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Playa Tortugas Beach, Cancun

You may come to Cancun for Spring Break which included a great percentage of your time drinking, dancing and general partying, but when it comes down to refueling that zest for life you need to think about recharging your batteries at a great eatery. So why do we mention that when discussing one of the most fun beaches in Cancun? Because there are some very cool open air restaurants and bars on Playa Tortugas Beach in Cancun. Viva la food!

This beach is never quiet and peaceful and is a party beach, so don’t expect to arrive with a picnic basket and have a quiet afternoon. It won’t happen here. There is a lot of loud music, partying and fun happening around almost all the time. Enjoy that or maybe find something more secluded. Tulum? Maybe?

Playa Tortugas CancunYou’ll find your string of cabanas and thatched roof huts, a flea market, and very primitive looking restaurants lining the treeline up from the beach. They are all here to cater to your every need. And the food is really good.

Think of Tex-Mex and other sorts of easy hand foods and you have the picture. Also try some of the spit grill meats on shish kabob; that with an ice cold beer can make your visit to Playa Tortugas quite memorable.

The beach name means turtle and this is because there are turtles that used to come here to drop their eggs once a year. Remarkably this is the same beach they were hatched on and they would come back year after year.

Along the crescent strip you’re more likely to find beach chairs and towels and young people running around enjoying the Mexican sun. We’re not even sure if the local government is doing any impact studies on Cancun – however some say they still see turtles in the area.

For you, expect plastic chairs and tables right in the sand or on the wooden floors of the thatched roof bars and eateries that line Tortugas. And if you need to cool off, think clean, clear water that comes in the many colors of blue. The area closest to the shore contains sea grass in many areas but once you get out a ways, you will find a soft, sandy bottom. The further you wade out, the water gets remarkably colder and some say that on snorkel tours the chilly water makes that adventure unpleasant. We feel it may be due to the deep channel that runs just offshore.

Snorkeling is not good as there are very few fish (not many rocks for them to hide.) There is a small pier which is fun to go out on. The beach could be better maintained and is small.

Playa Tortugas in Cancun offers the same sports amenities as other beaches in the area: snorkeling, scuba, parasailing, waverunner, wind surfing, stand up paddle boarding, water skiing, and beach volleyball. And if you want to enjoy a different view of Playa Tortugas, take a catamaran cruise that will offer drinks and a few stops off shore where you can jump in a have a blast.

Among the small shops and bars you may note the area a bit run down and overly touristy. Many people come here to get the ferry to Isla Mujeres. A lot of locals come here as well and for that reason you can do a lot of people watching (as they do) and enjoy the local cuisine.

Playa Tortugas Cancun Beach Index:

  • Semi-crowded beach with many food and trinket huts.
  • A little run down
  • Hopping off point for Isla Mujeres
  • Full facilities
  • Many sports available including sight seeing catamarans
  • Sea grass near shore offers a glimpse of local turtles on occasion
{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Alex March 18, 2010, 12:17 am

    Its sad that the beach changed so much over the last years. When I was a kid it was possible to swim with the turtles at Playa Tortugas or see seahorses in the lagune across the street. Anyway its still an awesome spot and worth to go.

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