Explore Cancun: Best Beaches, Activities, and History

Last Updated: 2 May 2020 Welcome to Cancun, a captivating destination which lures tourists with its seducing combination of pristine landscapes history, and thrilling activities. For all those who seek the perfect combination of the sun and sand, Cancun is waiting with its all wonders to be explored.

History and Culture

The Riviera Maya has a history as interesting to explore as its pristine beaches. From a tiney little fishing village to a world renowned tourist city, Cancun is a true succcess story brought by the mexican government in the 70’s. These days, Cancun is the poster child for Mexico tourism, attracting visitors from around the world to revel in the glorious weather, stunning natural beauty, and lively local culture.

Cancun is a city with a rich cultural heritage with ties to the ancient Mayan civilization, Spanish colonialism and traditional Mexican culture. Spend time at the museums, art galleries, and archaeological sites, and step back into the town’s history as you soak up the vibrant experience. Cancun has a colourful cultural landscape, simply awaiting for you to explore it; from traditional dance performances to local handicrafts there is plenty to see, do and taste.

Local natural hosts with friendly smiles – warm hospitality will act as an extra to make your latoto Cancun experience a memorable one. Explore, eat, and join in the national holiday – but make the most of the energy that weaves this vibrant destination together.

Nightlife in Cancun with vibrant lights, bars, and dancing crowds

Best Tourism Sites

Cancun has so much to offer to all types of travelers. Cancun offers something for everyone, from the history buff to nature lover or thrill-seeker. Start your day by heading to the famed El Rey ruins which offers some spectacular meandering pathways and well preserved Mayan structures that will give you a glimpse of the past glory and mystique of this ancient civilization.

For thrills and spills, check out Xcaret Park, a natural eco-archaeological park where you can swim in underground rivers, explore mysterious caves and get up close and personal with local wildlife. Silent seekers of nature will discover the transcendental beauty of Isla Contoy, a protected natural reserve that is home for an enormous diversity of flora and fauna.

By visiting the interactive aquarium, one will be able to check off a must-visit from their list (just imagine being able to swim with dolphins and encountering one-of-a-kind marine life!) Cancun caters to solos, families, and friends, and its attractions ensure an experience that you cannot just scratch of the city’s natural wonders.

Best Beaches in Cancun

It is world-famous for its powdery white sands, crystal-clear waters that fringe the shores along with swaying palm trees that create the perfect backdrop for relaxation and recreation in Cancun. Whether you are looking to escape the crowds at Playa Tortugas or enjoy the masses at Playa Delfines, Cancun has a beach experience for everyone.

Wiggle your toes in the warm sands of Playa Norte, one of the world’s top beaches and features calm waters and a vibrant scene. If you are looking for a calmer setting, Playa Marlin invites with their peaceful atmosphere and amazing golden hour sunsets reflecting off the horizon. Playa Langosta is a beach where adventure seekers can enjoy a fun-filled water-sports day, from activities like parasailing and jet-skiing to paddleboarding along the shore.

Cancun’s beaches are a sun lover’s paradise, a beach walker’s bliss and water sport enthusiast’s heaven. Laze under a swinging palapa, drink a summer drink and allow the audible sea vibrations to soothe your soul into the mist of nirvana.

CANCUN; Day trip to Mayan Ruins

Step back in time and throughout the historic remnants of Cancun’s landscape with a tour to unravel the mysteries of the Mayan civilization. Located on a cliff facing the Caribbean Sea, Tulum Tulum offers some great architectural remains from the Mayan people and spiritual influence.

With Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World displaying many pyramids, temples, and astronomical observatories that reveal the ancient knowledge and intellectual accomplishments of Mayan astronomers and mathematicians. Trek the ruins at Coba, lost within the jungle, including the giant Nohoch Mul pyramid, which you can climb for views of the dense canopy down below.

Every archaeological site in Cancun has an interesting story to tell of an ancient civilization filled with mystery and excitement. Experience the history of yesteryears as you walk through aged temples, ceremonial ball courts and sacred temples that tell a story of the Mayans.

Snorkeler swimming among colorful coral and marine life in Cancun's Mesoamerican Barrier Reef

A Comprehensive Cancun Water Activities and Sports Guide

The crystal clear blue waters of Cancun call out to adventurers and passers-by alike to dip their feet (and more) into riveting aquafun! Whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, you can have an adrenaline filled trip with lots of memories at Cancun!

