In a city like Cancun, where the sun is hot, the beaches white and the Coronas cold, people will do anything they can to get outside. While it’s easy to opt for the beach bum image in this tropical paradise, the rest of the city begs to be explored, whether by way of ATV, zipline, boat or even horse.
Cancun’s lush jungle is a must-see natural wonder with its cenotes (water-filled sinkholes) and array of colorful sights. The secluded cenotes are prime spots for swimming or even kayaking, and jungle trails are open for relaxing horseback rides that allow you to take in the scenery. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, you can also drive an ATV through Cancun’s grassland, hop on an off-road buggy or zipline on a thrilling jungle canopy adventure.
One of the best places to experience the lively Mexican-Caribbean wilderness is at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, which includes remote Mayan sites, wetlands and 1 million miles of coastal jungle. This UNESCO World Heritage Site makes for a perfect day trip from Cancun.
While heading north from Cancun in search of adventure, you’ll run into the Tulum Ruins, which offer a priceless glimpse into the lives of the ancient Mayans who once had entire run of the land. Set on a bluff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the Tulum Ruins are one of the most-visited archeological sites in the world.
If you do want to start at the beach, hop in the water and snorkel with Mexico’s gentle giants – whale sharks. Learn about the world’s largest fish from an expert guide while exploring the Gulf of Mexico reef, and be sure to keep an eye out for dolphins and manta rays as well. Once you get a guaranteed eyeful of Caribbean Sea creatures, relax in Playa Norte off the coast of Isla Mujeres, a beach bum destination.