Considered one of the most famous destinations in the Caribbean, Cancun offers many options for culture, fun, partying, tranquility and much more!
Located in the state of Quintana Roo in the Yucatán region, the city of Cancun and its surrounding areas were once part of the grand and mysterious Mayan civilization. With its huge cultural heritage, fun activities and heavenly beaches, the city has options for all tastes. Check out 6 options that you can’t miss!
1. Chichén Itzá
Located 125 miles from Cancun, Chichén Itzá is one of the most visited archaeological centers in Mexico. It was an important economic center of the Mayans, and the region was conquered several times. Today its ruins are considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a place worth visiting. One of the main buildings is “El Castillo” , a pyramid 24 meters high. Each of the pyramid’s four sides has 91 steps, and when you include the top step there are 365 steps, the same number of days in the solar calendar. There is a temple dedicated to Quetzalcóatl at the top of the pyramid, and on certain days the shadows cast by the sun give the impression of a serpent descending the staircase. In the ruins you will also find the Temple of the Warriors and the Plaza of the Thousand Columns. With tours leaving Cancun daily, this is an experience that shouldn’t be missed.
2. Isla Mujeres
Only just a half-hour boat ride from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is less than 5 miles wide and about 15,000 people live there today. The island is named after the numerous female sculptures that the Spanish found when they arrived on the island. In pre-Columbian times, the island was sacred and dedicated to the Mayan goddess Lxchel. Women’s Island is the perfect destination for those who visit Cancun and want a little tranquility. It is possible to take a ferry and spend the day on the island or to stay the night. Catamaran trips around the island with guided tours are also available. The best way to get around is with golf carts that are available for rent everywhere.
3. Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen, only 40 miles from Cancun, is a great destination for a day trip when visiting Cancun. With its crystal-clear waters, warm temperatures all year round, several beaches and cenotes, there are plenty of great options for those who want to sit back and relax. If you prefer a little more excitement, visiting one of the beach clubs is guaranteed fun, and of course, it’s worth mentioning the lively nightlife that the city offers. Restaurants with local and international food are everywhere, and there are plenty of stores for shopping here, especially on Fifth Avenue. For those who love water parks in the middle of nature, Xcaret Park and Xplor Park are must-sees.
With a stunning archaeological site overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Tulum is a great city to visit during your trip. Located 130 km from Cancun, the ruins are a great site to see but the main highlight are Tulum’s panoramic views. Other must-sees are the Cobá archaeological site as well as the Sian Ka’na Biosphere Reserve. With many cenotes in the region and paradisiacal beaches, there is no reason not to spend the day relaxing on one of them. Given its history as a fishing village, the seafood-based cuisine in Tulum is still present and visiting a restaurant with local food is a great option for dining.
These caves with crystal clear waters that in the past were used by the Mayans for their rituals are known as “cenotes”. The energy here is rejuvenating and unique! In the Cancun area there are a huge number of cenotes, some even have lakes with warm water. The most famous cenotes in the Cancun area are Chac Mool, Jardín del Eden, Casa Cenote, Dos Ojos and Yokdzonot. A truly unforgettable experience for anyone visiting Cancun.
6. Beaches, water sports and dolphins
Pristine water and white sand, Cancun’s beaches are one of the main reasons why most tourists choose this destination. The options are endless, from public to private beaches, all wonderful and with different types of facilities. If you are looking for dolphins, you can’t miss Delfines Beach, amd for extra wildlife you can visit Akumal Beach where turtles go to nest. For those looking to go diving or snorkeling, Cozumel Island is considered one of the best places in the world for this activity. If you just want to relax on a quiet beach, Chac Mool Beach is the perfect spot for those seeking silence and peace to spend the day.