Cancun Travel Guide
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18 Best Things To Do in Cancun
Cancún, Mexico, is known for its white sand beaches, its adventure tours and the many must-see attractions you can visit nearby. For example, this region of Mexico earns praise for cultural landmarks like Chichén Itzá and the underwater art museum
- All Things To Do
Chichén Itzá Chichén Itzá
Chichén Itzá is a large Mayan archaeological site and one of the most notable and recognized landmarks on the Yucatán peninsula. The site itself was originally a main hub of Mayan civilization and has since been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The focal point of the ruins is the pyramid-like El Castillo that was once used by Mayans as a temple to the god Kukulkan.
Unfortunately, because of its fame, Chichén Itzá is crawling with tourists trying to snap a picture of one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. In fact, the site receives over 2.5 million visitors each year. Nevertheless, the spectacular ruins are well worth it, even for the jaded traveler. You can avoid crowds by visiting the site in the early morning before the throngs of tour buses arrive. Recent visitors also advised bringing water and bug repellent and wearing appropriate footwear and a hat.
Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
U.S. News Insider Tip: For close proximity to Isla Mujeres during your beach vacation, consider staying at the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancún hotel, located on the tip of Zona Hotelera. The ferry to Isla Mujeres departs from Playa Caracol, which is located just a few minutes' walk from the hotel. – Holly D. Johnson
To escape the frantic beat of Cancún's nightlife and beaches, head to Isla Mujeres ("Island of Women"). There is little to do on this 5-mile island just a 30-minute ferry ride from Cancún, but travelers like it that way.
Playa Tortugas Playa Tortugas free
Widely considered a beach spot for locals, Playa Tortugas is known for its relaxed atmosphere and clean sands. The area also boasts impressive views and travelers report several places nearby to grab a meal or drink. From here, daily ferries also depart for Isla Mujeres .
Some travelers enjoy Tortugas so much that they choose the area over their own hotel's beach. Visitors appreciated that the public beach is free to enjoy and the water is calm and relaxing (a particular highlight for those traveling with children). Others warned of pushy salespeople and crowded sands. Playa Tortugas is located in Cancún just northwest of the Hotel Zone and accessible by bus or rental car. Umbrella and chair rentals are also available.
El Rey Ruins El Rey Ruins
While they may not have the awe factor of Chichén Itzá , the El Rey Ruins have convenience on their side. Located in the heart of the Hotel Zone, these ruins are extremely accessible to visitors, and the site's small size makes it easy to see in a short time. Thought to be used as a royal retreat at one point, El Rey dates back to 1250.
But for many past visitors, the ruins themselves were not the primary attraction: people flock to El Rey to mingle with the hundreds of iguanas that have invaded the former Mayan town, saying the iguanas make for some unforgettable photo-ops.
Isla Contoy Isla Contoy
Isla Contoy National Park is a small island located off the coast of mainland Mexico, north of Cancún and Isla Mujeres . For the most part, this island is known for its stunning white sand beaches and spectacular nature views, and as a refuge for seabirds (more than 170 species) and other marine wildlife. The island is located alongside the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second longest reef in the world, which makes it an ideal spot for snorkeling or diving to see coral, tropical fish or both in some of the clearest waters in all of the Caribbean.
The only way to visit Isla Contoy is through a boat tour company, but the trip can be worth it since the small destination only allows up to 200 visitors per day. While some boat tours that visit Isla Contoy include snorkeling, lunch or both, many also combine the visit with a few hours at Isla Mujeres. Either way, most boat tours that visit the island start at around $130 per adult, with many costing upwards of $150.
Cancún Golf Courses Cancún Golf Courses
With tropical weather and luxury resorts luring tourists from around the globe, it's no surprise that a world-class golf scene has developed around Cancún. With numerous distinct options, the biggest issue facing golfers is where they should schedule a tee time. One memorable range is the 18-hole Playa Mujeres Golf Club, which players describe as a satisfying mix of challenging and scenic. However, reviewers do note that the course is expensive to play if you're not a guest at the Dreams or Secrets resorts. Alternatively, El Camaleón Mayakoba at the Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya offers 18 holes on a course that winds through natural features like cenotes, mangroves and jungles.
Past travelers praised the assortment of golf options associated with Cancún's numerous resorts. One favorite is the Iberostar Golf Club Cancún at the Iberostar Selection Cancún , which golfers commend for its excellent customer service. However, reviewers have said the course is expensive to play. Additionally, know there are crocodiles on the course so you should make sure to bring extra golf balls or buy some on-site so you don't have to retrieve a lost ball. Moon Palace Cancún also boasts a signature golf course, which provides 27 holes designed by Jack Nicklaus. Past visitors appreciated the inclusion of a driving range and practice green among the golf-related amenities.
Avenida Kukulkan Avenida Kukulkan free
Even if you don't seek out Avenida Kukulkan, you'll likely cross its path at least once during your Cancún vacation. That's because Avenida Kukulkan is Cancún's main artery, stretching from downtown through the hotel zone and running south toward the airport. The avenue is lined with pathways and an endless number of shops and eateries, along with hotels and resorts. If you're not strolling along the avenue, you'll likely be riding the bus along it since this is the main route for the buses most frequently used by tourists.
Recent travelers described Avenida Kukulkan as a safe, well-maintained and well-lit, place to walk or jog. In fact, the street is a great place to get in some exercise on your vacation since there are ample sidewalks the whole route. Still, some travelers say there isn't much to do here other than get from one place to another or see the towering hotels that occupy the area.
Playa Delfines Playa Delfines free
If you're tired of the standard beaches along the Hotel Zone, try heading to Playa Delfines, which is a largely undeveloped ribbon of sand located near the El Rey ruins . Likewise, the beach often lacks the heavy crowds found elsewhere throughout the Hotel Zone. This is also where you'll find the colorful "Cancún" sign featured on many of the city's postcards and brochures.
Travelers regard Playa Delfines as the quintessential escapist's beach as there is very little in terms of umbrellas or shade and few vendors hawking goods or services. Just be mindful of heavy currents and riptides, since the beach is known for its rough waters.
Avenida Tulum Avenida Tulum free
While Avenida Kukulkan provides the primary artery for Cancún's Hotel Zone, Avenida Tulum serves as the main thoroughfare through the mainland portion of Cancún. The boulevard cuts straight through downtown, providing an excellent avenue for people-watching and exploring. Between restaurants, hotels and other stores, visitors will find an assortment of landmarks along the avenue, including two well-known and oft-photographed statues, the Monumento a la Historia de México and the Fuente del Ceviche. Additionally, Palacio Municipal, headquarters of the municipal government, sits along Avenida Tulum and is sandwiched between a public park and a sculpture garden.
Past travelers enjoyed strolling around Palacio Municipal and the surrounding streets, which offers a unique and much less touristy atmosphere from Cancún's Hotel Zone. Many also rave about the affordable shopping here, as well as the inexpensive places to grab a bite to eat.
Playa Marlin Playa Marlin free
Situated in the Hotel Zone about a 5-minute walk from the Kukulkan Plaza shopping mall, Playa Marlin offers a broad stretch of sugar white sand. There's also lifeguards and beach supplies, such as chairs and umbrellas, for rent.
Recent travelers said that Playa Marlin is a beautiful public beach, perfect for those who aren't staying at a beachside resort . Still, some warn of powerful waves and strong undertow. Though the waters can be too rough for swimming, they're great for water sports like parasailing.
Nichupté Lagoon Nichupté Lagoon
Nichupté Lagoon is a vast tropical paradise that's located in between mainland Cancún and the strip of land that makes up the hotel zone. This region has become a natural reserve for the mangrove ecosystem, and it is made up of seven different lakes.
Not only is Nichupté Lagoon popular for fishing, but it sees a range of visitors that participate in activities like kayaking, canoeing and underwater activities like snorkeling throughout the year. The lagoon is also popular for its wildlife tours, which let eager visitors check out local animals like seabirds, migratory birds and crocodiles.
Museo Maya de Cancún Museo Maya de Cancún
Museo Maya de Cancún houses archeological pieces from significant historic sites across Mexico. Within its exhibit halls, the museum displays a range of archeological artifacts, many of which were found at Chichén Itzá , Palenque and Comalcalco. In addition to its memorable artifacts, Museo Maya de Cancún's architecture proves impressive. It boasts floor-to-ceiling, hurricane-resistant glass windows – a necessary design element following the original anthropology museum's closure in 2004 due to hurricane damage.
Past visitors appreciated the archeological site adjacent to the museum, which offers walking trails to explore. They also recommended visiting the museum on a rainy day, as most of Cancún's alternative attractions are outdoors. Many also remarked that some, but not all, of the information shared within the museum was offered in both English and Spanish.
El Parque de las Palapas El Parque de las Palapas free
This small plaza sits in downtown Cancún and blurs the lines between a local and tourist hot spot. Fans of street food will appreciate the assortment of vendors that line the park and offer delicious Mexican dishes. Past visitors praise the readily available churros and marquesitas (a crepe-like dessert). If you enjoy live music, the area also boasts a stage for performances, which generally occur on Friday evenings.
While the park is open 24/7, past travelers suggest visiting in the early evening when you can combine your trip with a fresh, local meal. El Parque de las Palapas sits in downtown Cancún, roughly 6 miles west of the northern end of the Hotel Zone. The plaza's position – a block off Avenida Tulum – makes it easily accessible for anyone staying in or exploring the downtown area.
Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA) Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA)
Unlike a traditional museum, Museo Subacuático de Arte (Underwater Museum of Art) is composed of concrete structures spread across the seafloor. The underwater museum sits somewhere between Isla Mujeres and the Hotel Zone and is divided into three areas: Manchones, Punta Nizuc and Punta Sam. The more than 470 sculptures found within Manchones are only accessible via scuba diving. Punta Nizuc houses 33 sculptures, which travelers can see while snorkeling in the area. The nine sculptures visible at Punta Sam sit in the shallowest water. Travelers who'd prefer to stay on land can swing by the MUSA's small gallery near downtown Cancún.
In general, past travelers praised the unique experience. Many reviewers also agreed the trip to the underwater museum is well worth it to see the colorful fish and the lifelike statues firsthand. Others were disappointed that they didn't see more statues during boat and snorkel trips.
Xavage Park by Xcaret Xavage Park by Xcaret
Xavage Park by Xcaret is a thrill park that offers activities the entire family can enjoy. Basic admission includes a ropes course, the chance to go kayaking and access to the park's splash zone. Meanwhile, the more robust package includes whitewater rafting, a jet boat ride, a ropes course, monster truck rides, zip lines, kayaking and splash zone access. Both packages include snacks, a buffet meal and nonalcoholic drinks. Note that some age and height restrictions apply to these activities, such as the fact that drivers must be at least 5.2 feet (and passengers must be 4 feet tall) to ride in the monster truck. Children younger than 12 but taller than 4.5 feet must be able to verify their age with a photo ID.
Past visitors seem to agree the park is clean and well run. Most say they had a great time and stayed active while enjoying the weather and scenery. Reviewers also said the food included in the package was tasty.
La Isla Shopping Village La Isla Shopping Village free
Travelers in search of a little retail therapy will appreciate the assortment of storefronts in La Isla Shopping Village, including options like Abercrombie & Fitch, Prada and Studio F. True to its name, the open-air shopping area is separated from the rest of Cancún's Hotel Zone by a small canal. It is also located just north of Playa Marlín .
Past visitors were delighted by the mall's offerings, which include a Ferris wheel and an interactive aquarium that hosts regular dolphin shows, in addition to numerous food options. Along with a selection of assorted eateries, the shopping village also houses clothing and souvenir stores in its collection of retail options.
Xoximilco claims to be a "floating fiesta in Cancún," but it's much more than that. This Mexican theme park aims to explore and celebrate local culture through food, music and games. Visitors get the opportunity to learn and experience Mexican traditions and folklore throughout each visit. Essentially, Xoximilco is a cultural experience that includes a boat ride plus dinner and entertainment.
A ticket to Xoximilco comes with a range of included amenities and activities, such as a gondola ride through festive canals, a Mexican dinner and culinary experience, an open bar, a range of live music performances and a personal guide.
Coco Bongo Cancun Coco Bongo Cancun
Considered the spot for nightlife in Cancún, Coco Bongo isn't your traditional, DJ-controlled nightclub. Instead, thousands of travelers pack the house to witness nonstop performances from acrobats, conga lines, live bands and musician impersonators. A typical night at Coco Bongo involves projected videos, balloons, soap bubbles and confetti.
While Coco Bongo is a nonstop amalgam of cocktails and dancers, you can also dance the night away on the club's dance floor. If you're seeking some stage antics and endless performances, that's another reason Coco Bongo is definitely worth a try. Most travelers say that they had a great night at Coco Bongo, even if their seats offered poor views, there were long lines for drinks and the tickets were expensive.
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12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Cancún
Written by Meagan Drillinger Updated May 3, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )
Welcome to Mexico's most recognized paradise. Cancun, perhaps the best-known destination in all of Mexico, sits on a 13-mile-long, 396-meter L-shaped island that squares off the north coast of the Yucatan peninsula.
Cancun was always destined to be a paradise. In fact, it was built specifically with luxury travel in mind. The large vacation center was built up from jungle and pristine beach in just over a decade. Today it is one of the most visited destinations in the world, attracting more than four million tourists annually. The big draw? Endless attractions and things to do. From white-sand beaches to impressive large coral reefs to explore and near-perfect weather, you'll never run out of adventure.
The prime tourist area is linked by a causeway to the mainland on which the modern city of Cancún itself stands, a vibrant hub with a number of interesting attractions worth visiting -assuming, of course, you can drag yourself away from the beaches.
And if you're only able to get away for a single organized tour or excursion , make sure it's to one of the well-preserved, historic Mayan sites dotted around the island. Most of these are an easy tour bus ride away, and offer plenty of sightseeing opportunities along the way. To help ensure you get the very best out of your time in this tropical paradise, be sure to refer often to this list of the top things to do in Cancún.
1. Visiting Cancún's Beautiful Beaches
2. exploring the mayan ruins of chichén itzá, 3. discovering el rey maya ruins, 4. stopping at the maya museum, 5. diving to the cancun underwater museum, 6. exploring el meco archaeological site, 7. enjoying animal adventures, 8. climbing the scenic tower & xcaret, 9. getting lost at urbano kabah park, 10. cruising to isla mujeres, 11. exploring tulum, 12. chasing adrenaline with extreme tours, cancun, mexico - climate chart.
Most of Cancún's top resorts are built with direct access to the beaches, known in Spanish as "playas." You'll enjoy stunning views over the sparkling, crystal-clear waters that make this destination so popular with tourists seeking a memorable Mexico vacation. Cancún, in fact, consists of a number of long stretches of beach , and while regular visitors may have their preferences, it's certainly hard to go wrong. They're all nice and have something great to offer.
Among the most popular playas are de las Perlas , Juventud , Linda , Langosta , Tortugas , Caracol , and Chac-mool , some of them lying alongside the Boulevard Cancún and the Paseo Kukulkán all the way from the city boundary (of these, Tortugas, Caracol, and Chac-mool tend to be the busiest).
Also of interest is the seven-and-a-half-kilometer-long Paseo Kukulkán, alongside which is an 18-hole public golf course known as Pok-ta-Pok.
Few visitors will want to miss the chance to spend at least a little of their vacation time sightseeing at one or more of the larger Mayan ruins within reach of Cancún. One of the most popular day trips is to Chichén Itzá , three hours west of the beaches and one of Mexico's largest and best-restored archaeological sites. Settled by the Mayans more than 1,000 years ago, this UNESCO World Heritage Site includes many famous Chac-mool statues, along with important buildings such as the 30-meter-tall El Castillo, one of the country's most famous pyramids.
If you're an early-riser, you may in fact want to join Chichen Itza and Cenote Swim tour . This tour starts early and is a full day. Hotel pickups are scheduled for 7am, but are worth it for the chance to explore the famous ruins. These fun day-long excursions include the important sites, a bevy of fascinating facts, a buffet lunch, a visit and swim at a nearby cenote, and round-trip transportation.
- Read More: Visiting Chichén Itzá from Cancún: Highlights, Tips & Tours
If you've room in your Mexico itinerary for another interesting archaeological site, just a few minutes away from the Punta Nizuc end of Cancún are a number of interesting Mayan ruins known as El Rey. Named after a mask found here that was believed to be dedicated to the sun god, the El Rey Ruins (Las Ruinas del Rey) include the remains of some 47 buildings, along with numerous tombs built by the Mayans from AD 900 onwards.
Of particular interest are the two main platforms with their temples, once part of the market, which also served as important ceremonial areas. It's well worth taking the time to visit, and many resorts offer inexpensive tours to the site, which is also famous for the large colonies of iguanas that live here.
Located in the Cancún Center, the city's large convention complex, the Maya Museum (Museo Maya de Cancún) is an attraction that's certainly worth visiting to learn more about the region's rich history. The largest such museum project since the opening of the Templo Mayor Museum in Mexico City in 1987, this superb attraction does a good job of explaining the ancient roots of the region's Mayan culture, from its founding centuries ago right up to the modern day.
Highlights include some 350 artifacts spread across three halls, most from in and around Cancún, including skeletal remains found in Tulum that date back 14,000 years, and the remains of the famous 10,000-year-old "Woman of the Palms."
Other notable exhibits include displays of Mayan architecture and art, including sculptures from Chichén Itzá and the adjoining San Miguelito archeological site. There's also a variety of programming for kids, including art and crafts.
Address: Blvd Kukulkan km 16.5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, QROO
One of the most unusual points of interest in this resort town is the Cancún Underwater Museum (MUSA). Set up in 2009 in the wake of storm damage to the Cancún National Marine Park , this seabed-based attraction is dedicated to the "art of conservation" and is a delight for divers to explore.
The core of this unique art collection are the more than 500 sculptures spread across two underwater galleries (a few are located on land in a nearby mall) submerged at depths of between three and six meters and encompassing human figures in a variety of poses (there's even a concrete car).
Put together by six artists from Mexico and Britain, the sculptures will ultimately form the basis for new coral reefs. A variety of guided snorkeling and diving tours area available. If diving is not your thing, this remarkable collection can be viewed from the comfort of one of the many glass-bottom tour boats that ply the waters.
Official site: https://musamexico.org
Another interesting Mayan site that is easily accessible from Cancún's main resort area-this one located at the north end of the main beaches-is the El Meco Archaeological Site. Originally inhabited around AD 300, it rose to prominence as a Mayan trade center from the 1100s until its decline after the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century.
Of particular interest is the 12.5-meter-tall El Castillo, the only pyramid of its kind to have been built in the area. Perched atop the pyramid are the remains of an old temple from which you'll be rewarded with stunning views over the coastline and Isla Mujeres . This easy one-hour or so visit is well worth adding to your Cancún itinerary.
A good place to get a close-up view of the area's rich marine life is at Cancún's Interactive Aquarium . After donning flippers and a snorkel, you're free to swim around the facility's enclosures surrounded by numerous species from stingrays to seahorses and clown fish. The real highlight, however, is the attraction's "swimming with dolphins" experience, an exciting program that allows you to get up close and personal with these gentle sea creatures. Similar programs are also offered at other nearby venues including Dolphin Discovery and Dolphinaris Cancún .
Address: Plaza La Isla, Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 12.5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, QROO
A must-do while in Cancún is to take a trip up the Scenic Tower (Torre Escenica). Something of a landmark in the hotel district due its height - it's 110 meters tall - as well as its pencil thin base, the tower is a fun diversion for those wanting a bird's-eye view of the city, as well as its many beaches and the surrounding coastline.
While a set of steep steps can be climbed, by far the best way to reach the top is to simply take a seat in the large round elevator that gradually, as it rises and rotates, becomes an observation deck. It's a particularly attractive structure at night when it's lit up to resemble a Mayan representation of a flower.
The tower is in fact part of Xcaret, an interesting mix of theme park and natural attractions (entry to the tower is included with Xcaret admission). Given its 50 or so cultural and natural attractions, you can expect to easily spend a day here exploring the many things to do. Highlights include water-based activities including a beach and lagoon, plus the chance to explore underground rivers, a coral reef aquarium, a folk museum, and performances of music and dance, an equestrian show, boat tours, and plenty of dining options.
Also fun is Ventura Park Cancun , with activities including a zipline, water park, and a dolphin encounter.
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 4.5, Kukulcan Boulevard, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
In the heart of Cancún is Urbano Kabah Park (Parque Kabah), also known as the Kabah Ecological Park. This natural oasis is a popular spot for a stroll, a jog, or a picnic, and consists of a two-kilometer long trail that cuts through a mix of tall palm trees and lush gardens.
The park is particularly popular for families traveling with kids due to its playground and petting zoo. There's plenty of wildlife to watch out for, too, including iguanas, the raccoon-like coatis, deer, a type of small wild pig called a peccary, and even the occasional spider monkey.
It's a particularly good spot for bird-watchers to visit, especially during migration season, when species from as far as the US and Canada winter here. Other highlights include the Casa Maya Museum , a tiny yet fascinating attraction with its history of the development of the region.
Address: Yaxchilán, Sin Nombre, Cancún, QROO
Another destination that is closely associated with Cancún is the lovely Isla Mujeres (the Island of Women). Located about 13 kilometers from the mainland and just a short hydrofoil ride from the pier at the convention center (Cancún Center), this long, skinny island-it's just seven kilometers long and 650 meters wide-is particularly popular among surfers for the larger waves experienced on its east coast, while divers love the abundant marine life surrounding the numerous coral reefs of Garrafon Natural Reef Park.
It's also popular with beachgoers who enjoy the less hectic pace; traffic on the island is limited to taxis and buses, all of which are vastly outnumbered by golf carts and scooters. Isla Mujeres is also a popular day trip destination for those staying elsewhere on the Riviera Maya thanks to its many fine restaurants offering excellent views over the water to Cancún.
Also popular to explore is Contoy Island (Isla Contoy). Located some 30 kilometers north of Isla Mujeres, this tiny island is now a national park due to its important flora and fauna. A variety of providers offer fun eco-tours and adventures.
Tulum, just 90 minutes south, is a better option for those pressed for time. Famous for its cliff-top location and for being the only known fortified Mayan coastal town, Tulum contains many other unique structures in addition to its tall, wide walls, most noticeably its Temple of the Frescos with its sculptures and reliefs depicting seated figures with elaborate headdresses. The site's largest building, the Castillo, is also its most famous, perched as it is on the cliff-edge overlooking the sea.
A fun way to see the best parts of this attraction-along with other nearby points of interest-is via a 3-in-1 Discovery Combo Tour that takes in the Tulum ruins, cenotes, and caves, along with some reef snorkeling . Also included in this day-long adventure is an informative jungle walk, along with transportation, a bilingual guide, all equipment, plus a traditional Mexican lunch.
Accommodation: Best All-Inclusives Resorts in Tulum
- Read More: Visiting Tulum: Attractions, Tips & Tours
Blanketed in miles upon miles of jungle, the area surrounding Cancun is primed for extreme adventure activities. This includes everything from ATV tours to ziplining, diving cenotes, and everything in between.
You may want to book this ATV, Ziplines, and Cenote Tour at Extreme Adventure Eco Park Cancun . The half-day experience includes a combination adventure experience from Cancun. Activities include off-roading in an ATV, ziplining through the jungle, and swimming in a local cenote.
Guests can be picked up from their Cancun hotel and will also be returned in an air-conditioned vehicle. From here, they are whisked off to the eco park, where an experienced guide will take you on a treetop tour through the zipline park. From here, climb aboard a Honda 220cc ATV for a trail ride down bumps, rocks, and roots. The experience caps off with a cooling plunge in a cenote. Snacks are included on the tour, as well.
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Mexico's Big Cities : Sprawling Mexico City is well worth spending time exploring and features no end of cultural attractions, including the nation's museum of anthropology and famous Zócalo square, where the country's first constitution was proclaimed. Other cities to explore include Guadalajara , the country's second-largest city and home to a variety of World Heritage sites, including the Instituto Cultural de Cabañas and Guadalajara Cathedral. Though smaller, the colonial city of Guanajuato is another good spot to explore for its attractive old architecture and fascinating subterranean road system.
Beachfront and Seaside : Thanks to its many splendid coral reefs, the island of Cozumel is particularly popular among those who enjoy water-based activities such as diving and snorkeling. The upscale resort destination of Cabo San Lucas is another good spot for those who enjoy lovely beaches and spectacular coastlines, as well as pleasant boardwalk strolls. Playa del Carmen in the Mayan Riviera is also fun to visit, and is popular for its proximity to historic attractions as the Mayan capital of Chichén Itzá.
Mexico Vacation Ideas : Mexico offers plenty of opportunities to learn more about the country's rich history while on vacation. A great place to visit for a few days (or longer if you can manage it) is the well-preserved colonial city of Mérida with its many old churches, museums, and pleasant public squares. The old city center of Morelia is also worth visiting and can be reached easily from either Mexico City or Guadalajara. So, too, is Oaxaca , famous for its cathedral and traditional markets.
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Best things to do in Cancun
Monday September 5 2022, 17:32pm
You know what they say about Cancun: it’s the Las Vegas of Mexico. But while the area’s well-documented debauchery isn’t hard to find, there are authentic glimpses of Mayan life to be discovered in pockets here — from archaeological sites at San Miguelito to the ruins of Chichen Itza, one of the most sacred ancient cities in the world. Whatever your taste, you’ll want to make the most of the clear turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya. They’ve been an enduring favourite of snorkellers and beach bums since the 1970s, when the remote idyll of lagoons and palm-fringed shorelines sent Cancun on its way to becoming the most famous tourist hotspot in Mexico . Whether you plump for a more active trip or make the most of the city’s nightlife, visiting Cancun will entertain you at every turn.
