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Cancun, Mexico has grown immensely over the last 10 years. If you are looking for fun and nightlife, this is the place for you. If you are looking for peace and quiet, then you would enjoy escaping elsewhere in the world. Cancun has become a mecca of activities, both land and sea. There are sights and active pursuits aplenty to interest any traveller. Warm and happy natives also add a certain flair to this part of the world, making it an inviting getaway.
Cancun is situated at the tip of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. Because of its location in the Caribbean Sea, snorkelling and scuba diving enjoy overwhelming success here.
Things To Do In Cancun
Cancun is a delightfully diverse destination. The beautiful white coral sand beaches, the shopping, the activities and of course, the people and culture, all contribute to making it a wonderful getaway. Whether you are looking for nightlife, shopping, fun in the sun or just a place to unwind, Cancun has something to please you.
Island Of Cozumel
Certified scuba divers also love the waters surrounding Cancun and especially love the little island of Cozumel. This tiny island off the coast can be reached by ferry. Cozumel offers souvenir shops, restaurants and several beaches for visitors to explore. You can take a day trip to Cozumel or choose to stay a few days on this little island.
Isla de Mujeres
Isla de Mujeres is another beautiful island off the coast that can be reached by ferry. Isla de Mujeres is a private, quaint village which still demonstrates its Mayan roots. There is a State Park here named Garrafon where snorkelers can enjoy views of a lighthouse and the wonderful marine life in this area.
Shopping in Cancun is generally done on the haggling system so it helps to know what you are looking for and what you are willing to pay for it. In downtown Cancun, there is an international marketplace where visitors can literally get lost. It is a maze of shopkeepers who love to talk, joke and barter with prospects. Many speak English, so if your Spanish is lacking, don’t worry.
Among other things, you can purchase traditional Mexican blankets, jewellery, art, pipes, and wall hangings. Many of the artisans make their own goods and this is a wonderful way to explore the culture of Cancun from the people that make this city great.
Cancun offers numerous fine dining establishments featuring a wide range of worldly cuisines. There are many people who have transplanted here from other parts of the world and have now opened restaurants. Explore and ask around if you are looking for something specific, but rest assured that you are not limited to the fast food and chains which are so prevalent in this area.
No matter what type of watersport you may be interested in, Cancun offers it. You can take jet ski tours, go waterskiing, parasailing, windsurfing, surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, swimming, boogie boarding and just about anything else you can think of that takes place in the water. You can also swim with dolphins. In addition, Cancun offers several 18-hole Golf courses as well as bungee jumping, underwater submarine tours and helmet diving. You can even go horseback riding on the beach if you wish.
Wet’n Wild is a water park near the Cancun airport which offers private lockers, a babysitting service, a full restaurant, canteen and a swim-up bar. This is a great outing that kids and adults are sure to love. With an artificial wave pool, waterslides and numerous other rides, you’ll be busy all day long. There is also free parking for those of you with rental cars. Waterproof sunscreen is advisable as the sun can be as strong here as in all of Mexico.
Xcaret and Xel-ha
Two of the most beautiful and diverse ecological parks in the world make their home not far from Cancun. Xcaret and Xel-ha offer so many activities that you could spend a week at each and not be bored. A sampling includes a turtle park, underground rivers, snorkelling, a butterfly farm, an apiary, a wild bird aviary, shark tanks, hiking, Mayan ruins and so much more. Any visit to Cancun would be well accented with a trip to either park to enjoy all that nature has to offer.
One of the most secluded beaches in Mexico is also the home of ancient Mayan ruins. Tulum is about 1 hour south of Cancun and can be reached by bus, taxi or rental car. Once there, you can explore the site on your own or you can hire one of the many informative guides that know all about the ruins. The money you spend on a guide is well worth it.
The ruins are perched high up above the Caribbean. The waves crash into the rock walls making up this area and there is also a beach in the middle of the ruins where you can swim, snorkel or just relax. Tulum is well worth the time spent here exploring this natural wonder and oasis of Mayan history.
Chichen Itza is another site of Mayan ruins that can be reached about 2 hours from Cancun. There are many bus tours that make this trip and you can generally sign up at your hotel or a local tour office. The bus ride to Chichen Itza can be really bumpy and would not be advisable for everyone. The ruins here are more expansive than at Tulum, offering history buffs more to explore. There are also guides that can be hired, but you may not need one if you are on a bus tour which usually includes a guide.
The famed Punta Nizuc is where many snorkel tours lead to. This beautiful reef has some of the most colourful fish in the world. Several different outfitters offer half and full-day snorkel trips for a nominal fee. Gear is included as well as instructions. In usual Mexican hospitality, drinks are generally part of the package as well and make for a lively boat ride to and from the snorkel destination.