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The Beaches Of Cancun - Bigger And Better Than Ever!

Jan 26, 2008
Extending from the Mexican mainland in the shape of a '7', the many beaches of Cancun's Hotel Zone have recently received a significant facelift. Almost immediately after much of the sand lining the Caribbean Sea was carried away in a storm, a crew of over 200 people began restoring the beaches. However, the rebuilding didn't stop when the beaches were restored to their original size. Much like the premier resorts of Cancun that utilized this rebuilding period to make their accommodations even more luxurious and inviting, the beaches were rebuilt with an average width of 140 feet - making most beaches 50% bigger than their original size. Today, with all of the rebuilding completed, the beaches of Cancun offer visitors even more activities and space to relax.

The beaches along the stretch of land extending into the Caribbean are typically referred to as the North Side beaches. As these beaches are somewhat sheltered from the Caribbean current by Isla Mujeres, the wind and wave conditions at these beaches are typically very mild. While the beaches of the East Side might be for some water sports, many of the North Side beaches are perfect for swimming and family activities.

Here is overview of the North Side Beaches, from west to east, approaching the Caribbean Sea and the main stretch of Cancun's Hotel Zone:

Playa Las Perlas - Located at the beginning of the Hotel Zone where the land begins stretching into the Caribbean, this beach is a popular choice for swimming and other water sports. When you've finished having fun in the water, Playa Las Perlas also has plenty of charming restaurants and bars.

Playa Linda - This North Side beach is located near many popular tourist destinations and features calm, crystal-clear water that is perfect for all types of family-friendly water sports. As a result, Playa Linda is the best place to find submarine and scuba diving tours.

Playa Langosta and Playa Tortugas - These neighboring beaches are known for their pristine sand and relaxed atmosphere. With slightly larger waves than Playa Las Perlas, these two beaches also offer great opportunities for families to try active water sports like waterskiing, jet skiing and boating.

Playa Caracol - This beautiful beach has long been one of the most popular stretches of sand in Cancun. With shallow water leading out into a smooth, sandy bottom, Playa Caracol and its share of the Caribbean Sea is one of the best destinations for families. After the kids have enjoyed splashing in the crystal-clear water, parents can enjoy all the nearby restaurants and shops.

As the beaches of Cancun's East Side extend directly into the Caribbean Sea, visitors will experience slightly higher waves and breezier conditions than on the North Side of the peninsula. However, nearly all of Cancun's East Side beaches feature a family-friendly atmosphere and offer exciting activities for visitors of all ages.

Furthermore, as most of Cancun's premier resorts rest of the East Side of the peninsula, you won't have any trouble finding world-class shopping and dining within walking distance of the beach.
The beaches described here are in order from north to south, with the best resorts and activities residing at the southernmost end of the peninsula:

Gaviota Azul, Chac Mool and Playa Marlin - These three special stretches of sand are the northernmost beaches on the East Side of the Hotel Zone. While these beaches might not be as glamorous as those further south near the exclusive resorts, all three offer plenty of space to relax and enjoy the sunshine. Also, as the wave action is the highest offshore from these beaches, windsurfing and parasailing have become popular sports here.

Playa Ballenas - This beach, centrally located on the East Side of the Hotel Zone, is known for its family-friendly activities. Every member of the family can enjoy activities like swimming, tubing, boating and waterskiing. Furthermore, as Playa Ballenas rests in the heart of Cancun's most exciting area, there is also plenty to explore on land.

San Miguelito - Known as the beach that adds a little history to the exciting Cancun experience, San Miguelito allows visitors to explore ancient Mayan ruins while playing in the sand. Beyond the important historical remains located on the beach, San Miguelito is also a great place to swim or simply relax beneath the shade of a palapa.

Playa Delfines and Playa Nizuc - Located at the southern end of the Hotel Zone's East Side, these beaches offer some of the best scenery in Cancun. As Playa Delfines and Playa Nizuc are both nestled against some of the best resorts in Cancun, there are also plenty of great restaurants and other activities to enjoy.

Following the extensive rebuilding period, nearly everything in Cancun is better than ever and the city hardly missed a beat. The improved beaches of Cancun allow you and your family to play in the near-endless sand, frolic in the warm water or simply relax in the sun.

Throw in the family-oriented beach culture and the countless activities of the Hotel Zone and you'll see why Cancun is one of the best family destinations in the Caribbean.
About the Author
This article was written by Justin Burch. Justin writes select pieces about vacationing in the Caribbean and travel in Cancun for the Marriott Resorts.
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