Sun, sea, and sand. The perfect combination for any Cancun beach vacation.
But for the best photographs to remember your trip by, which beach in the Riviera Maya takes the prize as the most beautiful?
Cancun Hotel Zone’s Most Beautiful Beaches and Beaches near Cancun, Mexico
The idyllic white sand and turquoise seas of the Mexican Caribbean have drawn millions of tourists to visit them over the past 50 years.
It’s a vacationer’s paradise for those who want to lap up the sun and listen to the waves crash against the shore. From bustling Cancun on the north of the coast, down to the modern hippie vibes of Tulum, this well-loved tourist destination has something for everyone. And the one thing they all have in common – the beachfront.
But are all beaches along the Mexican Caribbean coastline truly made equally, or are some just that little more special than others?
What are the 10 Best Beaches in Cancun or a short distance away?
#10 – Punta Esmeralda Beach – Playa del Carmen, Mexico
A hidden gem located in the northern, less touristy, part of Playa del Carmen, Punta Esmerelda not only is a beach but has a cenote too.
Only yards away from the breaking waves, is a freshwater pool that escapes through the mangroves that is great for splashing in.
This beach shows Mexico’s natural beauty as it is still relatively underdeveloped and has areas of jungle greens to contrast with the ocean blues for a great family photoshoot.
#9 – Playa Delfines Beach – Cancun, Mexico
Sun, sea, and surf are the features of Playa Delfines. The water is choppier here, with waves crashing against the shoreline giving you the aural pleasures of beach life as well as the views!
While you lie on the white sand, taking in the incredible vista, keep your eyes peeled for the dolphins that the beach is named after.
#8 – El Cielo Beach – Cozumel, Mexico
So, cheating slightly here, as it is not on the Riviera Maya coast, but a short ferry ride away from Playa del Carmen is the island of Cozumel.
This laid-back island has some of the most untouched beaches in the area and it’s great fun to hire a scooter to beach hop around the island for the day.
The stunning vistas of El Cielo, which means ‘heaven’, are worth a mention on this list. It has waist-deep waters that stretch endlessly. The snorkeling here is also recommended with sea stars found all over the area!
The beach itself is surrounded by untouched nature, plus its western-facing direction gives you awesome sunsets here too.
#7 – Playa Tulum Beach – Tulum, Mexico
Tulum’s coastal ‘Hotel Zone’ runs along the stretch of beach at this part of the Riviera Maya coastline. It’s easy to see why Tulum was developed on this stretch of land, due to the incredible views and wide sandy beaches.
Nowadays, you can enjoy time at one of the luxe beach clubs which feature bohemian style décor and natural styling in their design processes.
They truly are an Instagram influencers idea of heaven and perfect for creating photo content.
#6 – Playa Chacmool Beach – Cancun, Mexico
Almost every hotel along the Cancun coastline has beachfront access, with the inviting sea mere footsteps from your resort. Playa Chacmool is one of the most beautiful.
It has the backdrop of the glitzy high-rise hotels, but the expansive beach leads you to a sea that is so blue you’d think it had been painted by an artist.
Here the sea is calmer than some of the others in Cancun, due to its angle and the currents, making it great for shots in the surf (without the worry of a wave wipeout!)
#5 – Playa de las Tortugas – Akumal Beach, Mexico
As you can guess by its name, Playa de las Tortugas is famed for its turtles. This spot is great for snorkeling and enjoying the marine life in the water.
It was one of the first tourist towns set up along the coast and has small friendly beach restaurants to grab a bite after soaking up the sun.
The beach is in a crescent-shaped bay, giving an interesting backdrop in the distance for photographs taken on this part of the coastline.
#4 – Maroma Beach – Riviera Maya, Mexico
Prepare yourself for the most expansive sandy beach on the Riviera Maya coast. Situated between Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen, this beach is accessed only by buying a day pass at a beach club, but it’s well worth the visit.
The sand here is almost like fresh powdered snow. It’s one of the less crowded beaches, compared to others in the region making it a great backdrop for getting the perfect shot without worrying about who may be in the background.
#3 – Playa Paraiso Beach – Tulum, Mexico
Another Tulum beach for the ultimate photogenic shots is Playa Paraiso. Literally named as ‘Paradise’ this beach is probably recognizable as the stunning imagery from travel brochures.
Not only does Playa Paraiso have the whitest sands and water in almost unbelievable shades of blue, but you also get the backdrop of the Mayan ruins at Tulum – the only ancient archaeological site in the area built overlooking the coast.
#2 – Xpu-ha Beach, Located between Playa del Carmen & Tulum
Away from the bustling towns, Xpu-ha is a stunning beach that’s a favorite of the locals and expats. You can see where the forest meets the sea and stroll along the azure waters.
The weekend brings the crowds for watersports and picnics in this dreamy location and once you’ve seen the immense beauty for yourself, you’ll know why.
#1 – Playa Norte – Isla Mujeres – A short ferry ride from the Cancun hotel Zone
Commonly hitting the top of many lists of the best beaches in the world, let alone the Cancun, Playa Norte on the Island of Isla Mujeres combines the most vivid, clear turquoise seas with powdery white sand.
There are minimal waves, and the water stays waist-deep far off the coast, making it perfect for splashing around!
It’s often the preferred spot for yachts and catamarans to drop anchor during tours of the coast.
Also, as one of the few west coast beaches in the area, it’s one of the best beaches to enjoy one of the best sunsets near Cancun.
Create Memories on the 10 Best Beaches Near Cancun
Next time you’re on vacation in Cancun, why not book a photoshoot at one of these beautiful beaches.
A collection of photographs with a professional photographer combines the setting of paradise with memories to cherish that will last a lifetime.