Cancun owns a vibrant landscape that offers a lot of natural attractions that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world. Most of its attractions are ports, parks and ruins that add a dash of enigma to Cancun. Some of the central attractions and things to do in Cancun are: Isla Mujeres, Xcaret, Chichen Itza, Tulum, El Rey Ruins, Cancun Underwater Museum and Isla Contoy.
For those who wish to experiment on adventure here, Cancun offers some of the most spectacular scuba diving in the Western Hemisphere. Cancun is famous for people who wish to find thrill amidst the sun kissed lands amidst an amazing underwater thriving life. Another attraction of Cancun is its housing of Mayan ruins. You can visit the Ruinas Del Rey which are now part of the Hilton Resort complex but is open to the public to visit. Moving north of Cancun, the ancient coastal city of El Meco features Mayan pyramids, a site that would interest the history buffs.
Museo de Antropologia e Historia that features artefacts and displays chronicling centuries of Mexican culture and Museo INAH that houses a huge collection of Mayan cultural and archaeological relics. With these and all, Cancun becomes one of the paradise for people who love to travel and wish to explore new places.
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What to Do in and around Cancun
Enjoy 54 best Cancun attractions and points of interest to choose from!
#1 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 25240 times in trip plans
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 is a part of the Mayan history of Mexico. About 13 kilometers away from Cancun, it lies in the same state as the city; Quintana Roo.
This island is the perfect holiday destination in every way. The white pristine sand and the sunny sands are sure to please the travelers who visit here. What used to be a laid back fishing village is now a thriving tourist destination that has become one of the central attractions of Cancun. Tiny shops and restaurants dot the place for the benefit of the tourists. You can try scuba diving or snorkeling in the blue waters, or you can go fishing which is certainly a unique experience here. You can also choose from a variety of water sports in this place. Further, you can take an hour long boat ride to Isla Contoy from here if you are a nature lover. There is a wildlife sanctuary and bird park on its neighboring island.
#2 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 26928 times in trip plans
Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Kilometro 282, Solidaridad, 77710 Playa del Carmen, QROO, Mexico
08:30 am - 09:30 pm
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 wealth. From pools and lagoon, to underground rivers, you can view some amazing natural wonders here. Try out the rotating Scenic tower which will help you survey the place before you decide what all you want to try out here. The central attraction of this place is its butterfly park which is simply stunning and a must visit.
There are also certain animals that you can see during a visit here. Colorful coral reefs adorn the place and can be viewed up close in the sea. You can also interact with the turtles and see the brightly colored flamingos that frequent Mexico. You will also be able to learn a lot about the history and culture of Mexico at this place through several interactive activities. Nature lovers should not miss out on this wonderful place. There is a lot to do so make sure to plan a whole day around this place.
#3 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 22121 times in trip plans
08:00 am - 04:30 pm
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 magnificent constructions would be certainly missing out on the essence of this destination. Luckily, the Chichen Itza, one of these stunning relics of the Mayan period lies at a very accessible distance from the city. And it is not for nothing that this place is the second most visited place in Mexico.
The Chichen Itza is an ancient city that lies in the Yucatean Penninsula. This Place is a part of the Seven Wonders of the World. The gorgeous, 24 meter tall pyramid called El Castillo is a wonderful example of Mayan Architecture. It is simply amazing to see what the Mayans could do with simple tools and stone. The stone carvings are certainly pretty but what is spectacular is the arrangement of the stones on top of one another. There are several smaller pyramids and other stone structures to see around this place. How they did it all without all our modern tools, no one knows. But it is certainly a great experience to see this architectural feat!
The best way to enjoy this place will be to catch the sound at light show in the evening, the timings of which depend upon the season. Certainly a must visit if history attracts you enough!
#4 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 16815 times in trip plans
Carretera Federal No. 307 Km 128, 77710 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
12:01 am - 12:00 am
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 Cancun will include watching its beautiful coastline, sugar sands, jade-green water and balmy breezes. Thanks to its pristine nature, this beach is infact one of the top beaches in Mexico. Apart from watching natural beauty here, you can also enjoy diving, fun cenotes, great snorkeling, and a variety of lodgings and restaurants for you to stay. Historically, Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya and was in full glory between the 13th and 15th centuries. However, this city was subsequently abandoned after it became infested with Old World diseases brought by the Spanish settlers. You will also come across the ruins of the walled city here. Today it is one of the most visited sites in Mexico.
#5 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 18480 times in trip plans
Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico
08:00 am - 05:00 pm
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 make. The city was abandoned but was the center of activity till the 1500s. Today this place looks astonishing with its natural and architectural beauty blended together.
The tiny place is surrounded by beautiful palms and make up a wonderful natural habitat. This makes a visit to the El Rey Ruins quite different from most other Mayan archeological sites. There is a sense of wildness here that is an amazing thing to see.
The white calciferous rocks look simply stunning and the iguanas that live in this habitat will be a real treat to see here. The village life around this area is also very intriguing. Be sure to observe the tiny straw houses that surround it.
#6 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 15952 times in trip plans
Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 15.3, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancun, QROO, Mexico
07:00 am - 08:00 pm
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. These underwater statues have all been preserved by the MUSA (Museo Subacuatico de Arte).
There is a series of varied figurines that have found a wonderful viewing place at the bottom of the ocean. The main aim behind this underwater museum is to truly show the unbreakable bond between art and nature through this very eccentric venture of underwater sculptures. There are possibly more than five hundred sculptures submerged underwater in this place.
