The Mexican Caribbean, Cancun is known for its smashing beaches and fantastic coastal line but there is so much more to Cancun. In fact it was not even possible to cover everything in one article here! The exotic city is home to extremely well preserved Mayan ruins including cenotes where Human sacrifices were carried out. Okay, let us not spook you anymore one of the best things to do in Cancun is exploring their underwater caves and underground river systems. Some of these adventure sites need you to be professional diver but others let the fun dwellers indulge in the best possible ways! They also have a monster zip line running over a dense forest expanse, something you would not want to miss. So let us take a dive into this amazing city which happens to be our latest heartthrob!
Selvatica- Go Zipping!
Yep so even though the magnificent beaches and underwater attractions remain Cancun’s best, we are opening it with Selvatica! Selvatica is probably the best way of taking in the scenery of Cancun’s thick lush jungles. It has amazing options for visitors who like to blend a little adventure in their chilled out holiday routine. 12-line Zip line excursion and extreme canopy tour are most popular things to do in Selvatica. Swim in the vibrant blue waters that run through the jungle and if you want to take the track then hop on an ATV and do it the dirty way! Selvatica is about an hour away from Cancun where you get to see a completely different facet of this beach destination.
Chichen Itza- The Mayan Mystery
How can you not dig into Mayan ruins when in Mexico? Chichen Itza is your window to the ancient and mysterious Mayan empire. This place is also counted amongst the modern wonders of the world and there are enough reasons why it has been given place in this coveted list. This place is a perfect example of the splendid Mayan architecture. It is advisable to hire a guide and explore the ruins while taking in the rich history of this place. Climb the stairs to the top of these pyramids that exist on all the four facades of these structures. Do not miss the sacred Cenote where the Mayan kings used to sacrifice humans to appease their gods. These days thankfully you will not get to see the sacrifice but you can surely take a dip in the pond here!
Tulum- The best preserved Mayan Site
As our Mayan adventure continues, let us visit Tulum, a site with a stunning backdrop of turquoise water lapping up the white sandy beach! In its hey days Tulum was home to the crème de la Crème of Mayan empire! It was the place for high priest and nobles who probably loved to sip their teas while perched on top of the hillock savoring the lovely views of Caribbean. Well we don’t blame them because even today every visitor who goes to Tulum keeps going on and on about this site.
Xel Ha Water Park- Not your run-in-the-mill type!
Don’t go to Xel-Ha expecting roller coasters, this one is a vast 22 acre water park that boasts of natural formations and activities. Diving, kayaking, exploring the extensive network of underwater caves, snorkeling are just some of the activities you can indulge in here. You also get to swim amongst dolphins here! Add more adventure and fun to your trip to Xel-Ha and try Trepachanga where you have to cross over the stream below just on two ropes! One supports your legs and the other on top is what supports your arms. Frankly falling down into the stream is more fun than crossing this bridge! I mean guys who is competing for the first spot anyways, we just want to have a ton of fun! The park is spread on 22 acres and to make life easy the park provides jungle train and bikes as well! Xel-Ha definitely figures in our must do list of things to do in Cancum with kids.
Nahoch Nah Chich- World’s Second largest underwater cave system
Excitement never ends in Cancun and now we are headed to Nahoch Na Chich which is also known as Giant Bird cage. This underwater cave system stretches 5 miles inland and has wonderful geological formations. Aah but there is a bad news. Because it is a very delicate system only experienced divers are allowed here. In fact it can treacherous for un-experienced divers and we advise against acting smart to gain entry in these caves.
Sac Actun Cenote System: Longest underground river network
Go exploring the hidden waterfalls and dark caverns of the world’s largest underground river system! Sac Actun has a spiritual importance in Mayan culture and its remote location makes it less touristy. A large number of animal fossils found here have earned it the name of pet cemetery but there is nothing spooky about the place. The entrance to river is rather small and appears as a hole between the rocks but it is quite spacious for two people to descend together. Only those who tend to feel claustrophobic might want to stay away, others can just zip in! Entrance to Sac Actun is super cheap and it is amongst the most fun things to do in Cancun on budget.
Rio Secreto Nature Reserve- Cancun’s best kept Secret!
