Kiteboarding, sailboarding, and sailing have grown in popularity along the Caribbean, a trickle-down effect from the world-famous wind belt on the Gulf coast northwest of here.
You can catch at least some breeze almost any time of the year, but the strongest, most consistent winds blow November–March.
Ikarus (5 Av. and Calle 20, tel. 984/803-3490, www.kiteboardmexico.com , 9 a.m.–10 p.m. daily) is a full-service kiteboarding retail shop and school. Classes are typically conducted at Isla Blanca, in the massive flat-water Chacmochuch Lagoon north of Cancún , which is ideal for kiting but nearly two hours by car or bus from Playa del Carmen .
The shop doesn’t include or arrange transport, but simple lodging is offered at Isla Blanca (US$5 pp tent, US$50 s/d). Private classes are US$95 an hour or US$450 for six hours, while groups are US$70 an hour per person (maximum three to a group) or US$350 for six hours.
Equipment is included for students or can be rented separately (US$60 half day, US$95 full day). Classes are regularly scheduled from November to May; otherwise it’s by appointment only.
Jaime’s Marina (Playa El Faro, end of Calle 10, cell. tel. 984/130-2034, www.jaimesmarina.bravehost.com , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily) offers sailing classes and rentals from its kiosk on Playa El Faro . A four-hour beginner’s class is US$130 for up to four people. Rent a three-person Hobie Cat for US$35–45 an hour (depending on how long you stay out) or a five-seater for US$45–75 an hour, with or without a guide.