21 Amazing Things to do in Cancun


Cancun has a protracted historical past as a top-of-the-line location to have fun Spring Break with faculty college students flocking to its white-sand seashores. But there are many issues to do in Cancun in addition to strutting down the seaside or partying into the wee hours of the morning. We’ve gone again to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula repeatedly because the yr 1999 and we at all times discover one thing new to see and do.

Cancun is the gateway to the Mayan Riviera with limitless accommodations sprawling alongside the coast of the Caribbean Sea looking at its clear turquoise waters. There is a limitless record of Cancun actions to be had and we’ve carried out our greatest to attempt all of them!

Top Things to do in Cancun

If you’re planning a visit to Cancun be sure to get out of your luxurious lodge to discover the sweetness and tradition of this little slice of heaven in Mexico. So let’s get began to show you how to discover all the most effective actions in Cancun that can make your journey a trip to bear in mind.

Looking for transportation from Cancun Airport to your lodge? Check out eTransfers for the best prices. They supply shuttles to the Hotel Zone, Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, and all alongside the Mayan Riviera.

There is little doubt that most individuals guide not less than considered one of many day journeys from Cancun. With quick access to the Mayan Riviera and southern Caribbean Coast, lots of the high issues to do in Cancun are whereas out on excursions that go away from the Hotel Zone. We are going to discuss our favorite day journeys from Cancun in addition to the most effective issues to do in the Hotel Zone.

For day excursions in Cancun, we use Get Your Guide. We use them for all our day journeys around the world and have used them for a lot of our Cancun travels.

 It provides transfers, tour guides, and entry to lots of the high locations to go to in Cancun with full refunds if canceling within 24 hours of excursions. Plus, they take last-minute bookings too. We’ll be recommending the Cancun excursions that we’ve carried out to assist take the guesswork out of bookings for you.

If you’re on the lookout for suggestions on the place to keep in Cancun, we have a complete publish breaking down all the most effective areas. Read extra at: Where to Stay in Cancun: Best Hotels and Areas For Every Budget

Best Things to do in Cancun – Hotel Zone

best things to do in cancun mexico
White sand seaside and accommodations in Cancun, Mexico

The Hotel Zone, (Zona Hotelera) is among the hottest locations to keep in Cancun and with good purpose. It is a limitless stretch of sand full of accommodations lining the seaside.

These are the most effective issues to do close to Cancun to take pleasure in a time out of the place you don’t want to get on a tour bus or guide a tour out of your lodge. From watersports to a pure theme park, Mayan ruins to underwater rivers, you’re going to fall in love with Cancun.

1. Stroll the Hotel Zone

Things to do hotel zone of Cancun shopping area

Just strolling alongside the lodge zone of Cancun is a journey unto itself. This zone is 22km (14 miles lengthy) and full of eating places, bars, buying malls, and all-inclusive mega-resorts.

You don’t have to keep at an all-inclusive to have an enjoyable time, we as soon stayed in a budget hotel in downtown Cancun and had a lot enjoyable exploring by foot, having fun with the nightlife, and having extra immersive expertise.

2. Maya Ruins of El Rey

Places to visit in Cancun el ray ruins
El Rey Ruins

It is probably not as huge as Chichen Itza or as well-known as Tulum, however, the El Rey Ruins is a correct Mayan archeological website close to downtown Cancun. There are 47 ruins to discover with a burial website and historical murals.

The star attraction of this website is the colony of iguanas that inhabit the ruins. They are used to individuals so the possibility of seeing one is superb! Not all guests to Cancun will need to take a bus trip for hours to see Mayan Ruins, so that is the subsequent smartest thing.

3. Coco Bongo

Things to d in Cancun coco Bongo

If you’re on the lookout for enjoyable issues to do in Cancun in the evening, you’ll be able to go to membership and tear up the dance ground all evening lengthy. Cancun is thought for its social gathering scene and there is plenty of golf equipment for social gatherings however, Coco Bongo is a nightclub providing leisure together with acrobats, a lightweight present, and gogo dancers. It’s actually an extravaganza with a circus on steroids vibe. It’s an all-night occasion so be ready for a hangover in the morning.

