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Things to do in Cancun

Things to do in  Cancun

Welcome to Cancun

Cancun is more than a party destination with luxury hotels (though a good one at that). It is the Yucatán Peninsula's gateway to a world of jungle-clad Mayan pyramids, the crystal caves of Rio Secreto, and a scuba paradise off Isla Mujeres. Days can be spent lounging next to Caribbean waters with margarita in hand, or exploring the nearby jungles and cenotes. Make time to visit Chichen Itza or the Tulum ruins—both places you can go for guided morning explorations before the grounds open to the general public. For something different in Mexico's most popular beach destination, spend an afternoon in a downtown plaza, or venture out for dinner and a Cirque du Soleil show in the heart of Riveria Maya.

Top 15 attractions in Cancun


Tulum, the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya walled city and a port for Coba, is one of the best preserved coastal Mayan cities in the Yucatan, in tandem with Chichen Itza and Ek Balam. Highlights of this archaeological site include the Temple of the Frescoes, which has spectacular figurines of the 'diving god.'More

Rio Secreto Nature Reserve

Rio Secreto, or the “Secret River,” is a series of caves carved out by the flow of an ancient underground river in Mexico. While the reserve is most famous for its large half-sunken cavern—a popular diving spot—you can also explore eerie passageways, swim in the river, and admire dripping stalactites, stalagmites, and colorful mineral formations.More

Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres (the “Island of Women”) is known for its rich marine life and pristine beaches. Here you can snorkel at Manchones Reef, scuba dive in the Cave of Sleeping Sharks, or stretch out on the white sands of North Beach (Playa Norte). On land you’ll find bustling nightlife, with oceanside bars and restaurants serving fresh seafood.More

Chichen Itza

One of the New 7 Wonders of the World, Chichén Itzá is among Mexico's most visited and iconic archaeological sites. Known for its main central pyramid, this impressive Maya site—once the ceremonial center of the Yucatán—also features temples, ball courts, and a cenote (freshwater sinkhole).More

Mayan Ruins of Coba (Zona Arqueológica de Cobá)

In the heart of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula lie the ruins of Coba (Zona Arqueológica de Cobá), an ancient Maya city considered to be one of the most important settlements in Mesoamerican history. During its peak between AD 500 and 900, Coba housed 50,000 residents and was the central terminus for the complex Maya system of roadways. The jungle site is still being excavated, but visitors can experience the already discovered remains of thesesacbes, or stone causeways, as well as a number of engraved and sculpted monuments.More


With unparalleled access to the Caribbean Sea and all of its bounty, a visit to the Xcaret eco-archaeological park is a must when on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Snorkeling, ziplining, river rafting, exploring underwater rivers, and hiking tropical trails through jungle ruins are all options within this natural adventure park, which gives fast access to many of Cancun’s greatest attractions.More

CoCo Bongo Cancun

CoCo Bongo in Cancun isn’t your typical nightclub and there’s no traditional dance floor. Instead, the popular venue hosts energetic performances including acrobats, bands, and musical impersonators who belt out tunes by artists ranging from Rihanna to Elvis. This lively spot is a must-visit for those looking for a fun night out in Cancun but don’t want to simply dance to DJs.More

Playa Norte (North Beach)

Playa Norte (North Beach) is a relaxing strand on Isla Mujeres, a small island off the Yucatan Peninsula. Once considered a sacred site devoted to a Maya goddess, Isla Mujeres (Island of Women) earned its name when the Spanish discovered images of the goddess on the island. Today, Isla Mujeres and Playa Norte offer a laid-back alternative to bustling Cancun.More

Xoximilco Cancun

Xoxomilco, whose name means “garden of flowers” in Nahuatl, is Cancun’s homage to the floating gardens and canals of Mexico City’s famous Xochimilco neighborhood. Here, visitors can experience a number of Mexican traditions, including floating boats strung with flowers, live music, and regional food.More

Dolphin Beach (Playa Delfines)

Dolphin Beach (Playa Delfines) is a welcome respite from the crowded beaches and bustling nightclubs for which Cancun has become known. Located just beyond the hotel zone at one of the city’s highest points, this quiet stretch of sand offers picture-perfect expansive views and an ideal setting for a leisurely stroll, catching waves, or simply relaxing.More

Captain Hook Cancun

Aboard a Cancun-based Captain Hook pirate ship, spend a family-friendly evening that includes a buffet dinner served by salty seamen, dancing on the deck, and imbibing at an open bar. The 18th-century Spanish galleon replicas cruise the Caribbean while “pirates” entertain the crowd with tales of past escapades and dramatic sword fights.More