Main photo: Isla Mujeres (Getty Images)
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1. Go scuba diving
What’s a trip to Cancun without learning to scuba dive? The city is located close to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world and the playground of dolphins, nurse sharks, eagle rays, and loads of rare tropical fish. Cancun is also well equipped for newbie divers. The JW Marriott* has a pool with a purpose-built coral reef, specifically for its guests’ diving lessons, and there’s an abundance of diving instructors in the area who can help you gain a Padi qualification. Book in with Go Diving Cancun, a school with over 20 years’ experience in teaching, for their small but highly rated group sessions — they also waive dock fees and include two tanks of air, rather than the usual one.
2. Help sea turtle conservation
Make no mistake: the sea turtles in Cancun’s waters are one of the city’s main draws. Despite having survived for generations, there are only seven species of sea turtle left — six of which are present along Mexico’s coastlines — and four of them are in the Quintana Roo region, including Cancun. While hatching usually happens between August and November, they tend to land on the beaches around June when they all gather to mate. Akumal, about 100km south of Cancun, is the best place to go if you want to snorkel alongside them, but there are plenty of conservation projects that visitors can get involved with much closer to the city.
3. Visit Mayan ruins
Cancun is overwhelmingly known for its restaurants, bars and hotels, but there’s plenty of history for those who want it. Swing by the city’s Mayan ruins for a glimpse of what life was like in one of the most important indigenous societies in Mesoamerica. While the best preserved of the region are in Tulum , the ruins at El Rey at the southern end of Cancun are equally impressive. They’re rumoured to have been a royal retreat or playground and the name was taken from some remains that were found, likely to have been of a king. Today, the site has been claimed by a local mess of iguanas (it’s asked that visitors don’t try to feed or pet them) and you can spy the remains of two old temples that were said to have been used as a watchtower and lighthouses.
4. Take a tour of a cenote
Yet another reason to add the Yucatan Peninsula to your bucket list, the area’s magnificent cenotes (pronounced “cee-NO-tays”) are a sight to behold — and there are more than 20,000 known ones to explore. Although loosely described as “underwater caverns”, the natural phenomenona are created where limestone has caved in and water has filled the sinkhole. They’re often surrounded by dangling vines and stalactites, and ancient Mayans believed they were entrances to the underworld. You’ll find one of the largest in Sac Actun, just outside Tulum.
5. Spend a day on the Riviera Maya
The Riviera Maya, a stretch of Mexican Caribbean coastline, is a must for anyone visiting Cancun. Roughly an hour’s drive from central Cancun, it’s worth spending the day scoping out the area’s various attractions: Xcaret Park, an ecotourism compound with an aviary, butterfly pavilion and water park; Cenote Dos Ojos, a limestone sinkhole and breathtaking network of aquatic caves, including the deepest underwater cave in the region; and Tulum Archaeological Zone, the site of the best-preserved Mayan ruins nearby. For something more sedate, take your pick of beautiful hotels for a long, lazy lunch — a favourite is the Rosewood Mayakoba * , surrounded by emerald lagoons and lush jungle.
6. Explore Chichen Itza
This sacred city on the Yucatan Peninsula — the centre of Mayan pilgrimage, founded by the Itza people in the 5th century — is one of the new seven wonders of the world. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Cancun and there are various levels of tickets and guided tours available for visitors wanting to see the ruins, as well as to understand the historical and cultural significance of the site. There’s also the option of visiting at night, when structures, including the famous Kukulcán pyramid, are lit up in for an emotive light and sound show that explains the predictions made by one of the most sophisticated civilisations that ever existed.
Is it safe for me to travel to Cancun and Tulum?
7. Hit up Mercado 28
This colourful flea market downtown, with more than 600 vendors, is a centre for textiles and leather but is best known as the place for tourists to pick up souvenirs in Cancun. Whether its ceramic bottles of tequila, woven blankets or dresses, there’s something for everyone — but come prepared to search for the good stuff and to haggle; there are no prices displayed. When you’re ready for a break, visit the food stalls that are peppered across the market — they’re some of the best in town.
8. Make a day of it at Playa del Carmen
An hour south of Cancun, on the Caribbean coastline, is the pretty beach town of Playa del Carmen. This old fishing village is quiet no more, but it feels infinitely less built up than Cancun and you can access the beach from many of the streets. Whether it’s hitting the shops and art galleries on Quinta Avenida or cracking open a cerveza at one of the many beach bars, there’s enough to fill a day trip.
9. Spend time on Playa Delfines
Fancy seeing wild dolphins at play? Head to Playa Delfines (dolphin beach) where you’ll have the best chance of spotting them in action — either from the shoreline, or you can go on a boat tour for a closer view. The beach itself is one of Cancun’s best — all wide, pearlescent sandy shores and turquoise waters — and there’s free parking nearby (a rarity for public beaches here). Best of all, it’s fairly easy to find a quiet spot, despite it being so popular. You’ll find most people tucking into local Yucatan dishes, like kibis (like a mini empanada, filled with cheese and ground beef) from the onsite street food carts, or snapping selfies with the famous “Cancun” sign.
10. Sail to Isla Mujeres
A trip to the small island of Isla Mujeres should be on everyone’s to-do list, not least because it’s the first spot where you can see the sun rise in Mexico. Accessible in just 20 minutes, via ferry from the mainland, it feels comparatively removed from the craziness of Cancun itself. Here, it’s about snorkelling, swimming with whale sharks and sea turtles, and reclining on the various beaches. Keep in mind that the northern beaches can feel overrun with tourists while, by contrast, Punta Sur in the south runs at a slower pace. Visitors mostly go to the latter for the ecological park with its cliffs, caves and Mayan ruins.
11. Admire the wildlife of Isla Contoy
You can combine Isla Mujeres with a trip to nearby Isla Contoy, a designated national park that’s relatively untouched. This tiny island of only 1.2 square miles is where the waters of the Caribbean Sea meet the Gulf of Mexico and, happily, is the home of four species of turtle, as well as 152 species of tropical birds. Contoy is so keenly protected by the Mexican government that only a select few travel companies have been given a licence to operate there; the best way is to combine it with a snorkelling tour that covers Isla Mujeres too.
12. Game, set and match at the Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre
Rising stars in tennis have been flocking to Costa Mujeres, half an hour’s drive from central Cancun, in recent years, after champion Rafa Nadal opened a state-of-the-art tennis centre which teaches the superstar’s own methods and techniques to adults and children alike. Guests staying at the Grand Palladium hotel get access to facilities at the tennis centre for free, and non-residents can also book in on a variety of courses and classes depending on their proficiency.
13. Go “out out”
Come to Cancun and prepare to party — it’s almost a crime to not go out with so many incredible clubs on your doorstep. Start your night in the “hotel zone”. You’ll find everything from upscale rooftop bars and swanky cocktail lounges to sports bars and lively pubs. Take a peek at one of Mexico’s most legendary nightclubs, Coco Bongo, where the vibe is on another level. Think aerial acrobats, confetti bombs, celebrity impersonators and cascading balloons — it’s one of those places that has to be seen to be believed.
14. Soar over the jungle on a zipline
One of the most exhilarating ways to see the lush Mexican jungle is by soaring above it on a zipline. Clip in for one of Central America’s largest circuits in Cancun with cables stretching for more than two miles. There are plenty of adventure-led experiences that also incorporate off-roading trips in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), for example in Xplor Park, as well as swimming in cenotes — just be prepared to get a little muddy.
15. Soak up some culture in Valladolid
There’s no better day trip for culture vultures than a visit to Valladolid, an underrated and infinitely less touristy Yucatan town that’s all about art and architecture. It has beautiful pastel-hued buildings, historic churches and idyllic cenotes. You can walk or cycle around the city, and it’s easy to get there in a rental car (it’s essentially a straight road) — particularly if you combine it with a stop at the Ek’ Balam ruins nearby. Alternatively, buses go to and from Cancun regularly.
16. Go downtown
Cancun is, essentially, a tale of two cities: one is its pulsating tourist hub, the hotel zone, and the other is downtown Cancun — where residents live. Hop on a bus from the beach and head to Parque Las Palapas, the city’s main park, where you’ll find food stalls, a food court, some souvenir sellers and even a stage, where local families tend to gather at weekends for events. Don’t leave without hitting the walkway at Malecon Tajamar, one of Cancun’s newest and loveliest areas, for its sweeping views of the hotel zone skyline.
17. Hit the hotel zone
Often, tourists plump for a stay in the area’s zona hotelera and find it difficult to leave. Here, the soft, talcum-white sands and calm, almost pool-like waters are close to ideal for those wanting to maximise their tanning time. Another plus is that the location of resorts like the Intercontinental Presidente* — which faces northwest — means they’re some of the best places in the city for sundowners. You’ll be just ten minutes’ drive from some of the region’s most hedonistic bars and clubs.
18. Visit an underwater sculpture gallery
More seasoned divers and snorkellers tend to flock to the area’s unique and ever-expanding underwater sculpture gallery, MUSA. The site is home to more than 500 sculptures that sit between three and six metres deep in the ocean at Cancun National Marine Park. The museum, which is also a not-for-profit, is part of a wider conservation project that aims to draw tourists away from the area’s coral reefs, which gives them a chance to grow and protects the ocean’s biodiversity. Don’t worry if you’re not a diver; trusted glass-bottom boat tours are available for booking on the museum’s website.
19. Visit Xoximilco theme park
This floating Mexican fiesta is the life of the party in Cancun. Tequila shots are downed even before you board the traditional trajinera boat, which is strung with flowers, while the party continues apace on board with more tequila, regional food and mariachi and marimba bands. The purpose of Xoximilco, as a theme park, was to recreate the magic of Mexico City’s Xochimilco neighbourhood, known for its floating gardens and canals, but we’re not sure how many people sign up with that in mind. Wear your dancing shoes.
20. Take a day trip to Tulum
About two hours south of Cancun, bohemian Tulum exudes barefoot glamour, with sparkling cenotes, gorgeous beaches, great hotels and zesty margaritas. Take a beachfront yoga class, snorkel in emerald lagoons or paddle up Santa Fe beach towards the aptly named Playa Ruins — Tulum has some of the best-preserved Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula. Head downtown for some shopping, then stop at Aca Tacos de Canasta, on Avenida Satélite, for steamed veggie tacos and fresh juice.
21. Swim with whale sharks
To have the best chance of seeing the famously gentle whale sharks swimming in Cancun’s warm, clear waters — and to swim alongside them, provided you have a guide and proper equipment — you’ll have to plan accordingly. Most people suggest May to April being the optimal time but, actually, peak season is July and August. Either way, whale sharks tend to leave Cancun in mid-September. Tour operator Cancun Adventures, offers great half-day whale shark swimming and snorkelling experiences.
- Can I travel to Mexico? The entry requirements explained
- Best time to visit Mexico
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Inspired to visit Cancun but yet to book your trip? Here are the best packages from Tui and BA Holidays .
The 45 Best Things To Do In Cancun in 2023 (Tips from a Local)
Want to learn about the most unique things to do in Cancun?! You have landed in the right place! In this article, you will learn about what to do in Cancun during your vacation as I will share all your amazing options, from basking in the most beautiful beaches to joining fun tours, or relaxed activities. The choice is yours.
Hi! I am Isabella and I have lived in Cancun for 12 years and counting. Even if I often travel to other areas of Mexico, Cancun remains my home where I always go back to.
Therefore I thought I should share in this post all the amazing things you can do in sunny Cancun and practical tips to make the most of this amazing Mexican Caribbean destination.
Lined with turquoise water and pristine white sand beaches, Cancun is not short of incredible adventurous activities and world-class resorts.
From basking in the sun all day on the spectacular Cancun beach to getting pampered in one of the Ultra Luxury All-inclusive Resorts, exploring the city, or setting off for an adventure, let’s see what are your options if you decide to spend a few days, or months, in Cancun.
So without further ado, please find the 45 amazing activities in Cancun and places to visit in and around the city, suggested by an expert (which would be me 😜).
Best Things To Do In Cancun Mexico
In this section, I will share all the most incredible tours and activities that you can do in Cancun. This list includes organized tours with a tour guide that take you to discover the most beautiful sites and natural wonders in and around Cancun.
You can choose among many private tours or group tours according to your budget and time.
1. Kayaking in the Nichupte Lagoon
One of the most overlooked spots and one of my favorites is the Nichuptè Lagoon , a huge mirror of sweet water that separates the city from the hotel zone and one of the best places to visit in Cancun.
It has been recently cleaned and it’s home to juvenile fishes that hide in the mangroves, beautiful birds, and if you are lucky you can even spot dolphins and manta rays.
I have found a local company, Go Kayak Cancun that organizes kayaking in the lagoon, the best and most ecological way to explore it and you can now book their tour from VIATOR
They organize tours at sunrise or sunset, which is the best time of the day to kayak in the lagoon, for the colors of the sky, and the amount of wildlife you can spot.
I took this tour once and I had a blast. You will navigate through mangrove channels and spot local wildlife. Besides it’s a good workout.
Andres is a fantastic guide passionate about nature and ecological practice. He is voluntarily organizing a cleaning team every month to keep the Nichupte lagoon healthy.
He does tours in the morning and late afternoon. If you are a morning person, that is the best time to spot more wildlife with fewer motorboats around.
Otherwise, the sunset trip is great too. I took that one. 🙂
👉 Book your kayak tour now with GOKAYAK on VIATOR
2. Take some surf lessons
You have heard that right, you can surf from Cancun beach. It’s not the most popular destination for surfing in Mexico but it is well known among surfers as there are quite good swells in many different spots on Cancun beach.
Whether you are a pro or a beginner or you just want to try it, Cancun offers different surf school that will teach you!
You will get the basics of surfing with some off-the-water theory lessons and then you jump in the water for some practice in this 1h 30-minute lesson.
👉 Book your surf lessons on VIATOR
3. Go on a scuba diving adventure
Go Diving Cancun will take you scuba diving to a beautiful natural reef OR the famous underwater statues MUSA . And the good part is that you don’t need to be experienced or certified due to the very shallow water.
This tour has a 5⭐ rating and people are raving about it!
👉 Book your scuba diving adventure on VIATOR
4. Go Snorkeling on the Barrier reef in Puerto Morelos
This 4-hour tour is one of the fun things to do in Cancun.
It’s called “adventure tour” because it’s packed with exciting activities that you can enjoy all in one day!
It includes snorkeling, ziplining, riding ATVs, and swimming in a cenote.
Once you get to Puerto Morelos you’ll take a boat ride to the Puerto Morelos Reef National Park for some snorkeling.
Then, you’ll head off to the Maya jungle to ride four-wheelers and zoom through the trees on a zipline before cooling off with a dip in a refreshing cenote.
Best suitable for adventurous travelers who want to squeeze more activities in half a day!
👉 Book your snorkeling tour on VIATOR
5/6/7. Take a trip to Isla Mujeres (3 options)
Going to Isla Mujeres is definitely one of the things you should do if you love to swim in crystal clear turquoise water and walk on a white sand beach, enjoy the local town vibe, and get to Punta Sur by golf cart.
There re different ways to get to Isla Mujeres and here I am going to share them all with you.
👉 Join a catamaran tour to Isla Mujeres
Keep in mind that the majority of the catamaran tour is packed with many people, and they cater party lovers whose priority is dancing and drinking on the boat and are less focused on exploring. Just so you know.
👉 Book a private sailing trip to Isla Mujeres
A private sailing trip is only for you and your travel partner, is more intimate and you can have a peaceful sailing trip to Isla Mujeres with some snorkeling stops and all the space of the sailing boat for yourself.
It can be pricey if you are only 2 or 3 people but worth it.
You can get to Isla Mujeres by ferry and get around the island at your own pace.
The only difference is that you won’t be able to do snorkeling along the way but you have a lot of time for yourself on the island and maybe join a snorkeling trip from the island.
8. Rent a private yacht all for yourself
Did you know you can charter a spacious yacht from Cancun for a daytime cruise?
You can decide where to go and what you see depending on the duration of your rental, meaning you’ll optimize your time on the water.
Enjoy the lounge on deck as the music plays and admire the beautiful scenery around you. You can stop to snorkel as well if time allows.
Complimentary ice, water, and soft drinks are available on the boat. If you love private tours , I have got you covered as well! 🙂
👉 Book your private yacht now
9. Jungle Tour Adventure: Speed Boat Tour and Snorkeling (Shared Speed Boat)
This short 2-hour tour will take you on small speed boat tours zipping around the Lagoon Nichupte.
You will stop by the Punta Nizuc coral reef for some snorkeling. You can choose from several departure times to suit your schedule.
Snorkel gear and bottled water are included together with an English-speaking guide.
👉 Book your jungle tour adventure here
10. Whale Sharks Tour from Cancun
You cannot miss this life-changing experience to swim with whale sharks, the gentle giant of the sea. They are huge but completely harmless and you can swim close to them without touching them or disturbing their environment.
The whale sharks tours are well organized to let you swim with them three times, as you will need to take turns with the other travelers.
It’s indeed an incredible tour, and if you had to choose among all those listed here I wouldn’t miss this one for the world.
But keep in mind that it’s only available from June through the end of August.
👉 Book your whale sharks tour here
11. Take a trip to Chichen-itza
Although it’s now packed with vendors which in my opinion spoil the magic of this sacred place, Chichen-Itza deserves at least one visit in a lifetime.
I went about 3 times. After all, it’s still one of the world’s seven wonders and a UNESCO world heritage site .
There are tours from Cancun that will take you there with a certified guide and will stop in some cenotes. Although to be really honest, I think you should go on a tour only if you don’t have any other options.
The best way to visit Chichen-Itza is early morning when the big groups haven’t arrived yet.
In one of my articles, I wrote about other ways to get from Cancun to Chichen Iza , if you want to check it out.
However, if you don’t have enough time you can join an organized tour, which has the advantage of a certified guide to offer some great information, and you don’t have to think about the logistics because everything is already organized for you.
Besides, organized tours to Chichen Itza usually include other interesting stops at a cenote and the pretty colonial town of Valladolid.
► Best tours to Chichen Itza from Cancun that you can join. Click on the tour below to read more!
12. take a trip to valladolid.
Valladolid is the nearest colonial city that will connect you with the local culture to understand what Mexico is about. Unfortunately, although so beautiful, Cancun won’t show you exactly what Mexico is.
If you stay in Cancun and you don’t explore around it’s like you haven’t been to Mexico, except for its beaches and all-inclusive hotels, but that could be anywhere.
To get to Valladolid you can either hop on the ADO public bus or join a tour to Chichen-Itza which always include a visit to Valladolid.
However, keep in mind that you will have very little time to walk around. I personally would prefer to get to Valladolid on my own and stay for a couple of nights.
13. Visit the spectacular cenotes near Cancun
Among the things to do near Cancun, visiting a cenote is a special activity that you shouldn’t miss, especially if you have never been in one before. And if you have, chances are you can’t wait to go back.
In my post on the spectacular Cenotes near Cancun will help you find the best one to check out.
Each one has its own charm and offers a great way to spend one day in nature, swimming, jumping, or just relaxing on the rim surrounded by the soothing Jungle.
If you don’t know what’s a cenote, check out my complete guide on the Cancun Cenotes where I also give you a brief synopsis of their history.
The best way to enjoy the cenotes near Cancun is by renting a car and driving because public transportation won’t go there.
If you don’t feel like renting a car you can always join one of the amazing cenote tours from Cancun .
14. Go see the jaw-dropping pink lakes of Las Coloradas and see the Flamingos in Rio Lagartos
Located at about a 3-hour drive from Cancun, these spectacular lakes are indeed pink. It’s not a Photoshop trick, although some of the Instagram photos are a little too saturated, they do serve the purpose.
You cannot swim in the lakes at Las Coloradas , of course. They are part of a salt factory that’s been there for ages. They have now turned it into a money-making tourist attraction after all the success they saw on Instagram.
You can easily get there on your own by car but you can also join a tour and combine a boat tour in the famous Rio Lagarto reserve to watch the graceful pink flamingo and then continue your trip to the pink lakes.
The boat tour is what makes the trip worth it, in my opinion. Click on the link below to find out more.
► Book Las Coloradas and Rio Lagartos tour here
15. Visit Isla Holbox
Holbox is a spectacular island only a couple of hours from Cancun. Actually, Cancun Holbox by car is about 2 hrs and 30 minutes but if you go by bus you would need about 3h.30 minutes.
I know, it’s a lot of time to go in one day, and if you ask me, I am telling you it’s not worth it. You should spend at least a couple of nights enjoying it fully.
However, if you have a limited time, the best way to go is by an organized tour where you will be going on a boat tour to do some site spotting on the nearby island (Isla de los Pajaros) on your way to Holbox.
It’s the best way to make the most of your time there.
You will find white sand deserted beaches and turquoise water, where there are no cars and people move around by bike or golf cart.
It’s much less developed and chaotic than Isla Mujeres and with more authentic vibes.
Here below is the link to the tour. Click on it to learn more.
► Boat Tour to Holbox Paradise Island from Cancun
16. Take a day trip to Tulum
You cannot miss the Tulum archaeological site and the boho-chic hotel zone of Tulum if you are in the Yucatan peninsula. It’s a must.
The Mayan ruins are a unique sight and the view of the Mayan temple with the turquoise waters as a backdrop is a postcard-worthy picture.
And then you can take a dip in the beautiful sea and spend the rest of the day on the spectacular beach.
I recommend Cinco Tulum where for a moderate cost, you can have a great meal and use the beach facilities. Read my post on how to get from Cancun to Tulum if you wish to go on your own.
Otherwise, you can book a tour where they take you to the ruins with a certified guide and make other stops in the meantime. It’s a great way to optimize time and see more in one day and with a certified guide included.
Organized tour options to Tulum from Cancun are available and combine a visit to the Tulum ruins with other fun sites, such as cenotes, and beaches.
Here are the top-rated tours from Cancun to Tulum
17. spend a day in playa del carmen.
Playa del Carmen is the notorious party town of the Riviera Maya , but besides the party, you can stroll along the famous 5 Avenida for some shopping and nice restaurants, and relax at the beach for a nice swim in the tranquil azure sea.
You can easily get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun on your own by bus, but if you feel more comfortable you can check out taxi rates. They should be around 1000 MXN one way. (about 50 USD)
18. Visit Isla Contoy
Isla Contoy is definitely one of the unique things to do in Cancún. Boat Tours live from one of the Cancun marinas and will take you to this spectacular uninhabited island to learn about the local fauna, and enjoy the immaculate white sand beaches and pristine water.
Isla Contoy is a natural park and protected area and only supervised and regulated eco-tourism is allowed. Only a few tour operators have permission to bring a maximum of 200 daily visitors.
It is home to four species of sea turtles that find a safe haven for nesting on the beaches of the island, the loggerhead turtle, the Green turtle, the Hawksbill turtle, and the leatherback turtle.
The reserve is also a sanctuary to approximately 152 tropical marine birds, among which frigates, brown pelicans, and cormorants.
Here are some suggested tours to Contoy Island
19. Rent a car and drive around the Yucatan Peninsula
Driving around the Yucatan Peninsula is super safe and easy. It will give you the freedom to check out gorgeous hidden spots off the beaten path and also move at your own pace, change the itinerary, and spend more time where you feel like it.
You don’t even have to book your stay in advance. Just go with the flow, which is my favorite way to travel.
To rent a car I recommend DiscoverCars which is a car rental platform where you can compare prices from different car rental companies and find the most convenient for you.
You can also purchase very affordable full-coverage insurance for your own peace of mind. Make sure you read the fine print at the time of booking, though, to avoid surprises.
Things To Do in Cancun with Kids
20. priority access: xplor adventure park with pick up and drop off.
If you are feeling adventurous this full-day tour will take you to Xplor another man-made adventure park from the Xcaret group.
Even in this case, there is nothing ecological about this park but it is indeed a beautiful subterranean river.
In your full-day package you will be able to paddle through atmospheric caves filled with stalactites; glide over the jungle canopy on a high-velocity zip line, and drive an amphibious vehicle on exciting off-road trails.
Enjoy a rich international buffet and sip your drinks from the open bar.
This is an inclusive tour and everything is covered.
You need to book in advance in order to include your return transfer from your hotel.
► Book your full-day Xplore park
21. Spend a day in the Xel-Ha tourist park
Xel-ha is another adventure park near Cancun from the Xcaret group, the ones that are not eco-friendly in my opinion.
These are not my favorite parks because they are always very crowded, but I reckon they are very organized and great for families. You can pre-buy your ticket on VIATOR and save time.
I prefer to skip these kinds of parks and rent a car and explore Mexico on my own, instead. But to each one their own, right?
If you have kids, this park will certainly amuse them and you have all the comfort and facilities at hand, to relax and enjoy the place too
22. Spend a full day in the popular park Xcaret
I can’t believe I am including Xcaret in this post, but unfortunately, Xcaret, the so-called ecological park, is one of the most visited places in the Riviera Maya from Cancun but there is nothing ecological about it.
I would rather rent a car and go on an adventure on my own than be included in a zoo-like area squeezed with a mass of people and support dolphin exploitation.
If you decide to go to Xcaret please at least don’t do the swim with the dolphin activity. I beg you! These beautiful intelligent animals should be swimming free in the ocean on their own and not entertaining people and kissing kids. Come on!!!
Anyway, if you really want to go to Xcaret here is where you can book. But please don’t throw your money and swim with the dolphins!!
You can rent a car and travel around on your own or join organized tours and have an experienced guide take you around.
23. Swim with the sea turtles in Akumal
A great place where to take your kids, or yourself, is Akumal Beach because you can swim with turtles right from the shore. The beauty of it is that they are not kept in captivity.
They are free to roam in the ocean and they just come close to the shore because that area is rich in plankton and other marine creatures that they feast on.
Free Things To Do In Cancun Mexico
24- 31 go where the locals hang out.
Most people can argue that what to see in Cancun is not as interesting as in many other parts of Mexico, but I believe that’s not true. Local markets, archeological sites, murals, and beaches there are a lot of free things to see in Cancun and here I will share my favorite ones.
Cancun is not only the Hotel Zone, where the luxury Cancun all-inclusive hotels are. There is also a town where local people live (including me).
There is nothing appealing about Downtown Cancun , to be honest, however, there are a couple of interesting places that you might want to check out and mingle with locals.