Coco Bongo is simply one of many many bars downtown. Other places to visit for nightlife are Mandala, Congo Bar, and Palazzo and naturally, you’ll be able to by no means miss the possibility of social gathering up at Senor Frogs!

4. Playa Delfines

Best things to do in Cancun Mexico Play Delfines

Cancun seashores are is legendary for their limitless stretches of white sand. From the Cancun Riviera to Playa del Carmen, and Playa Mujeres, you’ll discover among the finest seashores in Mexico right here. The seashores proper at the entrance of the lodge zone are improbable with smooth white sand that goes on for days.

Chances are once you go to Cancun, you’ll be staying at an all-inclusive resort with its personal seaside. But a few of the chances are you’ll be at a lodge on the lagoon and others might want to get off the resort.

Playa Delfines is the one public seaside that’s fully void of accommodations and eating places. It provides you that native expertise providing a quieter time out in the solar. There are free seaside umbrellas to use and lifeguards on responsibility. Its title says all of it, Playa Delphines interprets Dolphin Beach, and also you’ll have an amazing likelihood of recognizing dolphins right here.

Best Cancun Beaches

There’s nothing we love greater than strolling on the smooth white sands for our morning stroll. What I really like is how lengthy the seashores are in Cancun, we will stroll for hours. Hotels have lovely seashores proper off of the property and you’ll stroll from the lodge to lodge to benefit from the beautiful setting.

If you need to go seaside hopping around Cancun, listed here are among the finest seashores to absorb the solar close to and around Cancun. Some of the most effective seashores in addition to Playa Delfines are Playa Tortugas, Playa Forum, and Playa Marlin.

Best Beaches Near Cancun for a day journey

  • Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres – common Cancun Isla Mujeres ferries will take you to this lovely seaside. Or you’ll be able to guide an Isla Mujeres day journey. This is a superb island to go to from Cancun. This Isla Mujeres Tour takes you to the “Island of women to snorkel in its clear blue waters.
  • Playacar Beach in Playa del Carmen – a great day trip from Cancun is to hang out in Playa del Carmen and it has a fantastic beach!
  • Tulum Beach – When exploring the Mayan Ruins of Tulum, you often have a chance to relax on its beautiful beach. It has some of the most spectacular views in the Mayan Riviera.

5. Cancun Scenic Tower

If you aren’t blessed with a high hotel room facing the water, make your way to Torre Escenica (Aka Cancun Scenic Tower) for one of the best views in Cancun. Located just in from the Hotel Zone near Playa Tortugas, it has panoramic views where you’ll be able to see the rows of all-inclusive resorts, Cancun, and the Caribbean Coast

6. Visit the Cancun Sign (Letras Cancún)

things to do in cancun - cancun sign
Welcome to Cancun – The Colorful Cancun Sign

There’s no doubt that one of the most popular things to do in any destination these days is to get a selfie in front of the destination’s sign. Well, you’ll find a colorful Cancun sign like everywhere else on the planet waiting for you. It has fast become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cancun and is a must when checking off your list of Cancun activities. The famous Cancun sign is located on Playa Delfines. We have it pinned on our map above.

7. Museo Maya de Cancun (Mayan Museum)

If you want to add a little culture to your trip but don’t want to spend time on a bus going on a day trip to Tulum or Chichen Itza, you can get the Mayan ruin experience closer to the Hotel Zone at Museo Maya.

The Museo Museum in Cancun is a great place to learn about the history of the pre-Columbian Maya. As we get older, we enjoy going to museums be it in Cancun, or Paris France. We have learned that museums are a great complement to visiting places in real life.

If you are planning on visiting places like Tulum or Chichen Itza, this will help you understand the Mayan history and culture better before you go. It is a newer attraction opening in 2012 and is located right in the hotel zone.

