing diversity of colorful sea creatures.

How Much Does It Cost to Snorkel in Cancun?

The cost of a snorkeling excursion in Cancun will depend on which tour operator you decide to book with, as well as the type of snorkeling experience.

Expect to pay a minimum of US $60 to go on a snorkeling tour in Cancun.

Where Can I Snorkel for Free in Cancun?

Here is a list of places where you can snorkel for free in Cancun:

  • Westin Regina Hotel: For the best free snorkeling in Cancun, head to the public beach at the southern end of the Hotel Zone near the Westin Regina. The waters here are usually very clear unless they are crowded and your view gets obstructed by kicked up sand.
  • Bahia de Mujeres Beach: If staying in the northern end of the Hotel Zone, you can snorkel for free at Bahia de Mujeres Beach. Here snorkelers can enjoy clear blue waters that are very calm, with lots of impressive marine life to see.
  • Caves & Cenotes: Visitors can also go snorkeling in various caves and cenotes around Cancun.

Can You Snorkel Off the Beach in Cancun?

Yes, it is possible to snorkel off the beach in Cancun.

However, Cancun is not really known for good snorkeling directly off the beach. Aside from the sandy bottom and a few sea creatures, there isn’t much to see when snorkeling off the beach in Cancun.

For the best snorkeling in Cancun, it is recommended that you take a boat trip out to the reef or a ferry ride out to Isla Mujeres.