Good news for non-professional divers- this site with half sunken underwater cavern is the only one in the world that is open to non-professional divers! Until 2007 it was well hidden from the public and has started receiving tourists rather recently. The unique natural caves, narrow passageways, dripping stalactites and breathtaking geological formations are the high points of Rio Secreto Nature reserve. Life jackets are provided and are highly recommended even if you are a seasoned swimmer.
Cancun Underwater Museum- Wait, what!?
I think in a place like Cancun, it would be rather difficult to explore the land because all the action seems to be happening underwater! This museum is only one of its kind in the world and what does it have? It is an ongoing project under which sculptures have been placed between the depths of 9 to 20 feet. This project will see over 400 sculptures as it nears completion. The mastermind behind this project is Jason deCaires Taylor. Imagine putting on a diving suit and equipment to see a museum. We love the idea!
The Captain Hook Pirate ship!
Definitely a must visit place in Cancun with kids- the Captain Hook Ship comes alive right here in Cancun. Dance on the deck, there is bar for adults and dinner is served during the long gala while enjoying the salty sea breeze. Cannon on the ship fires and signals the departure. There is also staged fight and live enemy attack where visitors can participate. They also give you swords and pistols (not the real once, of course!). The cruise is priced reasonably and sure is super fun way to spend an evening in Cancun.
Xocimilco- Let us start the Party!
Xocimilco is a cruise party and a dedication to the most famous neighborhood of Mexico City- Xoxhimilco. This program brings together Mexico’s traditions and party scene. The floating flower garden is what it looks like as you arrive here. Music, food and dance forms rest of the night and its magical! We personally love partying on the boat and with so many of them floating around with pulsating music blaring, it is spectacular!
Mandala Night Club- Wear your party hats already!
Yep so we are getting warmed up to the Cancun’s nightlife! Now Cancun has loads of night clubs and hundreds of things to do for couples but Club Mandala should definitely be on your itinerary if you love partying. Pick your drink, move to the music and make friends! This is a great place to meet people because Mandala defines Cosmo crowd in Cancun. All you need is $50 and Mandala will keep you happy and high all night long. Enough said…just skip the line to Club with our tour (trust us, the queues run long!)
Isla Mujeres- Finally out and out Beach destination!
I know we made you wait for this one but frankly we had to cover aforementioned spots in Cancun. Now Cancun has awesome beaches but Isla Mujeres is actually not even in Cancun city and probably the reason we picked it. This 5 miles long island has breathtaking beaches, cobblestone pedestrian walkway that leads you to boutiques and restaurants. The best thing- it costs less but has double the fun quotient. You can indulge in diving and snorkeling in the Machones reef and the cave of sleeping sharks. Don’t worry, the whale sharks will not try to bite you they eat Planktons!
This was vivacious and wild Cancun city which captures the true Mexican spirit! Every day here can be full of exciting and unique activities, after all most of what you see here, you can see it "only" here! Before we say adios let us give you information on how to reach and where to Stay in Cancun.
How to Reach Cancun
By Air: Cancun is connected by Cancun International Airport which is about 10 miles from the Cancun City and happens to be the second busiest airport in Mexico.
By Sea: Many cruises run to Cancun from the USA and other countries in South America. You can reach Cancun through its many ports- Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Cozumel, Manzanillo, Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, Tampico and Zihuatanej
Getting Around: Cancun has a good transportation system and the most reasonable is Van transfers if you are looking at speed and comfort. If money is a big consideration then public buses are your best bets as they tend to be cheapest of all. Taxis are quite costly but aplenty.
Where To Stay:
Cancun offers some great options when it comes to accommodation. You may choose from our top picks below! Or you many simply type Cancun in the nice little hotel search box given here for a complete list of hotels.
Click here to reach our hotel search page for all your hotel bookings
Following are the tours handpicked by us for your next visit to Cancun
For a complete list of all tours and activities in Cancun click here.
This was Cancun Mexico for you! We hope we were able to inspire you to take your next here. Whether it is the wild parties, sojourn with nature, super adventure or some quality family time, you can get it all here! If you have been to Cancun, then do tell us what your experience has been. Better yet, contribute a write up and we would be glad to feature you.