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Cancun Beach Project Update

Here is the latest information on the upcoming beach project soon to take place in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. In Cancun, the project will restore 12.27 kilometers of shoreline between Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc and is due to begin on September 1. In a change from the 2006 project, this time it appears that pumping will begin at Punta Cancun and the dredging company will work from north to south. The sand will be dredged from sandbanks at La Ollita between Isla Mujeres and Contoy and from the area of Punta Norte in Cozumel and will be pumped on to the beaches and leveled. Some of the sand will be reserved for areas that are currently submerged in order to reduce the slope of the beach and reduce future erosion.

The project also calls for the construction of a concrete barrier to protect the beaches from erosion. Located between the coast and Islote Golondrinas, a tiny islet off Punta Cancun, the breakwater will be approximately 304 meters long and will weigh around 16,245 tons.

The Cancun component of the project will cost $650 million pesos and includes inspections and maintenance for ten years. In contrast, officials now acknowledge that the 2006 Cancun beach initiative failed due to inadequate monitoring and erosion studies after dredging took place.

In other news, when asked about the project and the fact that it is taking place during sea turtle season, Graciela Saldana, Director of Ecology for Cancun and Coordinator of the annual Cancun Turtle Conservation campaign, said that pumping should take place in daylight hours to minimize the impact on the sea turtles that come ashore at night to nest on area beaches.

As more details about this important project are released by the authorities we will do our best to keep you informed by publishing updates in Royal Resorts News.

Source: Semarnat, Noticaribe


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Comments (34)

  • anton

    I want to know who is managed cancun resort by company or what the name

  • jgreen

    Dear Susan: Thank you for writing to Royal Resorts News. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. I had to check with the Resort Manager at the tri-resort complex. The security staff are now taking measurements of the beaches at all the hotels and resorts along the Cancun shoreline, statistics that will form part of the monitoring and maintenance studies slated to begin this year. It does appear that the beach is somewhat narrower at The Royal Islander at the moment. I don’t know why this is the case, we would have to ask an expert, factors such as the coastal profile, depth, wave action, currents and wind strength may all play their part. When calm conditions prevail, sand that may have been churned up by wind and waves is deposited again and the However, I think that you will find that the beaches are still wide enough for you to enjoy to the full when you come down.

  • Susan

    Good Morning,
    Will be staying at the Islander and the Caribbean in April. The pictures of the beaches are amazing. Please tell me why the Sands beach is so much wider then the beaches at the Royal Mayan,Caribbean and Islander. I would love our beaches to be as wide as the Sands.

  • jgreen

    Dear Joe: I am glad that you enjoyed your vacation. Thank you for your comments about the Beach Brigade, I have passed them on to the Resort Manager. You may like to know that all staff, regardless of their area, do one stint of beach cleaning each month.

  • Joe B

    Just got back from the Royal Islander…your beaches are incredibly beautiful ! We were especially impressed by the ‘Cleaning Brigade’ that grooms and rakes the beach ! Best in Cancun ! Congratulations Royal Islander !

  • jgreen

    Dear Laura: Thank you for writing to Royal Resorts News. I’m not sure if you have read our latest post on the Beach Restoration Project or seen our additional coverage and before and after photos on The beaches at all four Royal Resorts on the shoreline facing the open ocean have been restored and are looking beautiful. In fact, the entire Cancun project is almost finished. I hope this helps.

  • Laura

    I am coming to royal mayan for wk 11 & 12 March 13, 2010, will the beach be in good condition by then. We so love the beach and being able to go in the ocean and last year was so disappointing. We have been owners since preconstruction and have gone through several hurricanes which the beach naturally came back , I hope this time it works better than last time. Give me an update thanks, Laura

  • jgreen

    Estimada Maria: Gracias por escribir a Royal Resorts News. Me da mucho gusto de poder informarle que la playa en frente de The Royal Sands, The Royal Mayan, The Royal Caribbean y The Royal Islander ha sido restorada, de hecho el proyecto de Recuperación de Playas de Cancún casi llega a su fin. Espero que esto ayuda, si tiene preguntas adicionales, favor de escribirme.

