Chac Mool Beach: Cancun's first beach for the public

Learn about the history of one of Cancun's most beautiful beaches, Playa Chac Mool, which opened to the public in the mid-1970s.

Chac Mool Beach: Cancun's first beach for the public
The sculpture of Chac Mool at Chac Mool Beach, Cancun, Quintana Roo. Photo: Radio Formula QR

In 1974, Cancun's first public beach was officially inaugurated, under the name of "Playa Chac Mool", due to a pre-Hispanic sculpture of this character located on this beach.
We share this image from the mid 1970's of Chac Mool beach, which was considered Cancun's first public beach, along with its current view.

In its first years in this same beach, very close to the sculpture of Chac Mool, a restaurant was inaugurated at the foot of the beach, which received the first tourists that arrived to Cancun. This area of services and restaurants disappeared a few years ago because it was sold and condominium towers were built, nowadays the large amount of buildings, hotels and stores reduced the entrance to the beach to a tiny alley.

The sculpture of Chac Mool

It is, in most cases, a human figure leaning backwards. This one has his legs bent and his head turned. In addition, on his belly rests a circular or square container. This is the same one that was used in the first international advertising campaign that made this new destination known to the world, which we have already shared in past publications.

This sculpture was emblematic of the beach of the same name and was located in the service and restaurant area at km. 10 on Kukulcan Boulevard in Cancun's hotel zone. This service and restaurant area disappeared a few years ago because it was sold and condominium towers were built.

Although Cancun has always had several kilometers of beach, at this time the construction of the current Kukulcan Boulevard was still underway, which was done in different stages. For this reason it was very complicated to reach the beaches located further south of this site, for the same reason the first hotels in Cancun were located in the first kilometers of the Boulevard.

This beach is one of the only ones with a Mayan name, which is the same name given to stone sculptures during the pre-Columbian era in Mesoamerica. It has wide white sands, turquoise colors that entangle and an excellent location near the heart of nightclubs that mark the night rhythm.