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Travelers and would-be travelers to Cancun likely picture the extravagant long beaches with towering accommodations rising behind them. They may envision a party beach ripe with DJs and young kids going out to enjoy a good time.

However, travelers should know of one beach that brakes the mold of Cancun. Playa Delfines, once a frequently visited destination for dolphins, is now a go-to stretch of aesthetic lightly colored sand popular with locals and travelers who want to escape the hectic vibe that inhabits other locations. Here is why Playa Delfines might just be the most scenic in Cancun.

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Playa Delfines And What Makes It So Special

Travelers will first catch a glimpse of Playa Delfines when they cross over the small seaside bluff from which it descends into the sea. Stretching out beyond the white sand on this narrow strip of land are the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Its location on the narrow stretch of land completes its ring of land around the trapped inland water while also making it the only beach in the Zona Hotelera without a high-rise hotel for a backdrop. Though not inaccessibly far from the other famous beaches in Cancun, It has a feel totally different from the DJ inhabited party happy beaches that make up much of the rest of Cancun. However, this beach is the local favorite. Travelers able to venture out here will find totally different vibes with the tranquil serenity of Playa Delfines. Here, travelers will have the chance to swim, surf, and relax in peace. Oh, and travelers can possibly see some dolphins.

Play Delfines means “Dolphin Beach” and is named this because of the pods of dolphins that were once prolific in the area. Now, it is far less likely for travelers to spot dolphins. But, if they are willing to wake up early and venture to a lookout called “El Mirador,” then they will have their best chances to spot them.

Related: The Best Places In Cancun To Avoid The Crowds

The Attractions At Playa Delfines

With its sloping sandy beaches and rolling waves, Playa Delfines offers visitors a variety of attractions. There is the view observable from lookouts, the waters, rolling waves, and of course, the free Palapas that are available to visitors looking for a bit of shade.

The View

It is hard to beat the views of Playa Delfines. With the lack of major hotels and much fewer vendors than other beaches, the natural wonder of this beach isn’t spoiled by much of the built-up infrastructure and accommodations of other beaches in Cancun. It even has a touristy photo backdrop in front of the “El Mirador” lookout. It's a fun place to grab an iconic photo.

The Beach

The beach itself, at Playa Delfines, is a sprawling stretch of light sand and the famously turquoise waters of the surrounding sea. A sandy bluff provides the beach’s backdrop, a far cry from the towering hotels that line the other beaches. This quiet natural setting is not devoid of accommodations, though; a few vendors will find their way to this beach, but much fewer than the others. Rows of free palapas and a small playground allow adults and children to unwind and relax.

  • Warnings - It can sometimes have a strong undertow; please check condition flags before swimming, and listen for lifeguard whistles.

Surfing

Cancún has never been a go-to destination for surfers, but Playa Delfines does have a group of core local surfers that frequent its shores. Its little rolling waves won’t be one of the most impressive waves surfers have ever seen, but they are fun to surf and can reach heights of five meters from June to November. Travelers looking for a mix-up from the usual beach activities of Cancún can look forward to some time surfing at Playa Delfines.

Surf schools will occasionally set up areas offering lessons and equipment rentals. For travelers who are really committed to learning how to surf, they should check out Academia Mexicana de Surf.

Eating And Drinking

With no restaurants or food shacks in the vicinity of Playa Delfines, travelers will need to keep an eye out for vendors strolling the sands attempting to sell what they have to offer. Travelers should also back some of their own food and water, so they aren’t entirely reliant on the local vendors. Though they will likely be there, it may not be wise to assume that all of a traveler's needs will be covered by them.

On the way to the beach, travelers can check out Selecto Súper Chedraui near Cancún’s convention center. It is an upscale market in Zona Hotelera.

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Admission And How To Get To Playa Delfines

Playa Delfines is a public beach, incredibly accessible and totally free to everyone. Travelers will also have some convenient means of transportation to get here that includes a bus stop and parking lot right by the main entrance. From there, it is an easy walk down a flight of stairs to the beach.

How To Get To Playa Delfines

Playa Delfines takes up the southernmost end of Zona Hotelera. It is just off the main avenue with the R-1, R-2, and R-27 buses all making stops here. Travelers can also taxi here with taxis identifiable by signs reading “Hoteles” or “Zona Hotelera” on their windshields. A note for using a taxi, make sure to agree on a price before heading out. This is a good rule to have for anywhere in the world. Never hop into a taxi that doesn’t have a meter running unless you have predetermined the cost.

For those who rented a vehicle for this trip, parking at the beach is free, but the oceanfront lot does fill up quickly on weekends. So if travelers want to drive to the beach on a Saturday or Sunday, they should probably wake up early.

A Few More Things To Know Before Visiting Playa Delfines

Here are just a few more things that travelers should keep in mind during a visit to Playa Delfines.

  • Lifeguards on Duty - Around 9 am to 6 pm
  • Public Restrooms and Outdoor Showers - Free to Use
  • Palapas (thatch-roof shade) - Free, First-Come, First-Served
  • Beach Chairs and Umbrellas - Available for Rent (about 10 USD per set).
  • Parking - Free.
  • Police - An Outpost Overlooks the Beach

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