things to do in cancun things to do in cancun

Tropical Thrills: A Countdown of the 15 Best Things to Do in Cancun

Welcome to the most well-known paradise in Mexico. Cancun, maybe the most well-known resort in all of Mexico, is located on a 396-meter-long, 13-mile-long island with an L-shape that is just off the Yucatan peninsula’s northern shore.

Mexico’s main party hub, Cancun, offers fantastic beachfront access to the Caribbean Sea. But aside from the beaches, there are a lot of other things to do in Cancun.

Cancun, known as the entrance to the Yucatan Peninsula, is frequently the first place most Americans visit while traveling in Mexico. Up to 40% of American tourists choose Mexico as their vacation destination. It’s congested and full of annoying first-time visitors who are terrified to drink the water or leave their all-inclusive resorts; it’s like a Mexican Las Vegas.

Cancun was designed to resemble paradise from the start. It was designed with upscale travel in mind. In a little more than ten years, the expansive resort was constructed from the jungle and immaculate coastline.

More than four million tourists visit it every year, making it one of the most popular travel sites in the world today. Numerous attractions and activities are the main lures. You’ll never run out of adventure with the abundance of sandy white beaches, impressively exploring coral reefs and almost ideal weather.

A causeway connects the main tourist area to the mainland, where the modern city of Cancun is located. This bustling center is home to several interesting attractions worth visiting, assuming you can launch yourself from the shorelines. And if you can only do one guided trip or excursion, make sure it’s to one of the numerous historically significant Mayan sites scattered throughout the island.

The majority of these are easily accessible by tour bus, and the routes provide several possibilities for sightseeing. Be sure to frequently refer to this list of the best activities in Cancun if you want to make the most of your time in this tropical haven.

Here Are the 15 Best Things to Do in Cancun:

1. Chichén Itzá’s Mayan Ruins Exploration

Few tourists will pass up the opportunity must spend a minimum of some they used for vacation seeing one or more of the more significant Mayan ruins that are close to Cancun.

One of the most well-liked day trips is to Chichén Itzá, one of Mexico’s largest and best-restored ancient sites, which is located three hours west of the beaches. One of the best things to do in Cancun, out of all the things to do, is to explore Chichén Itzá’s Mayan Ruins.

Chichén Itzá’s Mayan Ruins
photo by Marv Watson from unsplash

This UNESCO World Heritage Site, which the Mayans first inhabited more than 1,000 years ago, is home to numerous famous Chac-Mool figures as well as significant structures like the El Castillo, a towering 30 metres tall, which is one of the nation’s most well-known pyramids.

You might want to sign up for the Chichen Itza and Cenote Swim tour if you’re an early bird. This tour lasts all day long and begins early. The opportunity to visit the well-known ruins is worth the 7 am hotel pickup time.

These enjoyable day trips feature round-trip transportation, visits to the key locations, a wealth of fascinating facts, a buffet lunch, a visit to a local cenote, and swimming.

2. Visiting the Lovely Beaches of Cancun

You can take in breathtaking vistas of the glistening, crystal-clear waters that draw so many visitors looking for an unforgettable Mexico holiday.

Most of Cancun’s top resorts are built with direct access to the beaches, known in Spanish as “playas.” While frequent tourists may have preferences, Cancun has a variety of long sections of beach, so it’s difficult to go wrong. They’re all friends and have a lot to offer.

Playa caracol, punta cancun, quintana roo, mexico
photo by Marcelo Cidrack from unsplash

Juventud, Linda, Langosta, Tortugas, Caracol, and Chac-Mool are some of the most well-known playas, with some of them extending along the Boulevard Cancun and the Paseo Kukulkán from the city’s edge (of these, Tortugas, Caracol, and Chac-Mool tend to be the busiest). Among all the things to do in Cancun, visiting the beaches is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Cancun.

The 7.5-kilometer-long Paseo Kukulkán, which also has the Pok-ta-Pok 18-hole public golf course next to it, is noteworthy.

