Away from the beautiful beaches, swaying palm trees and crystal-clear blue water, you'll find plenty of things to do in Cancun. Explore the ancient Mayan ruins, swim with tropical fish in the huge eco-parks, or try some white knuckle activities. Downtown you can get a glimpse of everyday Mexican life and pick up a few trinkets to remind you of your trip at the local markets, or explore art galleries and boutiques for some high-end shopping excursions. Out to sea, enjoy everything from deep-sea fishing to scuba diving, or catch a ferry to the floating island, Isla Mujeres.
Cancun is home to the second-largest coral reef in the world, making it a paradise for snorkelling and scuba diving. With plenty of luxurious hotels lining the coast, you can likely go snorkelling right from where you are staying. One of Mexico’s most unique spectacles is Cancun Underwater Museum Mexico, an exhibition below the sea filled with statues and natural coral. You can view the museum from a glass-bottomed boat, or train at a PADI-approved diving school and explore this underwater world up close.
Check out one of the natural aquariums such as Xel Ha Park. Here you can swim with angelfish, ride a lazy river through the mangroves, dive into turquoise lagoons or float in the cool waters of the cenotes. There is plenty for tiny tots too, from the paddling pool to the sandbox. Visit Xplor to whizz along zip lines and discover caves with impressive stalactites. Nearby, Xcaret eco-archaeological park has underground rivers where you can swim, and go snorkelling. If you time your visit for the end of October, you'll see shows that celebrate Mayan and Mexican history.
Cancun is rich with Mayan history and the resorts regularly run day trips to the town of Tulum and its ancient archaeological sites. Here you can visit the Pyramid El Castillo, The Great Palace, Coba Maya Ruins, Windows in the Castillo and Temple of the Frescos. The well-preserved sites are a throwback to the 15th-century Mayan era. The Museo Maya De Cancun Mexico holds 320 Mayan artefacts throughout three exhibition halls. Along the path out to the San Miguelito archaeological site, you’ll discover over 40 structures and eight pyramids.
Family holidays to Cancun are so much fun! Make sure you take a trip to Wet 'n' Wild. The water park has everything from water slides and lazy rivers, to gentle rides for tots and babies. Thrill-seekers can race down the Kamikaze or Twister, while mini explorers can challenge themselves on the bouncy bubbles.
The crystal clear Caribbean waters are oh-so inviting. When you’re not swimming the shores, head out on one of the many boating trips. Set sail on an 18th-century Spanish galleon replica, book yourself onto the Captain Hook Cancun experience. Cancun is also visited by fishing enthusiasts from all around the world, catching everything from snappers and sharks, to mahi-mahis and barracudas. Join a deep sea fishing voyage or enjoy the ambience of a catamaran cruise trip in Cancun's stunning El Farito reef.
Cenotes near Cancun
Cancun is close to some of the most beautiful cenotes in Mexico, where you can swim in caves or open-water lagoons filled with crystal clear water. These naturally occurring limestone sinkholes are dotted around the Riviera Maya coast, with some completely submerged underground. Take a trip to Cenote Azul to cool off in sparkling turquoise waters. It has a shallow swimming area for families and a deeper pool for those keen to cliff jump.
Add an authentic flair to your ‘Mexico things to do’ list with a night of Lucha Libre. The infamous Mexican version of WWF is complete with capes, masks, and acrobatic stunts. You can book a tour from Cancun, with plenty of tacos and beer at the ready!