15 Best Things To Do in Cancun
Cancun City in Mexico is well-known for its exotic beaches, diverse culture, traditional markets and thrilling amusement parks. However, apart from the Chichen Itza, people are not aware of numerous historically important sites this city has. A long time ago, the Mayan Civilization had chiefly lived in and around this city. As a result, one can find some excavated archaeological sites here. When planning your trip to Mexico, do leave at least two days’ time to explore and get amazed by the intricate details, sturdy buildings and strange beauty of these ruins. Given below are some places that deserve to be visited.
1. Chichen Itza, the famous Mayan Site
One of the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’, Chichen Itza is the most famous Mayan archaeological site across the world! Known for the El Castillo pyramid, visitors will be left staring in awe at the power of the human mind that constructed the marvellous structure entirely out of manpower and primitive tools. Interestingly, an observatory, the Temple of Warriors and a cenote where human sacrifices were conducted are also present here. You can even hire a private archaeologist who can inform you everything about this phenomenal site.
Image Source: wikipedia.org
2. Tulum for Tourists
Set on a cliff top by the Caribbean Sea, this greenish-brown city structure is only two hours south of Cancun. Although, individuals are not allowed to climb the structures Tulum’s Zacil-Ha Cenote has a zip line and swimming hole which is too good to be missed! Owing to its popularity, a number of eateries are also present here to satisfy your hunger. After the Chichen Itza, Tulum is the most recognized historical site in Cancun.
Image Source: wikipedia.org
3. Play at the Coba Mayan Ruins and discover more about the Mayans
Coba Mayan Ruins are not as heavily excavated as Tulum or Chichen Itza, and this is a good thing for tourists! Coba’s uniqueness lies in the fact that it has the largest network of stone causeways called Sacbes meaning ‘white roads’. One can climb the pyramid of Nohoch Mul and even venture into the 16 pathways (there are total 50 discovered so far). Stone carved monuments called stelae depict women, suggesting the reign of female rulers. You can also visit the two ball courts used for playing traditional Mayan games.
4. Ek Balam for Mayan Education
Situated in the Yucatan peninsula, Ek Balam is a relatively secluded place to learn about the Mayan sculptures, temples and plazas. Stretched across a vast area of greenery, this site has left historians surprised. Go there, and you will be forced to wonder how could man build such magnificent structures back then? Which equipment did he use and how did he procure them? You can book a guide who will not only show you around but may also be able to answer those questions
5. Museo Maya de Cancun for musing kids
Museo Maya de Cancun or The Museum Casa Maya is an ecological park that exhibits the ancient Mayan life at its best. This replica is built to showcase the natural and social traditions of that era. It has numerous spider monkeys, crocodiles and turtles. The museum, housed in one of the original Mayan structures, is located at Kabah and Nichupte avenues. Through a vibrant display of historical events and overall development of the city, this place succeeds in providing a thorough understanding of the Mayan life to people of all ages.
6. El Rey Ruins to enjoy the culture of the Mayans
Image Source: wikimedia.org
Located in the Hotel Zone of Cancun, El Rey Ruins date back to the 3rd – 2nd century BC. The ruins were originally named “Kin Ich Ahau Bonil’, meaning "King of the Solar Countenance’. Their distinctive feature is that unlike the rest of the Mayan ruins that have only one main plaza and street, El Rey has two plazas and two streets. They are said to have been ancient spaces for Mayans’ astronomical practices, and historians believe the pyramid here must have been a royal burial ground as it is decorated with paintings.
7. A visit to Scorpion’s Temple to witness the preservation
Locals call it the Templo del Alacran, or YamilLu’um, it stands on the highest point in Cancun at the Park Royal Cancun Resort. Present within the city limits, the temple is on an elevated platform. Broken stairways and its presence in an urban environment might not give one the feel they get at Coba or Tulum but, Mexicans deserve credit for preserving what little was left of the temple.
8. Mayan village of Hunuku
When you visit Ek Balam, you can also stop by and interact with locals of the Hunuku village. It is a present-day Mayan village and helps one to connect the present to the past. Enjoy a delightful traditional meal with its residents and do swim in the Suytun Cenote.
9. Wax Museum Cancun for Children and Family
History is not only limited to ancient ruins; in Cancun recent past can be viewed in the form of wax statues at the Cancun Wax Museum. Featuring stars of various fields including sports, politics, Hollywood and even the fictional world, you are sure to relish this visit! You can take selfies with Albert Einstein, Spider-Man, The Beatles, Elvis or Queen Elizabeth II and many more.
10. El Meco and the coastal delight
Image Source: wikimedia.org
El Meco is the highest archaeological structure in the northern peninsula. A one of its kind sites, it enables the tourists to know about the ancient coastal Mayan city and how was life in around a coastal area during the 3rd century BC. This was a harbour-like point and quite an important reference for coastal navigation. El Meco has 14 structures and well-maintained central temple.
11. Isla Mujeres and the culture of the Mayans
Isla Mujeres, Spanish for ‘Women Island’ is only five miles away from the Cancun Hotel Zone. A religious centre dedicated to the Mayan Goddess of Fertility, Ixchel, it still is highly popular amongst tourists who are intrigued by the Mayan culture. One can still visit the temple which was also used as a lighthouse to guide the Mayan ships ashore. s
12. Underwater Excursion for the excited
The Mayan sculptures and buildings are a cause of mystery already, just think what secrets submerged in water could this ancient civilization be hiding! On your visit to Tulum, dive into the sea to explore an underwater cave where stalactites and stalagmites can be seen. The snorkelling experience would also offer an opportunity to swim alongside sea turtles and tropical fish.
13. Kat yok Planetario De Cancun
A Water Museum, observatory, auditorium and a few archaeological sites are what this planetarium has to offer. Travel into the future through the astronomical and scientific projections that often happen here. This is a good place to visit along with family or people who share the same interests as yours!
