Mexico’s most popular destination, Cancun is a beach-lovers’ paradise cut from sun, sand and sea. There are plenty of reasons to visit this sparkling Caribbean sapphire, where top attractions include climbing a Maya pyramid, diving into the depths of a limestone sinkhole or hitting the dance floor at a thumping nightclub.
Every day in Cancun begins and ends on the beach. The glistening white sand and crystal waters are straight out of a postcard. Plunge below for some of the world’s best snorkeling and diving at nearby Isla Mujeres and Cozumel. There is even an underwater museum here, with 500 submerged sculptures accessible to divers.
Just outside of Cancun, archaeological treasures are found at the Maya sites of Chichén Itzá, Tulum and Cobá. And at night, the city comes alive. Head downtown to Mercado 28 for authentic street food. The mainstream restaurants generally avoid innovation, opting instead for quantity and value, while the stratospheric nightclubs of the Zona Hotelera won’t shut down until the last shot of tequila is downed.
Ancient Mayan Cancun has more than left its mark on the modern incarnation of the city - most obviously in the form of Chichen Itza, the cultural center of Cancun. The Kukulkan Pyramid forms a striking figurehead, standing at a height of over 75 feet as part of the ancient mysterious city. It's also worth spending some time at the archaeological site so that you can experience the less obvious points of attraction, such as the Cenotes (sinkholes), an ideal setting for a solid day's freshwater swimming.
Interact with nature
Enjoy views of the Cancun jungles with some horseback riding --it's the freest way to explore the matchless destination of Cancun, a truly different taste of the Mexican way of life. And why not swim with dolphins? You can be a part of their aquatic world, and experience their serenity and benevolence face-to-face. And if that's still not enough then why not visit Xcaret, an ancient Mayan village which now comprises an underground river, aquarium, and aviary? It's a truly unique experience - an otherworldly paradise.
If thinking outside the box is your thing, spend some time in Tulum; set atop a cliff overlooking the Caribbean, Tulum is home to Xel-Ha, the world's largest natural aquarium. Tulum's structures date back more than seven centuries, and the 40-foot high El Castillo pyramid is the aesthetic focus.
Downtown Cancun gives a taste of the local way of life with a plethora of regional specialities ready and waiting. Be it indigenous cuisine, live music, or local handicrafts you're after, it's all there; it's a taste of the true Mexicana to contrast with the Americanized city center.
Accommodation can mainly be found in the famous Zone Hotelera, an area shaped like a '7' featuring bridges connecting to the mainland. Rough beaches envelop the vertical side of the '7', while the horizontal end provides a tropical paradise for surfers and sun-seekers alike. The 14-mile beach stretch is where the city comes alive at night; the vast selection of bars and clubs means there is bound to be one to suit your taste. The area undertakes the great feat of transforming itself from the world's second largest coral reef during the daytime to a lively party city at night. Hide