Mercado 28 is a little touristy now, but you can find some Mexican souvenirs.
Where locals go grocery shopping, an interesting place to browse around. Watch your purse, though.
That’s a nice promenade along the Nichupte Lagoon on the downtown side. Locals use to go there early morning and in the evening to exercise. It’s beautiful at sunrise and full moon.
Plaza las Americas
Plaza Las Americas is a mall where locals go shopping, to movies, and to coffee. It’s located right in front of the Malecon at walking distance from each other.
Parque las Palapas
One of the few walkable plazas where you can see local life going by with families with kids hanging out and a few restaurants in the surroundings.
One of the newly refurbished areas where locals hang out at night, with lots of new lovely restaurants of all tastes and pockets
Puerto Cancun is the new high-end mall where you can enjoy world-class stores and upscale restaurants beside a beautiful view of the harbor.
Plaza La Isla
Plaza La Isla has been there forever and it’s one of the largest open-air malls in Cancun. It’s located in the Hotel zone facing the lagoon.
It includes some of the most upscale restaurants in Cancun such as Elephanta and the Thai Restaurants. It’s also the best place where to watch the sunset over Cancun Skyline.
32. Explore Cancun beaches
One of the highlights of Cancun is the endless white sand beach washed by turquoise crystal water, one of the most amazing picture-worthy beaches in Mexico.
Although it’s actually one unique beach 18 km long, only interrupted at one point by km 8, by Crystal Palace hotel (former Hyatt), there are many different beaches each one with its own features and name as I write in my article on the best beaches in Cancun .
Although the entire coast is occupied by huge hotels, the beach is totally public and you can hang out anywhere you want as long as you are not using the hotel’s facilities.
There are a few spots along the Zona Hotelera road where you have access to the beach. My favorites are Playa Caracol and Playa Delfines.
33. Check out the Mayan ruins in Cancun
Get a glimpse of the Mayan culture by visiting the brand-new archeology museum and the tiny archaeological sites in Cancun, El Rey , and El Meco .
Of course, they are not Chichen-Itza, but still, they will give you an idea of the Mayan civilization and its history. It’s all located a few miles from your hotel in Cancun.
It’s not exactly a free thing to do in Cancun because you have to pay a small entry fee but you don’t need to join a tour to see them.
THINGS TO DO IN CANCUN
Things to do in cancun at night.
Cancun is one of the top Mexican destinations for its vibrant nightlife, which is what makes it one of the prime spots for spring breakers and party lovers.
However, there are many things to do in Cancun at night that go beyond the clubs and loud music. Here I will share the top activities and events that you can participate in from Cancun in the evening and night.
34. Assist the Cirque du Soleil show
The show draws on the heritage and history of Mexico to weave the story, presented in an intimate dinner theatre in the jungle of the Riviera Maya.
Here is where you can purchase your tickets but mind that the transportation is not included, so you may want to check with the reception of your hotel to book a return taxi for you.
►Book your Cirque du Soleil tickets here
35. Enjoy the shows at Coco Bongo
The Coco Bongo has become a landmark in Cancun for night entertainment and one of the most popular things to do in Cancun for adults.
Even if you are not into partying and loud music like me, you will still appreciate the spectacular shows from local artists who will perform during the night mimicking the most popular singers, such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Queen, and many more.
You won’t be late if you don’t want to, as the show usually wraps up around midnight to one am.
► Book your VIP entrance at Coco Bongo here
36. Enjoy the night show at Xcaret
The popular theme park of Xcaret includes an entertaining and captivating night show at sunset with Pre-Hispanic Dances, and a Horse Exhibition, where history and folklore are represented by more than 300 artists on the stage of the Gran Tlachco.
This ticket includes day and night access to X-Caret for a full day of entertainment. So make sure you bring the necessary change of clothes
► Book your Xcaret Night show tickets here
37. Captain Hook: Pirate Show and Dinner Cruise in Cancun
This is a fun night boat trip for party lovers. You will enjoy a gourmet dinner and an evening of pirate tales, dancing, and entertainment, then see a live-action battle at sea.
This 3-hour dinner cruise includes access to an open bar, with air-conditioned indoor seating as well as an open-air dance floor and deck.
► Book your Captain Hook Pirate Show and Dinner Cruise tickets here
38. Amazing Romantic Dinner on a Galeon around the lagoon in Cancun with sax music
If you are not into parties, but you prefer a more intimate night out but original, why not book a romantic dinner cruise in an old galleon.
You will glide across the Nichupte Lagoon on a Spanish-style galleon accompanied by the timeless rhythms of live sax as you enjoy your choice of beef, vegetarian, lobster, or surf ‘n’ turf while the sun is setting.
You can choose between deluxe and simple dinner options to suit your budget and transportation from your hotel, which is optional.
► Book your romantic dinner on a Galeon here
39. Cancun Authentic Taco tour
If you want to enjoy authentic Mexican food, you will enjoy this taco tour organized by Cancun food tour. I did it and despite I am a local in Cancun, I enjoyed trying different restaurants that I have never heard of.
Make sure you go on an empty stomach because you will eat a lot. Also, you will make a couple of stops at the Mercado 23 and the beautiful murals of Cancun.
► Book your taco tour in Cancun on VIATOR
40. City Tour, Tacos, Tequila, Beer & Shopping
We must include in the things to do in Cancun another culinary tour. We are in Mexico after all, one of the most beloved cuisines in the world.
With this tour, you will visit some of the best food spots in Cancun. You will be eating some of the top Mexican food including tacos, quesadillas, and desserts at five different stops
You will also learn about Mexican food and drink culture from your guide.
To ensure the best experience, the maximum number of travelers is capped at 10.
As an option, you can stop by a shopping mall where you can buy tequila, mezcal, crafts, and much more.
► Book your with City Tour, Tacos, Tequila, Beer and shopping on VIATOR
Things to do in Cancun Hotel Zone
Some of the things to do in Cancun I mentioned above are located in the Hotel Zone. Here below I will list them again for your convenience plus new awesome things to do
41. Check out some of the beautiful white sand beaches of Cancun.
Among all the amazing Cancun beaches, my favorite ones are Playa Chac Mool and Playa Kukulkan.
Although it seems that Cancun beaches have only access through the Cancun luxury beach hotels, you can find some beach access along the Avenida Kukulcan .
Read my post on the Cancun beaches ( linked above) to learn how to access the top Cancun beaches.
42. Walk around Plaza La Isla
Plaza La Isla is one of the best places for shopping in Cancun but also for a good stroll in the evening to watch the sunset on the Nichupte Lagoon while having a delicious meal in one of the upscale Cancun Restaurants .
43. Go snorkeling by the hotel Club Med
At the very end of Cancun Beach at about km21 it’s where the beach is interrupted and turns into a 90-degree angle towards Cancun airport.
That’s where Club Med is. You can’t get into the hotel if you are not a guest. But if you walk down Playa Delfines and walk along the beach you can get there and snorkel from the shore.
If you don’t feel link joining one of the snorkeling tours, this is a great option to do it on your own.
44. Spend a day in one of the Cancun Beach Clubs
Some of the spectacular all-inclusive hotels in Cancun offer a day pass for you to enjoy their installation and restaurants.
In fact, there are not many beach clubs in Cancun, so the best way to enjoy some comfortable beach facilities is by getting a day pass in one of the Cancun resorts on the beach.
It’s worth the splurge for sure.
45. Visit the Mayan Museum and archeological site nearby
If you want to learn some Mayan history, this new museum will be a great way to spend a couple of hours in Cancun, especially if it rains or, if outside it’s too hot.
Nearby there are some cute ancient Mayan ruins as well that you can check out.
What should I avoid in Cancun?
🚫 don’t stay in your hotel the entire vacation.
One of the things you should avoid in Cancun is being scared to get out of your hotel. Especially if you are staying in one of the spectacular all-inclusive hotels in the hotel zone you may be tempted to stay in and get yourself pampered. Who can blame you?
But I assure you that if you go out and check out some of the places I have mentioned here above in this post you will be ecstatic.
Cancun is surrounded by incredible historical sites and natural wonders that are worth checking out
However, there are a few things you should avoid in order to stay safe and have a smooth vacation, which I will talk about in the next section.
I read in a popular magazine that renting a car should be among the things that you should not do in Cancun. I think their writer has never been here or if he/she has, she had a bad experience.
Renting a car is one of the best ways to enjoy Cancun and the Yucatan Peninsula and in my opinion the safest way.
🚫 Don’t go to the theme parks
Another thing the Fodors writers suggest you should do is visiting those parks, but those are not the real Mexico. I am sure they get commissions for promoting them. I do too, but still, I believe there are more authentic and natural places that you will enjoy more
🚫 Don’t swim when the red flag is out
This should be for the next section but I include it here among the thing you should not do in Cancun.
Although the incredible turquoise water is inviting, there are rip tides in that will pull you out and won’t let you back in.
It’s dangerous. So follow the beach guards’ instructions. They know better!
🚫 Don’t eat in your hotel all the time
Although you have booked and paid for an all-inclusive hotel, Cancun is full of amazing restaurants that you should experience.
🚫 Don’t let the timeshare guys convince you of their deal
It’s never for your advantage but a mouse trap! You don’t need a timeshare when you can travel the world with no ties, right? Also getting out of it once you are in, is a nightmare.
Is Cancun Safe?
Cancun is a relatively safe destination and although some episodes of crime came out in the news, we can say that for tourists it’s safe to travel. There are a few things that you should be mindful of, though, and I will list them here below.
✔ Don’t drink tap water –
It’s not safe to drink water in Cancun or in Mexico in general and that is why in your hotel room you will always find a bottle or two for your use.
✔ Don’t leave your bag unattended
Make sure you keep your belongings close to you and never out of sight. Petty theft is very common and they are magicians when it comes to making things disappear in a blink of an eye.
✔ Use the safe of your hotel room
If your hotel room is equipped with a safe, you should use it to keep your documents and personal items if value. Make a copy of your docs to bring with you and if you are renting a car, of course you should bring your original driver’s license with you.
✔ Don’t leave your drink out of sight
The scam of adding drugs to drinks and then stealing your stuff is not only seen in the movies. It’s a real thing. So never leave your drink out of sight, especially if you are traveling alone.
✔ Bring your documents with you or a copy
if you can leave your documents in the safe of your hotel room, bring a copy with you otherwise bring your documents but put them in a place where they can be safe, like in a money belt or anything similar.
✔ Don’t flaunt your wealth. Leave your jewelry at home, you don’t need it here anyway.
You don’t need jewelry or fancy items in Cancun, even in a luxury hotel. However, if you like to dress up and use accessories, avoid using them when touring around. Keep them in the safe of your hotel and use them only there.
Read more about safety in Cancun on my dedicated post!
Book your transfer from Cancun Airport to your hotel!!
Cancun airport transportation is a reputable company that I would use if I didn’t have friends coming for me when I fly to Cancun.
Things to do in Cancun: Frequently Asked Questions
What is cancun popular for.
Cancun is mainly popular for its spectacular white sand stretch of beach, the magnificent highrise all-inclusive hotels, and all the many watersports you can do from here, from scuba diving, paddleboarding, snorkeling, boat tours, and much more.
What should I be careful of in Cancun?
Just be aware of your surroundings and walk on the beach or in dark places at night alone. Be careful of the water currents and don’t swim if there is a yellow or red flag. Read my post on safety in Cancun for more details.
Is 3 days enough time in Cancun?
Yes, 3 days is enough to check out the main Cancun attractions but if you stay longer, trust me, you won’t get bored. There are so many things to do in Cancun that you will always be entertained if you want.
Can you walk around Cancun safely?
Yes, you can walk around pretty safely in the most central part of Cancun, in the hotel zone especially but also central downtown during the day. However, I would be more careful during the night and stay in the most touristy and crowded areas only.
Do I need pesos in Cancun?
Yes, it’s much better to travel with pesos because if you use USD or Euro although they are accepted, the exchange rates would be really really bad for you. Make sure you exchange your currency in the local casa de Cambio or banks.
Can you drink the water in Cancun?
You can’t drink tap water in Cancun , although it’s not lethal, you don’t want to end up with any stomach bugs or diarrhea during a vacation. So don’t risk it.
Can you brush your teeth in Cancun and Mexico?
Yes, you can brush your teeth with tap water but since many hotels provide purified water bottles, you may want to use them to be on the safe side.
Things To Do In Cancun: Before you go
I hope this long list of experiences and tips has helped you decide what to do in Cancun and it didn’t overwhelm you.
Or maybe you decided to extend your time here so that you can do more activities. I am going to leave you with more articles on this spectacular destination. I hope they will be helpful. If you are traveling with your partner you may want to check out my dedicated post on things to do in Cancun for Couples .
- Cancun Itinerary
- Living in Cancun: Pros and Cons
- Cancun solo travel guide
- What Animals do you find in Cancun?
- The Best Cancun Packing List
About the Author
Hey there! This is Isabella, the owner, and writer of this site. I have been living in Cancun for the past 12 years and although I have been roaming around Mexico, Cancun’s spectacular turquoise waters and pristine beach draw me back to this popular Mexican beach destination. That is why I decided to start this blog, to show you all the beauty you can find in Cancun and share helpful travel tips to help you plan a fabulous vacation in Cancun!
Animals in cancun: discover mexico wildlife.
17 Best Things to Do in Cancun for Couples in 2023
6 Fun Things to Do in Nichupté Lagoon in 2023 + Tips from a Local
The Complete Guide to Contoy Island + 7 Best Tours from Cancun and Isla Mujeres 2023
Coco Bongo in Cancun: Everything You Need to Know in 2023
15 Best Places for Shopping in Cancun, Mexico in 2023
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Cancun Visitors Guide
How to get there, things to do & more.
Updated November 2023
Welcome to Cancun Mexico
Cancun is one of Mexico’s largest and most popular vacation spots. It attracts millions of visitors from all over the world each year. Cancun all inclusive resorts are the biggest draw, but the beaches, the water, and the nightlife make Cancun a top Caribbean destination. Are you looking to plan the perfect Cancun vacation? Our complete guide to Cancun has everything you need to know for your stay. From the best things to do and the top attractions, to travel tips and when to visit. So start planning your dream Cancun vacation with Island Life Mexico!
A Bit Of History
Like many towns in the Mexican Caribbean, Cancun was once a Mayan cultural center . This particular piece of land was essential for the Mayan fishing and maritime trades. After the Maya left the area and prior to the 1970s, Cancun was all but forgotten. Surviving with just 100 residents.
Fast forward to the 1970s, when the Mexican government deemed Cancun the best place to build the next Caribbean tourist destination!
The Mexican government actually had to finance the first few resorts themselves because it took a lot of convincing to get investors interested. Yet by the mid 1980s, Cancun had achieved its goal. It was the IT destination in Mexico.
Since 1989, Cancun has seen significant changes and growth. It has become Mexico’s liveliest city, drawing millions of visitors each year. The rise of all inclusive resorts has made it a popular choice for vacationers seeking convenient and comprehensive experiences. Cancun’s pristine beaches, known for their soft sand and warm blue waters, have become iconic symbols of this coastal paradise. The city offers a range of adventurous attractions, such as water sports and eco parks, adding to its appeal. With a bustling nightlife and a diverse culinary scene, Cancun offers something for everyone. It has truly become one of the most sought after destinations on the Caribbean.
Is Cancun Safe?
Cancun is widely considered a safe city, especially compared to other cities in Mexico.
While gang related crime has risen a bit in recent years, it typically happens well outside of tourist areas and doesn’t target tourists.
With tourism the heartbeat of the Cancun economy, locals and government officials do their best to keep the crime rate low and the city safe. As long as you don’t go looking for trouble, use common sense, and are generally aware of your surroundings, Cancun can be enjoyed greatly and safely.
Where is Cancun?
Cancun is located on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula by the Caribbean Sea. It is approximately an hour north of Playa Del Carmen and two hours north of Tulum . A flight from Houston or Miami is a quick two hours as well.
Adjacent to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (the second-longest coral reef system in the world), Cancun is in a perfect spot for turquoise Caribbean waters, white sand beaches, and world-class diving and snorkeling. This is DEFINITELY the island life!
The Best Time to Visit Cancun
Looking for the best time to go to Cancun? The tropical climate in Cancun is quite predictable, and easy to make plans around. Without much of a temperature difference throughout the year, (the average temperature lingers around 83° F) it’s the rainy season that most travelers pay attention to.
January – April
Perfectly warm and clear weather-wise, but sees the highest influx of tourists. If you are not a people person, consider this. The ocean, cenotes and swimming pools that aren’t heated can still be a little chilly for some.
May – October
The hottest and most rainy months of the year but still plenty of sunshine and fantastic warm water for snorkeling & diving. Also, the hurricane season peaks in September and October, so keep an eye on the forecasts and definitely get travel insurance just in case. Fewer tourists mean you can typically expect lower rates at hotels, resorts and tour companies during this time.
November – December
The autumn-winter months are considered by many to be the best times to visit Cancun. The hurricane season has passed by this time, and the humidity is low. It can be a little “cool” in the evenings.
When Is Cancun Hurricane Season?
Cancun hurricane season begins in late May and lasts until early November, with the peak occurring between August and October. The odds of a hurricane hitting Cancun are low (less than half a dozen hurricanes have hit the Yucatan in the past 40 years), but hurricanes traveling near Cancun can still cause inclement and severe weather. Be sure to check weather reports ahead of time, and we always suggest getting travel insurance during these months just in case.
How to Get to Cancun & Around
There are a few ways to get to Cancun and around the city.
Arrival By Air
Most people fly directly to Cancun as numerous international flights arrive in Cancun daily. Cancun International Airport (CUN) is located in Cancun City (Centro) and is around 13 miles from the Zona Hotelera. It is the largest airport in the region and greets more than 20 million visitors a year.
Search for great deals on flights here .
Airport Shuttles in Cancun
Private or Group Shuttles can be pre-arranged to pick you up at the airport and take you to your accommodation. Group shuttles may stop at numerous hotels before yours, so this method could take much longer than a private shuttle (while being a bit cheaper).
Shared shuttles are around $10 per person, while a private minivan shuttle can be booked for around $30-$40 per van. We recommend getting a private shuttle if you are in a group of 2 or more people.
You can easily book ground transportation from the airport to your hotel here .
Taxis in Cancun
Taxis are everywhere and will take you straight from the airport to your accommodation. The price is highly regulated so ask at the taxi stand for the price. Typically $40-$50 dollars to locations in Centro or the Hotel Zone. We recommend pre-arranging an airport shuttle instead (see above).
Taxis are a convenient way to get around Cancun for sure. Within the hotel zone or within Centro, prices are around $4-$7 dollars. Traveling between the Hotel Zone and Centro is $10-$15 one way. Your hotel can typically call a taxi to pick you up when you’re ready to depart your hotel.
Taxis between Cancun and Playa del Carmen or Tulum are an easy option but can be quite expensive. Be sure to discuss the prices in advance of taking the ride, so you don’t get overcharged.
Rental Cars in Cancun
Renting a car may be the most convenient choice depending on how much exploring you plan to do on your own. It is an easy and affordable option with rental cars costing as little as $15 a day. Be sure to check if your hotel has parking available.
The roads between Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum are very straightforward and safe. Having a rental car will give easy access to Cenotes and other sites outside of town. Watch out for Topes! (speed bumps).
Search for great deals on rental cars here .
Buses in Cancun
The most affordable and increasingly popular form of transport, buses go to most places you want to go, and some are even air-conditioned. Keep in mind that this is the slowest and least comfortable way to get around.
From the airport, there are frequent public buses available into the city. From Tulum and Playa del Carmen, buses are also widely available. Consult your hotel for pickup/dropoff locations.
Things to Do in Cancun
Cancun's top highlights.
There is so much to do in Cancun! From live shows to sailing cruises and more, it’s really easy to make each day in Cancun a special experience. Here are just some of the activities you can enjoy!
1. Have A Beach Day
The Hotel Zone beaches go on for miles and are sandy and fantastic. Most resorts have their own stretch of beach with loungers and day beds but feel free to walk down the beaches to find your favorite stretch of sand.
Playa Delfines is the most popular (and beautiful) public beach and is a great place to take a swim and lay out for a tan. The water can get a little choppy at times, so it’s not ideal for small children. Delfines is home to the famous colorful “Cancun” sign too for those looking for that classic Instagram shot. For better swimming, try Playa Chac Mool which is also in the Hotel Zone. Gentle, quiet and tranquilo.
For more Cancun beach info and great beach recommendations, be sure to check out our Cancun Best Beaches Guide .
*Note: Since 2008, Sargassum (seaweed) has regularly arrived on the Caribbean coast of Mexico (Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, etc.) from April to August. Many resorts and beaches remove the seaweed from the sand daily, but it can pile up by the water’s edge and be stinky in places where it’s not removed. For this reason, we suggest getting a hotel with a nice pool area for swimming or spending some time on the islands of Cozumel or Isla Mujeres which are largely protected from the seaweed.
2. Experience The Adventure Parks
About an hour south of Cancun are a cluster of world famous adventure parks that are unlike anything you’ve probably experienced before.
The most famous is Xcaret , with its meandering canals you can swim through, incredible beach coves, cultural shows, jungle hikes, and so much more. They are a little pricey, but the adventure parks are widely considered a must-do in the area.
Other very popular parks include Xplor with its caves, ziplines, rafting and ATVs, Xel-Ha with its waterslides, snorkeling, mangrove tubing and other water activities, Xplor Fuego a nighttime torchlight adventure, Xenotes cenote experience, Xoximilco floating fiesta and the oddly popular Xenses optical illusion park.
ISLAND LIFE TRAVEL TIP : GET TRAVEL INSURANCE
Travel Insurance is a must in our opinion. Standard health insurance likely doesn’t cover you while outside of the country so travel insurance will cover any emergency medical needs as well as trip cancellation, lost or stolen luggage (it happens), flight delays, missed connections and more. You can easily compare the top-rated travel insurance plans here .
3. Take A Day Trip To Chichen Itza
If you’ve never been to a Mayan ruin, why not start with one of the best! Chichen Itza is an epic collection of temples and monuments that are worth the trip to get there.
Around a two-hour drive from Cancun, many people combine the adventure with a swim at a cenote on the way back to cool off.
You can rent a car and do the drive yourself, but most people book either a private tour or take a group tour for simplicity. This also allows you to zonk out in the van on the way back! Note that group tours typically do not include the park entrance fee of $30 USD adult or $5 child.
This top rated group tour to Chichen Itza includes buffet lunch, a trip to Valladolid, and swimming in a cenote on the way back. Here’s a great private tour .
Don’t mind getting up early? Check out this awesome sunrise tour to Chichen Itza !
4. Visit A Cenote
Talk about healing properties. The cenote choices in the Cancun area are vast and diverse as there are literally dozens of incredible locations nearby. A cenote is typically formed when a cave has collapsed on itself and then fills with rainwater or natural underground spring water. You can swim, scuba dive, snorkel or just walk through one of these breathtaking and powerful forces of nature.
Explore cenote tours from Cancun here .
For more cenote info and great cenote recommendations, be sure to check out our Ultimate Cenote Guide .
5. Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving
Hire a tour company to jet you around the lagoons or go with a dive shop and see what lies beneath.
The Underwater Sculpture Museum at MUSA has become quite a popular attraction in recent years. Over 500 sculptures were built and installed in the shallow blue waters in an attempt to rebuild the reef system.
The Island of Cozumel , just a short ferry ride away, is known to be one of the best places in the world to dive and snorkel, so if you have the time, we recommend you try it! But there are plenty of other diving and snorkeling options as well! Get in the water and explore. A true treasure awaits.
This is one of the more popular snorkeling tours that visits several reefs and a shipwreck not to far from Cancun.
Check out a variety of scuba diving options for beginners and experienced divers.
6. Enjoy The Nightlife
You are in the Mexican Caribbean’s party center, after all! The northern part of Zona Hotelera is called Punta Cancun and is the nightlife party area with plenty of clubs and tourist bars. Some say the best club to dance and drink the night away is Coco Bongo but don’t let us sway your decision. There are many places to party on offer, mainly in the Zona Hotelera.
This VIP Admission package to Coco Bongo comes with skip-the-line VIP entry (the lines here can be crazy), excellent seats for the shows, 15 premium drinks and more.
This Gold Pass to Mandala Club Cancun includes admission and $50 of food and drinks.
7. Explore The Rio Secreto Nature Reserve
This wild little day trip isn’t what you usually think of when you think of Cancun, but don’t let that stop you from taking a break from the sunshine and trying out a new adventure!
Rio Secreto (The Secret River) is an underground cave/cenote system filled with stalactites, stalagmites and beautiful fresh water that you’ll spend the day wading and swimming through.
Small group tours include a guide, transport, lunch, wetsuits, hard hats, water shoes and more. This is widely considered an unforgettable experience.
This is definitely one of the most popular tours and has an option for hotel pick up for convenience.
8. Visit The Islands
Just off the coast of Cancun are the magical islands of Isla Mujeres and Isla Contoy . If you don’t have the time to spend a few days on the laid-back Isla Mujeres, be sure to take a day tour to visit.
There are a wide variety of catamaran and snorkeling tours available departing from Cancun. If you feel like getting a little more “wild,” include a stop at the Isla Contoy nature preserve.
Here are a number of excellent day tours to Isla Mujeres.
These are the top rated tours to Isla Contoy .
Where To Stay In Cancun
There are all types of wonderful accommodations in Cancun. From all-inclusive resorts to boutique hotels and more. Location and amenities are the two top things to look for. For information about the different neighborhoods and great hotel recommendations, check out our Cancun Hotel Guide and our Cancun All Inclusive Resorts Guide .
For hotel recommendations for every budget, check out our Cancun Hotel Guide
What To Eat In Cancun
Cancun is famous for its stunning beaches, pristine turquoise waters, and exciting nightlife. But on top of being an electrifying destination to visit, you can also find a wide range of wonderful bites to eat. If you’re looking for a culinary adventure in Cancun, check out our Cancun Restaurant Guide .
