Quintana Roo, Cancún
On a good day, you can get a postcard-perfect picture here.
I came here with my friend Ximena in July 2018, and the beach was just covered in seaweed. This was the situation at all Riviera Maya beaches at the time, due to some ecological disaster (there are quite a few theories why this happened) so Marlín was no exception at the time. When this happens, you can't really swim in the sea. In that case head to Playa Langosta, at km 5 of the hotel zone. This beach faces north and is usually better protected from the seaweed influx.
I can imagine Marlín on a 'good' day as a very pretty beach because it is spacious, despite the fact that it sits between hotels (see the map below). In fact, it is a blue flag beach. The blue flag certificate is an international eco-label that establishes a coastal environment at a standard of great quality. In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, the beach must fully comply with water quality sampling and a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained. The only issue, in my view, is that there are no palms and therefore no shade at all on this large beach. Watch out for red flags, that indicate the safety of the waters, because the beach is known for a very strong undertow.
The beach is named after the fish marlin, with an elongated body and a spear-like snout or bill, so famously described by Ernest Hemingway in his book The Old Man and the Sea. Here the old man struggles to catch the large fish. Marlin may be one of the fastest fishes in the sea but I doubt you will personally meet a marlin in the waters here. I can only speculate that the beach is named after the abundance of marlin in its waters but you would need to go further out to sea to catch them, on a fishing trip. Or perhaps the beach is simply called Marlín after the condos Villas Marlin.
The waves are stronger in the afternoon so if you plan to visit with children, opt for a morning visit. On the other hand, the sunsets are beautiful here, so head out here in late afternoon with someone you love. Locals come here with families; they love family picnics on the beach. I personally love observing them playing in the sand, building pyramids (not castles!). On the occasion of my visit I could not do that as the beach was nearly empty, due to the seaweed problem.
The car park is free but small, so you may not be able to find a spot by the afternoon. All services (bathrooms, rental chairs, lifeguards) close by 5pm.
How to get there:
Location: Hotel Zone, Boulevard Kukulcán, km 13
This beach is located near the Carisma Courts and the Tucancun Hotel, behind Plaza Kukulcán.
Getting there by bus: Blue Line Stop #46, Green Line Stop #41.