3. A Trip to The Maya Museum

The Maya Museum (Museo Maya de Cancun) is an attraction that is unquestionably worthwhile going to discover more about the area’s rich history. It is situated in the Cancun Center, the city’s substantial convention complex.

This fantastic attraction does a great outlining of the historical foundations of the region’s history of Mayan culture, hundreds of years ago up to the present. It is the largest such museum project since the opening of the Templo Mayor Museum in Mexico City in 1987.

Highlights include 350 objects dispersed throughout three rooms, most of which are from Cancun and the surrounding region. These include a 14,000-year-old skeleton discovered in Tulum and the 10,000-year-old remains of the legendary “Woman of the Palms.”

Exhibits of Mayan structures and artefacts, such as statues from Chichén Itzá and the nearby San Miguelito archaeological site, are among the other noteworthy exhibitions. Kids can participate in a range of activities, including arts and crafts.

4. Having Fun with Animal Adventures

The Interactive Aquarium in Cancun is a great spot to take a closer look at the abundant marine life in the region. You can swim throughout the enclosures of the facility surrounded by a variety of species, such as stingrays, clown fish and seahorses after putting on flippers and a snorkel.

dolphine swimming
photo by NOAA from unsplash

The “dolphin-watching swim” experience at the park, an exhilarating program that lets you get near to these friendly aquatic creatures, is the true draw, though. Other nearby attractions like Dolphin Discovery and Dolphinaris Cancun also provide comparable programs.

5. Visit The Scenic Tower and Xcaret Climbs and Have Fun at Xoximilco’s Fiestas

5.1. Scenic Tower and Xcaret Climbs

A trip up the scenic tower is a necessity when in Cancun. For those interested in getting a bird’s-eye view of the city, its several beaches, and the nearby coastline, the tower is a fun distraction. It is something of a monument in the hotel area as a result of its height – it is 110 meters tall – and its pencil-thin base.

Xcaret, tulum, quintana roo, méxico Person Tulum Nature México
photo by Anderson from unsplash

The big spherical elevator that gradually transforms into an observation deck as it rises and spins is the absolute best way to go to the top, even though some steep steps can be walked to get there.

It is an especially lovely building when at night it is illuminated to look like a Mayan flower. Among all the things to do in Cancun, visiting the Scenic Tower is one of the coolest things.

In actuality, the tower is a component of Xcaret, a unique combination of a theme park and outdoor attractions. You may anticipate easily spending a day spent here visiting the numerous sights given its around 50 cultural and natural features.

Highlights include the opportunity to explore and see the performances of music and dance, an equestrian show, boat trips, a coral reef aquarium, a folk museum, underground rivers, and a variety of food options. Water-based activities include a beach and lagoon. Ventura Park Cancun, which features a zipline, and a dolphin encounter, a water park, is quite entertaining.

5.2. Xoximilco’s Fiestas

The theme park Xcaret includes Xoximilco, where visitors can experience some of the rich traditions of Mexican carnivals. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Xoximilco is a replica of the genuine Xochimilco in Mexico City.

While floating around the carnival in Xoximilco, visitors can take in the local cuisine, entertainment, and dance. You’ll appreciate this tribute in Cancun if you’ve always wanted to go to Xochimilco. Tourists can better comprehend Mexican Fiestas and have a greater appreciation for the local culture by traveling to Xoximilco.

6. Discovering the El Rey Maya Ruins

If you have room in your plan for Mexico, you should visit El Rey, a collection of intriguing Mayan ruins, which is only a short drive from Cancun’s Punta Nizuc end.

The El Rey Ruins (Las Ruinas del Rey) is a collection of Mayan ruins that date from AD 900 and are named for a mask allegedly devoted to the sun god discovered there.

The two main platforms with their temples, which were previously a part of the market and also served as significant ceremonial spaces, are of particular interest.

It’s well worth the time to visit, and many resorts provide reasonably priced excursions to the location, which is also well known for the enormous iguana colonies that call it home.