  • Maria Mercedes Pacheco

    Estimados señores Royal Sands: Deseo saber si el Timeshare Royal Sands en que condiciones se encuentra la playa de este Resort. Gracias, Maria

  • jgreen

    Dear Jan: Thank you for writing to Royal Resorts News. The beach at The Royal Haciendas should be looking beautiful as always. It is not in an area affected by erosion. I hope that this helps. Happy holidays.

  • Jan

    I will be staying at the Royal Haciendas in late March/early April. What do you expect the condition of the beachfront to be at the Royal Haciendas then? Thank you so much in advance for your response!

  • jgreen

    Dear Ted: Thank you for writing to Royal Resorts News. According to the timetable we received from beach restoration project engineers, sand pumping will begin at The Royal Islander on January 9 and be concluded the following day. The beach will then be levelled and work should be completed by January 15 (night). These dates may vary by one to two days and we will be posting progress updates as work advances towards the resorts. With regards to your other question, access should be available to the beach from The Royal Mayan and The Royal Caribbean while work is underway at The Royal Islander. You can also use the Royal Resorts shuttle to The Royal Sands. I hope that this helps. Happy Holidays.

  • ted kazik

    i am staying at the royal islander jan7 to jan 16 ,is the project going to be done . or will i be able to go to a differt hotel to lay out on the beach

  • jgreen

    Dear Sue: Thank you for writing to Royal Resorts News. The Beach Restoration program is certainly gathering pace. Stay posted for a new update on this site today, I can tell you that work will take place next week at The Royal Sands (Dec 16 – 21, with preparations beginning on Dec 12) and at The Royal Mayan, Caribbean and Islander from January 6 to 15. So by the time you come in May, Cancun will be showing off its restored beaches. We will be posting more photos as restoration takes place at all the resorts so that you and other members see the beaches return to their glory.

  • Sue Beebe

    Can you give me an update on the Beach dredging project around the Royal Caribbean? We are planning to be there in late May and were wondering what to expect.
    Thanks much,

  • goin2cancun

    Can anyone tell me if the The beach will be done upto the Caribe Real by mid Decemeber , will be staying around the area and on the live webcams see a barge out in front of the ocean could it be they are starting to work around there .. and after they are done how long does it take till you can actually use the beach .. thanks ,,because from what i see now it doesnt look to enviting or pleasent ..

  • jgreen

    Dear Cliff: Dredging started again this week and work is currently going on in the vicinity of Plaza Forum. We still do not know when restoration will take place in front of the Royal Resorts, as this time work started in the Punta Cancun area and will move south as the weeks pass, The Royal Sands will be the first to be affected, and accordingly, can expect to have the widest beach. We are hoping for more news from the authorities soon. It appears that another, larger dredger will be arriving next week which hopefully should speed things up.
    Thomas More Travel offers a variety of snorkeling tours in the Cancun area (Punta Nizuc), Puerto Morelos, Yalku-Akumal, then of course there’s Xel-Ha Park, especially if you move away from the most crowded area. One of my favorite places for a day’s snorkeling is Akumal in the Riviera Maya, between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. There are two bays here (the main bay and Half Moon Bay to the north, where the reef is closer to the shoreline) and Yalku inlet, a smaller version of Xel-Ha. I have seen a variety of fish and other marine life in very shallow water. I hope this helps. Enjoy your vacation.

