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How to Spend 3 Days in Cancun

How to Spend 3 Days in Cancun

From island escapes to ancient Maya cities, you can experience the best of the Yucatan with just three days in Cancun. Stretch out on a white-sand beach, grab a tropical drink, and then go farther afield to climb pyramids and sail to brilliant coral reefs. Here’s how to plan the perfect 3-day Cancun adventure.

 

Day 1: Cancun Beaches and Coral Reefs

Blessed with pristine beaches and easy access to coral reefs, Cancun is tailor-made for a day of sand and salt water. Spot tropical fish and even a shipwreck while snorkeling the nearby Great Maya Reef, or opt for a submarine tour to see the same marine wildlife without getting wet.

 

In the afternoon, head out on the water for views of Cancun’s beaches and resorts—it’s the best way to get that postcard-perfect shot. A catamaran cruise is ideal for lounging in the sunshine, while WaveRunners and speedboats are thrilling options that get some ocean wind in your hair.

 

Day 2: Ancient Maya Explorer

The Maya thrived in the Yucatan long before Europeans arrived, and some of their spectacular cities are easy to reach from Cancun. For Maya art and architecture, UNESCO-listed Chichen Itza is a great place to start. Early morning tours take advantage of cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, while some later options stay for a sound and light show at the ruins.

To the south is Tulum, a compact ancient site whose coastal cliffs and white-sand beaches are a photographer’s dream. If you’re ready to channel your inner explorer, though, head to lesser-known Coba, where some ruins are overgrown with trees and vines, and where you can climb to the top of the Yucatan’s highest pyramid.

 

Day 3: Caribbean Island Escape

On your third day, leave the mainland behind on a cruise to a gorgeous Caribbean island. There’s an island for every traveler, with options offering everything from a pristine wildlife sanctuary to buzzing beach clubs and shopping centers. Getting offshore guarantees great views back toward Cancun’s waterfront.

 

If you’re all about wildlife, hop on a cruise to protected Isla Contoy, where limits on tourism keep the island a haven for sea birds. For a day that blends coral reefs with some leisurely island time, choose Isla Mujeres for party boats, all-inclusive options, and relaxing cruises powered by sea breezes.

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12 Tours and Activities | All Cancun Tours

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Reef and Shipwreck Snorkeling Tour in Cancun

Reef and Shipwreck Snorkeling Tour in Cancun

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Explore some of Cancun's most stunning underwater worlds during this shipwreck swim and snorkel tour. Paddle through tropical fish, coral reefs, shipwrecks, and giant sea turtles over the course of the day. This small-group excursion that ensures personalized attention and service and includes round-trip transportation from your Cancun hotel.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.00
From
$60.00
Taking safety measures

Half-Day Sailing Trip to Isla Mujeres from Cancun

Half-Day Sailing Trip to Isla Mujeres from Cancun

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Get door to door service and a chance to snorkel in the Mexican Caribbean during this 4.5-hour boat excursion from Cancun. Relax on board the comfortable boat and enjoy included refreshments, then go ashore in Isla Mujeres to check it out. Pickup and drop-off from Cancun hotels is included.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.99
From
$69.99
Taking safety measures

From Cancun: Adult-Only Cancun Party Cruise to Isla Mujeres

From Cancun: Adult-Only Cancun Party Cruise to Isla Mujeres

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Perfect for party animals, this 7-hour cruise to Isla Mujeres from Cancun includes an open bar and live entertainment guaranteed to get you in the party mood. Sail on the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, stop to snorkel at a reef abundant with marine life, and enjoy free time to shop and swim on the beautiful Isla Mujeres. Your party cruise includes unlimited drinks and a buffet lunch of fish, chicken, pasta, and salad.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.99
From
$69.99
Taking safety measures

Private Isla Mujeres Catamaran Tour From Cancun with Open Bar

Private Isla Mujeres Catamaran Tour From Cancun with Open Bar

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Sail the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea aboard your own private catamaran during this half-day tour from Cancun. Your captain can take you to Isla Mujeres or other great spots around the bay, and provides time to go snorkeling at the coral reef, stop at secluded beaches, and lounge on the 32-foot (10-meter) catamaran's deck. Bring your own group of up to 13 people on a private sailing tour that includes unlimited drinks and use of snorkel equipment.
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  • 4 to 7 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$520.00
per group
From
$520.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Isla Mujeres All Inclusive Day Trip from Cancun or Riviera Maya

