exploring sites around Cancun is intriguing
With temperatures dropping and so many low cost flights to Cancun, there’s never been a better time for a Gulf coast Mexican adventure.
I’ve been thrilled to have recently re-discovered the wonders of Mexico, spending time this year on the Pacific coast, the Yucatan, and the interior of this magnificent country. But it’s been far too long since I’ve been to Cancun!
I remember the amazing beach that is among the finest in the world. Long and wide, and blessed with some of the finest white sand you’ll find anywhere. But there’s a lot more to Cancun than lying on a beautiful beach. Here are a few other attractions to round out your visit.
highlights of a visit to Cancun
Enjoy your own castaway adventure with a trip to this uninhabited national park island. Accessible via a short boat trip from Cancun, be sure to book in advance as only 200 people per day are allowed to visit. At only seven kilometres long, it may be compact but there’s an abundance of wildlife to admire and a selection of short hiking trails. You can also climb an observation tower which offers spectacular views for those who can brave the heights.
There’s no shortage of world class scuba diving sites in and around Cancun but none quite as unique as the underwater museum. A collection of 470 concrete sculptures sit on the sea bed as part of a massive reef regeneration project. Visitors can now swim among these human statues and learn more about Mexico’s extensive conservation efforts. How cool is that?
The crumbling ruins of this ancient Mayan civilization have become one of Mexico’s most popular attractions. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chichen Itza is a collection of temples and an impressive observation tower best explored during early morning hours to avoid the midday heat. The iconic pyramid, El Castillo, was recently named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
For those who enjoy a bit of seclusion, this 15-minute day trip to the neighbouring island of Isla Mujeres provides a great experience. You’ll find a selection of beautiful beaches which remain pleasantly uncrowded, providing some welcome relief from the lively resorts of Cancun. There’s also a trendy downtown area which boasts a great mix of chic eateries and boutique shops.
A truly memorable and natural theme park, Xcaret showcases the best of Mexico’s natural beauty and rich culture. Traditional Mayan events are carried out throughout much of the year where you can learn more about this ancient civilization through exhibits and performances. There’s also a dolphin show, butterfly pavilion and a chance to hike deep into the jungle discovering caves and waterfalls along the way.
The Mayan ruins at Tulum are even closer to Cancun than Chichen Itza. The spectacular clifftop location can easily be explored in under an hour but you’ll want plenty of time to admire the impressive pyramid of Tulum, and just take time to swim in the tranquilizing beach below. Looking up at the ruins as you soak in the warm waters really makes a visit to Tulum complete and memorable.
Fly to Mexico and visit some of these attractions for the holiday of a lifetime. Cancun has a lot more to offer than simply being a beach holiday!
Have you been to Cancun lately? What is your favourite thing to do while in the area?
Images are courtesy of Redeo and Karsun Designs Photography and used under Creative Commons License.