What to do in Cancun?
What to do in
We have since returned a while from beautiful Mexico after a journey of almost two months. Now we often get the question from people who are traveling there themselves, what exactly there is to do. And that is exactly what we are going to show in this article. Each week we discuss a city in Mexico that we have visited. This week we start with Cancun. This is the list ‘What to do in Cancun’?
in the city itself
1 Being at the beach
If you are in Cancun then you just have to go to the beach. Thanks to its clear blue colored sea, this is perhaps the most beautiful coastal region in the world. You can go to the hotel area on the beach where it is quite crowded, and also expensive to drink something. Or you can go a little quieter and enter the beach at the level of Playa las Perlas (free parking) and take a short walk to the right from there. Trust us… you’ll come across some beautiful places where almost no one else can be seen. Or maybe you want a mix of both, both touristy and quiet? Then Playa Delfines is worth a visit.
In Cancun you can enjoy shopping. And often even at better prices than with us. So you have the shopping mall La Isla, Luxery Avenue, Plaza Las Americas and our favorite Puerto Cancun Marina Town Center where you can shop quietly with a nice view. Although the streets around Coco Bongo (Dancing/shows) are also definitely worth a visit and certainly to make some bargains. The insistent salespeople are part of it.
3 Going out in Coco Bongo
Cancun is kind of known for it…. but you can go out really well there. And usually at interesting prices too. Although, to be honest, this is not always fun, especially during spring break(American student party). Our recommendation is Coco Bongo where there are some great shows and in most cases drinks are included. But be sure to check this before. And buy tickets at official outlets (they are well marked). Because the street vendors supposedly sell the cheapest tickets, but often this is far above the normal price. A fun alternative is to party on Cancun’s pirate boat. Again, this is quite expensive, but it is a unique experience.
4 Underwater museum MUSA
500 sculptures and over 200000 visitors each year. In this museum you will learn more about the history of the Mayas. This is a unique experience. If you want to dive among the more than 450 statues, you do have to pay about 110 euros per person for 2 hours. Which, in our opinion, is not too bad. We unfortunately did not do this because it was already full (due to the spring breakperiod). But it’s better to book this in advance through the MUSA website. Not into diving ? Then you can also choose a cheaper tour with a kind of submarine. You will pay around 50 euros per person for this.
Actually, Cancun is really paradise for water sports. You can really do anything in the water here. From water skiing to jet skiing. On that front, Cancun has a lot to offer. We can’t recommend a real organization because the beach is just full of renters of these things. So comparing prices is definitely appropriate as well as haggling. Often you can certainly haggle down to half the first price that they tell you. Of course, don’t overdo it here either, these people just want to earn their pennies too. See what a fair price might be.
6 Go out of the hotelzone
In many lists of what to do in Cancun, we read that it is best to avoid downtown Cancun because it is said to be unsafe there. But that’s not true! We’ll even tell you more. If you haven’t been outside the hotel area, then you haven’t actually been to the real Mexico. As long as you don’t use drugs or have ties to the notorious cartels in Mexico, it’s as safe as a night out in Brussels. Outside the hotel areas you will find cozy streets and houses where time has stopped. And you can eat real Mexican food. Because let’s be honest, in the hotel area you’re only going to get Mexican food with a big Western influence (beware: real Mexican food can be spicy).
7 Isla Mujeres
A trip to the nearby island of Isla Mujeres is also recommended. You can easily reach this tiny island by ferry from Cancun or Playa del Carmen. There is not much to do on the island itself but you can enjoy the peace and quiet and the beautiful view of the beach. If you want to stay here, a few nights will suffice. You’ve actually seen all of the island in one day.
If you are only staying in Cancun and not heading to Playa del Carmen, Xcaret is highly recommended! This natural water park is more than just that. With experiences that you can only have there such as swimming in an underground cave or with dolphins. Not to mention the many shows going on throughout the day, with the big closing show as the absolute highlight. This was definitely one of our highlights in Mexico. The only downside is that it is quite pricey, as you pay about 110 euros per person, and that does not include all the attractions. Xcaret does have some smaller brothers where in some cases you pay less and still get a lot for your money. For example, we also visited Xplor where you can do many daring activities and enjoy another full day of a delicious buffet.
9 Playa del Carmen
We stayed in Playa del Carmen for a week, but it is also perfectly doable as a day trip from Cancun. This beach town should not be visited for its beaches…. because they are simply more beautiful in Cancun. But for its pleasant shopping street with nice Mexican stores and bars that provide a nice atmosphere (especially towards the evening). Getting to Playa del Carmen is easy with the ADO buses. These are relatively inexpensive yet have adequate comfort and are a safe means of transportation throughout Mexico. We cannot give an accurate price because they can often vary from day to day.
The next in the “what to do in Cancun” list, unlike the rest, is a bit further away from Cancun. But don’t let that be an obstacle, because this is a really funday trip. If you are also staying in Playa del Carmen, it is better to make the trip from there. Tulum is a very famous place due to its Instagram-worthy bars and beaches. But the main reason for going there is still the archaeological sites of the Mayas. These are just as beautiful as in Chichen Itza with the difference that here you also have a nice view over the sea. Where, consequently, you can take very unique photos. Tulum is also best reached from Cancun by the ADO buses.
11 Chichen Itza
From Cancun, you can visit a wonder of the world, so this is also highly recommended. Chichen Itza and the entire Mayan culture is impressive and just part of Mexico’s history. Pair a visit to Chichen Itza with the town of Valladolid and the cenote Ik Kilwhere you can swim in an unforgettable location. This trip is offered by numerous companies in Cancun, but you can also plan this trip yourself. Which makes it cheaper, but also gives you more time at each location than the tours offered by organizations. We also planned this ourselves and here you can read how we did it.