  • Cliff

    Would like a quick update on the beach dredging project. We will be staying at the Mayan Royal Dec. 12-19. Will we be effected, or will the dredging be taking place elsewhere at that time? Which of the five Cancun Royal properties will have the best beachfront at that time? Lastly, where is the best place to go snorkeling on our own (without a tour)?Thanks very much. Cliff

  • jgreen

    Dear Richard: The beach restoration project hasn’t started yet but the dredger has now arrived and the pipes have been assembled. There is a delay due to legal action taken by a Cozumel-based conservation group in protest at the selection of a sand bank to the north of the island for dredging. We are hoping to have more news in the next few days from the authorities about this extremely important project for Cancun. The Beach Restoration committee has already issued a bulletin saying that the project will go ahead as planned. As soon as we have more news we will publish updates on this site and on

  • richard douglas

    From what I’ve read they haven’t even started the beach restoration
    project yet. And we’ll be lucky if they start it by the completion date. So what is the real story. I own two villas at the Caribbean. Dec. and June. Will i have a beach by June. Without a beach there is no CANCUN.


  • jgreen

    Dear Don: The beach restoration project should be completed some time in December. I hope this helps, in any case we will be posting updates on the progress on this site and on

  • jgreen

    Hi Patricia: As far as I know so far, the barrier they are going to build will be in the Punta Cancun area and I think that its purpose is to prevent sand from moving further north along the coast. I am hoping to interview someone involved in the beach restoration project in the coming weeks to have more information. The barrier will not have any effect on the waves or currents as far as I know but I will certainly try and find out.

  • Patricia Mixan

    In regards to the beach restoration project–will the barrier that they are going to build,cut down on the waves any ?? And do you think it will help with rip tides & such ?? Thank you



  • Mike

    Any update on the beach recovery project? Will be arriving in November and wonder if the project will be started by that date. Will any beach be available at that time

  • rusty owens

    My wife and I agree with Donna copeland concerning the beach at the RoyalHaciendas. We were looking forward to going in the water since the cancun beach was too rough but couldn’t use it because of the rocks. How disappointed we were when we arrived. Otherwise we loved the place!!

  • tammy

    i’m a little worried when you say that there will be work being done on the beach starting in october. we are staying with you from oct. 17th -31st. will we be able to use the beach??? tks!

  • jgreen

    Dear Beth:
    Thank you for writing to Royal Resorts News. Beach restoration in Cancun is scheduled to start in October although we are still waiting for the Mexican authorities to publish the project calendar and do not know when work will be taking place in front of the four Royal Resorts.
    Apparently the dredgers and the heavy equipment have now arrived at Puerto Progreso on the Yucatan coast and will be transported to Cancun. We will keep you posted.


    What condition is the beach in now? My husband and I are planning a trip there in October.

  • beth elmenayer

    What is the timeframe of the beach project? We will be at the Royal Mayan Sept 26-Oct 10.

  • jgreen

    Dear Rev:
    Thank you for writing to Royal Resorts News.
    In contrast to the 2006 beach project, the beach restoration proposed for Cancun this time around includes sand dredging, the construction of a barrier off Punta Cancun, the northern headland of the “7”-shaped island that is the Hotel Zone to limit erosion, and a 10-year monitoring and maintenance program.
    Officials have acknowledged that the 2006 Cancun beach initiative failed due to inadequate monitoring and erosion studies after dredging took place. Theyalso say that they learned a lot from the 2006 project and were able to use this experience during the planning stages when coastal erosion experts from Mexico and aboard spent months taking readings and studying the shoreline.
    As yet, the project coordinators have not released the dredging calendar or the final technical details of the project. As soon as we receive more information we will be posting updates here and on the Royal Resorts website.
    I hope that this helps

  • Rev Otis

    I own at the Royal Islander. The last beach project was very unsatisfactory, with large slope to beach. Are there plans to be different this time around?

  • jgreen

    Dear Donna:I have forwarded your comments to the Resort Manager at The Royal Haciendas. I had not heard about the corals in the bay and am not sure how accurate the information is. I will let you know.

  • Donna Copeland

    We bought a timeshare at Royal Haciendas last year. We noticed the beach in front was very un-inviting, hence the large pool. I love to be on the beach. I understand the coral is dead on this beach. Is this true and are you planning a clean-up on this beach. It would be ‘perfect’ if the beach was more attractive.
    Thank you, donna

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