10 Great Things to Do in Cancún
One of Mexico’s most popular beach destinations is also a treasure trove of Mayan ruins and underwater wonders. Dive into its turquoise waters, discover the many archeological sites and party all night!
- Beaches, More beaches and Nichupté Lagoon
Turquoise white-sand beaches like Chemuyil and Playa Delfines are perfect spots for swimming with colorful fish, relaxing and even horseback riding. Punta Nizuc is great for freediving, while Nichupté Lagoon is the ideal location for a boat trip or jet skiing.
2. Eco Parks
Hands down, the most popular park in the area is Xcaret. Here, you can swim in subterranean rivers, admire the region’s native species and enjoy a stunning pre-Colombian shows. Another great spot is Xel-Há, the world’s biggest natural aquarium, where you can swim and snorkel among colorful fish. In Xplor, you’ll n fly through the air on zip lines. Nature lovers, meanwhile, will love Kabah Eco Park, where you will get to know local flora and fauna.
3. Archeological Sites
Very close to Cancún is El Meco, an ancient Mayan city with striking buildings like El Castillo and Yamil Lu’um. Another impressive archeological site, El Rey archeological is right by the hotel zone. This place used to be a ceremonial and administrative center and it still preserves fragments of pre-Colombian murals. Don’t forget to visit Cobá, a site that will astound you with its steles encrusted with hieroglyphic inscriptions.
4. Underwater Museum of Art
This one-of-a-kind gallery features a collection of submerged sculptures by English sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor. Snorkel or dive among these stunning pieces made with materials that promote coral growth and be amazed.
5. Museums and Monuments
Cancún’s Mayan Museum has one of the most important archeological collections in the country. Other places not to be missed are the Monument to Mexican History, with its engravings of important historical figures, and the monument to José Martí (a Cuban politician and writer), designed by Cuban sculptor Ramón de Lázaro Bencomo. The Fountain of Kukulcán (with a 6-headed feathered serpent design) is another unmissable stop, for the photos opportunities if nothing else!
6. Río Secreto
Follow a winding system of underground channels that cross a subterranean river, discover caves that resemble red-toned bell towers and admire thousands of stalagmites and stalactites. During your visit, you’ll walk and swim through these spectacular natural formations. Río Secreto is only one hour from Cancún’s hotel zone.
7. Mercado 28
Visit this market to buy Mexican handicrafts, jewelry and souvenirs. This is also a good place to try traditional Yucatecan cuisine.
Cancún has more than 24 diving sites, with average depths of 12 m (39 ft). However, in the open sea, you can dive to depths of up to 26 m (85 ft)! For an exhilarating adventure, go to Las Cuevas de los Tiburones (the Shark Caves) and see these impressive predators up-close.
9. Islands Tour
There are many islands close to Cancún that you can visit. In Isla Mujeres you can dive, snorkel, explore Mayan ruins and admire a sacred sanctuary dedicated to goddess Ixchel. Other places worth visiting are the small Yunque islands, El Farito, La Cueva de los Tiburones Dormidos and Isla Contoy, an ecological reserve where you do bird watching.
10. Night Life
Coco Bongo nightclub has more than 30 live shows, free shots and drinks and an electric atmosphere. City Discotheque has an open-bar and performances by world famous DJs like Tiesto, Chris Lake and Alesso. For something a little different, head to Mandala Night Club and dance the night away in an oriental atmosphere. If you want to enjoy a spectacular light and sound system and the hits of DJs such as Nervo, Deniz Koyu and Dave Seaman, Palazzo Disco is the place for you!