7. Cancun Hotel Zone

One of the most well-liked vacation spots in the world is Cancun, Mexico, and more specifically, the crowded Cancun Hotel Zone. One of the nicest things to do in Mexico is undoubtedly visiting.

cancun hotel zone
photo by Anderson from unsplash

This is due to the fact that in addition to having some of the biggest and best all-inclusive hotels in North America, Cancun also boasts magnificent white sand beaches, a unique Museum of Underwater Art, and an interactive aquarium, which is great for kids.

There are also numerous water sports available there. You’ll be itching to jump in as soon as you see the glistening blue water at the Cancun Hotel Zone.

8. Exploring Isla Mujeres by Ship

The gorgeous Isla Mujeres is a location that is fair. related to Cancun (The Women’s Island). This long, skinny island, which is only seven kilometers long and 650 meters wide, is only a quick hydrofoil trip from the conference center’s pier (Cancun Center) and is particularly well-liked by the surfers because of the stronger waves that can be found on its east shore. Among all the things to do in Cancun, Exploring Isla Mujeres is one of the most fun.

Isla mujeres, quintana roo, méxico México Quintana Roo Isla Mujere Water
photo by Jose Vazquez from unsplash

Divers adore the abundant marine life surrounding the numerous coral reefs of Garrafon Natural Reef Park. The island is particularly well-liked by beachgoers who like the slower pace; there are just a few cabs and buses on the island, and golf carts and scooters outnumber both by a wide margin.

The numerous outstanding restaurants on Isla Mujeres, many of which offer stunning views of Cancun across the ocean, make it a favorite day trip destination for people staying elsewhere on the Riviera Maya. Contoy Island is a well-liked place to explore (Isla Contoy).

Due to its significant vegetation and fauna, this tiny island, which is about 30 kilometers north of Isla Mujeres, now serves as a national park. Fun adventures and eco-tours are offered by numerous operators.

9. A Tour of Tulum

For those short on time, Tulum, which is 90 minutes to the south, is preferable. Tulum is well known for both being the only known fortified Mayan coastal town and for being situated on a cliff. Along with its towering, broad walls, Tulum has many other distinctive structures, most notably its sculptures and reliefs in its Temple of the Frescos of seated figures wearing ornate headdresses.

Tulum, q.r., méxico
photo by Rafael Cisneros Méndez from unsplash

Due to its prominent location perched on a cliff edge with a view of the sea, the Castillo, the site’s largest building, is also the most well-known. A 3-in-1 Discovery Combo Tour, which visits the cenotes, caves, and reef snorkeling, is a fascinating way to experience the best elements of this destination and other local points of interest.

An educational jungle walk, transportation, a multilingual guide, all equipment, and a typical Mexican lunch are all included in this full-day excursion.

10. Exploring the Archaeological Site of El Meco

El Meco Archaeological Site, which is situated at the northern end of the main beaches in Cancun, is another fascinating Mayan site that is conveniently reachable from the city’s main resort district. It was first settled in 300 AD, and from the 1100s until the 16th century, when the Spanish arrived, it flourished as a Mayan commercial hub.

The 12.5-meter-tall El Castillo, the only pyramid of its kind constructed in the region, is particularly fascinating. You may get breathtaking views of the shoreline and Isla Mujeres from the ruins of an ancient temple perched atop the pyramid. Your itinerary for Cancun would benefit greatly from including this short (around an hour) visit.

11. Scuba Diving in The Cancun Underwater Museum

The underwater museum is likely to come up first when you inquire about scuba diving in Cancun. There are 500 statues total in the Underwater Museum (MUSA), 487 of which were created by sculptor Jason deCaires, while the remaining two were created by five Mexican artists. It is one of the best museums in Cancun, and scuba diving in this underwater museum is one of the top things to do in Cancun.

The Underwater Museum (MUSA) is spread out over three different locations: Punta Nizuc, Isla Mujeres, and Punta Cancun. Since all of the locations are offshore, the only way to see the museum without taking a boat is to dive or snorkel at one of the locations.

The Silent Evolution, which consists of 400 statues showing both the positive and harmful effects of human connection with nature, is the main artefact.

The piece focuses on how humans must learn to coexist with nature and the terrible effects we can have on coral reefs. Although the museum’s present phase was completed in 2013, more is still being planned. In the next years, the organizers intend to erect 1,200 statues in ten locations around Cancun.