For great restaurant recommendations, check out our Cancun Restaurant Guide
What To Pack For Your Trip!
The Mexican Caribbean is an enchanting wonderland of relaxation and adventure, one can easily have the trip of a lifetime here. Packing for such a vacation shouldn’t be hard, so we’ve put together a list to help you pack and included some of our favorites as well. Check out our What To Pack For Your Mexico Vacation Guide .
Check out our Packing List For Beach Vacation!
Cancun, islands, tulum and more.
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This post has 12 comments.
This visitor guide is making us even more excited to visit Cancun. We can’t wait to take a day trip to Chichen Itza. Thanks for the guide.
The cenotes look amazing! This was so helpful, thank you!
Glad you like the guide!
Thanks for the excellent site. Great info.
The second photo from the top of this page… the caption reads “Cancun At Sunset”. This photo is actually of a sunrise. The Cancun shoreline faces East.
Hilarious! You are totally correct! The sun sets over the lagoon from that vantage near the Hotel Zone. I’ve made the correction. Thanks for catching my goof!
The Secret River had such a magical feel. We loved the vacation, but this had to be my favorite part! I’d definitely go there again.
Thanks for the helpful info!
Oh man, as a first time visitor to Cancun I was completely overwhelmed and your guide just saved my life! Seriously thank you so much for posting this. It has made my visit so much more relaxed. I am going to read the Cenotes one next!
We LOVE the lucha libre show idea. We will definitely look into that when we visit next month.
Muchas Gracias! What a wonderful website!
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30 Best & Fun Things To Do In Cancun (Mexico)
By: Author Jerric Chong
Posted on Published: September 4, 2019 - Last updated: October 17, 2023
Cancun, Mexico has a reputation for being a place for sunniness and endless partying, and it definitely lives up to those expectations.
A majorly popular spring break destination, Cancun gives visitors a chance to really let their hair down and have the time of their lives.
Even if you’re past the party scene, you can still have an awesome time here.
We’ve compiled an awesome list of the things to do in Cancun, Mexico just for you!
Table of Contents
1. Cancun Wax Museum
Radu Bercan / Shutterstock
If you’ve never been to a wax museum, it can be a little unsettling at first.
The figures can seem so lifelike that you might be doing a double-take to ensure they’re not really alive.
Cancun has a terrific wax museum, featuring all sorts of notable individuals, real or otherwise.
Exploring the Cancun Wax Museum is one of the best things to do in Cancun.
You can feel like you’re meeting The Beatles, Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln, Spider-Man and more.
You’ll have lots of fun posing for pictures with these figures.
The Cancun Wax Museum is a great experience to have while in Mexico.
It’s also quite amazing to think about the craft that’s gone into making these figures look so real.
This museum is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan, La Isla, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Patryk Kosmider / Shutterstock
With the Caribbean Sea as a backdrop, Cancun, Mexico will have you wanting to get into the water as soon as possible.
This feeling will be increased when you consider all of the great things there are to do in the water.
Snorkeling is definitely one of the top things to do in Cancun.
Some of the places you can go snorkeling include Akumal, Isla Contoy, and Isla Mujeres, which is near Cancun.
You can witness a great deal of biodiversity and be astonished by all of the beauty that is outside of the land.
Snorkeling can also be a very meditative act, as it lets you reflect on your surroundings without getting caught up in other matters.
If you’re a strong swimmer and want to really have an adventure, you should go snorkeling.
In Cancun, it’s one of the most thrilling experiences you can have.
Visions of the gorgeous blue waters should stay with you for the rest of your life.
3. Catamaran Trip
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Lots of fun around here means getting out on the water so that you can feel refreshed even when the Mexico sun is doing its best to deliver the heat.
A catamaran cruise is one of the most fun things to do in Cancun.
On these double-hulled vessels, you can have a great time relaxing and exploring the open Caribbean Sea.
To keep tourists like you satisfied, Cancun offers lots of catamaran tours.
You can book ones such as Catamaran Isla Mujeres Tour and Sightseeing, Snorkeling, and Dancing Catamaran Cruise from Cancun.
You can have a wonderful festive time with good food, drinks, and company.
There are even opportunities for snorkeling.
If you’re feeling extra-fancy, you can rent a private catamaran for a substantially larger price tag.
However, you can also really enjoy yourself meeting other tourists onboard the more affordable ones.
When you’re deciding what to do in Cancun, a catamaran trip is an easy answer.
4. Boulevard Kukulcan
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Should you have done any research regarding this area, you’ll know that Boulevard Kukulcan is incredibly popular.
As the home of the city’s also-famed “Hotel Zone,” Boulevard Kukulcan gives you a place to look around in absolute amazement.
You could spend an entire day in Boulevard Kukulcan and be ready to come back the next morning.
Visiting Boulevard Kukulcan is like going to your local mall, but amped up to an amazing degree.
You can treat yourself to whatever you feel you deserve at any of the numerous shops and restaurants.
As one of the most-famous Cancun attractions, Boulevard Kukulcan is frequently abuzz with tourists, but the energy and glee keep it from being a hassle.
One of the best activities in Cancun is coming to Boulevard Kukulcan.
You can really appreciate all of the life that goes into this area.
Planning a trip to Cancun has to include checking out Boulevard Kukulcan as much as possible.
5. Cancún Underwater Museum
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You’ve probably seen at least a handful of museums, but we’re guessing most of those were on land.
Cancun boasts MUSA , the “underwater museum.”
Here, you can see hundreds of incredible sculptures positioned in the water.
This museum, which is still being added to, has also been instrumental in helping coral reefs grow.
You can go snorkeling and get close to these figures.
Otherwise, you can see them through a glass-bottomed boat and learn more at the Visitor Center.
The experience of seeing these sculptures would be incredible enough on land.
Underwater, they take on a new sort of mystique.
One of the top memories of your trip to Cancun can be exploring the wonders of the underwater museum.
Address: Cerrada Las Golondrinas 24 Alfredo Bonfil, 77560 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
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Near Cancun is the striking city of Coba .
This was a Mayan settlement that seems to have reached an end around the mid-1500s.
However, it continues to be one of the most major tourist attractions around Cancun, and it’s a very cool way to see how past societies lived.
The Mayans that lived in Coba left us with lots of great sights.
This is one of the most compelling places to visit in Mexico thanks to things like the grand pyramids present here.
Looking around from this perspective is a way to really get yourself excited.
Although places like Coba are known as ruins, there’s nothing that makes them unworthy of visiting.
One of the best activities for couples is encountering these points of interest.
You may come to realize that those from centuries past were ordinary people just like you.
Address: Carretera Federal Tulum 307, 77793 Cobá, Q.R., Mexico
7. Downtown Cancun
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Cancun is definitely known for quality resorts and other tourist attractions, but you might start to itch to see a more authentic version of the city, one that is felt by those who actually call Cancun home.
Should this urge strike you, take a trip down to downtown Cancun.
Here, you can see what the people of Cancun are really all about.
Otherwise known as “Ciudad Cancun,” downtown Cancun lets you feel the down-the-earth truth of Cancun.
You can wander among pristine parks, get some delicious grub from the food carts, and check out the merchandise at Market 28.
Downtown Cancun is one of the best places to check out while in Mexico.
You can keep yourself busy with all of the great activities that are offered.
When you’re in downtown Cancun, you can put yourself in the shoes of an actual Cancun resident.
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You might have thought about ziplining but never been able to find a chance to do so.
In Cancun, you’ll definitely get the opportunity.
One of the most fun things to do in Cancun is to zipline at Selvatica .
A very popular option at this attraction is the Extreme Canopy tour.
As long as you’re good with heights, you’ll love the experience of going through 10 zipline courses.
Other activities here include an off-road circuit and a parachute drop.
You might get a little dirty, but you’ll be having too much fun to care.
Visiting Selvatica is what to do if you love thrills and want everyone to know.
As far as Cancun attractions go, it’s definitely one of the most special.
It’s open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Address: Ruta de los cenotes Km 18 Carretera, Quintana Roo Puerto Morelos – Leona Vicario, Sin Colonia, 77580 Puerto Morelos, Q.R., Mexico
9. Mayan Museum
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Cancun is on the Yucatan Penisula. Years ago, it was teeming with Mayans.
If you’re looking to delve further into the absolutely fascinating history of these people, you should come to the Mayan Museum.
Coming to the Mayan Museum is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Cancun.
You’ll be awestruck by exhibitions of things that have been recovered from archaeological digs.
You’ll also be able to enjoy the artistry of the sculptures on the museum’s first floor.
If you’re wondering what to do while in Cancun that will give your brain some benefits, you should come to the Mayan Museum.
Even if you’re not in the mood for learning, you can still get a lot out of coming.
This museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan km 16.5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
10. Delphinus Punta Cancun
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The intelligence of dolphins is as remarkable as the fact that they’re mammals who spend most of their time underwater.
You can really see just how phenomenal these creatures are by checking out Delphinus Punta Cancun .
Through this Cancun, Mexico experience, you can swim and frolic with the dolphins.
No matter who you’re with, Delphinus Punta Cancun has something to offer you.
It’s one of the most special things to do in Cancun for couples.
However, you’re also welcome to do in with your family, friends, or even by yourself.
Besides, you’re never truly alone when you have friends like dolphins around.
Delphinus Punta Cancun is one of the most unique aspects of Cancun.
This is definitely where to go if you want to feel a connection with some remarkable animals.
Anyone looking for unforgettable stuff to do has to come to Delphinus Punta Cancun.
Address: Calle Quintana Roo 9 Zona Hotelera Kukulkan, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
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Taking a dip in the pool takes on a whole new meaning when you visit the cenotes.
These are naturally-made pools made of limestone.
There are more than a thousand cenotes to check out in the Yucatan Peninsula, and they’re some of the best places to see in Mexico.
These wonders originate in caves, and they involve the underground rivers of the peninsula.
It’s beyond stunning how much natural power these things display.
It’s also quite a soothing experience to get into these waters.
With lots of cenotes to choose from, some of the best are Cenote Mojarras, Cenote Ik Kil, and Cenote La Noria.
You’ll never run out of excitement when it comes to seeing the cenotes.
These are definitely Cancun attractions you won’t want to miss.
12. Chichen Itza
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One of the most unique environments near Cancun is Chichen Itza .
Another previously-Mayan-rich area, Chichen Itza still preserves what made it such an active and beautiful city.
Coming here is one of the top things to do in Cancun if you have an interest in different periods and cultures.
There are many tourist attractions at Chichen Itza, but one of the greatest is El Castillo or “Temple of Kukulcan,” as Kukulcan was a Mayan snake god.
Other things you can check out here include the Great Ball Court and the observatory El Caracol.
Couples, families, and others can have an enriching day at Chichen Itza.
Chichen Itza has been listed among the “new seven wonders of the world,” and it has definitely deserved that honor.
It might not be new, but it shouldn’t be dismissed as “old.”
If anything, Chichen Itza should be considered “timeless.
13. Dolphin Discovery Isla Mujeres
Dolphin Discovery Isla Mujeres
There’s more than one way to swim with dolphins, especially when you’re around Cancun.
Dolphin Discovery Isla Mujeres is one of the most wonderful experiences near Cancun.
You can try all kinds of activities that teach you about how friendly and smart dolphins are.
Coming here can be one of the biggest treats of your Mexico trip.
You can spend time with dolphins that vary from swimming with them to actual riding on them.
This includes standing upon them as they move about.
You can be assured that the experts on staff make sure you and the dolphins are both safe and happy.
There are other animals you can have encounters with at Dolphin Discovery Isla Mujeres, such as manatees and sharks.
For unstoppable fun with beautiful species, come to this attraction.
It can be one of the top parts of coming to Mexico.
Address: Laguna Mar, Carr. Sac Bajo Lt 26, Paraíso, 77400 Q.R., Mexico
14. Temazcal Ceremonies
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The Mayan influence on this region and the rest of the Yucatan Peninsula can still be felt.
Not only are there ruins to explore, but you can also participate in a Temazcal ceremony.
These are must-do activities if you want to have a spiritual experience.
Going through a Temazcal experience can be like getting in touch with your most primal self.
You’ll be in a sweat lodge, wearing little more than underwear.
A shaman will conjure entities in the dark while using herbs and performing ritualistic dropping of water over heated rocks.
You can have some serious awakenings when you take part in Temazcal ceremonies.
You may even find yourself feeling all the closer to a higher power.
Do not attempt to feel any type of way.
These experiences are ones that are unique to every last person.
When you’re looking for places to go that let you really explore the depths of your awareness, Tezamacal ceremonies are lying in wait.
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The Mayans were some of the most talented city planners around.
One of the best examples of their ingenuity is the city of Tulum .
This isn’t just a physically impressive city.
It’s also a show of some absolute perseverance on the part of the Mayans.
Starting in the 1500s, the Spanish conquered much of the Mayan culture.
However, Tulum was able to endure for close to 70 years thanks to its defensive design.
This shows the Mayans were mindful of preserving their land and culture.
Tulum is one of the coolest sites to see near Cancun.
Places like this are what to see when looking for sightseeing that doesn’t rely on gimmicks, only pure splendor.
Places to visit such as Tulum are so important based on how they help to keep past civilizations alive.
16. El Meco Archaeological Site
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Another great site for exploring Mayan ruins, the El Meco Archaeological Site is one of the best parts of Mexico.
Although it’s not one of the most popular ruins, you’ll hopefully find lots to enjoy about your visit.
A travel hack for anyone interested in ruins is to check out this site.
Archaeological evidence suggests that El Meco was occupied only up to the seventh century.
Although there are more questions than answers, some mysteries don’t have to be answered.
Plus, it’s a lot more fun to envision what it could’ve been like here, centuries ago.
El Meco Archaeological Site is one of the best places to visit when you’re in Mexico.
It’s wonderful for the insight it gives us about past civilizations.
There’s also the beauty of the jungle surroundings and wildlife such as iguanas.
Address: Carretera Puerto Juarez, López Portillo, 77520 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
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If you’re wondering about “Fantastic Beaches and Where to Find Them,” you need to be in Cancun.
Some of the best beaches in Mexico can be found around Cancun.
You can be near or even swim in some of the most breathtaking water you’ve encountered.
The juxtaposition of the sand’s soft color against the brilliant blue of the water practically looks like it was made to be photographed, or even painted.
There are lots of beaches to check out, but some of the best in Cancun, Mexico include Playa Forum and Playa Tortugas.
The beach is one of the top vacation destinations, and the ones you visit in Cancun could easily be included in a personal top 10.
These are points of interest that appeal to anyone who loves rest and recreation.
Cancun beaches are some of the best ways to experience beauty in Mexico.
18. Stand-up Paddleboarding
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You might be coming to Cancun, Mexico to relax, but we encourage you to take a stand.
By that, we mean you should take part in stand-up paddleboarding.
Once you get the hang of this activity, it will be hard to pull you away from it.
Stand-up paddleboarding is especially fun for couples, just as long as you can laugh at each other and yourselves if you fall over.
Equilibrium isn’t that big of a deal once you’ve figured out what you want to do.
You can also get lessons to increase your confidence.
Cancun, Mexico is one of the best vacation spots in the world because of how many moments of unbridled fun are present.
Stand-up paddleboarding is one of the top means of recreation no matter where you do it.
However, Cancun is definitely one of the best settings for it.
19. El Rey Archaeological Zone
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The importance of archaeologists shouldn’t be taken for granted, especially not when they’ve acted as such great gateways to the past.
The number of recovered Mayan premises at the El Rey Archaeological Zone is near four dozen.
Although this is part of the Hotel Zone in Cancun, this is absolutely a journey into a time before Cancun was best-known as a tourist haven.
It may interest you to know that this was an area of heavy commerce. It’s also full of architectural strength.
One of the most amazing sites at the El Rey Archaeological Zone is the remains of the pyramidical temple.
The El Rey Archaeological Zone is one of the top places to visit in Cancun.
You can see another unique part of the unique Mayan culture.
It’s another demonstration of how much resolve the Mayans possessed.
Address: Hotel Zone, 77500 Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico
20. Cancun Scenic Tower
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There are no riddles involved in figuring out what a visit to the “ Cancun Scenic Tower ” involves.
This is a must-see opportunity, as you’ll be able to view Cancun in a whole new way.
Although this experience might seem like it’s over before you know it, the memories certainly won’t be.
From more than 250 feet in the air, you’ll be able to look all around the Hotel Zone and other parts of the city.
It gradually rotates 360 degrees, allowing you to see just how gorgeous different aspects of Cancun and the things near it are.
Cancun Scenic Tower is such a great attraction as it shows all kinds of lovely things to witness.
It’s open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 4.5, Kukulcan Boulevard, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
21. Garrafon Natural Reef Park
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Another great part of Isla Mujera is Garrafon Natural Reef Park .
If you’re coming to Cancun, you should definitely schedule a trip to this sight.
It’s just as fun to play in it as it is to look at it.
Garrafon Natural Reef Park is amazing enough when you’re on land, particularly with its domineering cliffs and picturesque water.
However, when you get down to the reef, you’ll see why it’s considered a must-see.
You should definitely think about having a snorkeling excursion here.
Other activities you can do at Garrafon Natural Reef Park including ziplining and kayaking.
When you come here, you can see how much entertainment can be sourced from things in nature.
Garrafon Natural Reef Park is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Address: Kilómetro 6 Carretera Garrafón Lt 9, 77400 Q.R., Mexico
22. Coco Bongo
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There are all kinds of things to do in Cancun at night.
If you want to enjoy the vibrancy of the Cancun, Mexico nightlife, you should come to Coco Bongo .
Here, you’ll bear witness to some of the most incredible entertainment, be it in Mexico or anywhere else.
Coco Bongo is known as being a “non-stop party,” and that description is more than apt.
With several locations around the country, it’s made a name for itself in Mexico.
When you’re at Coco Bongo, you can see things like music, acrobatics, and people dancing like absolutely no one is watching.
To make your time at Coco Bongo feel extra-unforgettable, you should get a VIP table.
This lets you have a greater sense of comfort while still enjoying all the festivities of Coco Bongo.
This venue is open daily from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
A night spent at Coco Bongo is one that compacts just about every shade of fun into one evening.
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan Km 9.5 #30, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
23. Cancun Interactive Aquarium
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Bonds between humans and underwater creatures might not come as easily as the ones with land animals, but they can still happen.
Cancun Interactive Aquarium is one of the best attractions in Cancun, Mexico for seeing these creatures are really like.
It lets you be more near marine life than you might’ve ever imagined.
Some of the animals you’ll see and learn about aren’t strictly water species, such as sea lions.
The staff does an excellent job of teaching about how these animals live and play.
If you’ve missed your chance to go swimming with the dolphins, you can do so here.
Plus, you might’ve had your feet massaged, but has it ever been done by a plethora of fish?
Cancun Interactive Aquarium is one of the best experiences you can have.
This aquarium is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission varies based on what you plan to do.
Although American dollars are accepted here and other places, one of the smartest international travel tips to follow is to get some money converted to the local currency (in this case, pesos).
This is so you’re not caught up in an awkward situation where you don’t have the correct amount.
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan 12.5, La Isla, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Here’s something that would be worth a bundle if you played it in Scrabble and can also be an extremely fun time in Mexico.
Xoximilco is this city at its most colorful.
It’s time spent on the water that will practically keep a smile glued to your face for the rest of the trip.
A Xoximilco is hosted on a gondola.
You’ll have a magnificent time checking out the canals and hanging out with your fellow partygoers.
You can also feel more immersed in the culture, as this is among Cancun’s proudest traditions.
Experiencing a Xoximilco is like having a night out on the town, except you’re out on the water.
You’ll be near so many others who are looking to really have fun.
Xoximilco is even more fun to experience than it is to say.
Address: Carretera Federal 307 Cancún-Puerto Morelos, Mza. 01 Lote 1-02, 77580 Puerto Morelos, Q.R., Mexico
25. Jetpack Adventures
The activities offered by Jetpack Adventures might have previously only seemed plausible of James Bond.
However, this company can make your craziest water fantasies come true.
By the time you try these things, riding a jetski will look quaint by comparison.
Should you not fear to be aerial, you can use things like the water jetpacks and flyboards to feel like you’re not just stuck with things like walking and swimming.
You can also have a blast riding the Seabreacher, which lets you see what it could be like to be a sea creature coming up for air.
Jetpack Adventures is for the daredevil inside you, waiting to be released.
Coming to a place like Cancun, Mexico is great for trying new things.
At Jetpack Adventures, you can try things that are both new and wonderfully exciting.
Address: La Isla Shopping Mall, Blvd. Kukulcan Km 12.5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
26. Cancun Sign
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One of the best free things to do in Cancun is to get a picture posing at the city’s famous sign.
The only possible expense might be finding transportation.
Once you’re there, this colorful attraction will be totally worth the commute.
The letters of this sign have sublime designs.
If you love looking at red, green, or yellow, you’ll definitely enjoy coming here.
The glow of the sun helps to make them stand out even more.
This is one of the best attractions in all of Mexico.
You won’t be thinking “it’s just a sign” when you actually see it.
If you’re eager to find free things to do in Cancun, you should definitely check out the sign.
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Cancun, Mexico is a place that’s great from the land, sea, and the air.
Parasailing lets you combine all of these into one thrilling activity.
Starting from the water, you’ll soar through the air and be able to see the beauty of the sea and land below.
There are different options for parasailing experiences, include ones with multiple people at a time.
The safety measures help you to know you’re secure.
The feeling of being up in the air and getting the point-of-view that you do is such a monumental thrill.
Parasailing is an activity that had to have been developed by people who refused to ever be told they were too ambitious.
Your time in Cancun, Mexico can be made all the more terrific by going on a parasailing adventure .
Address: Marina Adventure Bay No.2 Boulevard Kukulkan Km 6.5 Playa Tortugas, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
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If you were to bring up Mexico in a word association game, “tequila” might come up first.
This is such a popular drink in the region, and they know how to do it right.
While you’re in Cancun, you should scout out some of the best tequila you’ve ever had.
Don’t just view this a chance for you to get sloppy.
The story of tequila and its impact on the region, deserves to be learned with full clarity.
When you try Cancun’s tequila, you should really try to notice all of the complexities within each kind.
The tequila experience can also be enhanced by having it with dishes that bring out all of its robust flavors.
Additionally, a night out can be well-ended by having some celebratory shots of tequila.
You can come back from your trip with more tequila knowledge than you thought you’d ever know.
29. Plaza La Isla Cancun
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You should touch down here if you’re looking for free things to do.
This is Cancun’s largest shopping complex.
As part of the Boulevard Kukulkan, it’s already got a strong reputation to live up to.
More than 150 shops can be explored here.
This is also where the interactive aquarium is located.
Additionally, there are free things that happen here, such as live music.
You can spend little to no money visiting this plaza and still come away happy.
A whole list could be filled with things to do and see here.
Don’t ever feel like you have to spend money to have a good time on vacation.
When you’re at this plaza, you’ll find the value that comes from just enjoying your surroundings.
30. Planetario De Cancun KaYok
Planetario de Cancún
Even when in a city as gorgeous as this, it’s still possible to wonder about what lies beyond our realm.
While there has been some space exploration, we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.
When you come to the Planetario De Cancun KaYok, you can have an illuminating experience.
You’ll be able to see just how vast and astonishing our solar system is, to say nothing of the ones that we are yet unaware of.
You can even take a good look at our celestial surroundings by using an observatory telescope.
Going to this planetarium is an out-of-this-world treat.
It’s also a very involving experience if you have children who are at all interested in space exploration or other aspects of science.
It’s open from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Address: Av. Palenque s/n, M05, Lt 1, 21, 77505 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Start Planning Your Trip To Cancun
Cancun, Mexico is a city that will have you saying “wow.”
Even if you think you know what you’re in for or have been to other places in Mexico, you’re still likely to be bowled over by the energy of the environment.
However, when you get a good grasp of this setting, you’ll find that it’ll embrace anyone willing to embrace it.
Free things to do here can be just as fun as the most costly options.
Even stepping outside and feeling the warmth of the sun can make you realize that you’ve made the right decision to journey out here.
Your experience in Cancun can be heightened based on who you come with.
There are likely to be all kinds of great memories formed here, and who better to share them with than your best friends?
You might consider coming here with friends for spring break.
If you’re getting ready to exchange vows, this is definitely a desirable honeymoon spot.
You might also try coming during the winter months, so you have some sun to look forward to.
You also will be able to experience warmth without it being as intense as it is during the summer.
Regardless of when you come to Cancun, it can be an endlessly fun experience.
Both the tourists and the locals know how to work together for the greatest possible results.
When your trip is over, you’ll have photos and stories to share.
Most importantly, you’ll have memories that you’re going to carry with you wherever you go.
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Home » North America » Cancun
24 Things to Do in Cancun – Activities, Itineraries & Day Trips
Cancun is kind of like Mexico-lite or Mexico for the masses. It’s famous as a party destination with nightclubs, plenty of bars, and the vibrant Hotel Zone. Cancun is a popular destination where people come to let their hair down.
There’s a lot more to Cancun than just nightlife, however. Being located close to coral reefs, jungles, and ancient Maya ruins, there are actually tons of things to do in Cancun.
There are also plenty of off the beaten track things to do in Cancun that are relatively free of tourists, with only the more intrepid visitors checking them out.
That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a list of the more unusual things to do in this fun city, so you won’t miss out on any of the unmissable activities on offer in Cancun!
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Top Things to Do in Cancun
Where to stay in cancun, some additional tips for visiting cancun, faq on things to do in cancun, final thoughts.
Backpacking Mexico isn’t complete without a stopover in Cancun. If you’re short for time, check out the table below for our top picks of the unmissable things to do in Cancún!
Swim in the Stunning Cenotes
Take a dip in the natural pools for an unforgettable Cancun travel experience!
Visit a Real Life Shaman
Take part in a purifying shamanic ceremony in a real temazcal.
Explore the Jungle in the Dead of Night
Zip-line and ATV your way through the jungle as it comes to life.
Discover the Paradise Beaches in Holbox
Trip over to the car-free, laid-back island of Holbox for a romantic retreat from the city.
