Located in Mexico, the city of Cancun is part of the Yucatan Peninsula, and is a busy tourist destination for its Caribbean climate, and for luxury resorts and hotels; visitors tend to flock around Cancun’s self-contained resorts, and its sandy white beaches. Cancun itself is home, however, to busy markets and architectural sites, while the surrounding coastline features multiple attractions. For east coast residents, a flight to Cancun can be as short as 1 hour and 45 minutes from Miami!
Some of the best attractions to consider visiting during a trip to Cancun consequently include:
1. The Interactive Aquarium
This aquarium is located near to La Isla Shopping Centre and the main hotels, and is one of the best sites in which to see local sea-life – rays, starfish, and dolphins are among the many attractions that the Interactive Aquarium has. You can also visit the Aquarium for night shows, and can pay to swim with the dolphins. Moreover, the Interactive Aquarium includes some rare examples of marine life, which include bull sharks and tiger sharks. Other local parks include the Xcaret eco-centre, located near to the Riviera Maya, which features elaborate night performances.
2. Xplor Adventure Park
One of the best adventure parks in Mexico, Xplor can be visited from Cancun’s main resorts, and combines underwater caving and sea-life with zip wire and waterslides. Ideal for family trips, the Xplor Adventure Park also provides swimming and paddling in underground rivers.
For more extensive underwater adventure, see this article about 75 Cenotes in Mexico. A cenote is where a cave ceiling has collapsed to create a natural sinkhole, perfect for scuba diving. There are lots of them throughout Mexico, including Cancun.
When considering what to pack for your Mexico trip, it’s important to know your activities, and something as specific exploring cenotes means extra packing and/or planning.
3. Playa Delfines
Perhaps the quietest beach in Cancun, Playa Delfines, or Dolphin Beach, is located at a distance from the city’s resort area, and offers unbeatable views over the ocean; while certainly not deserted, the separation from the main shopping and hotel district means that you can enjoy a greater degree of isolation, and can also participate in surfing lessons – be careful, though, as the waters around Playa Delfines tend to be quite choppy compared to other parts of the coast.
4. El Rey Ruins
Conveniently placed within the hotel zone, the El Rey Ruins, or the Zona Arqueologica El Rey, is an inexpensive but fascinating attraction; the ruins include small pyramids, and a wide range of natural vegetation and animal life, which includes a large number of iguanas. The ruins only cost around 7 dollars to enter, and can be explored in an hour or so; the Cancun Duck Tours also stop off at the ruins.
5. El Centro
Many visitors don’t get around to visiting Cancun itself, and stick to the self-contained resorts; however, downtown Cancun has much to offer travelers, from busy markets, to the rows of shops along Avenida Tulum; the El Centro area is also home to restaurants, and the Mercado Veintiocho craft market.
Ideal if you want to take a break from the hotel district, and if you want to see more of the local culture of Cancun. Walks can be taken from hotels, as can bus and taxi rides. Notable sights within El Centro also include the Casa de Cultura Art Centre on Yaxchilan Avenue.