8. Downtown Cancun

best things to do in downtown Cancun

If you want to experience some real Mexican culture, make your way to downtown Cancun. The great thing about this area is that hotels are much cheaper and most tours will pick you up at your hotel. This Modern 2-bed Apartment offers easy access to local markets, shopping districts, and restaurants from this modern apartment.

Avenida Tulum is the main street of Cancun that is filled with restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. It is here that you’ll find some of the best markets and shop for a souvenir from your time in Mexico. If you want an authentic taco, this is the place to try Tacos al Pastor, (Shepard style) Taqueria Coapenitos, (pub-style) This gastronomy walking tour takes you to 4 local Taquerias (taco restaurants) to sample local street food from local street vendors and a variety of flavorful tacos. Try a traditional beverage and a dessert.

9. Outdoor Markets Cancun

things to do in Cancun Markets

Cancun is a modern city with shopping malls, a Walmart, and even a Costco. I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I want to visit more traditional markets.

One of many markets in Cancun is Mercado 28. It is an outdoor open-air market that sells souvenirs, crafts, and jewelry. It is a covered market so you won’t be scorched by the sun, but it has that traditional feel of an old flea market. Sharpen your bargaining skills and get ready to buy some Mexican souvenirs at discount prices. Market 23 is one of the most visited markets in the city as well.

Water Activities in Cancun

10. Tackle a Flyboard

the best things to do in cancun video

If you are ready for a thrill of a lifetime, try flyboarding in Cancun’s hotel zone. There are only a handful of operators in Cancun that will let you fly over the water like a snowboarder.

Head out with an instructor on a wave runner for 30 minutes to help you get the hang of flying through the air! We didn’t have the nerve to do this, but we loved watching the crazy travelers try their hand at it.

11. Go Kayaking

Believe it or not, you don’t have to go far from downtown Cancun to experience a bit of nature. Nichupte Lagoon is a natural reserve near Cancun that has mangrove forests and seven lakes that you can go kayaking through its mangrove jungle.

There are also plenty of water sports to be had from taking boat tours through the jungle lagoon, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Nichupte Lagoon is a great way for visitors to experience a bit of the jungle of the Yucatan without having to go far.

12. SUP – Stand Up Paddleboarding

Most hotels in Cancun offer free stand-up paddleboarding with their packages and SUP along the coast is one of the best affordable activities in Cancun. The waters at Cancun’s hotel zone are calm making it a great place to give it a try. Stand-up paddleboarding is a fun way to explore the coast and get a little exercise in.

You can even do some organized tours of the mangroves. When looking for fun activities in Cancun on the water consider an SUP trips, you may discover your new favorite hobby!

Part 2 Cancun Excursions

Some of the top things to din Cancun are actually day trips from Cancun. The waters surrounding Cancun are a playground for scuba divers, snorkelers, and sailing trips. Whale sharks migrate through the area, and pristine islands are just short boat trips from the mainland.

13. Go Scuba Diving

what to do in cancun mexico

The coral reef off the shore of the Riviera Maya and Cancun is one of the best in the world. In 1961 Jacques Cousteau discovered the magnificent diving here and declared the area one of the most beautiful dive sites in the world.

Thanks in part to the popularity of diving in these waters, they were declared a national marine park in 1996. This has allowed the reef to thrive and the wildlife to flourish, making for one of the most sensational diving experiences you’re likely to ever have.

Cozumel is the top spot in the Yucatan Peninsula for scuba diving, but you can book scuba diving tours from Cancun to explore its crystal clear waters with visibility reaching over 100 feet. Even if you are a beginner you can try scuba diving in Cancun. Many resorts offer PADI certification and explore dives.

