As a popular tourist destination on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, Cancún is considered a tropical paradise with beautiful beaches, coral reefs, water sports and vibrant nightlife. To visit Cancun is therefore ideal to enjoy the sun and idleness. Located near Playa del Carmen, Xcaret is a very popular amusement park in the Yucatan region. The Riviera Maya has many crowded spots, yes, the area is very touristy and attracts a lot of local tourists. Cancun Tower isn’t the exception, but it’s totally worth it.
If you are in the area, you may be wondering about spending a day on your trip. It’s quite difficult to escape the various advertisements in the area about Xcaret Park. Cancun Tower turned out to be one of the main stars of the park since it offers the highest point of view of the Riviera Maya.
However, it is by exploring the rest of Yucatán that you can really enjoy your Mexican adventure through the Mayan archaeological sites, beautiful natural wonders, theme parks and other discoveries. Here are some of the best things to see and do in Cancún:
- Chichen Itzá
- Xcaret: Cancun Tower and fun
- Isla Mujeres
- The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
1. Chichen Itzá
A visit to Cancún would not be complete without a day trip to Chichén Itzá, one of the most visited sites in Mexico. Dating from 750 to 1200 AD JC, Chichén Itzá was an important religious, commercial and political center during the Mayan civilization. The remains installed here testify to the impressive knowledge of the Mayas in terms of architecture and astronomy. The important works not to be missed are El Castillo, a remarkable pyramid dedicated to the feathered serpent god (Kukulkan), the Temple of warriors, the large ball playground, the wall of skulls, the observatory and the Sacred Cenote.
2. What to see in Xcaret: Cancun Tower and more
Xcaret offers a lot of things and a day is not too much to see everything.
First of all, you have the fauna and flora: aquarium, felines, reptiles and a wide variety of animals. You also have the reconstruction of typical houses from different parts of Mexico, various attractions, shows throughout the day, snorkeling, river descents, and even water park where you can spend the whole day with your family.
The ticket also includes a lunch buffet, so meals are not something to worry about.
3. Isla Mujeres
One of the most popular things to do in Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a small island of about 8 kilometers long only. With white sand and shallow waters, the island’s beaches are ideal for swimming, snorkeling and relaxation. Nature lovers will enjoy a visit to Turtle Farm, a hatchery and a sanctuary for endangered sea turtles. History buffs can visit the Mayan ruins in Punta Sura and the beautiful Hacienda Mundaca of the 19th century, built by a pirate of the Caribbean. Towards the southern tip of the island, there is also a very original museum to discover: the MUSA, which is a subaquatic museum.
Tulum is a famous tour from Cancún for both its Mayan relics and for being one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico. Once a major commercial and ceremonial center, the Mayan ruins of Tulum are made up of several different structures that make their visit interesting. The remains are perched on a cliff overlooking a picturesque beach of white sand and blue-green water. A favorite place for photographers, this beach is also suitable for divers and kitesurfers. Near the ruins and the beach is the Cenotes Park where you can explore some of the most incredible caves and cenotes in the world.
5. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
Representing one of the most impressive excursions on the Yucatán Peninsula, Sian Ka’an is a large nature reserve that is home to hundreds of animal and bird species as well as beautiful landscapes. It is possible to kayak through the wetlands, walk along the wooden walks and wade in the crystal clear water of the lagoons to meet egrets, sea turtles, tropical fish, crocodiles and much more.
You will also experience fishing, snorkeling and bird watching. In addition, there are more than 20 archaeological sites located in this reserve such as the ruins of Muyil, an ancient Mayan trading center.