Cancun, with its white sand beaches and diverse tourist infrastructure, is one of Mexico’s top tourist spots. The city and the Yucatán Peninsula are characterized by a unique natural landscape, paradisiacal beaches and countless opportunities to discover the Mayan culture.
Most hotels are located in the Zona Hotelera, which is separated from the city by a lagoon. On bustling beaches and inviting bars, visitors will find the perfect mix of relaxation and exciting activities. Water sports enthusiasts will find what they are looking for, as well as family vacationers looking for relaxation.
Below, we present the most exciting tours, the most beautiful attractions and the best sights in Cancun. Since in Cancun, on the Yucatán Peninsula, on the Yucatán Peninsula, above all the most popular hotel resorts are located, we have of course also included the most interesting excursion destinations along the Riviera Maya.
1. In the heart of Cancun: La Laguna Nichupté
The Nichupté Lagoon is one of Cancun’s main attractions. Located in the heart of the city, it includes a lagoon system of three thousand hectares. There are dream beaches and a unique jungle landscape that can be admired during long walks. Glass bottom boats are popular, with which you can explore the underwater marsh landscape.
Mangroves, countless species of fish and sometimes crocodiles or leopards can be observed – an unforgettable experience for children and adults. One of the largest coral reefs in the world is located here and is perfect for diving. In addition to motorboats, many guests travel by kayak in the branching lagoon system with its crystal clear water.
2. Heavenly view from Torre Escenica
To admire Cancún and its surroundings from above, a trip to the Torre Escenica is worthwhile. In a rotating cabin, visitors travel 80 meters by car, where they can enjoy a 360 degree view. From there, you can admire the Nichupté lagoon and the beaches of the Zona Hotelera.
The turquoise seascape gives a picturesque picture. The view is spectacular day and night. At night, it is the lights of the hotels and the city that create a romantic atmosphere. It is therefore a good idea to buy a cheap combination ticket for a trip of one day and one night each.
3. Underwater art at the Museo Subacuátio de Arte
Art can also be admired in water. Snorkeling or diving, visitors to the Museo Subacuátio de Arte move between the life-size figures. Artist Jason de Caires Taylor is responsible for the extensive sculpture park located in Punta Nizuc. The 400 digits are only a few meters below sea level.
If you don’t want to or can’t dive, you can book one of the many snorkel boat trips. Here, snorkeling equipment is usually already included and even beginners can easily explore the great landscape of underwater art. The museum is located on the Isla de las Mujeres, a short distance from Cancún.
4. Relax on Isla de las Mujeres
From the Centro de Convenciones you can reach the popular Isla de las Mujeres, where you will find some interesting sights. It is only ten kilometers from Cancún and is appreciated for its peaceful atmosphere. The main Caribbean town occupies the north, the rest of the island consists of a nature reserve and picturesque beaches. As the new building has been restricted by the administration, things on the island are relatively relaxed.
At the southern end, historically interesting Mayan ruins await. In Garrafón National Park, also located south of Isla de Mujeres, divers get their money’s worth. In the deep blue and clear water, even beginners can explore a coral reef. And for those who are even more interested in marine animals, the best place to visit is the turtle breeding station. This is where young animals are raised and then released into the wild. Children, in particular, are enthusiastic visitors.
5. Caribbean Dream on Isla Holbox
Another island before Cancún invites you to an unforgettable day. Isla Holbox still offers Caribbean charm in its purest form, despite the many day visitors. On the island, which is mainly inhabited by fishermen, there are beautiful beaches and a bird breeding station worth seeing.
Not only different water birds can be observed here, but dolphins are regular guests. As the beaches are very shallow, they are particularly popular with families. If you wish, you can also spend the night in one of the hotels. The village of Holbox consists mainly of colorful wooden houses which create a unique atmosphere.
6. Mayan Ruins at El Rey
On Kukulkán Boulevard, in the Zona Hotelera, there are several small Mayan ruins. They are among the most popular sites in Cancun. The largest excavation site is at El Rey. It is named after a royal tomb discovered here in the 1970s. The Mayans built the pyramid along with the three temples between the 13th and 16th centuries.
Amid the turbulent hotel neighborhood, you can comfortably walk between the foundation walls of the temples and get a sense of the ritual sites of the time. If you wish, you can book a guided tour, which is well worth it. Not far from this archaeological park is the Maya Museum, where interested visitors can learn more about the pre-Hispanic period.
7. Magic Triangle – after Tulum and Chichen Itza
If the Maya Museum Cancún on Boulevard Kukulkán does not give you enough impressions, you will certainly be enthusiastic about the two most popular sites in the entire Riviera Maya. A day full of unforgettable impressions awaits you as you depart from Cancun to the ruins of Tulum.
The ancient Mayan site sits directly by the turquoise blue sea and is a real magnet for visitors. To form the magic triangle, you drive inland from here and reach the largest and best-preserved Mayan ruins in the Yucatán at Chichén Itzá. One of the highlights is the famous Pyramid of Kukulcán!
8. Cozumel Island Day Trip
Cozumel Island is also accessible from Cancun for a day trip. Here, it is the romantic sandy beaches and the spectacular coral reefs that attract visitors. The extensive beaches are very quiet, especially to the west, and are therefore also suitable for families with young children.
The forests close to the beach are charming and can be easily explored in the Punta Sur Eco-Reserve. In Chankanaab National Park, visitors admire the variety of fish in the lagoon of the same name. Here too there are several Mayan ruins to visit, for example in the very well preserved archaeological park of San Gervasio.
9. Walk through Playa del Carmen
One of the most popular sites for visitors to Cancun is the nearby town of Playa del Carmen. The tourist center is the picturesque town center of the coastal municipality. Here you can enjoy a relaxed and yet very colorful atmosphere. But it’s never boring: Live music is usually already available at noon, trendy bars and discos are open in the evening.
In addition to the center, Quinta Avenida above all attracts visitors. It runs parallel to the beach and is lined with small shops, bistros, bars and restaurants. The pedestrian area is very busy day and night, ideal for a leisurely stroll. The wide beaches in the north of the city invite you to sunbathe and swim during the day.
10. Molecular cuisine in the Benazuza Restaurant
If you are looking for a unique culinary experience, we recommend Restaurant Benazuza. It is located in the middle of the Zona Hotelera and welcomes its guests in a refined atmosphere. And however noble the interior, however sophisticated and sophisticated the food offer.
Benazuza’s hallmark is the combination of traditional Mexican dishes and technical gastronomic innovations. A tasting menu is recommended in order to try as many delicacies as possible. The plates are also a visual delight, they are originally arranged with lots of colors. Technoemotional, the restaurant calls its style, which it does quite justice to.
More things to do and activities for your Cancun vacation
Best time to visit Cancun
We recommend the following months as the best time to explore Cancun attractions and activities:
January, February, March, April, May, November and December
You can find more weather information, including all climate data, at our climate page for Cancun.
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