5 Exciting Things To Do in Cancun

Beach resorts in Cancun, aerial photo

Powdery white sand, turquoise seas, and, of course, the nightlife. While famous as a spring break destination, Cancun has so much more to offer. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll find a wealth of experiences that are exciting, classy, and far from your ‘everyday’ tourist experience. 

Today, we will look at some great suggestions that offer class and a touch of excitement.

This post is part of our destination series Discover the Americas

1. Charter Your Very Own Catamaran

Choosing your own company and getting away from it all can be your ticket into paradise. A catamaran will allow you to do this in style! When you add in the possibility of visiting Isla Mujeres, this makes for the trip of a lifetime.

Isla Mujeres has plenty to offer when you arrive. This includes the MUSA sub aquatic art museum, sea turtle sanctuaries, and of course, a postcard-perfect sandy beach.

The journey will be as memorable as the destination… Some operators offer a fine dining experience, along with the option to sample some hand-selected wines. Good food, scenery, and the Caribbean Sea?

If this sounds ideal, you can see the details of the experience online – charter a private catamaran and sail to Isla Mujeres

2. Take a Street Food Tour

It would be sacrilege to visit Mexico and not indulge in the local cuisine. While everyone has sampled a burrito, street food is where you’ll get to taste the truly ‘local’ dishes.

Tacos, quesadillas, carnitas and more! Wander alone, or take a guide and be escorted to establishments and stalls serving authentic, freshly prepared cuisine… And maybe some local cocktails too? 

3. Visit Ancient Mayan Ruins

Cancun is within striking distance of several sites, housing ancient Mayan ruins. And, you won’t have to go far to find them.

The El Ray Ruins are located in the central hotel zone of Cancun. Just as in the present day, the settlement formed a Mecca for travelers across Central America. The ruins are compact and easy to see in an afternoon.

Should you wish to travel further afield, you’ll be able to take your pick of a wealth of tours. Starting in Cancun as a base, you can venture to numerous sites throughout Tulum and others on the Yucutan peninsula. 

Of particular note is the site at Playa Ruinas. It can get busy during peak season, but the trip is worth it. Be sure to take your camera and capture the 13th-century ruins against a backdrop of white sands and jade seas.

4. Swim in the Cenote at Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza gives you a chance to glimpse into history but also holds a few secrets. 

Located in Tinum Municipality, Chichen Itza is awash with amazing views, towering temples, and tours. A loose translation of Itza is “enchanting of the water”, which should give you a clue about what this location holds.

Cenote at Chichen Itza, Mexico

Visit the nearby cenotes, natural sinkholes formed by countless years of erosion, and be amazed. Cool, fresh water-filled caves, dappled with sunlight. Amazing!

It should come as no surprise that it can get pretty hot in Mexico. What better way to cool off than to take a dip in one of the world’s loveliest natural swimming pools?

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Oh, and try not to be unsettled that it once was a site used in human sacrifices!

5. Gaze at Far Away Planets

The Mayans placed great importance on the behaviour of the sun and the planets. This is a tradition that is continued to this day. 

The Ka’Yok planetarium features a space museum, an immersive auditorium, and a fully working observatory. In the observatory, you’ll be able to indulge your inner astronomer as you put your eye to the telescope and gaze at distant wonders.

It’s located in the heart of Cancun and is an ideal way to while away an afternoon.


There is so much more to Cancun than questionable sombreros, beach parties, and yard cups. If you are willing to venture a little further afield, you’ll have your eyes opened to a world of experiences that will be memorable for years.

More ideas in Mexico? Check out this family guide to San Miguel de Allende from a local expat family.

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