Explore Cancun’s Mayan Ruins
Discover the ancient history of the Yucatan Peninsula.
If you do have more time, we recommend coming up with a rough itinerary for Cancún before you start your travels so you don’t miss out on anything!
1. Swim in the Stunning Cenotes
A trip to Cancun isn’t complete without a trip to the cenotes. These are natural pools created by sinkholes, and swimming here is a pretty unforgettable experience.
We recommend going slightly earlier on in the day: you won’t have to share the water with dozens of other people, and it’s a great time for some atmospheric shots . The dramatic sinkholes surrounded by lush jungles around gives them a very Lost World feeling.
With a Cancun City Pass , you can experience the best of Cancun at the CHEAPEST prices. Discounts, attractions, tickets, and even public transport are all standards in any good city pass – be sure invest now and save them $$$ when you arrive!
2. Find out all about the Day of the Dead
You probably know about the Day of the Dead (or Día de los Muertos) already. However, you may not be aware of the very special Day of the Dead festivities at Coba, an archaeological site just a stone’s throw from Cancun.
The local Maya community here, known as Tres Reyes, puts on the Hanal Pixan (‘Food of the Soul’) ceremony here. This involves candle-lighting, offerings of food to ancestors to continue their bond with the living, and picnics of traditional food of the region. Witnessing this genuine ceremony is one of the more unique things to do in Cancun.
3. Feel at Home in a Tropical Paradise
This eco apartment in downtown Cancun will give you an authentic homestay experience, and sits just 15 minutes away from the Hotel Zone. There are 2 single bedrooms, a pool, air-con and everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay.
There’s more to this Airbnb than just great accommodation, though – the hosts are certified diving instructors and are more than happy to lend you a hand! They know everything there is to know about diving and sailing around the Caribbean, so you’ll be sure to gain some invaluable insider knowledge.
4. Find the City’s Street Art
In recent years the city has developed a healthy street art scene, with many doors and walls in Downtown Cancun being daubed with vibrant murals. Artists from all over the world have joined in, including Interesi Cazki from Ukraine, as well as Aaron Glasson (New Zealand) and Celeste Byers (USA).
This growing collection of street art reflects the vibrant culture of Cancun and have become landmarks in themselves. Discovering them on a stroll around town has got to be one of the coolest things to do in Cancun, so don’t forget your camera!
5. Visit a Real Life Shaman
For a truly unforgettable Cancun travel experience, take a trip to a temazcal (shaman’s hut) and you’ll have the opportunity to take part in a shamanic ceremony with a real-life shaman .
You’ll sit opposite the shaman as he burns aromatic herbs and copal (tree resin) to purify your thoughts and rid yourself of bad intentions. If you feel like you need a release and want to learn something about traditional Mexican culture, this is the place to come.
6. Visit the Amazing Pink Lakes of Las Coloradas
Las Colorada are pink lakes – yes, pink – and, together with the blue sky, make for some supreme Instagram fodder. They’re a couple hours out of Cancun, but are absolutely worth the trip if you can make it.
The red algae and brine shrimp living in the shallow, salty waters literally lend their own colour to the lakes, turning them a shade of strawberry milkshake, pastel pink. The lakes are protected as Part of the Rio Lagatos Biosphere Reserve, and so they should be. There’s also a family of flamingos living nearby.
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7. Discover a World Under the Waves
The underwater world is one of the best things about the Yucatan Peninsula. Being near some pristine coral reefs just offshore, it’s a prime spot for diving and snorkelling. It’s absolutely worth a trip, and if you’re not able to dive, take a glass-bottomed boat instead!
To make the marine world that much more weird and wonderful, the MUSA (Museo Subaquatico de Arte) have placed 500 statues and sculptures that help promote the growth of coral. It’s eerie, fascinating, and easily one the most unique things to do in Cancun.
- Entrance: $47-70
- Hours: 09:00-14:00
- Address: Cerrada Las Golondrinas Lote #24, Zona Hotelera, 77560 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
8. Learn about the History of the Yucatan Peninsula
It wouldn’t be a trip to Cancun without discovering the ancient history of the Yucatan Peninsula – that’s why they call this section the ‘Riviera Maya’. We recommend heading to El Meco: an archaeological site close to the city that’s often missed by visitors, making for one of the more off the beaten track things to do in Cancun.
The ruins were first inhabited sometime around the 3rd century AD, and then grew again around the 11th century. Chichen Itza is one of the more iconic and well-known ruins, and can be found in Yucatan.
- Entrance: $3
- Hours: currently closed
- Address: Carretera Puerto Juarez, López Portillo, 77520 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
9. Learn How to Cook Mexican Food
If you’re a foodie, then you’ll love learning how to cook a few Mexican classics. There are a whole host of different Mexican cooking classes in Cancun, which often include a trip to the market to source local ingredients beforehand.
Cancun Food Tours is just one school on offer, who’ll actually take you to one of Cancun’s top restaurants. Learn to use traditional utensils, insider tips & tricks on cooking Mexican food, and ultimately have a recipe or two to take back with you.
10. Enjoy a Mexican Booze Cruise
One of the top things to do in Cancun, of course, is to party. Cancun is classic Spring Break territory, but it doesn’t have to be Spring Break for you to get involved in the action. Enjoy the sun, sea and atmosphere on a classic boat party.
Climb onboard one of the boats leaving from Marina Kaybal and prepare yourself for mayhem. There’ll be chances to snorkel , so we recommend getting boozy after your dive to stay safe. There’ll be plenty of chances to have a drink after, and watching the sunset over the city from the water is pretty special, too.
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11. Indulge in Tacos and Local Beer
Mexico is known for creating some top class (adult) beverages, and beer is certainly one of them. What better way to wind down from a day of exploring than enjoying a plate of tacos with a cold one.
Gorging yourself on tacos is, obviously, part of the Mexican travel experience. You’ll find loads of taco joints, but some of the best are Tacos Rigo in Downtown, El Polilla (at the Market) and Taco y Tequila.
12. Dive Into the Beautiful Sian Ka’an Biosphere
Mexico is within reach of some of the best wild- and marine life around, so no trip to Cancun would be complete without some sort of nature experience! The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is just south of Cancun, and can be explored by boat.
One of the most noteworthy parts of the reserve is the Boca Paila Bridge – which is where the lagoon meets the Caribbean Sea. It’s here that you’ll be able to spot wild crocodiles, as well as dolphins, manatees, sea turtles and tropical birds.
13. Crawl around Cancun’s caves
Caving won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if it’s yours, then we would recommend the adventurous and thrilling visit to some recently discovered caves near Cancun.
Not only will you get to see a cool collection of stalactites and stalagmites, but there’s also a connection between these caves and the ancient Mayan people. The best way to experience caving is to not go by yourself, but to go with a guide from a company like Contoy Excursions.
14. Experience the Jungle on Horseback
If you love the outdoors and want to experience the jungle, why not do it on horseback! Head to Cancun Polo Club for the chance to ride through tropical jungles and over pristine private beaches.
It’s a chilled day out, so don’t worry if you haven’t done this sort of thing before. The guide will tailor the whole trip to your needs, whether you’re a beginner rider or horseback connoisseur.
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15. Tour the Jungle in the Dead of Night
If you want to experience the jungle with an added adrenaline factor, check out this ATV jungle tour . Not only will you see the jungle – you’ll also have the option to take a dip in a cenote, and participate in a temazcal session.
The tour itself is a 3.5 hour round-trip, giving you time to ride around the jungle, fly above the trees on 3 zip lines, and enjoy some traditional Mexican snacks. It’s a truly unique experience in Cancun.
16. Zipline over the Treetops
The Riveria Maya is pretty famous for a lot of things, especially the jungles. Enjoy a stunning view of the treetops from the zip lines in Xplor Park for a truly unique experience.
These are 7 lines and some long runs to enjoy. One of the lines actually passes through a waterfall, so bring clothes you don’t mind getting wet!
17. Go Bird Watching in the Jungle
Birdwatching may not sound thrilling where you’re from, but Riviera Maya birdwatching is something entirely different. The birds you’ll get to see here are colourful, exotic and rare – we’re talking truly unique and next level birdwatching.
Thousands of migratory birds make their way to the Yucatan Peninsula at different times of the year, making this a great thing to do in Cancun regardless of when you’re visiting. Glimpse tropical gnatcatchers, Yucatan jays, orange orioles, and cinnamon hummingbirds, to name just a few of around 90 species.
18. Discover the Paradise Beaches of Holbox
Nothing quite says “tropical vacation” like journeying to your very own paradise beach in Mexico . Make your way to Isla Holbox for a secluded and romantic getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Hotel Zone.
It’s a car-free island with a laid-back village and plenty of white sand beaches. Well away from the big hotels and loud music of Cancun, Holbox is a great thing to do in Cancun for couples. There aren’t even any paved streets, so you’ll get to beach hop driving around on golf carts instead of cars.
19. Stroll around Market 28
There’s nothing quite like strolling around a market. They’re an awesome way to experience a culture, so you should definitely hit up a local market in Cancun.
Market 28 is a flea market in Downtown Cancun, a must-see if you feel like grabbing a few unusual knick-knacks. If you don’t fancy spending your money or you’re traveling on a tight budget , just walking around the market makes for a great day out.
- Entrance: Free
- Hours: 08:00-19:00
- Address: Xel-ha Mz 13, 28, 77509 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
20. Hit up the Night Clubs
It’s time to party, but this time on dry land. There are a bunch of pretty famous places to drink and dance until the early hours in Cancun, so definitely hit them up while you’re there! Congo Bar is a good for a drink on the terrace and maybe a spot of beer pong, for starters.
Legendary Cancun drinking spot Señor Frogs is more full-on – the sort of place you can start busting out a few dance moves. Congo Bongo will be the place to finish up, and comes complete with acrobatic shows, live music and that sweet Mexican liquor.
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21. See a Cirque du Soleil Joya Show
This is actually the first-ever Cirque du Soleil to not be in the United States and, accordingly, has been given a Mexican makeover. Joya is the story of an alchemist and his granddaughter as they travel through a mangrove swamp, searching for the secrets of life.
Grab yourself a ticket; it may not cheap, but it is worth it for a special way to spend the night in Cancun. It’s suitable for people of all ages, and is truly spectacular to see.
- Entrance: varies by show
- Hours: 17:00-22:00 (Tuesday-Saturday)
- Address: Carretera Federal, Cancun – Chetumal Km 48, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
22. Party on a colourful barge
If you’re looking for something maybe just a little bit more sophisticated than club nights or booze cruises, look no further than having a Mexican fiesta on a traginera (sort of like a gondola). It’s one of the best things to do in Cancun at night, so get your hostel buddies together and book yourself onto one of these awesome boats.
You’ll get treated to mariachi bands, traditional Mexican food and a fair bit of drink, all whilst floating around on the mad, neon-lit tragineras along jungle canals. It’s a dinner party with a difference combined with a slice of Mexican heritage – what’s not to like?
23. Watch the sunset at Playa Delfines
Sitting on the undeveloped Playa Delfines and catching a sundowner is easily one of the best things to do in Cancun. It’s a great way to end the day (or start off the night).
It’s an easy bus ride from the city, making it convenient if you’re staying on the other side of town. There’s also a wooden lookout where you can get some great shots of the sun setting over the ocean. It’s pretty stunning.
- Hours: Open 24 hours
- Address: Punta Nizuc – Cancún 335, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
24. Get your adrenaline pumping on a flyboard
If you’ve ever wanted to fly through the air on a water-powered jetpack, here’s your chance.
Is this the future? Possibly. If you’re not so sure about it, heading to the Hotel Zone and watching others being propelled by jets of water can be pretty entertaining. You’ve got to be 12 years or older, which makes it a pretty fun thing to do in Cancun with older kids.
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Cancun.
Best Airbnb in Cancun: Studio in the Heart of Cancun
This Airbnb in Cancun has an incredible central location that’s close to everything, but peaceful enough for you to get a good nights sleep. It’s modern, beautifully decorated and has everything you need for a comfortable stay. The studio sleeps 2 guests, so it’s perfect for couples or solo travelers.
Best Hostel in Cancun: Selina Hotel Zone
If you want to hit the beach while you’re here or join the nearby parties, this Selina hostel is perfectly positioned. The property boasts a resort-style pool, yoga deck, a movie room, and an excellent restaurant and bar. This place is one of the best hostels in Cancun and a steal for the price.
Best Hotel in Cancun: Hotel La Joya Isla Mujeres
Hotel La Joya Isla Mujeres is our choice for the best hotel in Cancun. Just steps from the sea, this hotel has a private beach, outdoor pool, and a restaurant and bar. It’s charming and cosy and has just 11 rooms, so make sure to book well in advance.
If you need some other inspiration for places to stay in Cancun, check out our guide on vacation rentals in Mexico that has a good selection of options.
- Invest in travel insurance! You never know what may happen on the road.
- Learn to haggle. Cancun is a traveler hotspot, and many souvenir shops will take advantage of unassuming tourists. Never accept the first price offered to you and haggle your way down to avoid getting ripped off!
- Don’t use taxis. Taxis charge a lot in Cancun, so avoid using them if you can. Buses are a much cheaper alternative.
- Bring a good water bottle with you and avoid buying single-use plastic ones!
- Don’t get caught up in the Hotel Zone. Cancun’s Hotel Zone has everything you could possibly need, but make sure to trek beyond the area to make the most of your trip.
- That being said, avoid unfamiliar areas at night . While Cancun is relatively safe to visit, it’s best to steer away from non-tourist areas as these will have higher levels of crime.
- Find cheap flights . Every once in a while, a killer deal pops up.
Here are some quick answers to common questions about what to do and see in Cancun.
What is there to do in Cancun right now?
Airbnb Experiences is an awesome place to find a huge array of things to do in Cancun today. For more adventure, you can also check out GetYourGuide for unique experiences, without waiting.
Are there any good things for families to do in Cancun?
Absolutely! Here are our top family activities in Cancun: – Swim in the Stunning Cenotes – Scuba Dive in Cancun’s Underwater Museum – Visit the Mayan Ruins
What are good things for couples to do in Cancun?
We recommend taking a trip to Holbox. It is the ultimate romantic destination with its pristine, white-sand beaches and secluded location. Enjoy delicious food, take a bike ride and see nature up close and personal.
What things can I do at night in Cancun?
Besides Cancun’s legendary nightlife, check out these awesome nighttime activities: – Tour the Jungle in the Dead of Night – See a Show – Get a Group Together for a Traginera Fiesta
Don’t forget your travel insurance for Cancun
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World Nomads provides travel insurance for travelers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.
Cancun is known both as a party town and as a gateway to some admittedly stunning historical Maya sites. There’s so much to see and do in the area, so there’ll be something for you no matter your group size, budget, or interests.
No matter where you stay in Cancun , you’ll be sure to find authentic and adventurous activities at every turn. We hope this guide has given you some inspiration for the best things to do in Cancun!
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!
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Touropia Travel Experts
Tours & Top Tens
23 Best Things to do in Cancun, Mexico
Last updated on October 13, 2023 by Jamie Gambetta - Leave a Comment
On the Riviera Maya, Cancun has transcended your everyday beach vacation to become one of the most sought-after tourist destinations. This status could have overwhelmed lesser cities, but for Cancun, it was all part of the plan.
The impressive Hotel Zone was structured to combine luxury and great service. Here, everything is about making your experience more memorable. Have your choice of a range of all-inclusive resorts and waterfront hotels that provide you with a private beach experience. It’s a place to unwind and relax, but there are also several fun things to do in Cancun to keep you entertained for a while.
See also: Where to Stay in Cancun
If you itch for adventure, Cancun is also well placed along the peninsula to deliver a range of wonderful outdoor adventures and Mayan history.
In this post, we'll cover:
23. Parque de las Palapas
A few steps from the bustling Avenida Tulum, Parque de las Palapas is a paved park that provides plenty of local culture. The park is a common meeting point for Cancun residents who can explore the plaza, completing with a collection of handcraft vendors before dining on street food from churros to tacos and marquesitas.
Parque de las Palapas always has a charming atmosphere thanks to live music and regular performances that occur on the stage. Kids can explore the playground, ride the carousel, or even hire small electric cars and get about on four wheels.
From the park, you can wander the famous avenue to discover many Cancun landmarks.
22. Xoximilco Cancun
Another of the Yucatan’s quasi-theme parks, instead of focusing on nature, Xoximilco Cancun is all about food and culture. The attraction is a brief drive out of Cancun and drew plenty of inspiration from Mexico City’s Xochimilco.
The park features a series of canals that bring you to a variety of islands. The area was once home to a history city, and you can explore each section on a traditional boat called a trajinera.
As you journey along the canals, sounds of mariachi bands will run through the air. The boat will stop by vendors floating on the water selling authentic eats, tequila, and beer.
21. Playa Langosta
Between downtown and the Hotel Zone, Playa Langosta is a quintessential Cancun beach. The long stretch of snow-like sand flows into the light blue sea, where soft waves crash down on the shore.
In a protected section of Cancun, the calm water is perfect for floating and watching the sky above. The beach is also prime for families thanks to the pleasant conditions along with a playground plus restrooms, showers, and ample local restaurants.
As many travelers head to Playa Mujeres or stick closer to the Hotel Zone, Playa Langosta remains without hearty crowds. You can expect some room to spread out on a beach beloved by locals.
20. Swim with Dolphins
There are multiple places to swim with dolphins in Cancun. The Interactive Aquarium is one, but for the best experience, one needs to link up with Delphinus. There are a range of options to choose from, including those suited to couples, families and even a one-on-one swim.
Delphinus offers several locations, many of which are within or close to the Hotel Zone. A popular choice is in Playa Mujeres, where you can swim with dolphins in a sanctuary in the Caribbean Sea. It’s the only one of its kind on earth that also connects to a beach. Other options include a trip to Xel-Ha Park and Puerto Morelos.
19. La Isla Shopping Village
In the middle Hotel Zone, La Isla Shopping Village is on a man-made island. The island’s main purpose is this immense mall that houses local boutiques, national brands, and international clothing lines.
The mall is the biggest in Cancun, and if you want some retail therapy or simply need a break from the sun, this is the place to go. You could spend all day jumping between the stores, browsing, and buying whatever takes your fancy, but the impressive space also features a range of Mexican and international cuisine and souvenir stores to mix things up. While you’re here, check out the village’s Ferris wheel and the Interactive Aquarium.
18. Coco Bongo Cancun
In the northern Hotel Zone, also known as Punta Cancun, is the center of the coastal city’s nightlife scene. Here, the nights start young and run all the way into the early hours. The king of the Punta Cancun’s night scene is Coco Bongo Cancun.
Far beyond your typical nightclub, Coco Bongo is an insane, live performance hall. Part circus, part club, visitors can enjoy an enthralling night packed with acrobatics, live music, bubbles, and confetti. No night is the same. Spend your time dancing to the wild beats and picking your jaw up off the floor.
17. Interactive Aquarium
Within the La Isla Shopping Village, the Interactive Aquarium sheds the usual enclosures that stand between you and the wildlife. The popular family attraction lets you jump into the action and swim alongside some of your favorite sea creatures.
The complex boasts the Aquarium Trek. This experience allows you to don what looks like a space helmet and venture down into the water for 30 minutes. You’ll be surrounded by a range of fish and rays while also having the chance to feed them.
Other interactive experiences include the opportunity to swim with dolphins. Kids will love the Interactive Zone with a series of engaging exhibits that will teach them about the natural world.
16. Mercado 28
Travelers looking to experience 21st century life in Cancun should venture into the downtown district and explore Mercado 28. The most prominent market in town, Mercado 28, features over 600 vendors selling everything under the sun.
Buses run from the Hotel Zone to downtown with great regularity, costing as little as a dollar per trip. It’s the easiest way to arrive at the market where you can peruse a vast range of handcraft goods, textiles, and clothes. Visitors should be prepared to put their haggling hats on.
Away from the Hotel Zone, the market is the perfect place to embark on a culinary adventure. Enjoy local eats at a fraction of the price.
15. Isla Contoy
An uninhabited island north of Cancun, Isla Contoy, is an unspoiled paradise. Here, the sand has no footprints and the palm trees sway along a coast without a resort in sight. The secluded beaches provide the most pleasant of beach days.
The colors will be hard to forget, but it’s the wildlife of Isla Contoy that will best capture your imagination. The island is a prime nesting ground for four types of sea turtles. Beyond the sand is a lush forest that is a haven for birds. Isla Contoy is home to over 100 bird species who flutter about the canopy.
After exploring the island, chuck on your snorkeling gear and discover the treasures beneath the surface.
14. Xcaret Park
Along the Riviera Maya, there are another of eco theme parks that blur the line between nature and a water park. Xcaret Park is the big dog and comes with a huge expanse of water and jungle activities.
You’ll want to get your hands on a map before arriving. Planning out your day will help, as the number of options can be overwhelming. Floating along the park’s underground rivers is a must do activity. Here, you can drop off your gear, snorkel or relax as you head down. Somewhat magically, your belongings will be waiting for you at the end.
Afterwards, get exploring as you visit the bird sanctuary, the coral reef aquarium, and Monkey Island. Many of the attractions can be found along the Tropical Jungle Trail.
13. Snorkel with Whale Sharks
Weighing up to 20 tons and growing to lengths of up to 40 feet, whale sharks are some of the most impressive animals on our planet. The Yucatan Peninsula receives a significant number of migrating whale sharks each summer, and Cancun is the perfect spot to depart.
The species is officially on the endangered list, making the experience even more special. Tours depart regularly between June and September from Cancun along with Isla Mujeres.
Your tour will include snorkel gear with the group split up into “swimming shifts” that will limit the number of people in the water at any time. This creates a more personal experience for those swimming without intimidating the whale sharks.
12. Mayan Museum of Cancun
Comprising a significant collection of artifacts from many archaeological sites around Mexico, the Mayan Museum of Cancun is a door into the past. The museum is split into three major exhibition halls which combine to showcase over 400 captivating relics.
A major part of the museum is its repository from the famous Chichen Itza site. While nothing beats seeing the historic complex with your own eyes, the Mayan Museum offers guests further context to what was a storied era.
From the museum, you can join a walking trail that will guide you to the nearby San Miguelito Archaeological Site. The Mayan ruins are a great complement to the indoor experience.
11. Cenote Azul
Looking south past Playa Del Carmen is another must-see destination. Cenote Azul is a scenic 90-minute drive along the Yucatan Peninsula. The result of your efforts is a front-row seat to one of the top cenotes in the region.
A cenote is essentially an underground cavern or chamber. Its freshwater filters through the limestone rocks, providing for a picturesque swim where the light bounces around the cave and through the crystal-clear water. All these qualities and more can be found at Cenote Azul.
This cenote features a collapsed cave, providing a natural swimming pool. Boardwalks guide you along the water’s edge with the jade-blue water tempting you to dive in. There are a series of pools that help spread out the crowds, but you’ll want to arrive early before the midday rush.
10. Explore Downtown Cancun
If Avenida Kukulkan is the main drag through the prominent Hotel Zone, then Avenida Tulum is the heartbeat of Downtown Cancun. Away from the tourist hubs, travelers can enjoy a more locally focused look at Cancun. Forget all-inclusive resorts. Downtown is all about markets, monuments, food, and culture.
A trip along Avenida Tulum is the perfect way to see all the above. Put on some comfortable shoes and prep for a day of people watching, jumping between authentic restaurants and visiting important landmarks. The latter including a sculpture park called Fuente de Ceviche, the government buildings, and the Monumento a la Historia.
Along the way, stop for plenty of tacos before taking a rest at Parque Las Palapas.
9. Playa Marlin
The many beachfront resorts around Cancun offer their guests a private beach experience, but some of the best beaches in town remain public. One of them is Playa Marlin.
Just south of the El Rey Ruins, Playa Marlin is a serene stretch of golden sand. Guests can rock up and hire beach gear, including umbrellas and chairs, before finding their own private patch of sand. After taking some time to bathe under the warm Mexican sun, wander down to the turquoise Caribbean Sea and play in the inviting swell.
The beach is also home to restrooms and outdoor showers to freshen up before paying a visit to one of the several nearby restaurants.
8. Torre Escenica
Within Xcaret Park, Torre Escenica is a modern landmark that can be seen around Cancun. Standing at 360 feet tall, the thin tower offers visitors unbeatable views across the city and the beautiful coastline.
There are two ways to get to the top of the Scenic Tower. Those wanting to get their steps in can take their time wandering up the steep staircase. But to keep things easy, there is a glass-encased elevator. As it goes from the base to the summit, it rotates, providing 360-degree views that improve by the second.
Those staying along the northern end of the Hotel Zone will have a lovely view of the tower at night. After dark, it lights up, forming a vibrant flower.
7. Museo Subacuatico de Arte
Directly off the southern tip of Isla Mujeres, the Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA), is a different take on the classic art museum. Forget wandering a building and taking in the exhibits one by one. This museum takes the experience to another level by putting everything under water.
It began as a way to relieve pressure on the many beautiful reefs around Cancun. Today, it features over 500 pieces of art that can be seen from the comfort of a glass-bottom boat or on a scuba diving adventure.
Highlights include a submerged VW Beetle, haunting statues that rise out of the ground, the Time Bomb and the Last Supper. Coral continues to grow over the statues, bringing more and more marine life to the museum.
6. Playa Tortugas
Between Downtown Cancun and the heart of the Hotel Zone, Playa Tortugas is a popular beach backed by several sprawling resorts. The range of on-site amenities and calm water make it a great place for families with younger kids to enjoy a beach day.
The beaches in this part of Cancun are more sheltered than the windward eastern coast. This is because Isla Mujeres effectively forms a barrier, mitigating large swell and swirling winds. Swimming here is a delight and add in some shallow sections and you can see why it’s loved by locals and travelers alike.
From the beach you’ll be a short walk from waterfront restaurants for a midday feed or golden hour cocktails. Beachgoers will also have access to water sports, including SUPs and kayaks.