12. Using Extreme Tours to Chase the Adrenaline

The region surrounding Cancun, which is covered in miles and miles of jungle, is ideal for extreme adventure activities. This covers everything from ziplining to cenote diving, ATV trips, and anything else in between. You might want to reserve this Extreme Adventure Eco Park Cancun ATV, Ziplines, and Cenote Tour.

A Cancun-based combo adventure experience is part of the half-day excursion. Activities include swimming in a nearby cenote, ziplining through the forest, and off-roading in an ATV.

Visitors can be picked up from their hotel in Cancun, and they will be driven back in an air-conditioned car. They are then taken to the environmental park, where a knowledgeable guide will lead them on a treetop tour of the zipline park.

Climb on a Honda 220cc ATV and ride down rocks, roots, and other obstacles from here. A refreshing swim in a cenote brings the trip to a close. The tour also includes refreshments.

13. Explore the Stalactite Rivers Underground in Quintana Roo

You should plan to visit this amazing adventure park on your trip to Mexico, which is located in Playa del Carmen, just south of Cancun. Among all the things to do in Cancun, exploring Quintana Roo is one of the most interesting things to do in Cancun.

Although the park provides a variety of exciting activities, such as ziplines and hammock splashing, swimming in the stalactite river beneath the park may be the most enjoyable.

If you’re scared to try it, do it anyhow! The river swim is 475 yards long, but there are emergency exits every 109 yards for people who feel the experience is more than they bargained for.

No of the weather, this is a terrific pastime because the water is always 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

The magnificence of the ancient stalactites that hang above you can be appreciated since the river is illuminated as you swim along it. You can exit and relive the swim once you reach the river’s finish when the scenery unfolds to reveal a magnificent waterfall.

You shouldn’t skip a visit to the Xplor adventure park and a dip in the underground river if you’re searching for an adventure that will live long in your memory.

14. Go to the Coco Bongo Cancun Party and Visit Downtown Cancun

14.1. The Coco Bongo Cancun Party

coco bongo
by Chad Zuber/Shutterstock

Some tourists want to enjoy Cancun’s nightlife in addition to the region’s beaches and cultural attractions, and Coco Bongo Cancun is the ideal location to do so. Coco Bongo has fun down to a science and has locations all across Mexico.

Coco Bongo Cancun is the ideal place to drink, watch a show, and party.

Every day of the week, the Cancun club is open, but there is a steep cover charge to enter. But it’s priceless, and you’re sure to have a special experience.

14.2. Downtown Cancun

Suppose you are tired of the Hotel Zone’s tourist-filled Disneyland. In that case, Downtown Cancun offers a flavour of the local way of life, including wonderful street cuisine, independent stores, lush parks, and Mexican wrestling!

Ciudad Cancun, sometimes known as downtown Cancun, is where most locals live. All of the individuals who work in the Yucatan Peninsula’s tourism sector in Mexico reside here.

The “genuine” Cancun may be seen and experienced if you make your way to Avenida Tulum. If you’re a foodie, be sure to fill up on tacos from the local vendors. Parque Las Palapas, a lovely park that welcomes families, is also nearby.

With the help of a local guide, wander through downtown Cancun in search of the greatest street cuisine and urban art.

15. Join Whale Sharks for A Swim and Snorkel

Cancun is the location for you if you’re looking to see whale sharks. From June to September each year, Cancun’s warm waters and abundance of plankton and small nekton—whale shark food—make it the perfect whale shark home. Of all the things to do in Cancun, swimming with the whale sharks is one of the most amazing things to do in Cancun.

This area of the world attracts tourists from all over the world who want to observe whale sharks in their natural environment.

We sincerely hope you enjoyed reading about the fascinating, enjoyable, and remarkable things to do in Cancun.

There are a ton of fantastic tourist attractions and fascinating historical facts in Cancun. The beaches, museums, and other locations in Cancun offer fantastic opportunities. As soon as you can, start planning your trip to Cancun!

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