Cancun Beach Info about sand, water color

The beaches in Cancun's hotel zone

Sand Disappearing from Cancun Beaches

In 2009 some parts of the Cancun beach front were turned into a crime scene complete with yellow tape.  Investigators and armed security forces were on the scene in an effort to figure out who made off with tons of sand.

It seems that local hotel operators were using pumps to transfer sand from beneath the water to their beach front hotel properties in an effort offset sand loss caused by hurricanes and other natural factors.

Some hotels have installed breakwaters to try to keep sand from disappearing but it appears that the practice has simply accelerated the phenomena for unprotected stretches of hotel front beaches.

In addition to these factors, the hotels may be contributing to the problem.  The large sand dunes that once flanked the beaches of Cancun are now hotels pressing their enormous mass into a narrow spit of sand known as the Cancun hotel zone.

The hotel structures may also be disrupting the natural wind patterns that once kept the beaches healthy for thousands of years.

Seriously?  The sand in Cancun is that fine?

Swimming in Cancun is a delicious experience of course because of the turquoise water is at the perfect temperature.  But another unique characteristic of the beaches of Cancun is the sand.

It's not all cosmetics, the sand is actually different in Cancun.  It's soft to touch, super fine, and sugar white because it's actually broken down from ancient calcium carbonate a.k.a. limestone.  It's broken down so much that each grain is less than 0.3 mm across.  Want to see a single grain?  Better bring a magnifying glass... better yet, a microscope.

You may be sun tanning on fossils that form Cancun beach sand

Seriously!  When examined under a microscope, the sand on Cancun beaches typically contains fossilized microscopic planktons that thrived as much as 40 million years before you booked your trip to cancun!

Cancun sand that soaks up gold?

One study determined that the beach sand actually absorbs nano-sized gold particles and other particles in an unusually efficient manner.  There are even suggestions that the sand may serve an important role in filtering and pollution control.

Soft sand in Cancun

  • Mexico spent USD$19 million to relocate beach sand displaced by hurricane Wilma in 2005, 98.8 million cubic feet
  • Cancun has 7.5 miles of white soft sand beach
  • Cancun's white sand reflects the heat
  • A mixture of shell fragments and coral

Is the it safe to swim in Cancun?

  • Many Cancun beaches have lifeguards. Make sure you choose one that does.
  • Flags posted in front of Cancun hotels on the beach side indicating the sea conditions, pay attention to the colours.
  • Cancun weather and water conditions closely monitored

Cancun Water Color

  • Water Color: turquoise
  • Depth: relatively shallow
  • Bottom color… mostly light colored sand around Cancun
  • Some say that the Caribbean Sea around Cancun contains less iron and algae (which gives water a reddish tint) is less abundant since algae need iron to survive. So Cancun tends to have clear turquoise waters.

Cancun Beach Facts

  • The eastern side of Cancun has the best beaches, because it faces Island of Mujeres so surf is calmer
  • Many of Cancun's beaches are professionally maintained
  • Room on the beach to play and to relax
  • Because of the amount of beach available, the beaches in Cancun are seldom crowded.