5. El Rey Ruins
For travelers staying in the Hotel Zone, the El Rey Ruins is one of the most accessible archaeological sites in Cancun. In the southern end, a few steps from Playa Delfines, the El Ruins date back to the middle of the 3rd century.
The impressive Mayan complex comprises over 45 buildings, including the remains of another stunning pyramid. The site was named after a mask that was excavated here. It’s believed that this artifact was dedicated to the sun god.
Aside from the pyramid, El Rey has several intriguing tombs from the 10th century. The site also has two major terraces. The first was part of a once thriving marketplace and the other was for ceremonies.
4. Explore Cancun’s Hotel Zone
Encompassing the heart of Cancun’s tourist district, the Hotel Zone provides travelers with everything they need on a silver platter. From Cancun International Airport, seemingly all roads lead here. There’s an abundance of hotels and all-inclusive resorts and there may not be an easier place to spend a vacation.
The zone is spread along the thin island, shaped like the number 7, just minutes from downtown. Avenida Kukulkan runs the length of the district connecting the south, middle, and north zones. While you’ll have no shortage of restaurants, bars, and beaches to enjoy, there’s plenty more to this part of town.
Guests can shop til they drop at La Isla Shopping Village, spend time at the Mayan Museum and play golf at Iberostar.
3. Isla Mujeres
Set eight miles off the mainland, Isla Mujeres is a quieter, yet arguably more beautiful sibling to Cancun. Travelers can take one of the regular 20-minute ferries that run from the downtown port to explore the island. But with a range of charming hotels and family-friendly resorts, it’s a breathtaking place to stay.
The island is short of four miles long and you can explore it all in a heartbeat on the back of a rented golf cart. Discover the protected western beaches, including Playa Norte that offer glass-like water and powdery white sand. Isla Mujeres is also home to the Garraton Natural Reef Park, which features some of the best snorkeling in the region.
Stick around to watch the sun fall over Downtown Cancun from one of the many laid back oceanfront bars.
2. Playa Delfines
In the southern end of the Hotel Zone, Playa Delfines is one of the most pristine beaches in town, but its tranquility is perhaps best defined by the lack of resorts compared to the streets around Punta Cancun.
The golden sand shore runs effortlessly along the coast. The effervescent sea remains shallow for some distance, making it a great place to sit and relax as the water comes in and out. For a break, head to the palapas for a waterfront cocktail.
Sun, sand, and the Caribbean Sea aren’t the only reasons to visit Playa Delfines. The beach is an Instagram hot spot thanks to its famous sign. Indulge your tourist side by taking a pick in front of the prismatic Cancun sign.
1. Chichen Itza
Around three hours west of Cancun, is a day trip not to be missed. Visiting Chichen Itza promises to be the highlight of your historical experiences in Cancun. Rise early to begin the road trip that guides you through the countryside to one of the most renowned archaeological sites on the American continent.
The oldest building in the exceptional complex dates back to the 5th century, with the site being a haven for archaeologists, as it represents three major eras in Mayan history. The highlight of the experience is gazing upon the jaw-dropping pyramid, the Temple of Kukulkan.
The towering structure stands at just shy of 100 feet. It has nine levels, each representing a distinct part of heaven. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has been remarkably well-preserved and will linger long in your memory.
Map of Things to do in Cancun, Mexico
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- Last Updated On
- August 18, 2023
33 Best Things to Do in Cancun, Mexico – Top Activities & Attractions
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Picture crystal-clear waters, shimmering sand beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a wealth of cultural treasures – that’s Cancun for you, a true Mexican paradise.
Perfect for families, couples, and adventurers alike, the city overflows with activities, promising an unforgettable vacation.
Explore the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum and El Rey, dive into the world’s second-largest barrier reef, or just relax on the white, sandy beaches.
At night, the city transforms, with bustling markets, world-class restaurants, and exciting clubs lighting up the streets.
And for those interested in Mexican history and culture, don’t miss the city’s fantastic museums.
The best things to do in Cancun span a wide array of interests, guaranteeing a delightful mix of relaxation, adventure, history, and culture.
Ready to discover Cancun’s charms?
Book your trip now, pack your bags, and start creating unforgettable memories in this gem of the Yucatán Peninsula.
Best Things To Do In Cancun Compared
Dive into Cancun’s captivating charm.
From ancient Mayan ruins and crystal-clear waters to vibrant nightlife, Cancun offers a thrilling blend of culture, adventure, and relaxation.
Speedboat Mangrove Jungle & Snorkel Tour
You’ll explore the stunning mangrove jungle, home to an incredible variety of wildlife.
- Family-Friendliness: 4/5
- Affordability: 3/5
- Accessibility: 4/5
- Fun Factor: 5/5
- Educational Value: 3/5
#2nd Best Choice
Skyrider Parasailing Experience
With Skyrider Parasailing Experience, you can soar high above the breathtaking Cancun coastline and suspend in the air while enjoying panoramic views that will take your breath away.
- Educational Value: 2.5/5
#3rd Best Choice
Sunset Kayak in the Mangroves
Sunset Kayak in the Mangroves is an immersive experience that brings you closer to nature while creating lifelong memories.
- Family-Friendliness: 5/5
- Affordability: 4/5
- Accessibility: 3.5/5
- Fun Factor: 4/5
- Educational Value: 4/5
Here are the top 33 things to do in Cancun.
1. Speedboat Mangrove Jungle & Snorkel Tour (Editor’s Choice)
Blvd. Kukulcan, Zona Hotelera Cancún, Q.R., Mexico 77500 +52 55 4166 3092 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
- Immersive mangrove experience: The Speedboat Mangrove Jungle & Snorkel Tour offers a unique opportunity to explore the intricate mangrove ecosystem up close, providing a truly immersive experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
- Thrilling snorkeling adventure: With crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life, the snorkeling portion of the tour promises an exhilarating and memorable adventure.
- Potential crowds: Due to the popularity of Aquaworld Cancún’s tours, the Speedboat Mangrove Jungle & Snorkel Tour may attract a significant number of participants, which could lead to crowded conditions and a less intimate experience.
- Limited educational content: While the tour provides some educational value by introducing participants to the mangrove ecosystem, it may lack in-depth educational content or expert guidance, potentially leaving curious learners seeking more detailed information.
Speedboat Mangrove Jungle & Snorkel Tour is an absolute blast.
Imagine cruising through the crystal-clear waters in your own speedboat, feeling the wind in your hair and the sun on your skin.
You’ll explore the stunning mangrove jungle, home to an incredible variety of wildlife.
And the snorkeling?
It’s like stepping into a whole new world underwater.
You’ll be surrounded by colorful coral reefs and tropical fish galore.
It’s an unforgettable experience that’ll leave you with amazing memories.
2. Skyrider Parasailing Experience
- Spectacular aerial views: Skyrider Parasailing Experience provides a unique opportunity to witness breathtaking panoramic views from high above, offering a mesmerizing perspective of the surrounding landscape.
- Adrenaline-pumping thrills: The exhilarating feeling of being suspended in the air, soaring through the sky, and feeling the rush of wind against your face creates an unforgettable adrenaline-filled experience.
- Weather dependency: Skyrider Parasailing Experience heavily relies on favorable weather conditions, and unforeseen changes can result in cancellations or rescheduling, potentially causing disappointment or inconvenience for participants.
- Limited duration: The duration of the actual parasailing experience is typically limited to a specific time frame, and some participants may feel that the thrilling adventure ends too soon, leaving them wanting more.
With Skyrider Parasailing Experience, you can soar high above the breathtaking Cancun coastline and suspend in the air while enjoying panoramic views that will take your breath away.
As you’re gently lifted into the sky by a powerful parasail, the rush of adrenaline mixed with awe-inspiring scenery creates an unforgettable experience.
Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or simply seeking a unique perspective, this activity guarantees an incredible and safe journey.
Feel the wind in your hair, and let your worries melt away as you embark on an unforgettable parasailing escapade.
3. Sunset Kayak in the Mangroves
Marina Scuba Cancun, Blvd. Kukulcan km 5, Kukulcan Boulevard, Zona Hotelera Cancún, Mexico 77500 +52 998 311 7667 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
- Immersive nature experience: Paddling through the serene mangrove forests as the sun sets creates a tranquil and picturesque setting, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of the natural environment.
- Memorable sunset views: The vibrant hues of the sky reflecting on the calm waters create a breathtaking sight that you won’t soon forget..
- Physical exertion: If you or anyone in your group isn’t accustomed to paddling for extended periods or has physical limitations, it may be challenging to enjoy the experience fully.
- Mosquitoes and Insects: It’s important to come prepared with insect repellent and appropriate clothing to protect yourself from bites.
Feel the gentle breeze as you paddle through the calm waters, surrounded by lush greenery and vibrant wildlife.
The captivating sunset paints the sky with a kaleidoscope of colors, reflecting its beauty on the mirror-like surface below.
There might be a few unwanted guests buzzing around—mosquitoes and other insects are part of the natural environment.
Make sure to come armed with bug repellent and suitable clothing to keep them at bay.
4. Explore Cancun’s Hotel Zone
Zona Hotelera Cancún, Mexico Open in Google Maps
Most fun things to do in Cancun are centered either around downtown — or Ciudad Cancun — or the Hotel Zone — which is essentially Cancun Island or Zona Hotelera.
The Hotel Zone is set across 15 miles of sand, which is in the shape of a seven.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Cancun , there are plenty of resorts, restaurants, catamarans, nightlife hotspots and spectacular beaches along this strip.
This means that there is a high chance that you could be staying in this region.
If that is the case, you will never be short of things to do.
5. Visit Downtown Cancun
Downtown Cancun Cancún, Mexico Open in Google Maps
The second main area in Cancun is downtown Cancun, which is also the main area in which the locals stay.
This makes it unique in terms of the kind of local culture that you get a sneak peek into if you visit downtown Cancun.
Across this region, there are many different shops, lush greek parks, tons of street food and Mexican wrestling to check out!
If you are looking to experience how the locals live, it is time to walk down to Avenida Tulum and grab some tacos for the street vendors.
6. Scuba Near Cancun
Boulevard Kukulcan km 8.5, Manzana 50, Lote 4, Zona Hotelera Cancún, Mexico 77500 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
Experience scuba diving without a costly certification course.
If you are looking for some Cancun activities to indulge in, scuba should be high on your list of must-do things.
The deep blue waters of the Caribbean make for the ideal background for your selfies but they can be even more fun when it comes to exploring the depths of the sea.
The Underwater Museum — popularly known as MUSA — is another attraction that should be on your list when you plunge into the waters for scuba.
Some tours are available for as low as $109 per person.
7. Visit Cancun’s Best Beaches
Cancún, Mexico Open in Google Maps
Cancun is synonymous with beaches and this makes it difficult to choose one beach to spend your entire vacation.
Instead, you can choose from among the more popular ones depending on your needs.
For example, if you want to spend time on a large beach that is a favorite among locals, check out Playa Delfines.
For a kid-friendly beach, Playa Tortugas is a good option, while the Chac Mool Beach works well for diving enthusiasts.
Finally, Playa Forum is one of the most popular tourist attractions for people who want to experience the vibrancy of the tropics.
Related: What Is Cancun Famous For?
8. Swim in Cenotes
Cenotes are natural pools that form in limestone caves, which figure quite high on a list of places to visit when you are in Cancun.
These natural pools are formed when the limestone surface of an area in Riviera Maya collapses to give you an opening to the Yucatan Peninsula’s underground river system.
While most of these are a short drive away from Cancun, you need to take some time out to go swimming or diving in these majestic water bodies.
9. Experience a Temazcal Ceremony
Carr. Cancún, Merida, C. Jacaranda 18, El Ramonal Cancún, Mexico 77540 (998) 147-5723 Visit Website Open in Google Maps
The customary Mayan ritual of Tezmacal is a ceremony that is aimed at purification.
Here, the person taking part in the ritual is taken to a small hut that is turned into a sauna with hot rocks and water.
A local shaman is in charge of this ceremony, where you are expected to either be in your underwear or swimsuit.
The ritual needs to be conducted in total darkness and leads to a purer mind, body and soul.
The chanting helps you enter a deep state of meditation.
10. Go Shopping at Mercado
Xel-ha Mz 13 Cancún, Mexico 77509 (998) 892-4303 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
If you are traveling to Cancun, Mexico on a budget but still want to go shopping, Mercado 28 or Market 28 is the place for you.
Unlike the other malls in Cancun that you may have seen, Mercado 28 is more like a large-scale flea market where hundreds of vendors get together to offer you everything from leather goods to traditional textiles and even wonderful little souvenirs to carry back home.
One thing that you must keep in mind is that you need to bargain to get the best price at Mercado.
11. Visit Las Coloradas
Las Coloradas Yucatan, Mexico 97723 Visit Website Open in Google Maps
If you want to experience the marvels of nature, a trip to Las Coloradas should be on the list of where to go in Cancun.
This is a small fishing village with pink lakes, which give it the name Las Coloradas.
While the actual reserve is spread across 150,000 acres that a range of animals call home, the pink lakes are a result of red plankton and shrimp that is found in the water, which forms a part of the local salt processing plant.
12. Zip Line in the Jungle
Ruta de Los Cenotes, Km 18 Carretera, Quintana Roo Puerto Morelos – Leona Vicario, Sin Colonia Puerto Morelos, Mexico 77580 (800) 733-4067 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
One of the best ways to get the perfect for sightseeing in Cancun is getting on a zip line.
A popular adventure activity in the area, there are multiple theme parks that offer zip lines that are going to leave you spellbound.
Selvatica may be the closest to where you are and offers many different zip lines to choose from.
Another popular option is the Xplor Park with its two separate zip lining circuits and multiple routes.
13. Chichén Itzá Maya Ruins
Yucatan, Mexico 97751 (999) 635-4597 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
If you ask anyone for their recommendations for what to see in Cancun, the unanimous answer is going to be the Chichén Itzá Mayan Ruins, a UNESCO world heritage site that is known for stunning ancient pyramids, some of which go as far back as the 5th century.
Out of all the buildings that you will find at these ruins, the Temple Of Kukulkan — standing at 98 feet — is probably the most well known and impressive.
While you will be required to travel a couple of hours out of Cancun for this, the site has been able to retain the beauty of this ancient civilization and is worth a visit.
Chetumal Km. 282, Juárez Puerto Morelos, Mexico 77580 (998) 883-3143 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
Do you want to experience an authentic celebration that gives you a look into how the Mexicans celebrate?
Try the Xoximilco theme park that has been designed to give visitors a first-hand experience of the huge celebration that originates in Mexico City.
Traditionally, this is celebrated with families renting out boats and spending time together on the water as live music plays in the background.
This theme park also functions along similar lines with a lot of live musicians, dancing and food from different parts of the country.
15. Cancun Scenic Tower
Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 4.5, Kukulcan Boulevard, Zona Hotelera Cancún, Mexico 77500 (998) 849-7777 Visit Website Open in Google Maps
Also referred to as Torre Escenica, the Cancun Scenic Tower is one of the best places in the city for views of Cancun and the coast that will leave you spellbound.
Visit on any given day between 9 am and 9 pm and you will be able to see the city in all its glory as the structure itself spins at a very slow speed.
The history of Cancun is recounted to visitors during this time.
Getting to the top from the base of the tower will take five minutes, after which you can spend some time breathing in the views.
16. Best Cancun Nightlife and Nightclubs
Blvd. Kukulcan 30, Punta Cancun, Zona Hotelera Cancún, Mexico 77500 (998) 126-9260 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
One of the main reasons why people visit Cancun during their time off is to explore the famed nightlife that the Mexican city has to offer.
Once you feel relaxed after a long day of doing nothing at the beach, you may want to explore the different nightclubs around Cancun.
Check out Coco Bongo for a carnival-like atmosphere in the club or catch some world-class DJs at The City Nightclub.
The Mandala Beach Club is worth checking out if you want an outdoors night club and Dady O or some techno and house music.
17. Stand up Paddleboarding (SUP)
Sm 31 Mza 1 Lte 8, Bahia Petempich, KM 328 carretera Chetumal-Cancún Puerto Morelos, Q.R., Mexico 77580 (998) 126-2780 Visit Website Open in Google Maps
If you are new to adventure sports but want to try something new, stand up paddleboarding is the new trend that has been taking over the region.
Relatively easier than a host of other sports that you may find difficult to start with, you can just rent a paddleboard from a store on the beach or sign up for group lessons at an area of your choice.
Experts looking for a bigger challenge can sign up for longer tours that go up to Isla Mujeres.
18. Go on a Sunset Sailing Trip
Fase II Av Balamkanche, Mz 30 Lote 4 Loc 16, Playaca Playa del Carmen, Mexico 77717 (984) 206-5601 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
If you are at a loss of suggestions for what to do in Cancun, Mexico, chasing sunsets is one of those activities that will always bring you immense pleasure.
The best manner in which you can enjoy a sunset is by splurging — or saving — on a romantic getaway for yourself and your better half where you’d sail the seas on a catamaran as the sky changes colors.
There are many different companies that run sunset sailing trips with add-ons like open bars as well.
19. Selfie with the Cancun Sign
Hotel Zone Cancún, Mexico 77500 Open in Google Maps
One of the most popular pictures uploaded by visitors after a trip to Cancun is a snapshot of the colorful Cancun sign that the city has become synonymous with.
Take your car or a bus down to Playa Delfines and snap a picture with this iconic sign on this popular beach.
As Playa Delfines has remained relatively less developed because of a lack of accommodation and big hotels along the sand, you can really kick your legs back and spend some time sunbathing.
Swimming isn’t recommended as the currents are very strong.
20. Catch a Lucha Libre Show
Av Yaxchilán 51-Mz 23 Lt 51 Cancún, Mexico 77500 Visit Website Open in Google Maps
Another part of the Mexican culture that you should try to seek out and experience on your trip to Cancun is Lucha Libre.
Essentially a fight between the bad and the good, there are two fighters that take part in this show, which is a combination of intricate theatrics, wrestling and acrobatics.
Elaborate masks and getups are usually a part of this event, which consists of fights with three rounds each.
By spending a little over $12, you can get front-row seats to the magic in downtown Cancun.
Related: Best Hotels in Cancun
21. Scuba Diving Adventures
Cancún, Mexico Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
If you are interested in water sports, Cancun is the ideal location for you to plan a trip to, especially if you enjoy diving, snorkeling and scuba diving.
Home to the second-largest reef in the world — the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef — Cancun is the best place for you to start learning scuba diving.
The region has a large diversity of underwater creatures including tropical fish, dolphins, eagle rays and more.
Regardless of whether you are a beginner or a certified scuba diver, there is something for you.
Also See: Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas Cozumel: Things to Do
22. Isla Mujeres Day Trip
Isla Mujeres Quintana Roo, Mexico Open in Google Maps
When it comes to day trips from Cancun, the Island of Women, or Isla Mujeres, is another popular attraction that deserves your time.
A small island conveniently located a short ferry ride away from the Hotel Zone, Isla Mujeres is named after a temple for the Maya fertility goddess.
If you are looking for some time away from all the partying, the spectacular sunrise, beautifully rocky coast and views of the water will make this worth your time.
23. Visit the El Meco Ruins
Carretera Puerto Juarez, López Portillo Cancún, Mexico 77520 Open in Google Maps
Another set of Maya ruins to explore just north of downtown Cancun is El Meco.
The highlight of these ruins is the 41-foot pyramid that makes you marvel at the kind of architectural prowess that the ancient civilization boasted of.
The El Meco ruins are fairly easy to reach, whether it is by bus, a rental car or a taxi.
Once you reach the location, you will be able to see the ruins from the main road itself.
24. Drink at Señor Frogs
Blvd. Kukulcan km. 9.5, Punta Cancun, Zona Hotelera Cancún, Mexico 77500 (998) 883-1862 Visit Website Open in Google Maps
If there is one place in Cancun that most tourists visit for drinking, it has to be Señor Frogs.
The atmosphere is electric with a whole lot of people drinking, singing and dancing.
If you get hungry or just want to keep the alcohol down, turn to the eats offered by the joint.
If your kids are older than eight years, they can accompany you but keep in mind that this isn’t the best place for small kids because of the drinking and noise.
But you can always do some of Cancun’s best kid-friendly activities in the day, then go to Senor Frogs at night while the wee ones are in the care of a nanny back at the resort.
25. ATVing at Xplor Park
Carretera Chetumal, Puerto Juarez Km 28 Playa del Carmen, Mexico 77710 (998) 883-3143 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
Another Instagram-worthy opportunity that Cancun has to offer to visitors is a ride on All-Terrain Vehicles — better known as ATVs — at one of the many theme parks that are found around the city.
You can either ride ATVs as a part of the all-inclusive park entry to parks like Xplor Park or opt for special ATV tours that many different companies arrange around the jungle.
If you get that ticket for Xplor Park, you can enjoy a range of activities like rafting and zip lining or grab some food and drinks.
26. Kayak at Nichupte Lagoon
Quintana Roo, Mexico Open in Google Maps
Remember the Nichupte Lagoon that formed the ideal location for you to go speedboating?
This same water body that consists of five different lagoons is also the ideal location for kayaking or paddleboarding, depending on which activity you enjoy taking part in.
After the city’s Hotel Zone developed into what it is today, this lagoon is one of the only natural retreats for visitors to turn to when they want some time off from the nightlife and sunbathing.
27. Swim with Whale Sharks
Calle Caucel Lt 2 Mz. 352 SM 307 Fracc. Lol-Beh, Alfredo V. Bonfil Cancún, Mexico 77560 (998) 884-3667 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
If swimming with whale sharks has been on your bucket list, you may not get a better opportunity to turn this wish into reality than your trip to Cancun.
This fish is on the list of endangered species, which means that you may not get too many opportunities to do this.
While these creatures are huge and weigh close to 20 tons, they are largely harmless and the little ones may even be playful.
There are groups that you can join to do this under expert guidance.
Also See: Things to Do in Los Cabos What to Do in Tulum
28. Maya Museum and San Miguelito Ruins
Blvd. Kukulcan km 16.5, Zona Hotelera Cancún, Mexico 77500 (998) 885-3843 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
A fantastic new museum — opened in 2012 — to explore in Cancun is the Museo Maya Cancun, which houses a ton of archeological relics from the Mayans, including skeletons and artifacts.
These are all sourced from different Mayan sites across the Yucatan peninsula.
The San Miguelito Ruins are located around the same complex in the Hotel Zone area, which you can enter after paying a small fee.
There are many different temples and pyramids to explore here.
29. Bird Watching at Isla Contoy
Isla Contoy Quintana Roo, Mexico Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
If you enjoy bird watching, the protected national park located north of Isla Mujeres — referred to as Isla Contoy — is a fantastic destination for your next vacation.
In addition to four different species of sea turtles, this island is known for being the home to over 100 species of birds to indulge the bird watching enthusiast in you.
Keep in mind that tourists have to adhere to strict rules that have been put in place to keep the island in the condition that you’d want to see it in.
30. Day Trip to Tulum
Tulum Quintana Roo, Mexico Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
Tulum is known for being one of the biggest Mayan cities and any trip to Cancun cannot be complete without making a day trip down to the Mayan ruins at Tulum.
What was — in the past — a port city now has the most gorgeous beaches to offer to thousands of visitors who want a laidback vacation at one of the many retreats for yoga or just some downtime at the local beach clubs.
31. La Isla Cancun
5 Lt 18-10, Blvd. Kukulcan km 12.5, Zona Hotelera Cancún, Mexico 77500 +52 998 883 5025 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps
With over 150 shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, there’s never a dull moment at La Isla Cancun.
Immerse yourself in retail therapy as you explore high-end boutiques and local artisanal crafts.
Craving a culinary adventure?
Savor the flavors of world-class cuisine, from fresh seafood to traditional Mexican delicacies.
Don’t forget to unwind by strolling along the scenic waterfront promenade, offering breathtaking views and captivating street performances.
La Isla Cancun is your gateway to a captivating blend of luxury, culture, and natural beauty.
32. Say Hello to Sea Turtles
There are plenty of beaches around Cancun that are home to a range of sea turtles who lay their eggs there during the May-October period.
The little eggs hatch between July and December, which is also the period where you can see small turtles flopping their way into the water.
Tortugranja is the go-to destination for many travelers when it comes to seeing sea turtles.
Also See: Mexico: Things to Do Tijuana: Things to Do
33. Eat at Cancun’s Best Taco Joints
Finally, you cannot say that you have visited Mexico till the time you go through the many different taco joints that Cancun has to offer.
Regardless of what area you are in — Downtown Cancun, Hotel Zone, etc. — there will be a local stand serving Tacos al Pastor that will keep you coming back for more.
The range of tacos is incredible, to say the least!
Comparing attractions: which one is right for you.
The magic of Cancun lies not just in its sun-kissed beaches and sapphire waters but also in the rich tapestry of adventures it offers.
But remember, comparing options before you decide is vital.
First up, the Speedboat Mangrove Jungle & Snorkel Tour is an experience that gave me a thrilling ride into the heart of Cancun’s lush mangroves.
Speeding through these serene green channels, we eventually docked to snorkel among vibrant coral reefs.
This adventure can be surprisingly affordable, especially if you book in advance.
Next, for those unafraid of heights, is the Skyrider Parasailing Experience.
I recall soaring over Cancun’s shimmering waters, feeling the sea breeze caress my face.
A liberating experience, it’s worth every penny for the stunning aerial views alone.
Finally, there’s the peaceful Sunset Kayak in the Mangroves.
As a more budget-friendly choice, this excursion let me immerse in Cancun’s nature as the sky painted itself in fiery oranges and tranquil purples.
It was a meditative journey that etched itself in my memory, bringing a sense of calm even now as I recall it.
So, take your time, compare these options, and choose one that fits your budget and preferences.
After all, your Cancun adventure should be as unique as you are.
How I Picked The Activities
To ensure a balanced and diverse selection, I did thorough research by exploring popular travel websites, consulting local guides, and keeping up with the latest travel trends.
I also reached out to people who know Cancun inside and out, including residents, tour operators, and hospitality professionals.