Snorkel among the rainbow coral and bold marine life in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest coral reef system in the world, or dive beneath the surface and swim amongst the bright fish, sea turtles, and even passing rays. Cancun offers great parasailing adventures that will take you to the skies to get a bird’s eye view of the mesmerizing Caribbean coastline in addition to its radiant turquoise waters.

For the adrenaline junkies, jet skiing, flyboarding, or kiteboarding are all available options, while those wanting to experience Cancun in a more leisurely way can take a calming catamaran cruise or paddleboard along the serene waters of Nichupte Lagoon. Whatever you want – to ride the waves or kick back in some sun and surf – Cancun can offer you something, and Cancun will provide a waterborne playground that no other city can match.

Nightlife & Shopping

After the sun sets in Cancun, the city comes alive with its range of nightlife, entertainments and dining. With high-end shopping malls to finest markets and centres for souvenirs, Cancun provides a shopping experience for all.

Go shopping at La Isla Shopping Village, the city’s most important shopping center because it brings together specialty shops, artisan shops, designer boutiques and all sorts of accessories that you can offer or keep as a souvenir. Experience a more local market shopping by visiting the energetic Mercado 28, where you can practice your Spanish skills while bargaining for Mexican handcrafted souvenirs, colorful textiles, and traditional mexican crafts.

Enter the night amidst the pulsating nightlife at Cancun that springs to life after dark when the kaleidoscope of bars, nightclubs, and live music venues open their doors to welcome all the party animals to dance the night away. Be you in the mood for a beachfront club complete with DJ sets and laser shows or for an intimate lounge serving craft cocktails, there is a facet of Cancun’s nightlife for you.

Cancun Traditional Food and Restaurants

While many of the flavors are quintessentially Mexican, the influence of international cuisine and modern gastronomy have had a significant impact on the culinary landscape in Cancun offering flavors for every palate and satisfying the cravings of even the most astute foodie. From traditional Mexican street food stalls displaying almuerzo and torta/tamale to luxury sea food, gourmet, as well as fusion meals, dining in Cancun is obviously a happiness.

Sample the zesty dishes of Yucatec cuisine, which features plenty of achiote, orange and red, habanero chilies, at local restaurants or street markets specializing in regional food. Tuck into fresh ceviche, grilled fish tacos and cochinita pibil, a slow-roasted Mayan pork dish, cooked in banana leaves.

The most refined culinary experiences are found in award-winning restaurants with a fine dining menu in Cancun, created by great chefs, where you will taste all of the innovation that can be achieved by preparing food with local ingredients and worldly techniques. Toast to the flavors and culinary diversity of Cancun with a margarita or a glass of mezcal alongside your meal.

Where to Stay

From sprawling beach resorts to chic boutique properties and wallet-friendly hotels, Cancun has accommodations to reel in every kind of traveler. Cancun’s variety of hotels ranges from all-inclusive resorts with five-star amenities to a cozy bed and breakfast located in the heart of the city and all tastes and budgets in between.

Get away from it all at a luxury resort in Cancun, complete with first-class services, private beach access, fine dining, and a range of spa treatments. Whereas, to enjoy in a more private stay, you can book a boutique hotel or a snug guesthouse that offers a personalized service, surrounding charm, and a peaceful environment that gives a homely feel.

Budget travelers need to look no further than the hostels, guesthouses, and holiday rentals in Cancun, where very few of them hit a higher price bracket for comfort and convenience. From Caribbean sea views to jungle gardens, no matter where you choose to stay in Cancun, you will find beautiful hospitality and the best of Cancun.

Visitors exploring the ancient Mayan ruins of El Rey in Cancun

Tips for Traveling to Cancun

Here are some basic tips as you head for your adventure in Cancun. Do not forget a sunblock, a hat and sunglasses, as you will need protection from a blazing tropical sun, drink only bottled water and certainly not tap water, and have as much bottled water with you as you can, to avoid dehydration, and also to avoid catching a stomach bug.

Wear light clothing and good walking shoes while exploring the Mayan ruins when the tropical sun is beating down. Please respect the archaeological sites and abide by the guidelines put forth by the local authorities to protect these historical legacies for your children to see too.

When it comes to getting around Cancun, you can either rent a car and enjoy the freedom of exploring the city on your own time, or take public buses and taxis to travel between the various attractions. Take basic safety measures including securing your belongings and keeping an eye on your surroundings, particularly at tourist hot spots where incidents of theft and pickpocketing are known to occur. If you like reading this article then please consider reading our article about Iron Dome.