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Mexico now has
a seat-belt law.
The Cancun hotel-zone hotels all have beaches; most provide their guests with a variety of facilities, including palapa sun shelters, beach waiters, volleyball courts, aerobics classes, bars, restaurants, showers, restrooms, towels, and lifeguards.
Once you access the beach you are permitted to walk in any direction for as long as you wish.
The hotels/resorts are strung out along the north coast and the eastern coast forming a "7". All along this coastline are beautiful beaches.
Within days of Hurricane Wilma in 2005 a team from Belgium-based Jan De Nul Group arrived to survey the damage. Shortly after, a crew of 220 people began working on restoring Cancun's beautiful beaches. However, Mother Nature had her own plan in mind and almost immediately Cancun's beautiful beaches began to erode again.
Without notice, in September 2009 the Beach Recovery Trust began on a $71 million beach restoration project to rebuild beaches along the coastline of Cancun and the Mayan Riviera.
5.2 million cubic meters (178.5 million cubic feet) of sand have been shifted to restore Mexico's Caribbean beaches.
The Beach Recovery Project is aimed at returning the beaches to their original width, which in some cases was up to 65 meters (yards) wide in some spots.
The Beach Recovery Trust is also establishing a monitoring and maintenance program in an effort to prevent the coastlines from eroding again. It is hoped that over time the white sand will settle naturally and firmly into place, making many of the beaches between 30 - 40 meters wide.
Water Sports include:
Beach Sports include:
NORTHERN SIDE BEACHES - Hotel Zone to Punta Cancun
These are excellent beaches for water sports and swimmers. The waters are calm, the beaches are clean and there are nice hotels here too. The docks from which the Cruises, shuttles, and water taxis, etc. depart for Isla Mujeres are located on the north beach side.
Playa Las Perlas
EAST SIDE BEACHESThe Cancun coast includes both an "ocean side" and a "lagoon side". By far the majority of the hotels front onto the ocean. There isn't any beach to speak of on the lagoon side.
Swimming and tanning takes place on the ocean side, and jet-skis, kayaks, and other rentals are featured on the lagoon side.
General beach conditions here are the same as northern beaches. The sand is course/powder and kept clean of ocean debri. Unlike the northern tip which is somewhat sheltered by Isla Mujeres this strip of coast-line is protected by nothing. This means that the winds and currents come roaring up and produce very wavy conditions some of the time.
This doesn't paint a very pretty picture of the eastern beaches however they are really no different than many Florida beaches and if you like playing in waves then these are the beaches for you.
If you are looking for a secluded private beach try the beach at the Camino Real Hotel which is located at the southern tip of the peninsula. The beach is accesible only by walking through the property of the Camino Real Hotel (the beach is public, federal property). There are no vendors, strollers, no music or volleyball. The small beach is manicured daily.
Snorkeling off the beaches of Cancun is not that good. It is mostly sand, which does not attract a large variety of fish. This does not mean that the odd ocean going animal does not frequent close enough to delight a child snorkeling near the shore but for the enthusiasts you will not find your snorkel adventure along these beaches.
There are however excellent places to snorkel around Cancun including caves and cenotes.
The best snorkeling around Cancun off the beach is the public area near the Westin Regina, in the southern tip of the hotel zone.
For more information see: Snorkeling
FLAGSDepending on the weather, wave and tide conditions, each section of a beach is marked with a flag indicating whether it is safe to swim there:
SANDCancun beaches used to have white powder sand, pre-Wilma. Because new sand had to be dredged in to rebuild the beaches, gone is the fine white powder beach. It is now a combination of powder and coarse.
We prefer coarse sand to powder sand because it is easier to get off you. Powder sand sticks to you like glue.
The Mayan Riviera and Cozumel are predominately coarse sand beaches.
The ocean water temperature reaches its highest point in late August early September. Then some days it can be like swimming in a warm bathtub. Even during the coolest times of the year the water is still okay to swim in. It is always hot outside!
SAFETYMost Cancun beaches have lifeguards. Around the main beaches in Playa del Carmen and Akumal there are also lifeguards on duty and warning flags posted. Resorts have lifeguards who double as dive instructors etc.
Beaches in Cancun and around Playa del Carmen are also patrolled by the Mexican Navy who walk up and down the beaches in their uniforms with submachine guns. How these guys handle the heat we will never know. We assume as soon as they get out of visual range they jump in the water to cool off!
The local police also patrol the beaches driving up and down on 4-wheelers.
The Northern beaches in Cancun are the most swim friendly. The ocean waves and winds are buffered by the small island of Isla Mujeres which lies off the coast.
Some women go topless on the beaches in Cancun, however this is more prevalent on the beaches in Playa del Carmen and the Mayan Riviera. Thongs are very popular as well.
There are no nude beaches in Cancun and Cancun beaches are by and large family orientated.
We understand that some parents are concerned with the topless issue but you may be surprised to find it not as prevalent as one might presume.
Cancun and the Maya Riviera are international destinations and there are many fashion conscious Europeans. You will see the latest trends in beach-wear on the beaches and there are also countless stores to purchase designer beach-ware and gear.
It is interesting because you can tell where people are from by what they wear on the beach. Canadian and American men wear shorts, sunglasses and hats while Europeans wear speedos [although we notice the Speedo is being fazed out by younger men], jewelry and sunglasses. The Mexican men wear shorts, usually no hats or sunglasses.
European women have the most stylish bathing suits, especially the Italian women.
There is of course a "beach culture". It is made up of a cross section of tourists on that one vacation a year trip, party animals who can't get enough, locals, and a small group of beach-bums who fly in from all points of the globe. Many earn their living by performing some unusual but entertaining feat. Many are bilingual and find jobs as well. They are a colorful crowd and can be found from Cancun to San Cristobal in Chiapas.
The beaches in Mexico surprisingly are not as entertaining as beaches in Cuba. This will all change after Fidel dies and the Cubans are allowed to travel. This will mean a dramatic export of musicians and general freaks to Mexican beaches, Playa del Carmen in general. Until then, beaches along Cancun and the Maya Riviera remain by and large very family orientated.
CANCUN BEACH PICTURES
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CANCUN HOTELSFor current Cancun hotel and resort information including rates, availability and secure on-line reservations please see:
Cancun Hotels & Resorts
Cancun Airport to Hotel Shuttle see:
Answers for many of your questions may possibly be found here:
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