14. Snorkeling with Whale Sharks and Sea Turtles

Things to do in Cancun Mexico Snorkeling Whale Sharks

If you aren’t ready to go diving, snorkeling is one of our favorite things to do in Cancun. There are so many snorkeling experiences near Cancun. Isla Mujeres is one of the best places in the world to see sea turtles and just off the Yucatan Coast is one of the best places in the world to spot whale sharks.

Swimming with whale sharks is hands down one of the most exciting activities in Cancun To see these gentle giants up close is one for the bucket list.

Swimming with Whale Sharks – This seasonal activity is a must. If you are in Cancun between May and October, be sure to book a tour to swim with Whale Sharks.

15. Rio Secreto Cenote

One of our favorite things to do in Cancun is to explore its many cenotes. The Riviera Maya is known for its underground rivers flowing through limestone caves, known as Cenotes and intrepid travelers will want to make sure to get into at least one on their visit to Cancun. There are so many Cenotes to visit near Cancun.

One of the best Cenote tours is Rio Secreto and we highly recommended it. But Rio Secreto is only one of many Cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula.

During our last trip to Cancun, we stayed near the lovely Puerto Morelos located between Playa del Carmen and Cancun and there are several Cenotes in Puerto Morelos. Verde Lucero Cenote is a cenote you can visit on your own and do some zip lining too. You can book a four Cenotes tour through Viator.

Lu’um Cenote was our favorite with a full day of water sports from Rappeling into the Cenote, and doing many adventures like a zip line over a cenote, swimming in a Cenote, and kayaking through the underground rivers. Read more: 15 Fun Facts About Mexico

16. Zip Lining through Jungles and Cenotes

Things to do in Cancun Mexico Zipline

If you are looking for adventurous things to do in Cancun, add zip lining to your list. The people who brought you Xcaret, have created an adventure theme park that houses the most visited in the world! Ziplining is a thrill to soar above the jungle. Mexico is the only place where we ever had a wet water landing and Xplore has two of them!

There’s not only ziplining here though, you will have a blast on the ATV adventure, rafting through the Cenotes and swimming through underground caves.

Book these highly-rated tours – ATV Tour, Zipline, and Cenotes Tour all in one. The great thing about the Maya Riviera is that many tours combine the top attractions all in one day.

17. Isla Mujeres

Things to do in Cancun Mexico Isla Mujeres

A great day trip from Cancun is spending a day at Isla Mujeres, it is just a short boat ride from the mainland. Isla Mujeres, aka the “Island of Women”, acquired its title from the numerous pictures of Goddesses on the Island.

The island was sacred to the traditional Mayans who worshipped it because of the goddess of childbirth. This Catamaran cruise to Isla Mujeres is a ravishing escape only a brief 30-minute boat tour from downtown Cancun.

Many individuals spend the day in the Garrafon Natural Reef Park. This pure park is full of water sports activities like snorkeling in the coral reefs, at Gararafon Natural Reef Park, kayaking, mountaineering, and even ziplining. Just a 15-minute ferry trip from downtown Cancun, this can be a style place to go to.

18. Catamaran Cruise

Getting on the water is our high advice for the journey to Cancun. The water is crystal clear, heat, and exquisite. Sailing alongside the coast actually provides you an understanding as to why this space was developed into such a vacationer in Mecca. This complete customizable catamaran cruise helps you to select your personal itinerary as you sail aboard a 32-foot yacht. It holds up to 25 of your closest family and friends with an open bar.

We counsel, asking to go to the turtle conservation heart situated on the island to the place you’ll give you the option to witness sea turtles being hatched! The heart is making nice strides in its sea turtle conservation efforts.

  • Book this highly rated tour – an all-inclusive Isla Mujeres Catamaran cruise – Including an open bar, meals, and stops at El Meco coral reef, downtown Isla Mujeres and exquisite views of the Riviera Maya coast.

19. Isla Contoy

Another Island not to be missed is to go chicken watching at Isla Contoy. This island is usually mixed with journeys to Isla Mujeres and it’s a pretty protected space to spy thousands of birds and sea turtles.