14. San Miguelito Archeological site
Located on Cancun Mayan Museum’s site, San Miguelito is another place where you can deepen your knowledge and understanding of this community. An archive is portraying Mayan artefacts, it is the only site that has evidence of dunes constructed by the community to protect itself. Surprisingly, San Miguelito is an adopted name as the authentic Mayan name is unknown to modern man.
15. Xelha, the history session
With cenotes, a nearby ecological park and ruins of the Mayan civilization, Xelha was used as a port. Tour guides can skillfully take you round this site, often narrating moving stories and legends of the humans sacrificed by the Mayans.
By visiting these unique and marvellous ruins, museums and temple structures, you will be exposed to the Mayan beliefs of the cosmos, the existence of a higher power and life cycles. Do visit the sites recommended by us if surveying lost civilizations piques your interest!
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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Cancun, Mexico
Must see places in Cancun ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Cancun and point of interests to visit.
#1 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Literally translated “the island of women”, Isla Mujeres is actually named after the several statues of the goddess Ixchel found here. What makes this island important to visit is that it ...Read more
#2 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Kilometro 282, Solidaridad, 77710 Playa del Carmen, QROO, Mexico
The Xcaret Eco-Park is a wonderful place for a family holiday in Cancun. This park houses more than 40 activities and attractions to keep you busy as well as amused. The region is blessed with natural...Read more
#3 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Yucatan, Mexico
Mexico’s historical legacy is rich and varied and the Mayans have left a stunning mark on the country with their beautiful stone structures. To travel to Cancun and to not see one of these magni...Read more
#4 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Carretera Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km 240, locales 1 & 2, Modulo B, 77780 QROO, Mexico
Xel Ha Park is the ideal tourist attraction near Cancun for those of you travelling with a family. Not to be mistaken with a historic site of the same name Xelha which lies within the same premises, t...Read more
#5 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Carretera Federal No. 307 Km 128, 77710 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Located at a distance of around one and a half hours from Cancun, Tulum is one destination that leaves its visitors spell bound with its spectacular coastline and bright sun. A visit to Tulum from Can...Read more
#6 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico
The El Rey ruins are a group of lovely old Mayan buildings existing at what used to be a fishing village in Cancun. These gorgeous relics of a magnificent era gone by are certainly worth a trip to mak...Read more
#7 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 15.3, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancun, QROO, Mexico
The Cancun Underwater Museum refers to the beautiful and eerie sculptures made by the artist Jason deCaires Taylor. Today, sculptures by other artists have also been added to the mix of underwate art....Read more
#8 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Isla Contoy 77500, Mexico
Cancun is surrounded by natural beauty that makes up for an unparalleled travel experience. While you are in Cancun, you can make a guided tour to Isla Contoy. This island houses a number of species o...Read more
#9 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Tulum 77780, Mexico
Dos Ojos is a snorkel and dive site on the Caribbean coast, located just north of Tulum. This site was discovered in 1987 and has been a popular tourist destination since then. Dos Ojos has one of the...Read more
#10 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Carretera Costera del Golfo, 97751 Chichén Itzá, Yuc., Mexico
Located about 190 Kilometers (120 miles) north and west of the world famous resort town of Cancun, the Ik Kil is a cenot that offers amazing experiences to those who visit it. cenotes are considered t...Read more
#11 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Blvd. Kukulkan km 16.5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancun, QROO, Mexico
Opened in 2012, this massive museum has three giant exhibition halls of more than 4400 square feet each. Inside this museum, the central attractions consist of 14000 year old skeletal that remains rec...Read more
#12 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Puerto Juarez, Carr Cancún -Tulum Km 82, Solidaridad, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Located in the Riviera Maya, Xplor is a natural adventure park just south of Playa del Carmen. Activities here include 14 zip lines, amphibious vehicles, and underground rivers that feature amazing st...Read more
#13 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Avenida Kukulkan, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Benito Juarez, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Clean and lovely, this road is Cancun’s number one destination for those looking to spend a day shopping and dining. Pretty much every restaurant is a culinary delight and every store is a curio...Read more
#14 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Playa Delfines, Blvd Kukulcán Km 17 Zona Hotelera Cancun 77710, Mexico
Playa Delfines is a beautiful beach in Cancun. If you are looking for a place that is slightly off the beaten track, do visit this. It isn’t as popular as the other beaches and certainly isn&rsq...Read more
#15 of 316 Things To Do in Cancun
Address: Avenida Kukulkan Kilómetro3.5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Benito Juárez, Q.R., Mexico
Cancun’s nightlife and natural beauty might astonish you to a certain extent but those who are looking for some quiet spiritual corners should visit the Parraquia de Cristo Resucitado church. Re...Read more
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Types of Things To Do in Cancun
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Top Cancun Activities And Tours
Explore the best things to do in Cancun. These are the most preferred tourist activities.
Tulum, Turtles, and Zip Lines New on TripHobo
Duration: 10 Hrs
This is the ultimate combination of nature, culture and adventure! This tour visits the archaeological site of Tulum, t...Book Now
Ek Balam Cenote Maya New on TripHobo
Duration: 9 Hrs
Visit the archaeological site of EkBalam, an ancient Mayan city that knew its glory before Chichen Itza. This archaeological ...Book Now
Coba Mayan Encounter New on TripHobo
Duration: 10 Hrs
Get on unforgettable ecoarcheological adventures. Visit the impressive archaeological site of Coba and discover the amazing N...Book Now
Tulum Jungle Maya New on TripHobo
Duration: 10 Hrs
Explore the impressive Tulum archaeological site. It is set on a cliff giving you stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. This b...Book Now
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