Their valuable insights allowed me to uncover hidden gems and lesser-known attractions.
Our Rating Method
I rate these attractions based on the following criteria:
- Family-Friendliness: I use this criterion to assess the family-friendly appeal of every activity. Is it suitable for families with kids? Is it safe, engaging, and fun for children? I ask myself these questions in order to rate family-friendliness.
- Affordability: This is used to evaluate the attraction’s affordability. Will visitors get a lot of bang for their buck? Is it free or cheaper compared to the other options? Does it offer discounted rates, special promotions, or free entry? I consider these factors when rating affordability.
- Accessibility: This evaluates the activity’s accessibility. Is it easily accessible by public transportation? Are there plenty of parking spaces available? Is it wheelchair accessible? I ask myself these questions when assessing the attraction’s accessibility.
- Fun Factor: I use this to evaluate how enjoyable the attraction is for visitors. Will it create positive and memorable experiences? Is it engaging, fun, and exciting? I use these questions to evaluate this criterion.
- Educational Value: This assesses the educational benefits of the activity. Does it provide learning opportunities to kids? Will it teach visitors lessons in science and history? I ask myself these important questions when rating educational value.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is cancun best known for.
Cancun is best known for its stunning white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and vibrant nightlife. It is a popular tourist destination in Mexico, offering a wide range of resorts, water activities, and entertainment options. Additionally, Cancun is renowned for its Mayan ruins, such as Tulum and Chichen Itza, which attract history enthusiasts from around the world.
How Many Days Do You Need In Cancun?
The number of days you need in Cancun depends on your personal preferences and the activities you wish to engage in. Generally, a minimum of 3 to 5 days is recommended to explore the popular attractions, relax on the beaches, and experience the vibrant nightlife. However, if you plan to visit nearby destinations or delve deeper into the Mayan ruins, extending your stay to a week or more would be ideal.
What Month Is The Cheapest To Go To Cancun?
The cheapest month to go to Cancun typically falls within the period of September to November. During this time, Cancun experiences lower tourist influx due to the possibility of hurricanes and the transition from the high season. However, it’s important to note that weather conditions and availability may vary, so it’s advisable to check for any potential travel disruptions and plan accordingly.
What Are Some Highly-Recommended Family-Friendly Activities In Cancun?
Cancun offers a range of family-friendly activities that cater to different interests. Some highly recommended options include visiting the Interactive Aquarium, where kids can interact with marine life, exploring the Xcaret Park, which combines nature, culture, and adventure with activities like swimming in underground rivers and experiencing cultural shows, and taking a day trip to the nearby island of Isla Mujeres, known for its beautiful beaches and snorkeling opportunities.
Among the Best Things to Do in Cancun, the standout experience for me has to be the Speedboat Mangrove Jungle & Snorkel Tour.
This unique adventure combines adrenaline, nature, and marine life in one exhilarating package.
Slicing through the mangrove canals in a speedboat, you’ll experience an aspect of Cancun not seen by many.
The contrast between the azure sea and the lush green mangrove jungles is a sight to behold.
While Cancun has a vast array of attractions to choose from for sheer fun, uniqueness, and the opportunity to connect with nature, the Speedboat Mangrove Jungle & Snorkel Tour stands as the best.
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Where Beauty Meets Culture
With its gorgeous turquoise seas, powdery white-sand beaches, and vibrant coral reefs, it’s no surprise that Cancun is one of Mexico’s most popular resort areas.
Hotels, restaurants, malls, and nightclubs line either side of Boulevard Kukulkan , known as the Hotel Zone , which runs down the middle of the 15-mile-long sandbar. This is where you’ll find many of the city's all-inclusive hotels catering to families on vacation or couples on their honeymoon and everything in between. As you venture closer to the city’s downtown, “El Centro” , you’ll see a more local side of life, peppered with markets and traditional restaurants, as well as quality business class hotels and hostels.
While Mexico boasts an impressive 6,200-mile-long coastline, Cancun and its 10 Blue Flag beaches continue to rank as one of the most popular spots for a beach vacation in the country. With most of the properties in the Hotel Zone sitting right on their own private stretch of sand, visitors can enjoy the ocean views from their very own balconies. When you’re ready for that next refreshing drink while basking in the Cancun sun. On the Caribbean side of the Hotel Zone, you’ll find public access beaches like Playa Gaviota Azul —known to locals as Playa Forum —, while in the southern end, Playa Delfines is a great option for people looking for moderate to intense waves. On this beach, you will find a well-known photographic parador.
Things to Do
Cancun is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers since there are plenty of things to do . Dive or snorkel in the region’s mystic cenotes located nearby (limestone sinkholes), or enjoy the day by the beach, jet skiing or parasailing. Cancun is the kind of place where it’s perfectly fine—and encouraged—to lounge in the sun or spa , or spend a day at one of its seven different golf courses, admiring the gorgeous views of the water while practicing your swing. For a taste of culture visit the Mayan Museum of Cancun , home to hundreds of artifacts uncovered at some of the most prominent archeological sites on the Yucatan peninsula, then be sure to check out the archeological sites that pepper the surrounding region, such as El Meco , El Rey , San Miguelito , Tulum , Cobá and Muyil , among others.
From upscale malls and designer boutiques to flea markets, Cancun offers a variety of shops for those looking to partake in a bit of retail therapy. The Hotel Zone is home to some of the city’s busiest malls like Marina Puerto Cancun , Kukulcan Plaza , and La Isla Shopping Village . If you’re looking for locally-made souvenirs and Mexican art, Flea market Coral Negro and Mercado 28 are the places to visit .
Restaurants & Nightlife
Cancun is renowned for its delectable cuisine and is home to some of the best restaurants in the region. You can find a wonderful mix of authentic Mexican fare and laid-back restaurants downtown, as well as upscale Mexican and international cuisine throughout our restaurants and nightlife options, including restaurants that overlook the Caribbean Sea and the beautiful Nichupté Lagoon , many of which have been recognized by prestigious travel and lifestyle magazines. These restaurants serve haute cuisine dishes featuring sophisticated atmospheres and the best service. They also feature some special performances, mariachi bands, DJ´s and dance shows.
More To Explore In Cancun
Mexico » States » Quintana Roo » Cancun
Tourism in CANCUN
Cancun is recognized around the world for its spectacular white sand beaches, its fascinating sea with turquoise blue waters and its unique climate. In addition, it has excellent air and land connectivity, as well as a first-rate hotel infrastructure that places it as one of the best tourist destinations in the world.
Year after year Cancun is the destination chosen by national and international visitors thanks to the wide range of attractions and tourist places it offers such as: Mayan culture and history that can be enjoyed in its museums and archaeological sites , water activities , adventure tourism , great variety of gastronomic experiences, spectacular shopping centers as well as seductive entertainment offers for the whole family.
Cancun is a true jewel of the Mexican Caribbean located in the north of the state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula . It has an average annual temperature of 26 ° C and the rainy season is from May to October.
Welcome to Paradise!
Map of CANCUN
Beaches in CANCUN
Its fame has crossed borders, thanks to its paradisiacal beaches that have starred in more than one postcard. Those clear waters of fascinating colors that go from turquoise, to sea water and the softness of its white sand make it an idyllic destination for those who like the sea and a relaxing vacation at the edge of its lullaby.
In Cancun you can find everything to relax and enjoy a pleasant stay. For those who like the local atmosphere, going to the center and visiting markets 23 and 28 to visit the craft shops or typical coastal gastronomy is a treat.
If what you are looking for is a paradise of turquoise waters and white sand, you have to visit Cancun. Its 22 kilometers of impressive beaches make this Mexican city the preferred destination to enjoy a few days of sun and beach, whether for water sports, surfing waves of scandal, attending mass parties or, simply, closing your eyes and enjoying of this idyllic place.
Chac Mool Beach
Chac Mool is one of those beaches that is in all the compilations of the best beaches in Cancun. It is one of the most visited in all of Cancun thanks, mainly, to its strong waves, attracting the attention of daring swimmers and surfers with a desire for adrenaline. In addition to these reasons, it is visited by multiple tourists since it is very close to the hotels and resorts area.
Also located in the hotel zone is Playa Linda, one of the most popular and visited in Cancun. A curious fact is the color of its waters, a beautiful greenish blue, because it is a point where the sea meets the Nichupté lagoon, turning this Cancun beach into a magical place. Don’t forget to visit La Torre Cancún, from where you can enjoy incredible views.
Another of the many things Cancun offers is being able to spot dolphins, and it couldn’t be anywhere else than at Playa Delfines. Thanks to the calm and crystalline waters of this beach, it is possible to see them from the sand, and even dare to play with them in the sea. Its location, somewhat away from the large hotel areas, allows you to enjoy a pleasant day in peace. Without a doubt, one of the best beaches in Cancun that you should not miss.
Whether what you are looking for on a beach is to enjoy with the family, or do adrenaline-filled activities such as jet skiing or bungee jumping, Playa Tortugas is the ideal place. In addition, this beach in Cancun offers a multitude of gastronomic options to choose from every day of your stay. We advise you to take a boat trip and visit Isla Mujeres, where you will find water parks to put the finishing touch to a day of 10.
This beach, with fine sand and shallow waters, is perfect for swimming and relaxing in the sun. In addition, being away from the large leisure areas, it becomes the best place to enjoy a bit of tranquility and privacy. Visit the beautiful pier at Playa Caracol and enjoy panoramic views that you will not find anywhere else. If what you are looking for is a corner to rest, this is the best option of all the beaches in Cancun.
Gaviota Azul Beach
This beach on the Cancun coast is called by locals “El Playa Forum”, and offers a multitude of options to learn water sports, a wide selection of restaurants and bars, as well as areas to have fun until the wee hours of the morning. Playa Gaviota Azul especially attracts young people looking to have a good time off the coast of Cancun.
If you are looking for a beach where you can enjoy the sun, crystal clear waters and golden sand with children, the best option is to go to Playa Langosta. Here you can practice sports such as soccer or beach volleyball in front of the well-known bay of Isla Mujeres. Meanwhile, the little ones will have a great time both inside and outside its warm waters.
Between Punta Nizuc and Punta Cancún is Playa Marlin, one of the points on the Caribbean coast where the sea is more choppy, similar to Playa Delfines or Playa Chac Mool. Here you can have a wonderful experience if you are in the turtle spawning season, which runs from May to September. Then, from August to November you can participate in the activity of releasing them to the sea together with the professionals who collaborate in this beautiful act.
Las Perlas Beach
Las Perlas beach is the smallest of all those found in the hotel zone of Cancun, a small corner of tranquility facing the Caribbean Sea. It is, without a doubt, one of the best beaches to go with children, since they will love the playground that is right at the entrance, as well as the fun that the sea and the sand offer. Take advantage of the tranquility of its waters to snorkel and discover the beauty of its seabed.
This beach is located in an area of open sea, so it is very common to visit it to enjoy its good waves throughout the year. Also take advantage of the fact that it is further away from the hotel zone to practice sports such as surfing. Riding the waves of this Cancun beach is an experience that you will surely never forget.
For those who like shopping tourism, there is also a good range of options such as the mythical Plaza la Isla , which looks like a little Venice, Plaza Caracol , Luxury Avenue , Plaza las Américas and Plaza Bonita .
Exploring the late-night scene is a can’t- miss thing to do in this vibrant city. Cancun has a nightlife scene that keeps the party going into the small hours every day of the week.
- Nightclubs – Coco Bongo, Dady’O, The City, Mandala – with excellent light shows, acrobats and some of the best DJs in the world.
- Singular bars with a wide range of drinks and the latest musical trends located throughout the hotel zone, in Puerto Cancun and some interesting options in downtown Cancun in the area known as “The Nader Route”.
- For something a little more quiet and for the whole family , you can try a fun dinner show aboard a pirate ship, an authentic Mexican party aboard a trajinera in Xoximilco , or the excellent show JOYÁ , from Cirque du Soleil.
- Archaeological Sites
In addition, we cannot fail to mention the fascinating vestiges of the Mayan civilization that we find throughout the Yucatan peninsula and specifically near Cancun, such as the Yamil Lu’um, and the archaeological zone of the King. But we can also make excursions nearby to contemplate the wonder of other sites, such as Ek Balam , Tulum , Cobá and one of the wonders of the world: Chichén Itzá , just a couple of hours away.
A few kilometers away we will find impressive Eco Parks that allow family activities in contact with nature or test our more adventurous instincts with zip lines, diving and descent of underground rivers as we can find in Xel-Ha , Xcaret or Xplor .
- Ecotourism and Adventure
The natural attractions that it contains are incomparable, such as that network of crystal clear water eyes, known as cenotes, registered in about 10,000 throughout the Peninsula and in which it is quite an experience to submerge and that were part of the ceremonial rituals of the Mayan civilization.
And if all these still weren’t enough reasons, the gastronomy of the southeast of Mexico prides itself on being one of the richest in the country. With flavors that mix the most pre-Hispanic roots with foreign influences, they undoubtedly pamper anyone’s palate.
Cancun offers an extraordinary culinary experience through the fusion of the flavors of Mexican cuisine with all its regional variants; however, you can also delight yourself with refined dishes of international cuisine. Throughout the entire hotel zone and in the center of Cancun there are restaurants serving Italian, Asian, Argentine, French specialties and of course the exquisite Mexican specialties.
Many restaurants in the destination are recognized by the American Automobile Association (AAA) 5 Diamonds, as well as by famous travel publications, as well as the important culinary movement that brings together chefs from all over the world who are in charge of the kitchens of hotels and restaurants, and that invite you to taste dishes that become authentic gastronomic adventures.
There are authentic, innovative, elegant and casual restaurants, as well as picturesque establishments of typical food of the region and palapas with extraordinary views of the sea in the Puerto Juárez area.
Spa and Wellness
Living the experience of relaxation in Cancun complements the perfect stay for those looking for a revitalizing vacation. Cancun offers spectacular spas with exclusive and sophisticated facilities in harmonious environments with nature and that inspire tranquility to pamper the body, mind and soul. There are several types of spas, from luxurious to holistic.
Pamper yourself with a Thalassotherapy treatment, Watsu therapy, Shiatsu, acupuncture or Hammam rituals, and relax as expert therapists place natural body wraps made with local plants, chocolate or flowers. Several of the spas in Cancun and Riviera Maya have obtained the best recognitions from both tourists and specialized media in the areas of quality, environment, treatments, innovation and facilities.
Another reason is undoubtedly its proximity to other paradisiacal beaches that makes it an excellent starting point, either to visit the nearby Isla Mujeres and Holbox or enter the Riviera Maya and go down to Playa del Carmen , Cozumel , Puerto Morelos , the Reserve from Sian Ka’an , Tulum , but also having the beautiful and picturesque Valladolid or the white Mérida within reach.
Not for nothing has Cancun been and continues to be one of the favorite destinations of local and foreign visitors who are not satisfied with visiting it for the first time, they always return hypnotized by all the charm it contains and the wide range of possibilities it offers for a dream vacation.
Weddings and Romance in Cancun
Cancun is a magical place where harmony with nature is enjoyed in an environment with all the comforts, it offers fun, spas, excellent restaurants and nightlife, it is ideal both for a good romantic moment and for those looking to do activities as a couple.
Your wedding in Cancun will be a unique celebration in one of the most romantic places in the world. The turquoise waters and white sand, coupled with good weather all year round, make this a spectacular location for your special day.
Wedding planners in Cancun provide advice during the planning and conducting process of both civil and religious links. In addition, you can choose from a variety of sites, such as a lush tropical garden, a traditional Mayan village or Xcaret. Ceremonies are also held on the beach, as well as in the different locations of the hotels: rooms with ocean views, chapels, gazebos and docks with palapas. In Cancun, practically any idea can come true, even an underwater wedding!
If you want a unique wedding, why not do it underwater in the middle of the Underwater Museum of Art MUSA, in the destination there are organizers and a whole infrastructure to carry out this type of weddings, there are even officiating divers, so if you want something original this is one very good option.
Cancun is also a fantastic place to enjoy your honeymoon or anniversary, or simply enjoy a romantic getaway.
Groups and Conventions in Cancun
Cancun is both a vacation paradise and fantastic meeting destination, thanks to its state-of-the- art infrastructure, excellent air connectivity, high service standards and personalized attention. It is an excellent location for major national and international events.
The Cancun Convention Center (Cancún ICC) offers an area of 14,200 m2, 10 divisible rooms, spaces available for up to 8,000 people and more than 3,500 rooms available within walking distance. Moon Palace Arena has more than 3,000 rooms and 25,742 m2 (276,984 sq.ft.) of super-flexible space. It has stunning outdoor terraces, exhibition areas and room for 10,000attendees.
The destination offers alternative places for social events such as: Hotels, haciendas, theme parks, boats, palapas on the beach, beach clubs and cenotes, among others.
Transportation in the City
BUS There are different urban bus routes that run through the city and the hotel zone. Route 1 runs through the hotel zone, up to Av. Tulum in the center and up to Puerto Juárez. The waiting time at the stops is 3 to 4 minutes and the cost is approximately $ 13 pesos.
TAXIS The taxi service in Cancun is available at the main tourist sites and attractions. It is advisable to check the rates at the hotel; Most hotels publish a list of prices from the hotel to various points in Cancun and its surroundings.
CAR The main car rental companies in the world have branches in Cancun. If you plan to know all the attractions that surround Cancun and you prefer to explore them on your own, this is the best option.
FERRY To know the islands of the Mexican Caribbean it is necessary to travel by ferry:
- Isla Mujeres : There are four points in Cancun where the ferry departs: Playa Tortugas, Playa Caracol and El Embarcadero (all are located within the hotel zone) and the fourth is in Puerto Juárez. There are departures every half hour and the journey takes approximately 15 minutes.
- Isla Holbox : To go to Holbox you will have to travel to Chiquilá in a journey that takes approximately 2 hours. From here, a ferry leaves to the island every half hour and the crossing takes around 20 minutes.
- Cozumel : The ferry to Cozumel leaves from Playa del Carmen, every hour and the journey takes approximately 35 minutes.
More Tourist Attractions in QUINTANA ROO
Riviera Maya offers wonderful beaches, turquoise waters and fine white sand, archeological sites, picturesque little towns, recreation centers, freshwater lagoons, underwater caves and cenotes, as well as ecological, and food and lodging options ranging from rustic cabins to gleaming condos, five-star hotels, and all inclusive accommodation. Here you can be seduced by an exquisite culinary tour, experiencing the regional cuisine prepared with the inherited Mayan recipes. About the nightlife, Riviera Maya has an exciting and cosmopolitan options with a wide variety of bars and nightclubs along the beach. It is an ideal setting for romance, making it a favorite of those who want a beach wedding or an unforgettable honeymoon.… Read More
With a Mexican heart and a Caribbean soul, Cozumel is a paradise where tradition, flavor and joy come together. You will always find a friendly face and a warm welcome to make your stay an unforgettable one. Cozumel’s mostly undeveloped territory at the center of the island is covered by jungle and swampy lagoons, which are home to tiny mammals and endemic birds that have never left the island. Noteworthy is the Chankanaab National Park, a Cozumel icon, and the Punta Sur Ecological Reserve. This huge protected area at the southern tip of the island includes Punta Celarain and its historical lighthouse, as well as the Colombia Lagoon, a shelter for many of the island’s endemic species, as well as other endangered forms of life, such as marine turtles and their nesting areas.… Read More
Eco Parks in Quintana Roo
Other options to experience adventure in Quintana Roo are the various natural, thematic, adventure, extreme and aquatic parks where in addition to living exciting and entertaining experiences it is possible to get in touch with nature. Xavage: It is an extreme adventure park with various activities that include a suspended rope circuit, a horizontal zip line, driving an all-terrain vehicle and rafting. Maya Park: Located in the hotel zone of Cancun, it offers a series of activities whose theme is “culture through adventure.” The tour begins with a video that tells the history of the Mayans, continuing with a zip line flight and boat rides through the Nichupté Lagoon. Finally, you will go through the Mayan Path, where you can participate in a Mayan dance and appreciate some elements of this culture.… Read More
The Archaeological Zone of Tulum is a must see and the best example of Mayan charm thanks to its ruins located on the edge of the Caribbean Sea; In addition to being the only archaeological zone that sits on the edge of a cliff, under which is the Playa del Paraíso, one of the best and most beautiful beaches in the Riviera Maya and most likely the most portrayed.… Read More
Water Sports in Cancun
In this destination you will find several marinas that offer water activities, with professional guides and operators who operate excellent fleets. There is an almost unlimited variety of activities, you can rent a jet ski or catamaran, take a tour through the mangroves driving a speedboat, travel in a submarine, snorkel in one of the reefs of Cancun, Cozumel or Puerto Morelos, or else dive in one of the sunken ships that are between Cancun and Isla Mujeres. Cancun has 23 kilometers of beaches of fine white sand and turquoise blue waters, considered among the best and most beautiful in the world. They are ideal for all kinds of water activities.… Read More
Water Sports in the Riviera Maya
The perfect climate and best weather for Water Sports can be found in the Riviera Maya! Enjoying a day under the bright sun, might be something you find hard to stop doing on your relaxed vacations, just the idea of leaving the comfort of the white sand beaches, but when you do you’re rewarded with clear waters for great visibility and year-round warm water, you won’t resist the idea of practicing great water sports. We offer a great variety of water activities for you to choose from, sports like jet skiing and wave runners, parasailing, snorkeling tours, scuba diving trips, swimming with dolphins and deep sea fishing trips that will get you out on the water and let you be active!… Read More
Water Sports in Cozumel
If you are looking for a place with diverse options where each member of the family finds interesting activities, Cozumel is one of the best choices: for the most daring, diving or snorkeling to get to know one of the most important reefs in the world, through kayaking, kite boarding and wind surfing for those who prefer to stay close to the shore, even sport fishing, for family members who prefer to spend a quieter time.… Read More
Archaeological Sites in Quintana Roo
Among the many attractions of Quintana Roo is having access to the vestiges of an ancient culture as fascinating as the Mayan culture. Just a few hours away you can visit several very important sites.The archaeological sites of the Mexican Caribbean can be visited any day of the week between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., in some of them there are guides who speak several Languages. If you are passionate about archaeological remains, you can visit some in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Xcaret and Xel-Há.… Read More
Magical Towns in Quintana Roo
Get to know the Magic Towns of Quintana Roo: Isla Mujeres, Tulum and Bacalar and marvel at their stories, with their archaeological sites, their turquoise waters, ecotourism and adventure activities. Here you will learn about the ancient Mayan civilization, whose essence remains to this day. You will learn about the work of artisans, whose expertise is passed from generation to generation and you will delight in the mixtures of smells and flavors of the exquisite gastronomy of the region.… Read More
Ecotourism and Adventure in Quintana Roo
In Quintana Roo there are wonderful natural attractions such as the majestic mangroves, the exuberant jungle, the coral reefs, the mystical cenotes and the mysterious underwater caverns. In Cancun and some other destinations in the Mexican Caribbean, it is also possible to admire, live and learn about the conservation of different species of animals, as well as marvel at the diversity of flora characteristic of the area.… Read More
Gastronomy of Quintana Roo
The Gastronomy of Quintana Roo shares several elements with that of Yucatán and Campeche, in which traditional and contemporary cooking techniques are mixed. Although in places like Playa del Carmen and Cancun, where migrants from other countries live, the dishes have been enriched with international flavors. In regional cuisine, ingredients of pre-Hispanic origin are combined with those brought by the Spanish. The dishes of chicken, pork, beef and rabbit meat stewed and seasoned with oregano, purple onion, sour orange, sweet chili, pumpkin seed, tomato, achiote, habanero pepper and coriander stand out among other ingredients.… Read More
Golf Courses in Quintana Roo
The golf circuit in and around the Mexican Caribbean makes it one of the most competitive destinations both within and beyond our borders. It Offers 15 operating courses, other interesting golf complexes. In an advanced planning stage and the endorsement of international tournaments such as the PGA Tour at Mayakoba, the only PGA event to take place outside the United States and Canada. Cancun is on the verge of becoming México’s new golf leader, with seven courses in Cancun, another seven in La Riviera Maya and one more in Cozumel. Courses are full-service venues, each with a professional pro shop, well-maintained golf carts, driving range, putting green, Bermuda fairways and greens, caddies, top quality equipment rentals, restaurants, and beverage cart. All the courses are open to the public (some require advance arrangements for access).… Read More
Shopping in Quintana Roo
The shopping experience in Quintana Roo every day becomes more sophisticated and cosmopolitan thanks to the wide variety of options that the destination offers. In addition, it is a duty-free zone for a wide range of items such as perfumery and cosmetics, as well as for wines and spirits, to name a few. There are exclusive and modern shopping centers in the hotel zone and in downtown Cancun with shops and boutiques that allow the visitor to find national and international renowned brands. Each shopping center has a unique architectural style, as well as an attractive range of services and entertainment options for the whole family.… Read More
Costa Maya is located on the south of the Quintana Roo state and has many locations to choose from: a typical Caribbean enclave like Chetumal, a Magic Town like Bacalar, beautiful beaches like Mahahual and Xcalak and amazing Mayan sites such as Chacchoben or Kohunlich. Blessed with an unbeatable combination of tropical forest, wetlands, white-sand beaches, coral reefs, abundant wildlife and magnificent archaeological sites, Grand Costa Maya has long been one of Mexico’s best-kept secrets. This is an ideal place for adventure lovers as well as for people who loved Mayan culture, since several communities in here have preserved timeless traditions.… Read More
Guided Tours in CANCUN
Flights & hotels in cancun, more tourist attractions in mexico.