Named after a Mayan word meaning “the place where the waters are born,” the Xel-Ha aquatic park encompasses 14 acres (5.7 hectares) of jungle and ocean just south of Playa del Carmen. A must-visit family-friendly attraction, Xel-Ha is home to cenotes, a lazy river, fish-filled lagoons, and other natural attractions.More

Cancun Underwater Museum of Art (Museo Subacuático de Arte)

Many cities boast art, history, and cultural museums, but Cancun’s version of these is a little out of the ordinary. The Cancun Underwater Museum of Art (Museo Subacuático de Arte) is an ongoing project promoting art as well as lively coral reefs. Snorkelers and divers can view its collection of more than 500 sunken sculptures that lie up to 20 feet (6 meters) deep.More

La Isla Shopping Village

Set along Nichupte Lagoon in Cancun’s Hotel Zone, La Isla Shopping Village is lined with boutique shops, waterfront dining, and luxury shopping. Stroll along the winding canals—which create a Venice-like atmosphere—sip cocktails in classy courtyards, and purchase souvenirs.More

Mayan Museum of Cancun (Museo Maya de Cancún)

Take a break from the beaches to explore artifacts from Mexico’s ancient past at the Mayan Museum of Cancun (Museo Maya de Cancún), one of the largest and most important of its kind in Mexico. Here, visitors can see incredible items recovered from sites such as Chichén Itzá, or visit the adjacent archaeological site San Miguelito to stroll among the ruins.More
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Trip ideas

Top activities in Cancun

Sailing Experience to Isla Mujeres in a Catamaran with Open Bar
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ATV Adventure, Interactive Bridges, Ziplines, Cenote & Free Lunch
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ATV Adventure, Interactive Bridges, Ziplines, Cenote & Free Lunch

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Luxury Catamaran and Snorkel. Lunch & Open Bar Onboard and Visit to Isla Mujeres
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Cirque du Soleil® JOYÀ Admission Tickets
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Cirque du Soleil® JOYÀ Admission Tickets

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Jungle Buggy Tour from Playa del Carmen Including Cenote Swim
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Tulum Guided Tour, Magical Cenote, Lagoon Snorkeling and Beachside Lunch
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Isla Mujeres Catamaran with Snorkel, Open Bar & Buffet lunch
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Private Isla Mujeres Catamaran Tour From Cancun with Open Bar
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People Also Ask

What is Cancun best known for?

Cancún is beloved by spring breakers and familes alike for its white-sand beaches and Caribbean water. The city’s excellent resorts, many of them all-inclusive, typically offer direct access to the beach, making Cancún an excellent destination to wind down on the sand with a margarita in hand. And, after hours, the nightlife is always hopping.

What kind of fun things are there to do in Cancun?

The resorts of Cancún’s Hotel Zone offer water sports aplenty, from snorkeling, scuba diving, and paddleboarding to speed boating, jet skiing, and flyboarding. Xcaret adventure park, where you can go ziplining and river rafting, is a popular day trip, as is Isla Mujeres, which is best reached by catamaran. Swimming with whale sharks is another bucket list activity that's popular in Cancun.

What is the best month to visit Cancun?

The weather in Cancún is perfect almost all year round but at its very best between December and April—ideal for escaping the wintery weather of North America’s more northerly climes. While winter does bring many travelers, the crowds are not as heavy as those of mid-March to early April when spring breakers arrive en masse.

Is it expensive to go to Cancun?

No, Cancun isn't expensive. How much money you spend in Cancún depends on how you choose to spend your vacation. While you can splash out on luxury hotels, fine dining, and late nights in the city’s clubs, you can just as easily keep costs low by booking all-inclusive packages and combination tours.

Is 3 days enough in Cancun?

Yes, three days is long enough in Cancún to spend a lazy day on the beach, do some water-based activities, and explore some of the Riviera Maya’s cultural attractions such as Maya ruins and cenotes. It doesn’t leave a lot of time for relaxing however, so you may want to add on another day or two.

What is there to do in Cancun besides beach?

Cancún is a gateway to the ancient Maya ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza. You can also swim in the cool, clear waters of the Yucatán peninsula’s cenotes, including the crystal caves of Rio Secreto, and go scuba diving off Isla Mujeres: all can be easily reached on a day trip from Cancún.


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