Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean attract millions of visitors annually in search of some of the best beaches in the world. With countless picture-perfect beaches dotting the region’s beautiful coastline, the choice can feel overwhelming. From Cancun’s impeccably maintained yet packed beaches to Holbox Island’s remote shores, the choices are endless. In this article, we’re showcasing 5 of the most Instagram-worthy beaches for your next Mexican Caribbean trip.
Cancun: Playa Deflines
Most travelers headed to the Mexican Caribbean this year will choose to vacation in Cancun. Last year alone, over 30 million tourists visited the city, many of them spending their days enjoying the city’s Blue-Flag beaches. When it comes to Cancun’s beaches, Playa Delfines is hard to beat. This 30-kilometer-long beach is located in the heart of the city’s hotel zone, where several massive resorts and countless other amenities are found.
To make the most of this stunning beach, head to El Mirador, which offers some of the most picture-worthy panoramic views of Cancun’s turquoise waters and impressive architectural landscape. While Playa Delfines can be enjoyed around the clock, head there early morning or during the evening for the perfect sunrise or sunset picture.
Isla Mujeres: Playa Norte
Isla Mujeres’ Playa Norte (north beach) regularly features on the list of the world’s top beaches. Isla Mujeres is a must-see for travelers in the region, just several minutes away from Cancun by ferry. Don’t be fooled by the island’s small size – travelers can easily spend days enjoying the destination’s top-rated beaches.
Playa Norte is just a stone’s throw from the island’s main ferry terminal and is easily reached on foot or by taxi. Once there, travelers can enjoy an afternoon under the sun, or try out aquatic activities like snorkeling, diving, or sailing tours. Although much smaller than Cancun’s beaches, Playa Norte is surrounded by small shops selling local delicacies and refreshing cocktails.
Playa del Carmen: Playa Punta Esmeralda
Playa del Carmen is one of the most popular destinations in the Mexican Caribbean alongside Cancun. With a stunning coastline full of white-sand beaches, Playa Punta Esmeralda has quickly gained popularity among travelers thanks to its picturesque landscape and laid-back atmosphere.
Situated further away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Playa del Carmen, Punta Esmeralda is the place to be for that perfect Instagram shot. Travelers can enjoy the miles-long beach before heading to the adjacent freshwater lagoon, where they can lie down in knee-deep crystal-clear water.
Cozumel: Playa El Cielo
If Cancun’s and Isla Mujeres’ packed beaches don’t appeal to you, consider Cozumel as a worthy alternative. Ranked among the top island destinations in North America, Cozumel has been making a name for itself in recent years. Located 45 minutes from Playa del Carmen, Cozumel is a hotspot for beachgoers and divers, thanks to some of the world’s largest coral reefs.
Despite having dozens of beaches, Cozumel’s Playa el Cielo is especially known for its pristine crystal-clear tropical water. Situated on the southwestern tip of the island, Playa el Cielo is best reached by taxi from San Miguel de Cozumel. The location is also featured on TripAdvisor’s Best of the Best ranking for 2022 – and for good reason.
Holbox: Playa Punta Cocos
Holbox – a tiny island off the northern coast of Quintana Roo – has become one of the trendiest beach destinations in the Mexican Caribbean thanks to its sargassum-free white-sand beaches. Last year, its bioluminescent beaches went viral thanks to small micro-organisms that light up at night, creating a lasting impression among travelers.
Playa Punta Cocos is perhaps one of the most photogenic beaches on the small island. Located on the southern tip of the island and close to many of the island’s main resorts and smaller family-run accommodations.
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