Most visitors to Cancun spend most of their vacation lounging and relaxing at the area’s many beautiful beaches. With crystal clear water and soft white sands, Cancun has some of the most stunningly pristine and breathtaking beaches in all of Mexico. However, there is so much more to the area than just its beautiful beaches. Cancun offers a rich biodiverse environment and culture and history as well. Whether you want to visit ancient ruins, or enjoy outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Read below for our top 7 Activities in Cancun for the days you want to skip the beach.
Attend a Traditional Temazcal Ceremony
One of the best activities in Cancun is to undertake a spiritual experience by attending a temazcal ceremony. A Temazcal is an ancient Mayan ceremony that is believed to provide a source of energy and health for the individuals that participate in the experience. A temazcal hut contains volcanic rocks inside that are heated and begin to glow in the dark creating a sauna like atmosphere. There are various stages of increasing and decreasing heat as participants listen to the beats and rhythms of ancient music. In addition to the heat and music, the aroma of herbs will surround you as you find inner peace and soak it in. In general, a temazcal ceremony will conclude with a refreshing dip in a cold bath and refreshments to nourish your body.
Cancun is home to one of the biggest and most beautiful reefs in the world making snorkelling another top Cancun activity. The Great Mayan Reef stretches over 1,000 kilometers all the way from the Yucatan Peninsula down to Belize and Honduras in Central America. Visitors to Cancun will love the chance to swim and snorkel amongst colorful and vibrant marine life. With the area’s crystal clear waters, it is a wonderful Cancun activity to enjoy where you can appreciate some of nature’s most beautiful creations. In addition, visitors will be thrilled to learn that some of the best snorkelling in the area is conveniently located near the hotel zone in an area called Punta Nizuc which offers a tranquil location to enjoy a wide array of coral, fish and even some underwater sculptures.
Visit Chichen Itza
Cancun’s rich history and culture can be appreciated with a visit to some of the area’s most impressive archaeological sites, Chichen Itza. Named one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza was formerly a major economic power in the region and one of the largest Mayan cities. In fact, it is believed that Chichen Itza was one of the great mythical cities of Mesoamerica. Today, Chichen Itza still contains well preserved ancient buildings in great condition including the Great Ball Court, The Temple of Warriors, El Caracol which is an ancient observatory, and the well known El Castillo. Also known as the Temple of Kukulkan, El Castillo is a Mayan castle that is one of the ruins most noteworthy landmarks. A great time to visit the ruins is during the Spring and Autumn equinoxes when the afternoon sun casts a shadow that replicates the body of a slithering snake on the side of the temple. In addition to this unique occurrence, if you clap your hands when standing at the base of El Castillo, you’ll hear a very distinct bird-like noise that scientists have identified as matching the sound that a Quetzal bird makes. The Quetzal is a colorful and mysterious bird from Central America and the Mayans valued its feathers more than gold.
Day Trip to Tulum
If you want to get out of Cancun for a fun excursion to see new sights, consider a day trip to the nearby town of Tulum. Tulum was formerly a walled port city that was constructed in order to protect its inhabitants from outside invasion. In fact, Tulum continued operating normally for nearly 70 years after the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico. Tulum is perched high up on a cliff that overlooks the area’s incredible beaches and perfectly clear blue water. In its heyday, Tulum was one of the largest Mayan cities in the regions. Today, it is a beautiful place to visit if you want to get out of the hustle and bustle of Cancun for the day.
Explore Cenotes and Underground Rivers
In addition to miles of stunning coastline, there is a large network of underground rivers that flow in the Yucatan Peninsula that also contain hidden caves and swimming holes. The most well known underground river and cenote is at Xcaret where you can find three rivers that are ideal for relaxing and floating as you are surrounded by the natural beauty of the region. In addition to the incredible underground rivers, a visit to Cancun’s cenotes is a must do Cancun activity. Cenotes are underground caverns formed when limestone caves leave a giant hole in the earth. Typically, the cenotes are filled with fresh water that is aqua-coloured and perfect for swimming. You can also try snorkelling or scuba diving in some of the deeper cenotes such as the Ik Kil near Chichen Itza and Cenote Zaci.
Take a Picture with Cancun Sign
Looking for a fun and free Cancun activity? Make sure to visit the Cancun sign which makes for a perfect photo opportunity. You can reach the Cancun sign via public transportation which is safe and affordable. Head to the Playa Delfines beach to find the Cancun sign. Tourists love to pose in front of the bright and colourful sign that has a backdrop of white sandy beaches and turquoise ocean waters. Bring along a picnic and enjoy a snack as you make sure you get that perfect Cancun keepsake and photo to memorialize your visit to the area. Consider going in the evening to enjoy a lovely Cancun sunset with your loved ones.
Enjoy a Catamaran Cruise
Another wonderful Cancun activity to enjoy that doesn’t require a visit to the beach is a catamaran cruise along the water. You can take advantage of the area’s great weather and take a catamaran cruise during the day with stops to bask in the warm sun or swim and snorkel among vibrant corals. Or, you can opt for an evening catamaran cruise where you can enjoy a gourmet dinner and sunset cocktails in style. There are several tour companies in the area that offer catamaran cruises so check around to find the best option that suits your needs.
As you can see, there is so much to do in the area besides just hitting the beach. Instead, skip the beach for the day and try these top activities in Cancun. Which was your favorite and why?