Located on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, Cancun is one of Mexico’s treasures. Experience a resort town full of breathtaking beaches, ancient Mayan ruins, fun nightlife and plenty of outdoor activities. For an unforgettable trip, book your stay in the Hotel Zone to maximize your beach time and enjoy these amazing activities and attractions.
One of the most well-preserved remnants of ancient Mexico, Chichen Itza dates back to the 6th Century AD and was one of the great cities of the Mayan empire. Discover magnificent structures such as the Chichanchob (Red House), Casa de las Monjas (Nunnery) and the iconic El Castillo (The Castle). The latter is a pyramid-like temple dedicated to the god Kukulkan, a feathered serpent deity worshipped by many central Mexican cultures. It is said if you visit during the spring equinox, you can see a fascinating phenomenon—the afternoon sun creates the illusion of a feathered serpent slithering down the north face of the pyramid.
There are a wide variety of day trips to visit this spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a day trip that also includes a visit to a cenonte, or sacred well, in Hubiku. The many cenotes were the reason the Itza tribe chose to settle in this location.
Just a 20-minute ferry ride from the Hotel Zone, this small four-mile island offers an underwater museum and plenty of outdoor fun. Enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, diving and snorkeling, which is particularly popular in Cancun since it is home to the world’s second largest coral reef. While snorkeling you can also explore MUSA, a subaquatic art museum featuring over 500 life-sized sculptures that create an otherworldly atmosphere. MUSA is also viewable on a glass bottom boat from Isla Mujeres.
Experience a luxury 45-foot catamaran ride to Isla Mujeres that offers an open bar and lunch. Or, try a four-day Isla Mujeres adventure that includes a visit to Xcaret Park.
Swimming with Dolphins in Cancun
Another popular activity on Isla Mujeres is swimming with dolphins. Enjoy seeing these magnificent animals in their natural habitat—not a pool or aquarium like some tourist spots —but interacting with them in the Caribbean. Try a Dolphin Swim Adventure program where you can enjoy kissing, hugging and playing games with these beautiful creatures. Afterwards, relax at the swimming pools, buffet or bar. Then zipline over the Caribbean in Garrafon Natural Reef Park.
Shopping & Nightlife on Avenida Kukulkan
As Cancun’s main artery, you’ll encounter Avenida Kukulkan at least once on your trip. Stretching from the Hotel Zone to downtown Cancun before running south toward the airport, Avenida Kukulkan is lined with pedestrian pathways, restaurants, nightlife and a variety of local and international shops. If you’re not strolling along the avenue, you’ll likely be traveling along it since this is the main route for the buses most frequently used by tourists. While here, be sure to head to the Coco Bongo for its incredible Vegas-style show combining acrobatics, music and high tech video.
Best Cancun Beaches
You don’t have to travel far out of the Hotel Zone to enjoy paradise. Discover white sand beaches, aquamarine water and postcard-worthy palm trees. Here are some of the most popular and safe beaches for your trip:
Stroll on white sand beaches not far from the hotels and enjoy sunbathing with the option to order drinks from your beach chair. The ferry to Isla Mujeres also departs from here.
Located on Isla Mujeres, this pristine beach is a great place to relax. It’s also a popular place for watching sea turtles. Glimpse these majestic marine creatures at local tortugranja, or turtle farm. If you visit between August and October, and you might get to see the baby turtles hatching.
Escape to this less crowded beach just outside the Hotel Zone on an undeveloped stretch of sand located near El Rey. You’ll find the famous, colorful Cancun sign here for Instagram-worthy pictures. Don’t forget to pack food and drinks since there are no vendors this way.
This beautiful public beach is located in the Hotel Zone, just a short walk from Kukulkan Plaza, and features chairs, umbrellas and other beach supplies for rent. While there are lifeguards, the water is often too rough for swimming and is better suited for other aquatic activities.
Day Trips from Cancun
Discover a variety of unforgettable day trips from Cancun. Take a guided day tour to Tulum with a a certified archaeologist to learn about the walled Mayan city and how Tulum was one of the major Mayan cities of the 13th and 14th centuries in Quintana Roo. Take a scenic bike tour through Tulum’s beautiful beaches and fantastic ruins before taking a dip in a refreshing cenote. Head to the thrilling Xcaret Park in Playa del Carmen and enjoy 50 natural and cultural attractions including underground rivers, a coral reef aquarium and a butterfly pavilion. Or, spend a full day in Cozumel where you can interact with sea lions, manatees and dolphins in Cozumel Park.