Mexico’s party capital offers plenty of activities for a memorable holiday. Discover all of the best things to do in Cancun.
From adrenaline-pumping adventures to breathtaking ancient sites, Cancun appears to have it all. The options for an active holiday are nearly endless when visiting this gem of a vacation spot.
To give you a head start, check out this list of 10 cool things to do in Cancun.
#1 – Go Downtown
If you want to get a feel of the authentic Cancun vibe, downtown is the place to be.
The colorful streets are lined with stalls of local foods. There are also shops where you can buy from the local artisans, and you can even watch live wrestling Mexican-style.
But the highlight of the area is perhaps Avenida Tulum – the best place to try tacos that are unlike any you’ve had before.
#2 – Take Dip in the Cenotes
Cenotes are natural pools in limestone caves, part of the underground water system on the Yucatan peninsula. These cenotes are filled with clear blue waters and surrounded by beautiful cliffs and vegetation.
They’re perfect for a refreshing swim, but you can also go snorkeling or scuba diving there if you want to explore the underwater cave system.
Note that Ruta De Cenotes, only a half-hour drive from Cancun, has the best cenotes in the area.
#3 – Take Part in the Temazcal Ceremony
Looking for non touristy things to do in Cancun? The Temazcal purification ceremony could be just the thing for you.
This is a traditional Mayan ritual that takes place in a small hut. When you enter the hut in your swimsuit, you’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into a sauna.
But you won’t be alone, as a shaman manages the ceremony and makes sure everything is peachy. As the shaman steams up the inside of the hut, you’ll see him chant and summon the spirits with herbs.
The whole experience can be best described as meditative. You might just find your body and soul cleansed when you leave.
#4 – Try the Jungle Zip Line
One of the most popular adventure activities in Cancun is to go on the jungle zip line.
Particularly noteworthy are those offered by two theme parks: Selvatica and Xplor Adventure Park. Selvatica is closer to the city and has 10 zip lines. Meanwhile, Xplor has seven, with the highest 147ft up.
Both parks also offer a full range of activities, including a visit to nearby cenotes and ATV rides. It’s not unusual for visitors to want to spend a whole day at either park.
#5 – Check Out Torre Escenica
Also known as the Cancun Scenic Tower, Torre Escenica overlooks the city and the Caribbean Sea.
At the top of the 300ft-tall tower, you’ll hear exciting stories about Cancun as the tower continuously spins to ensure ever-changing views.
The ride up takes a full 5 minutes and you have 15 minutes more to take photos and enjoy the 360° views.
#6 – Hit the Nightclubs
No list of things to do in Cancun would be complete without the nightclubs. The city is famous for its crazy nightlife after all, particularly around spring breaks.
Among the standouts are The City Nightclub, Coco Bongo, Dady’O, and Mandala Beach Club, each with its own unique spin to draw in the crowds. For example, The City Nightclub is known for hosting some of the world’s most in-demand DJs, while Mandala Beach Club is famous for its bikini parties.
You won’t run of options if partying is on your agenda.
#7 – Go Scuba Diving
For a long time running, Cancun is considered the mecca for scuba divers of all stripes.
The waters around the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef are mostly calm and teeming with marine life. You’re bound to have a great time, even if it’s your first dive, and there are places where you can get a PADI license with ease.
The main attraction for divers is the MUSA underwater museum located near Isla Mujeres. You wouldn’t want to miss the stunning array of underwater sculptures there.
#8 – Get Yourself Down to Las Coloradas
Visiting Las Coloradas (the red ones) is undoubtedly among the best things to do in Cancun. These tiny pink lakes adjacent to a fishing village look absolutely otherworldly against the blue skies and surroundings.
Las Coloradas is about 3 hours away from Cancun but well worth the trip. The lakes are within a nature reserve that’s home to a wide range of local wildlife.
You can book accommodations close to the lakes, which is perfect if you want to go on a flamingo tour on the following day.
#9 – Visit Chichen Itza
A UNESCO heritage site, the ancient pyramids of Chichen Itza could offer you the experience of a lifetime. This site is well preserved and gives you a unique insight into the ways of the Mayans.
At 98ft tall, El Castillo, or the Temple of Kukulkan, is the site’s most impressive pyramid. Its nine terraces represent the ancient belief that heaven has nine different levels.
Chichen Itza is 2.5 hours from Cancun by car and you’ll be hard-pressed to find any visitors of the city who haven’t at least made the trip once.
#10 – Explore Zona Hotelera
The Hotel Zone of Cancun stretches 15 miles. Most visitors stay in this area that’s famous for its beautiful beaches, mind-blowing nightlife, and luxury resorts. By the by, this is also where you can sail on a catamaran.
Kulkukan Boulevard runs through Zona Hotelera and is predictably filled with bars and restaurants. In fact, it’s the ideal place to hit the bars.
The Party Never Stops in Cancun
Wonder no more about what things to do in Cancun.
Start your day with a visit to the cenotes. Head downtown to enjoy the local food. And when the night falls, Zona Hotelera is the place to party until sunrise.
Of course, this is just a suggestion. There are plenty of ways to explore the party capital of Mexico, so feel free to come up with your own plans.