Isla Contoy has been designated a National Park and so they solely permit 200 individuals on the island a day. After exploring the island, it’s time to get in the water to do some snorkeling in Mexico’s beautiful coral reefs. This small island is simply 3.7 sq. km however it’s a protected nationwide park. Only 200 individuals are allowed on Isla Contoy a day. It is a chicken sanctuary with greater than 170 chicken species migrating by the island and its crystal clear waters are protected as nicely. It is a superb place for snorkeling, and chicken watching and you’ll spy loggerhead turtles as nicely.

Trips to Isla Contoy are sometimes mixed with stops at Isla Mujeres. You can book this combo tour to benefit from the crystal clear waters and white sand seashores of each island.

  • Book this island combination tour – Isla Mujeres and Islan Contoy tour the place you’ll uncover two of probably the most lovely islands in the Yucatan Peninsula. Easy cancellation within 24 hours of action.
20. Chichén Itzá

I feel the very first-day journey everybody books when visiting Cancun is a visit to the traditional Mayan Ruins of Chichén Itzá. Chichen Itza is probably the most well-known of all of the Maya Ruins in the Yucatan and it’s the largest historical metropolis the place you’ll be able to tour its historical pyramids most notably El Castillo – the Temple of Kukulkan)   and ball courts, the gorgeous sprawling grounds, and there may be even a cenote.

chichen itza in mexico wonder of the world

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is so fantastic that it was named one of many New 7 Wonders of the World. See all of them at 7 Wonders of the World – the New, The Natural, and the Ancient

No journey to Cancun could be full without not go-to to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trust me, the primary time we went to Cancun, everybody requested us up on our return “did you go to Chichen Itza?” sure, sure we did! We really visited Chichen Itza years in the past when you could possibly nonetheless climb to the highest of El Castillo. See our record of favorite 42 Amazing Ancient Ruins of the World

  • If you’ll be able to hire or rent an automobile to go to earlier than the tour buses arrive, we extremely suggest it. This place will get busy.
  • Chichen-Itza – Chichen Itza is a protracted drive from Cancun, so mix it with a full tour stopping at a Cenote, and the Colonial City of Valladolid.

21. Tulum

Places to Visit in Mexico Tulum Ruins
Check out the ruins of Tulum!

Tulum is just not on the high of our favorite the Mayan Ruins, nonetheless, it’s the spectacular setting that makes it price visiting. There are archaeological websites throughout Mexico giving a glimpse into Ancient Mayan tradition. Tulum is among the most simply accessible from Cancun.

Sitting excessively on a cliff overlooking the miraculous turquoise waters will take your breath away. A preferred backpacker hang-out, Tulum additionally has fantastic seashores.

If you need to escape Tulum there may be plenty of lodging there. And it’s quickly changing into a greater than a day journey from Cancun, it’s now a well-liked trip vacation spot in Mexico.

Combine a tour of the traditional Maya ruins of Tulum with a cenote journey on this top-ranked tour.

22. Explore the Underwater Museum

best things to do in cancun underwater museum

You don’t have to go far to have novel underwater expertise. One of the most effective issues to do in the Yucatan Peninsula is to go scuba diving. And the underwater artwork museum of Cancun is a novel scuba diving expertise.

This synthetic reef consists of 45 statues making it the biggest underwater synthetic reef system in the world. Locals posed for these statues that had been submerged to create a base for coral to develop on.

Whether you scuba dive, snorkel, or simply need to exit on a glass-bottom boat, you’ll be able to see this museum on a three-hour journey from the Hotel Zone.

  • Even learners can dive in the underwater museum – Book this beginner’s scuba diving experience the place you’ll have a short introduction earlier than heading out to see the underwater statues and synthetic reef.

23. Playa del Carmen

Check out the seashores of Playa del Carmen

We really choose to keep in Playa del Carmen greater than Cancun, however, in case you are staying in Cancun, you actually should not less than head over to Playa for a day to test it out.

