Free Things To Do in Cancun
- #3View all PhotosfreePlaya Tortugas#3 in CancunBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Widely considered a beach spot for locals, Playa Tortugas is known for its relaxed atmosphere and clean sands. The area also boasts several open-air restaurants that make for great evening dining, according to past visitors. The beach also features a pier, where brave visitors can bungee jump. From here, daily ferries also depart for Isla Mujeres.
Some travelers enjoy Tortugas so much that they choose the area over their own hotel's beach. Visitors appreciated that the public beach is free to enjoy and the water is calm and relaxing (a particular highlight for those traveling with children). Playa Tortugas is located on the northern part of Cancún's "7," along the Hotel Zone and accessible by bus or rental car. Umbrella and chair rentals are also available.
- #5View all PhotosfreePlaya Delfines#5 in CancunBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
If you're tired of the standard beaches along the Hotel Zone, try heading to Playa Delfines, which is a largely undeveloped ribbon of sand located near El Rey. Likewise, the beach often lacks the heavy crowds found elsewhere throughout the Hotel Zone. Make sure to bring your own drinks and snacks since there won't be opportunities to buy them here. This is also where you'll find the colorful "Cancun" sign featured on many of the city's postcards and brochures.
Travelers regard Playa Delfines as the quintessential escapist's beach as there are no umbrellas or shade and few vendors hawking goods or services. Just be mindful of heavy currents and riptides, since the beach is known for its rough waters.
- #6View all PhotosfreePlaya Marlin#6 in CancunBeaches, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Situated in the Hotel Zone about a 5-minute walk from the Kukulcan Plaza shopping mall, Playa Marlin offers a broad stretch of sugar white sand. There's also lifeguards and beach supplies, such as chairs and umbrellas, for rent.
Recent travelers said that Playa Marlin is a beautiful, public beach, perfect for those who aren't staying in a beachside resort. Still, some do warn of its powerful waves and strong undertow. Though the waters can be too rough for swimming, they're great for water sports like parasailing.
- #7View all PhotosfreeAvenida Kukulkan#7 in CancunSightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPENDSightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND
Even if you don't seek out Avenida Kukulkan, you'll likely cross its path at least once during your Cancun vacation. That's because Avenida Kukulkan is Cancun's main artery, traveling through the Hotel Zone and stretching from downtown Cancun running south toward the airport. The avenue is lined with pathways and several shops and eateries. If you're not strolling along the avenue, you'll likely be riding the bus along it since this is the main route for the buses most frequently used by tourists.
Recent travelers described Avenida Kukulkan as a safe, well-maintained and well-lit, place to walk or jog. Still, some travelers warn about the crocodiles that lurk on the lagoon side of the road, suggesting that travelers stick to the pathway or better yet, stay on the ocean side of the avenue.
Explore More of Cancun
If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.