Things to do in Cancun

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of Cancun's activities and attractions revolve around the beach. The area is blessed with many beautiful beaches and the variety of watersports is somewhat overwhelming. Some scuba diving or snorkelling is a must as the underwater world is just as lovely as the white beaches. There are some gorgeous dive sites between Cancun and Isla Mujeres, where coral reefs abound, and exploring the Cancun Underwater Museum (MUSA) is an exciting adventure for divers. Other favourite water activities include swimming with dolphins (or even sharks!), visiting the water park, or taking an excursion to the sleepy paradise island of Isla Mujeres.

If tourists can manage to drag themselves off the stunning white beaches and away from the plethora of fun water activities, Cancun has some cultural and historical diversions as well. The Museo Maya is a brand new and impressively large museum showcasing Mayan artefacts found in the region and providing some fascinating historical context for visitors to the peninsula. The San Miguelito Archaeological Site (in the museum grounds) and the El Rey Ruins are both intriguing examples of ancient Mayan remains in Cancun. The famous ancient site of Chichen Itza, with its impressive pyramids and mysterious jungle setting, is one of Mexico's greatest attractions and a must for visitors to Cancun.

Chichen Itza photo

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza, with its famous pyramids and temples, is the Yucatan's most visited ancient Mayan site, set in the jungle and said to have been inhabited for more than 2,000 years. T…

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza, with its famous pyramids and temples, is the Yucatan's most visited ancient Mayan site, set in the jungle and said to have been inhabited for more than 2,000 years. The main attraction at Chichen Itza is the Pyramid of Kukulkan (the plumed serpent god), or El Castillo, a grand pyramid topped by a temple that dominates the site and has been declared one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. Inside the pyramid is a smaller pyramid, the inner sanctum, containing one of the greatest finds on the site, the brilliant red jaguar throne with jade spots, inlaid eyes and real jaguar teeth. Another building of interest is El Caracol, an observatory with slits in the dome aligned with certain astronomical appearances at specific dates.

Transport

Bus services from Cancun or Playa del Carmen (2.5hrs by bus)

Opens Daily 8am to 4.30pm. Light and sound show begins 7pm (autumn and winter) and 8pm (spring and summer).

Admission

MXN 98, including show. Translation headphones are MXN 25 each.

Isla Mujeres photo

Isla Mujeres

Located just a short ferry ride from the resort, Isla Mujeres is a stunning island with quiet villages and beautiful views that make for a great excursion from Cancun. The calm atm…

Isla Mujeres

Located just a short ferry ride from the resort, Isla Mujeres is a stunning island with quiet villages and beautiful views that make for a great excursion from Cancun. The calm atmosphere is a relaxing break from the bustle of Cancun's busy beaches, and Isla Mujeres offers some excellent restaurants serving freshly-caught seafood. Hidalgo Street in El Centro is the main dining, shopping and entertainment area. Popular activities on Isla Mujeres include lounging on the pretty beaches, swimming with dolphins, snorkelling and scuba diving, exploring the remarkable Underwater Sculpture Museum, swimming with sharks, deep-sea fishing and kayaking. The most popular beaches are on the north and west sides of Isla.

Website www.isla-mujeres.net

Museo Maya photo

Museo Maya

Cancun's archaeological museum, the Museo Maya, is new, modern and air-conditioned and a visit can be a welcome relief from the heat outside. The museum consists of three large exh…

Museo Maya

Cancun's archaeological museum, the Museo Maya, is new, modern and air-conditioned and a visit can be a welcome relief from the heat outside. The museum consists of three large exhibition halls and houses about 350 Mayan artefacts. Artefacts include carvings, pottery, weapons, as well as tools, ritual objects and burial masks. One of the highlights is the 14,000-year-old skeletal remains found in Tulum's underwater caves, greeting visitors as they arrive. The museum is enclosed by landscaped grounds and nestled within are some fascinating Mayan ruins, including a small pyramid. This site, called the San Miguelito Archaeological Site, is possibly the best part of a trip to the museum.

Website https://www.granmuseodelmundomaya.com.mx

Cancun Beaches photo

Cancun Beaches

Cancun is unbeatable when it comes to watersports, sun-lounging and clear blue ocean water, supported by beach bars, restaurants and great tourist facilities. The northern stretch …

Cancun Beaches

Cancun is unbeatable when it comes to watersports, sun-lounging and clear blue ocean water, supported by beach bars, restaurants and great tourist facilities. The northern stretch of Mujeres Bay includes the popular Playa Langosta, Playa Las Perlas and Playa Tortugas, all great for watersports, bars and restaurants. Playa Linda is a launching point for boat and dive tours, while Playa Caracol and Punta Cancun are excellent for family fun. East side beaches are breezier with rougher surf. Chac Mool, Playa Marlin, Gaviota Azul and Playa Ballenas are ideal for parasailing and windsurfing, while Punta Nizuc and Playa Delfines are perfect for a day of sand and surf. The best dive sites lie between Cancun and Isla Mujeres, at the colourful reefs of El Tunel, Grampin, Chuchos and Largo. The Cancun Underwater Museum (MUSA) is also a fantastic option for divers.