The seashore’s white sands are smooth and alluring to go for a stroll at dawn. There are loads of strolling streets, nightlife, buying, and cafés. If you need to experience Coco Bongo, you’ll be able to do it right here in Playa in addition to in Cancun. It is a superb place to make a base.

Hot tip: Each tour that’s provided in Cancun could be booked from Playa del Carmen too!

Where to Stay in Cancun

Besides Cancun, anyplace alongside the Mayan Riviera from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum is an effective location to keep. We have stayed in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cancun Riviera, Cozumel, Puerto Morelos, and Playa Mujeres. All of those areas work as excursions, and transfers will choose up and drop you off right here. (save for Cozumel which we really feel is extra devoted to diving. That was our purpose once we stayed on the island)

Check out our article devoted particularly to Where to Stay in Cancun for extra ideas!

There are actually 1000’s of accommodations in the realm, and we will’t break all of them down ourselves. You ought to try TripAdvisor and Booking.com for charges, evaluations, and areas of accommodations in Cancun that fit your funds and wishes.

There are numerous accommodations in the Mayan Riviera and everybody has a favorite. But these are accommodations we’ve stayed at in Cancun and belief.

  • Excellence Cancun Riviera – This all-inclusive adults-only lodge is ideal for a romantic getaway or big day. We had a personal pool on our rooftop and loved the unbelievable spa.
  • Moon Palace Grand – We spent per week right here and loved the totally different ranges for households and {couples}. Check TripAdvisor and Booking.com for evaluations and charges
  • Hyatt Zilara – We love the Hyatt Zilara resorts and so they additionally supply totally different ranges of accommodations for households and {couples}. Check TripAdvisor and Booking.com
  • Barcelo Maya – We cherished our keep right here on the Mayan Riviera. Check out TripAdvisor and Booking.com
  • The Fives Azul Beach Resort – All-Inclusive Luxury Resort – 10 Minutes from Playa del Carmen. Check out TripAdvisor and Booking.com

When to Visit Cancun

Best time to visit Cancun Mexico

We have been to the realm in any respect totally different occasions of the yr and for probably the most half, anytime is an effective time to go to Cancun.

The excessive season in Cancun – December by to the tip of April is the most effective time to go to Cancun for the most effective local weather. It is when the climate is perfect and most secure. Especially from January – to March. It is the dryest season, however, additionally, it is comfy with humidity at its lightest making for a really comfy journey.

Summer Season – We have been to Cancun in the lifeless summertime and it was improbable. It’s slightly extra humid and chances are you’ll get a slightly little bit of rain every day however nothing to cease you from having fun with the solar.

These months are the wet season in Cancun which suggests that there’s the occasional afternoon bathing. Rates are cheaper and crowds are fewer in the offseason of Cancun. Summer can also be a good time to swim with whale sharks. The season is from June to September.

Shoulder Season – During September and October, Cancun is simply beginning to gear up for the winter season, so that is the place you’ll discover the most effective offers. But some excursions aren’t working, chances are you’ll come throughout the building at your lodge and chances are you’ll be in the center of hurricane season. Cancun does see fewer hurricanes than the Caribbean although.

When to Visit Cancun for Diving and Snorkelling

The finest time for swimming with whale sharks is from June to September

We carried out a diving journey to Cancun in the Spring, we swam with whale sharks in the summertime and went diving and snorkeling in the lifeless of winter.

Anytime is an effective time to benefit from the water in Cancun. But as we mentioned above, whale shark season is from June to September. (September is getting late, however, we had been as soon as on the final journey of the yr and noticed lots)

Sea Turtles are nesting in May and October, so you will have a great likelihood of seeing them at the seaside. (Don’t disturb them although, they’re laying eggs and are very endangered.

And these are the easiest issues to do in Cancun. What adventures will you attempt once you go to Mexico subsequent?

Plan Your Next Trip to Mexico With These Resources

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