Isla Mujeres All Inclusive Day Trip from Cancun or Riviera Maya

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Sail to Isla Mujeres for a fun-filled beach day on this all-inclusive tour from Cancun. With the professional-grade National Geographic–certified snorkel gear provided, you’ll explore the transparent waters at two great locations. When you’re hungry, a tasty Maya-style buffet lunch and an open bar await at a beach club to satisfy your appetites. Enjoy free time to pick up gifts and souvenirs downtown, and check out the back canals of Isla Mujeres, referred to as the Venice of Cancun. Hotel transport included.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$99.99
From
$99.99
Taking safety measures

Isla Contoy Day Trip: Snorkeling at Ixlache Reef and Eco-Paradise Tour

Isla Contoy Day Trip: Snorkeling at Ixlache Reef and Eco-Paradise Tour

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Travel to Isla Contoy and Ixlache Reef aboard a comfortable boat on this full-day trip from Cancun. Snorkel on the reef amongst tropical fish, vibrant coral and sea turtles. Stop at Isla Contoy, a wildlife refuge and national park that protects 150 species of birds and several types of sea turtles. Take a tour of the island with a certified guide, then visit a nesting site and lounge on the pristine island's beach. Enjoy breakfast and an open bar aboard the boat, as well as a lunch buffet on the island.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$104.99
From
$104.99
Taking safety measures

VIP: Chichen Itza Tour, Light and Sound Show with Mayan Appetizers From Cancun

VIP: Chichen Itza Tour, Light and Sound Show with Mayan Appetizers From Cancun

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Uncover the ancient mysteries of Chichen Itza on a day and night tour from Cancun or Riviera Maya. Sail past long lines at the sacred site with a certified Guide, and then watch the sun set over the iconic pyramid of the park, sipping bottomless margaritas and feasting on Mexican tapas at a luxurious nearby resort. Afterward, enjoy a light and sound show and see the history of the Maya empire brought to life through color and music. Convenient round-trip hotel transportation plus access to Viator's hospitality suite is included in the tour.
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  • 12 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$215.00
From
$215.00
Taking safety measures

5-in-1 Adventure in Cancun: ATVs, Ziplines, Speed Boat, Snorkel and Cenote Swim

5-in-1 Adventure in Cancun: ATVs, Ziplines, Speed Boat, Snorkel and Cenote Swim

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Cancun is one of the best places in Mexico to enjoy adventure activities and this great-value 5-in-1 package is ideal for adrenaline junkies. Kick off the day with a speedboat cruise along the coast, dive in to swim and snorkel amid colorful corals, then zip through the rainforest on an ATV. Top it all off by cliff diving into a natural cenote, then tackling a thrilling zip-line course. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$127.99
From
$127.99
Taking safety measures

Chichen Itza Valladolid and Cenote tour

Chichen Itza Valladolid and Cenote tour

star-3.5
Enhance your experience of Chichen Itza by combining the archaeological site with a cenote and the colonial town of Valladolid on a full-day tour. Departing from Cancun, you’ll travel by air-conditioned coach to Chichen Itza, one of the New7Wonders of the World, for a guided tour. Cool down during a cenote swim and take a whistle-stop tour of Valladolid, a pretty colonial town. A buffet lunch, two drinks, and hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$74.00
From
$74.00
Taking safety measures

Cancun Submarine and Optional Snorkeling Tour

Cancun Submarine and Optional Snorkeling Tour

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Explore Cancun's waters on this submarine-style glass bottom boat ride. Cruise through a mangrove swamp during this 2- to 3-hour excursion to Punta Nizuc, the second-largest coral reef in the world. On this family-friendly adventure, learn about the local fish, coral and other animals in this marine habitat through your guide's informative commentary. Opt to snorkel on the reef with provided equipment.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$46.40
From
$46.40
Taking safety measures

Cancun Waverunner and Snorkel Combination Tour

Cancun Waverunner and Snorkel Combination Tour

star-3.5
Explore the waters of Cancun on a jet ski and snorkeling excursion. Pilot a personal wave runner on your own or with a friend during a 2-hour adventure through the mangrove forest of the Nichupte Lagoon. Snorkel El Meco Reef, the the second largest coral reef in the world, amongst brilliant coral formations and tropical fish.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$93.00
From
$93.00
Taking safety measures

Whale Shark Swim Adventure SMALL GROUP from Cancun

Whale Shark Swim Adventure SMALL GROUP from Cancun

star-5
Take a swim in an area with the whale sharks, the largest fish on the planet, on this tour from Cancun. Hop aboard a boat with a biologist guide and head to the waters surrounding Isla Mujeres, Contoy and Holbox, where you'll snorkel alongside these gentle giants. This tour offers both a small-group option as well as the opportunity for a private swim with just your travel companion or group. Hotel pickup and drop-off is also included. Please note: this tour is offered seasonally, from May to September.
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  • 8 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$180.00
From
$180.00
Taking safety measures


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