Seeing these diving sculptures under the ocean amidst the marine life is surely a surreal experience that needs to be had at least once in a life time.
What makes this attraction quite unique is that you will have to go underwater to see and experience this underwater sculpture park. Move back to the things to do in Cancun page for all other attractions and activities.
#7 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 2207 times in trip plans
Isla Contoy 77500, Mexico
12:01 am - 12:00 am
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 of birds and animals who live in a habitat full of mangroves and a beautiful beach. The tour operators will give you several hours of free time to explore the island's interpretive trails, climb a 27m-high observation tower and get in a little snorkeling. As you explore the island and swim in its pristine waters, you’ll feel what it would be like to spend time on a deserted island paradise, far from land and where you are a part of nature.
#8 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 11703 times in trip plans
Blvd. Kukulkan km 16.5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancun, QROO, Mexico
09:00 am - 05:30 pm
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 recovered from underwater caves, ancient artefacts and other excavated exhibits that beautifully outline the history of the Meso-Americans. Closeby, an outdoor trail leads to some fascinating Mayan ruins, worth looking into even on a rainy day. The museum is elevated high above the sea to prevent destruction from natural elements. As the Cancún's original anthropology museum was shut down in 2006 due to structural damage from hurricanes, this new museum features hurricane-resistant reinforced glass. The price of admission includes access to the adjoining San Miguelito archaeological site.
#9 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 13506 times in trip plans
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 curiosity. It’s also one of the safest spots in the city, so strolling in twilight with your beloved with the ocean on one side and a lagoon on another makes for a romantic experience. The constant fresh breeze is a fantastic plus. Buses ply constantly and are a convenient transportation method, charging only a dollar or less for a trip. Just be sure to tell the driver where you want to be dropped off.
#10 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 17482 times in trip plans
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’t as crowded which makes it a wonderful and relaxing place. The forgotten beach is described as a rather underdeveloped beach as it hasn’t been taken over commercially. As a traveler you can enjoy a secluded beach with pretty little umbrellas adorning it as you enjoy the sun, the sand and the sea. The blue waters are very inviting and being away from the madding crowd you are sure to love this place. For those who are looking for some history lessons in Cancun, this place houses some of the Maya ruins near the beach. Take a stroll down the stretch of the beach, run, jog or just relax; the beach is the perfect idyllic getaway in the middle of the city.
#11 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 18333 times in trip plans
Carretera Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km 240, locales 1 & 2, Modulo B, 77780 QROO, Mexico
08:30 am - 05:30 pm
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, this theme park is an aquatic eco-tourism venue. However, do also check out the archeological site while you are here.
The park offers wonderful scuba diving, snorkeling and boating opportunities within the Riviera Maya. The lagoon of the park is home to several species of brightly coloured tropical fish as well as dolphins. There are several treks that can be undertaken as well as interactions with the creatures of the sea that can be sought. There is also a spa in case you are in the mood to relax. You can try your hand at the Mexican tradition of Temaxcal while here. If you are looking for a place where you can spend the whole day with family, this is the one for you. The main attractions of this park are:
Lunch buffet and national open bar
Adventure World: aquatic zip-lines, jumps from five meters height and different rope games.
Areas of relaxation with hammocks and lounge chairs.
#12 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 10717 times in trip plans
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Visiting Sistema Dos Ojos would mean visitng one of the world’s largest underwater cave complexes. This place also boasts of one of the largest and most beautiful cavern dives. Translated as “Two Eyes” in Spanish, it is located just south of the X’el Ha ecopark. The name Dos Ojos refers to two adjacent cenotes. Divers usually enter from the smaller of the two, known as the Eastern Eye. Two distinctly different types of cave dives are possible from this point. A collection of various sites to see while you are diving, this place unravels mysterious beauty in its underwater reserves.
#13 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 10143 times in trip plans
Carretera Costera del Golfo, 97751 Chichén Itzá, Yuc., Mexico
12:01 am - 12:00 am
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 to be an integral part of any tour to Cancun and Yucatan. There are no surface rivers in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. All rivers are underground. A cenote is a spot where the limestone has collapsed into this underground water system. Usually the roof has collapsed to create an opening and one heck of a swimming hole. Some access large caverns that are suitable for scuba diving while others are more suited as excellent swimming holes. There are an estimated 7,000 cenotes in the Yucatan to choose from with Ik Kil being recognized as one of the most beautiful.
#14 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 11293 times in trip plans
Puerto Juarez, Carr Cancún -Tulum Km 82, Solidaridad, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
09:00 am - 05:00 pm
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 stalactites and stalagmites created over millions of years. After you are done with your adventures, you can have refreshments in the buffet restaurant which features international favorites or the snacks bar which serve yummy juices, smoothies and cookies. This is the place that offers you safe adventure in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya.
#15 of 54 Things to do in Cancun | Added 8257 times in trip plans
Avenida Kukulkan Kilómetro3.5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Benito Juárez, Q.R., Mexico
06:00 am - 11:59 pm
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. Recently established, this church has become one of the central attractions of Cancun that must be visited for sure. With open interiors and cool heights, this church is in close access from many resorts in Cancun. For those who want to see the church in its full glory, should visit it during the mass. They have the portrait of our lady of Guadalupe in one corner of the church.