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Cancun & Mexican Caribbean Beach Safety Levels Revealed In New WHO Study

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If a beach vacation is what you’ve been dreaming of, then look no further than the Mexican Caribbean – it has some of the most widely recognized, top-rated beaches in the world. 

While they are the very reason why so many visitors flock to this golden coastline, they have recently come under fire regarding their cleanliness and contamination issues. 

beautiful beach scape in Cancun

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stepped in to review the very beaches in question and came back with more than positive results.

Are The Beaches In Quintana Roo Safe To Swin In?

Yes, indeed they are. 

Surveillance and monitoring of 28 beaches in the Mexican Caribbean was carried out by WHO ahead of the spring break and summer season, which is expected to be busier than ever. 

Their most recent study found that the beaches were more than suitable to be used by tourists for recreational use, even though they can become overpopulated during the Mexican Caribbean’s busiest times.

aerial view of Isla Mujeres beaches

The beaches in question would not be granted that status by the WHO if the water quality was not guaranteed to pose no threat to tourists using them. 

The Mexican Caribbean is home to several Blue Flag beaches, which meet sustainable, accessible, and cleanliness ratings that make them a cut above the rest. Thus, they are no strangers to meeting standards set by officials to maintain their reputation.

What Are The Beaches Deemed Safe From The Study?

Among those 28 beaches that were surveyed and monitored, a large number of them were in Cancun: Playa Puerto Morelos, Dolphins, Marlin, Turtles, Lobster, Las Perlas and Playa del Nino.

If you find yourself in the magical town of Cozumel, Las Casitas Beach, Centro, Dzul-Ha, Chankanaab, Rastas, Bonita, Caletita, San Martin and Chen Rio are safer than ever for tourists to swim in. 

Playa Bonita in Cozumel

Or maybe it is the Riviera Maya that is going to meet all your beach needs, with Chunzubul, Porto Real, Lacheros, Punta Esmeralda and Paamul being the perfect places to take a dip. 

In Isla Mujeres, WHO deemed both Central and North Beach to be completely safe for tourists. 

Beaches in Playa del Carmen and Tulum also met the high standard, completing the 28 list and reaffirming that the Mexican Caribbean is not only safe for swimming in, it is encouraged! 

The Blue Flag Beaches In More Detail 

Mexico now has well over 100 beaches that are certified with the Blue Flag seal of approval; something which is no small feat. 

Beaches that meet the criteria must follow strict quality standards in education, environmental information, water quality, accessibility standards, safety protocols, and appropriate services. 


This can of course be difficult to maintain when the influx of tourists during any busy season can quickly become overwhelming, causing excess trash and bacteria to build up at any given beach destination.

In Cancun alone, some stand-out Blue Flag Beaches are:

Playa Las Perlas

The perfect beach for families with small children due to the calmness and shallowness of the waters. 

With crystal clear water and golden sugary sands, the beach is near the Cancun hotel zone and offers excellent services such as free parking and umbrella rental. 

It is also not completely overrun with tourists during the week and is definitely worth checking out. 

Playa Las Perlas

Playa Marlin

If you’re a lover of catching the waves, this beautiful beach will be right up your street, perfect for water sports like surfing and snorkeling. 

With the offer of bathrooms, tables and chairs to rent and food/drink services, this beach is the ideal place to spend a day exploring the incredible marine life that exists in and around the area. 

Playa Marlin in Cancun Hotel Zone, with crystal clear waters and resorts in the background

Playa Delfines

Also known as El Mirador, this beach is going to give you that picture-perfect postcard feel and is ideal for watching sunrises and sunsets over its blue waters. 

Though it is at the furthest end of the hotel zone, this beach is going to offer you the natural beauty that is well-kept and maintained, making it the perfect photo-taking spot.

Why else would it have become a Blue Flag staple for those visiting the Mexican Caribbean?

sunrise on an empty Playa Delfines beach in cancun, with beach umbrella center

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