Best things to do in Cancun Mexico. Hint: Number 3 is Scuba Diving
Cancun, Mexico draws in visitors from all over the world every year. It might be the turquoise clear waters. It could be Mexico’s amazing sunshine. The food. The nightlife. Or it might be a combination of them all.
But after you’ve soaked up the rays. Tried some of the mouthwatering local dishes. And had a few cocktails on the nearest glorious white-sand beach. It’s time to start thinking about what else you could get up to during your stay…
If you’re wondering what to do in Cancun, this article has got you covered.
1) Get a view of some of the local area (by speedboat or catamaran)
First on your list of Cancun things to do should be to see a bit of the local area. But, being Mexico, there are some pretty amazing ways you can choose to do this. On a catamaran cruise, for instance. Or why not start off with a little speedboat excursion around the local mangrove jungle?
You can fly through the little rivers and canals between the magnificent, wildlife-filled mangroves at Nichupte Lagoon. Maybe taking a little dip in the warm, inviting water if you fancy a break.
2) Visit Xplor (and other eco and eco-adventure parks)
The Riviera Maya (also called the Mayan Riviera, the name which a long, lively section of Mexico’s Caribbean coastline goes by) starts just a little south of Cancun. This whole area is full of fun sites. Some are natural wonders. Others are manmade purely for fun. So, if you’re looking for more activities in Cancun, Mexico, it’ll only be a short trip out of the city before you end up getting more than you bargained for…
Xplor is an eco-adventure park. It’s a safe place to try out over two miles of zip lines. Explore some underground rivers without necessarily getting your feet wet. And even try out some amphibious vehicles.
There is also the family-friendly wildlife park at Xcaret.
3) Go scuba diving in Cancun (swim with whale sharks, visit cenotes)
Scuba diving is one of the best things to do in Cancun. Primarily because just off the coast is the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second longest in the world. The amazing diving available here is the reason why people flock to this part of the world every year. And the reason why many of those people continue to visit every year after their first time too!
You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to your diving options in the nearby area. As well as the barrier reef, you can go cave diving in the Yucatan’s famous cenotes. You can swim with tropical fish and other (much) larger marine animals. You can even visit an underwater museum!
When you’re looking for things to do in Cancun or the wider Yucatan Peninsula, you should definitely try:
1) Go swimming with whale sharks
One of the top Cancun, Mexico attractions is undoubtedly swimming with whale sharks. Possible only a short distance off the nearby coast, June to September is the migratory season for these huge creatures. The majestic whale sharks are actually a type of fish (the largest in the world) and completely docile. If you’re in the area at this time of year, you can’t afford to miss this experience.
2) Dive down to MUSA
The Cancun Underwater Museum (the Museo Subacuatico de Arte) is an underwater exhibition of over five hundred individual statues and other works of art. Designed to encourage the formation of an artificial reef, this is one of the most unique dives in the world. Add it to your list of things to do in Cancun, Mexico.
3) Go scuba diving in Dos Ojos and Gran Cenote
Dos Ojos is perhaps the archetypical cenote experience. Giving you everything you could possibly want from your time scuba diving in the water-flooded sinkholes of the Yucatan.
Located near Tulum, it’s worth the short drive for this cenote alone. But you also have Gran Cenote in the same area. As well as some of the other great attractions which this part of Mexico is known for…
4) Visit the Mayan ruins
After such an energetic start to your break – speedboating, diving, and Xploring – you might be in the mood for something a little more relaxed. Or, dare it be said, cultural. If so, you’re in luck! The Yucatan Peninsula has many Mayan ruins to explore. These are major Cancun tourist attractions. But there are quite a few to choose from, so you’ll be able to avoid crowds if you go at the right time.
- Chichén Itzá – this famous site is one of the largest Mayan ruins. It’s usually absolutely packed with tourists, so it’s best to try and get there before the earliest tour buses do in the morning. It’s also a bit of a trek (perhaps two-and-a-half hours) from Cancun. So there are other options. Such as…
- The Ruins of El Rey (Las Ruinas del Rey) – these ruins are in the heart of the city’s tourist district, so they’re very easy to get to. In truth, the ruins themselves aren’t as impressive as many others. But they are famous for the huge number of inquisitive iguanas who make the site their home. Well worth a quick visit (and it’s cheap to get into too).
You also have the fantastic Ruins of Coba and the Tulum Ruins. Both are well worth exploring. Especially if you’re visiting (or diving) anywhere else close by already.
Coba is perhaps the only ruin where you can still actually climb the ziggurat. Tulum is known for its amazing views. That’s on top of the fact that it’s close to some of the Yucatan Peninsula’s most spectacular cenotes.
5) Take a boat to Isla Mujeres
Often cited as one of the must-visit, top things to do in Cancun, the “Isle of Women” is only a fifteen-minute boat trip away. It’s the perfect place to chill after you’ve jam-packed everything else you can into your time in this paradise-like part of the planet. Stunning beaches. Jaw-dropping views. A local turtle farm, with the possibility of seeing little turtles hatch between August and October. Swimming pools and kayaking at Punta Sur.
What is there to do in Cancun? Even more, than you might think.