- Traditions in Mexico
It is practically impossible to make a meticulous, and above all, accurate selection of the places to visit in Mexico. Each place that our country houses is unique and beautiful in its own way. Mexico, with its nearly 2 million km², has a large number of scenarios to offer, as well as endless activities to do. Do not lose your way and enter the places to visit in Mexico. In Mexico, apart from the beaches and its famous archaeological sites, there are many other really interesting sites and activities that you should know. In the surroundings of the main cities you will find places full of culture and tradition, where you can spend relaxing, interesting and fun vacations. On your trip through Mexico you cannot stop obtaining souvenirs, the crafts that are made here are of the highest quality and recognized worldwide. A shopping tour cannot be missed.… Read More
Mexico is one of the best countries for Ecotourism as it has a great variety of flora and fauna, as well as a large number of refuges for extraordinary species. You can enjoy recreational activities of appreciation and knowledge of nature through contact with it, such as: stargazing, observation of natural attractions, wildlife and bird watching. Throughout México there are more than 176 protected natural areas, 5 of them considered by UNESCO as Natural Heritage of Humanity. Just for this and much more, we believe that Mexico is a Paradise for Ecotourism.… Read More
On the Beaches of Mexico you can immerse yourself in the intense blue ocean of the Pacific bays, sunbathe on the shore of the warm and transparent waves of the Caribbean Sea in Quintana Roo or even rest on the beautiful coasts of the Gulf of Mexico. Mexican beaches hide wonderful secrets for the traveler. By visiting them, in addition to enjoying the excellent climate and water activities, you can discover splendid archaeological sites and interesting colonial cities without traveling long distances.… Read More
The Archaeological Zones are the cultural past of every Mexican. You will be amazed at the ambient, nature and the environment that surrounds them. Climbing to the top or being around it will take us back in time to admire every detail. México is a country of culture and traditions, many of which we have inherited from the pre-Hispanic inhabitants of this vast territory, although it is true that there were more settlements in the central and southern part of the country, it is also possible to find some archaeological remains in the north. … Read More
- Magical Towns
A Magical Town is a place with symbols and legends, towns with history that in many cases have been the scene of transcendent events for our country, they are places that show the national identity in each of its corners, with a magic that emanates from its attractions ; visiting them is an opportunity to discover the charm of Mexico. The Magical Towns Program contributes to revalue a set of populations in the country that have always been in the collective imagination of the nation and that represent fresh and varied alternatives for national and foreign visitors. A town that through time and in the face of modernity, has conserved, valued and defended its historical, cultural and natural heritage; and manifests it in various expressions through its tangible and intangible heritage. A Magical Town is a town that has unique, symbolic attributes, authentic stories, transcendent events, everyday life, which means a great opportunity for tourist use, taking into account the motivations and needs of travelers.… Read More
- Capital Cities
Folklore, gastronomy, literary culture, art and exhibitions, is what you will find in the capitals of the states of Mexico. To the north, colonial Mexico, Puebla, Guadalajara, Guanajuato, the Sonoran desert and the California peninsula. To the east Veracruz and the gulf. To the west Acapulco, Oaxaca and Tuxtla Gutiérrez. And to the south the Riviera Maya and the pyramids of Chichén-Itzá, Tulúm and Cobá in Yucatán, Palenque in Chiapas, the cenotes, and the Central American jungles.… Read More
The Gastronomy of Mexico has a great diversity of typical dishes, which is why it was recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The basic and representative ingredients of Mexican dishes are: corn, coriander, chili, beans, piloncillo, nopal and tomato. Mexican cuisine is also characterized by its sauces, which serve as an accompaniment to traditional dishes, prepared based on spices.… Read More
States Of Mexico
Mexico has an incredible diversity of landscapes, where the beauty of its beaches, internationally recognized, stands out. In its vast territory of coasts, there are beaches of unparalleled beauty, and colorful landscapes. A large network of first-class hotels and tourist services is available to visitors to these beaches. Mexico is also mystical places, dotted with archaeological testimonies inherited from its original inhabitants. Monuments made by the Mayas, Aztecs and Toltecs are located in magical landscapes, like lighthouses in an ocean of natural beauty. They offer visitors buildings that tell their history, and museums that collect their cultural heritage. And that keep alive ancestral traditions, in ceremonies and festivals, where you can enjoy cultural activities and entertainment.… Read More
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- States of Mexico
- Animal Rescue in Mexico
Best tourist attractions in Cancun
by Gabriel Lorenzi
Discover the best tourist attractions in Cancun. See what they are and guarantee the dream trip for when you are there. What is not lacking in Cancun are incredible tours and attractions for you to visit with friends and family, ranging from breathtaking beaches to the impressive ruins of the Mayan civilization. Check below the list of the main attractions of this destination.
After reading this article, check out our tips about how to save a lot of money on your trip to Cancun . It is the most accessed article on our blog and will help you a lot with all the trip planning. There are several unmissable tips that will save you A LOT of cash and set up your entire trip to Cancun.
If you are going to Cancun, right away we want to indicate the MAIN beaches to enjoy there:
- Carmen Beach
- Delfines Beach
- Tortugas Beach
- Langosta Beach
- Punta Cancun Beach
- Chac Mool Beach
- Linda Beach
- North Beach
- Marlin Beach
- Akumal Beach
- Gaviota Azul Beach (Blue Seagull Beach)
Carmen Beach (Playa del Carmen)
Close to the city of Cancun, you will find the famous Carmen Beach, one of the most sought after destinations by tourists precisely for the cinematic landscapes and the inexplicable tranquility of the place! Like Cancun, Carmen Beach is a popular destination, but with a more natural and intimate atmosphere. There, you will be able to walk peacefully on the beach, swim in the peaceful green sea, dive, enjoy the scenery and also stroll along the charming 5th Avenue, which is simply the heart of Playa del Carmen. It is precisely on this avenue that most of the city’s restaurants, bars and shops are located.
Delfines Beach (Playa Delfines)
The name itself says, this is the beach of dolphins! In all seasons of the year, mammals appear to grace this tour. You can see them from the sand and also swim with these friendly animals. With calm and crystal clear waters, this is the perfect place to enjoy the sun and even learn to surf. Being a little distant from the big hotels, Delfines Beach ends up being more peaceful. There you will also find public restrooms and umbrellas. This is certainly one of the best beaches in Cancun .
Tortugas Beach (Playa Tortugas)
Tortugas Beach mixes the best of both worlds: it is a calm and great place to enjoy with the family, but it also offers more radical activities, such as bungee jumping, diving, jet skiing and surfing. What’s more, the beach area is full of delicious restaurants! There, you can also take the opportunity to make several boat and ferry boat trips, the same ones that take hundreds of tourists to the trendy and paradisiacal Isla Mujeres.
Langosta Beach (Playa Langosta)
When you step on this beach you will feel like you are in the Caribbean! As it is not such a popular beach, Langosta Beach is more peaceful, perfect for enjoying with your children. The calm sea invites you for a relaxing afternoon and even a walk on the sand. Here you will also come across the famous dolphins. And, for lovers of fun photos, be sure to make some records in the colorful sign of Cancun that is on this beach.
Punta Cancun Beach (Playa Punta Cancun)
Let’s agree that whoever is in Cancun really wants a good party! And, the perfect beach for those who want to spend a busy afternoon is Punta Cancun. In its surroundings are concentrated several ballads and shows. It is possible to spend hours sunbathing, swimming or simply relaxing in the shade of the palapas (a kind of straw umbrella). If you like to dive, Punta Cancun is also a great option, as there are several coral reefs nearby.
Chac Mool Beach (Playa Chac Mool)
If you are running away from hustle and bustling beaches, this is the best option. With no kiosks, vendors or any trade, Chac Mool Beach has become a haven for those looking for a little silence, out of the hustle and bustle that goes on in the heart of the Hotel Zone.
Linda Beach (Playa Linda)
Located in the Hotel Zone, Linda Beach is ideal if you like to take boat trips and want to see the famous dolphins. At one point on the beach, the sea joins with the lagoon, leaving the waters more greenish and your ride even more magical! There, you will also find La Torre Cancun, which is the famous revolving tower where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of Cancun.
North Beach (Playa Norte)
Continuing with this tourist guide in Cancun, we will go to North Beach. You know that blue sea that makes anyone’s mouth open is so beautiful and crystalline? Well, on this beach you will be faced with this scenario. In terms of structure, it is composed of: bars, restaurants and beach clubs. And, one last suggestion is to be sure to enjoy the sunset from there. It is wonderful!
Marlin Beach (Playa Marlin)
Marlin Beach can be easily found in Cancun’s Hotel Zone. With a color of turquoise blue sea, it is perfect for those who want a complete public beach. Her structure, for example, has bathrooms and showers, chairs and beach umbrellas, public parking, accessibility and more. We’re sure you’ll love it!!!
Akumal Beach (Playa Akumal)
Arriving almost at the very end of these tips on the best beaches in Cancun, be sure to also analyze Akumal Beach. This is the turtle beach. Yes, believe it if you want, there you can come across this little animal of different sizes. In addition to this marine life, at Akumal you will have shallow sea water, perfect for tours with young children, good signage through signs and shops with diving equipment. That’s awesome!
Gaviota Azul Beach (Playa Gaviota Azul)
With a super privileged location, close to Coco Bongo, she is one of the darlings of young people in this city for being in the hotspot of Cancun. With regard to the structure; it has a calm and crystal clear sea, white sand, paid parking and much more. It’s awesome!
As one of the seven wonders of the world, the tour to Chichen-Itzá cannot be left out of the list of best things to do in Cancun. This archaeological site will take you directly to the ancient times of the Mayan civilization, which lived where Mexico is today, between the centuries BC and 900 AD. This is an unmissable tour, because the energy of the place is simply inexplicable!
The main attraction of Chichen Itzá is the Kukulcán pyramid, where the Mayans played ball games. It is there that everyone takes thousands of photos, so take the opportunity to take yours too. They also sell a lot of Mayan handicrafts, which are worth taking as souvenirs of the trip. Visiting hours are from 8 am to 5 pm, and tickets for tours cost around 80 Mexican pesos.
And when you go to Chichen-Itzá, don’t forget to go in fresh clothes, bring a hat, sunscreen and lots of water. To get there, the best option is to rent a car, as the buses take a long time and you will have to stay within the time stipulated by them, running the risk of not being able to return if you need to. By car, it usually takes about 3 hours to travel, without any stop. But it is nice to stop and visit some tourist places.
Tulum is another archaeological site near Cancun where you can visit ruins of the Mayan civilization. At the site, there was a port city that was an important commercial hub at the time. And the view you will have of the sea is chilling!
From Cancun to Tulum are a 2-3 hour drive, which will be worth it when you arrive at your destination, since the landscape is breathtaking. The region is small, but you can enjoy eating in one of the delicious restaurants and bars in the surroundings. Good news: the ticket is cheap, it costs around 20 pesos.
Caves and Cenotes
For nature lovers, this tour will be paradise! The crystalline water caves that were used by the Mayans in their rituals carry a renewing energy! There, you will feel close to the culture and beliefs of these people. There are several cenotes in the Cancun region, some of which have lakes with warm waters, perfect for relaxing. The most famous are:
- Casa Cenote
- Gran Cenote
- Jardín del Eden
Pyramid of Cobá
Cobá, like Tulum and Chichén Itzá, is one of the memories of the Mayan civilization. The city was abandoned for many years, and because of that, the bush covered most of the ruins, giving an even more rustic and old look to the place.
The main attraction of the ancient Mayan city is the Nohoch Mul pyramid, which is 42 meters high, 12 more than that of Chichén Itzá. However, there are other remnants of impressive ruins scattered around the site that you can access by bike, walking or even taxi.
Xcaret is a park and nature reserve where you can see and get close to wild animals that are loose in the woods, a ride that children will definitely love! There, several trails are offered, the main one being that it travels an underground river using vests and masks to dive with the fish. In addition, the park has aquariums, SPA and diving groups.
By paying the Plus entry, you are entitled to lunch and other facilities. And if you think that the tour ends when the sun goes down, you are very wrong! At night, the park hosts various events and shows for its visitors! The place is beautiful and worth including on your list of the best tourist attractions in Cancun.
Very close to Cancun is the famous Isla Mujeres, a small island paradise that is very popular with tourists who want to be close to nature and discover new Caribbean beaches. There, you can either relax or enjoy more exciting activities, such as diving, parties, parks and the underwater museum.
There are several boat trips with parties and stops to dive with the animals. To get to the island, you need a boat. All hotels sell this tour, which is worth including on your list of the best tourist attractions in Cancun. In the center of the island you can walk and take the opportunity to do some shopping at the local stores, or even have lunch at the various rustic and charming restaurants and bars.
Underwater Museum of Art
The Underwater Museum of Art is an impressive underwater art museum! Located next to the National Marine Park of Cancun, between the coast of Isla de Mujeres, Punta Nizuc and Cancun, it was opened in 2009 and since there receives almost 1 million visitors every year who seek to know this unique museum underwater in the Mexico. There are more than 500 sculptures located between 3 to 6 meters in depth.
The facilities occupy an area of approximately 420 m² and weigh more than 200 tons. Local artists include Jason de Caires Taylor and Karen Salinas Martínez. Among the works of art exhibited at the Underwater Museum of Art in Cancun are several statues of human beings that represent the native population of the region at various times in their daily lives.
Garrafón Natural Reef Park
You can also choose to spend the day at Garrafón Natural Reef Park, where you will have the chance to dive in the sea, enjoy the pool, zip line and kayak or relax on the sun loungers and hammocks that are scattered in the park. Normal admission costs an average of US$ 90 per person, including the activities we mentioned and also breakfast, buffet lunch, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, showers, lockers, snorkel equipment and transportation to and from Cancun.
Cozumel Island is one of those breathtaking attractions that is so beautiful. Located near the Carmen Beach, it is sought after by visitors from all over the world looking for water activities. Some of those that stand out in this region are: snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, boat trips etc. If you also want to enjoy some shopping there, know that there are several local shops very graceful. For those who want to have a unique gastronomic experience, the restaurants and bars in the region are very attractive!
This is the ideal tour for nature lovers! It is an underground river about 600 meters long, located in Riviera Maya. Open to the public in 2009, this is still not one of the most popular tourist attractions for those who go to Cancun, however it is a simply wonderful tour! The place is also known as a crystal museum, precisely for the opportunity to walk in the crystal-clear and blessed waters of the river, also sacred to the then citizens of the Mayan civilization. That’s awesome.
Are you looking for fun in the middle of nature? So, you found your tour ideal! The Xel-Há park is one of the most popular places for those who go to Cancun because it is an open air park, which offers natural pools, diving excursions, fun slides, among other incredible attractions.
Located in the center of Riviera Maya, the park is a nature reserve, so don’t be surprised when you encounter wild animals throughout the day. Generally, buffet breakfast, lunch, snacks throughout the day, exclusive locker and diving equipment are included in the ticket. If you want, there is also the possibility to enjoy an afternoon of SPA or even play with the dolphins.
Church of the resurrected Christ
You don’t have to be religious to visit this parish. This church built in 1995 is beautiful and modern, and will make you shiver the moment you set foot in it. The place has an atmosphere of peace and serenity, and tourists, most of the time, love this tour.
This is a must-see tourist attraction in Cancun for those who enjoy a lively nightlife. Beautiful, with a surprising atmosphere and a lot of animation, this nightclub is different from the others because it was already the scene of a very famous movie, “The Mask”, recorded in 1994 and starring the actor Jim Carrey. The cool thing is that Coco Bongo offers: artistic shows, open bar (with diversified drinks), special lighting, shows, lively employees and a very young audience.
Important tips to enjoy much more your trip to Cancun
Now that we have given you all the tips about the best tourist attractions in Cancun, here are some more suggestions that will make your trip even better. Cancun is a big city and its tourist spots and beaches are concentrated in some regions, so being well located makes all the difference. If you haven’t already booked your hotel, be sure to check out our article Where to stay in Cancun , with tips from the best regions and also how to get a great hotel at a great price (and find all inclusive hotels and resorts on sale).
Another good tip is that many people think it is not worthwhile to rent a car in Cancun, but it all depends on how your trip will be. If you are staying at the hotel every day, it really is not worth it. But, if you are going on tours, want to go to shopping malls and tourist spots, they are all a little bit apart and the car is great for getting around.
Even in the hotel zone that has everything there, the distance between the points is great, and without the car you need to take a taxi or public bus. With the car, you have more comfort and freedom, not to mention the economy, because with the value of the transport that you will spend from the airport to the hotel and vice versa, you have already paid the rent of a car for almost 5 days. If you want to know all the tips on the subject and how to get incredible prices, see our full article about how to rent a car in Cancun .
Where to buy the cheapest tickets for tours and tourist attractions in Cancun
A good suggestion to save money is to buy tickets, tours and excursions in advance online. It costs a lot less and you don’t waste time in lines there in Cancun. We have done a lot of research and the site that always has the best prices is this Cancun tickets website . They are the biggest tours tickets website in the world.
The unmissable tours that cannot be left out of your trip in any way are: the excursion to Isla Mujeres, excursion to X-Caret or Xel-Há (two incredible natural parks), the Coco Bongo party and the excursion to Chichén Itzá, which is one of the seven wonders of the world. It also has the swim with dolphins which is incredible. Virtually all tours pick you up at your hotel and drop you back there.
Don’t forget about travel insurance to Cancun
Another tip is to not forget to take international travel insurance to Cancun, as it is very important and no one should leave the country without one. If you want, read our article about travel insurance for Cancun and see tips on how to get good insurance at an incredible price. It is super cheap and very worth it.
How to use your cell phone in Cancun
Being able to use the Internet from your cell phone in Cancun is very worthwhile. The tourist attractions, restaurants, shopping malls and beaches have great applications. In addition, you save by not having to rent a GPS for the car with the rental company, you can search the addresses and times of the places, see the weather forecast to plan for the tours and beaches, stay connected with everyone through applications and post your photos of Cancun on social networks.
If you want, see all our tips to use your cell phone in Cancun . It’s super cheap and you’ll be able to use your cell phone all day and anywhere. And, you can also search all about the best tourist attractions in Cancun for when you’re there.
Other must-see articles from Cancun:
- Best all inclusive resort hotels in Cancun
- Best things to do in Cancun
- Best things to do at night in Cancun
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Our Woven Journey
Mexican Magic: The 10 Destinations That Will Take Your Breath Away in 2023
Posted: November 18, 2023 | Last updated: November 18, 2023
Mexico, a tapestry of vibrant traditions and breathtaking landscapes, harbours towns that capture your heart and won’t let go. Whether it’s the pulsating energy of Mexico City’s colonial core or Mazatlán’s seductive Pacific shores, these unforgettable Mexican towns have a knack for etching themselves into your memory.
Mexico’s Best Destinations
Whether you are a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, a foodie, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Mexico’s best destinations cater to every taste and interest. In this article, we will explore some of the top cities in Mexico that are a must-visit for anyone traveling to this amazing country.
Cancun, located on the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, is a world-famous destination with everything you’d want on vacation. With its white-sandy beaches, brilliant blue water, vibrant coral reefs, and exquisite cuisine for dining, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
While you’re in Cancun, a unique activity is to visit the Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA), an underwater museum featuring over 500 sculptures. Whatever you decide to do in Cancun, this well-oiled tourist city will have something to enjoy.
#2 The Mayan Ruins
Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula isn’t just famous for its sun and sandy beaches; it’s also home to some of the world’s best Mayan ruins. You’ll find the most famous ruins in Tulum, Coba, and Chichen Itza, a day’s excursion from other tourist sites such as Cancun or Playa del Carmen.
Undeniably, there’s a lot of fascinating history to see in person.
#3 Mexico City
The Capital of Mexico, Mexico City, might be a bit cliché. Still, it makes this list because of its rich history. Some excursions to plan for are museums and historical sites, a hot air balloon over the city and ruins nearby, and beautiful places to enjoy fine cuisine.
Don’t forget all the great tours you can book, such as bike tours, food tours, walking tours, museum tours, taco tours, and endless opportunities. With proper planning, visiting this city would be well worth your time.
#4 The Magical Towns
What are Mexico’s “Pueblos Magicos” or Magical Towns? They are small towns awarded this designation for maintaining their original architecture, folklore, culture, and history.
Why visit a Magical Town? Because they hold historical importance and grant a special connection between visitors and Mexico’s roots and traditions. There are over 130 Magical Towns to choose from dotted across Mexico and all within a day’s journey from various destination cities, making it easy to include a visit to one of them in your trip.
#5 Isla Cozumel
Cozumel is a world-renowned scuba diving site with many top dive sites nearby to choose from. Cozumel is the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean and sits off the tip of the peninsula, close to Playa del Carmen.
The island has plenty to do, and the beach lounging situation is superb. To keep you busy, there are jungle tours, horseback riding, scuba adventures, and so much more.
Guadalajara is a city in western Mexico known for mariachi music and tequila. There are loads of activities to do while you are here, including participating in a free walking tour, exploring the historical center, visiting the Government Palace, visiting shopping centers, seeing a Lucha Libre fight, visiting beautiful gardens, and much more.
#7 Copper Canyon
Copper Canyon is an impressive location to see. Located in Chihuahua in Mexico, the canyon rivals America’s Grand Canyon . One option for experiencing the canyon is to take a breathtaking train ride through it. You can also visit an adventure park within the canyon, or zip-line through parts of the canyon.
However you choose to enjoy Copper Canyon, you will surely have your breath taken away.
Why visit Tijuana? The town has excellent culinary, cultural, and artistic scenes suitable for anyone in your travel party. Sports, food, and historical sites will keep you busy. Not only does Tijuana have the normal bustling crowd of tourists, it also has plenty of options for medical tourism by offering low-cost yet high-quality treatments.
Acapulco is a city and major seaport located in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. The city has plenty of luxury hotels and resorts, great cuisine options, and a rocking nightlife. Don’t confuse this location with a recent television show of the same name.
Mazatlán is a sandy beach resort town along the Pacific shoreline in Sinaloa. The town offers many tourist attractions, including an aquarium, dive spots, a lighthouse, city-specific historical landmarks, eateries, and more.
A Cancun Mexico Vacation That Will Blow Your Mind
Pack your bags for an amazing Mexico vacation because these five vacation getaways will blow your mind!
Riu Palace Pacifico Review: Is This All-Inclusive Resort Worth It?
Your main job is simply to relax and enjoy your vacation. With everything done for you, all you have to do is eat whenever you want and sit in the sun. At the Riu, you can do that like a boss!
This article originated on Our Woven Journey. Featured Image Credit: Deposit Photos .
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Can Russians travel to Cancun?
FAQs about traveling from Russia to Cancun:
1. do russians need a visa to travel to cancun, 2. how long does it take to get a tourist visa for mexico, 3. are direct flights available from russia to cancun, 4. what is the best time of year to visit cancun, 5. is it safe for russians to travel to cancun, 6. can i use my credit card in cancun, 7. are there any travel restrictions for russians visiting cancun, 8. are there any specific cultural customs or etiquette to be aware of in cancun, 9. can i rent a car in cancun with my russian driver’s license, 10. what are some popular tourist attractions in cancun, 11. is it necessary to get travel insurance when traveling to cancun, 12. what is the currency used in cancun.
Yes, Russians can travel to Cancun, Mexico. Cancun is a popular tourist destination that welcomes visitors from all over the world, including Russians. However, there are some important factors to consider before planning your trip.
Firstly, Russians who wish to travel to Cancun need to obtain a tourist visa. The visa application process can be done through the Mexican embassy or consulate in Russia. It is advisable to start the visa application process well in advance of your planned trip, as it may take some time for the visa to be processed.
Once you have obtained your visa, you can make travel arrangements to Cancun. There are several airlines that operate flights from Russia to Cancun, with layovers in major European cities. It is recommended to book your flights in advance to secure the best deals and availability.
When you arrive in Cancun, you will be greeted with warm weather, beautiful beaches, and a vibrant atmosphere. The city offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hotels. You can indulge in various water sports activities, explore ancient Mayan ruins, or simply relax by the turquoise waters.
Yes, Russians need to obtain a tourist visa before traveling to Cancun. The visa application process can be done through the Mexican embassy or consulate in Russia.
The processing time for a Mexican tourist visa may vary, but it is advisable to start the application process well in advance of your planned trip. It is recommended to allow at least two to four weeks for the visa to be processed.
Currently, there are no direct flights from Russia to Cancun. Travelers from Russia will need to take connecting flights with layovers in major European cities.
The best time to visit Cancun is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. During this period, the weather is warm and sunny, with minimal rainfall. However, it is important to note that this is also the peak tourist season, so prices may be higher and popular attractions may be more crowded.
Cancun is generally a safe destination for tourists, including Russians. However, it is always important to exercise common sense and take precautions to ensure your safety. Avoid flashing valuable items, be aware of your surroundings, and follow the local laws and regulations.
Yes, most hotels, restaurants, and shops in Cancun accept credit cards. However, it is always advisable to carry some cash for small purchases and in case of any emergencies.
As of the time of writing, there are no specific travel restrictions for Russians visiting Cancun. However, it is recommended to check the latest travel advisories and guidelines from the Russian government and the Mexican authorities before your trip.
Cancun is a diverse and cosmopolitan city that welcomes visitors from all over the world. However, it is always appreciated to respect the local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, be polite and considerate to the locals, and try to learn a few basic phrases in Spanish to enhance your interactions.
Yes, you can rent a car in Cancun with your Russian driver’s license. However, it is recommended to also carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with your license to ensure smooth rental procedures.
Cancun offers a wide range of attractions for visitors to explore. Some popular tourist spots include the Mayan ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza, the Xel-Ha natural water park, the underwater museum Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA), and the vibrant nightlife of the Hotel Zone.
While it is not mandatory, it is highly recommended to obtain travel insurance when traveling to Cancun or any other destination. Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost luggage, and other unforeseen circumstances.
The official currency of Cancun is the Mexican Peso (MXN). It is advisable to exchange your currency to Mexican Pesos upon arrival, as some establishments may not accept other currencies or may apply unfavorable exchange rates for foreign currency.
In conclusion, Russians can travel to Cancun by obtaining a tourist visa and making travel arrangements. Cancun offers a vibrant and diverse experience for visitors, with beautiful beaches, historical sites, and a range of activities to enjoy. It is important to plan ahead, follow the necessary procedures, and take basic precautions to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.
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Things to Do in Cancun, Mexico - Cancun Attractions
Things to do in cancun.
- Good for Big Groups
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- Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.