Published On: Fri, Dec 26th, 2014

Top things to do in Cancun

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Perched on the northern coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, Cancun sidles lazily alongside the Caribbean Sea, making it a component destination of Caribbean holidays. Those seeking the ideal resort seeking the ideal resort or cruise port-of-call will be easily lured in by Cancun, but if white sands and cocktails don’t quite cut it for you, this city on the Mayan Riviera is in close proximity to some of Mexico’s most awe-inspiring historic sites, not to mention a natural setting beyond city limits which will inspire adventure-lovers. Here are some of the best activities to pursue when in this beautiful place.

Immerse yourself in history

The Mayans were a fascinating and sophisticated New World civilisation, and many of their mysteries continue to elude historians. Chichen Itza will be the first stop on any temple run, and is an achievable day trip distance from the city. The enigmatic pyramid of Kukulkan was part of one of the most important centres of the Mayan age, not to mention the nearby observatory, ballcourt and various other archaeological wonders. After you’ve explored, visit one of the two nearby cenotes, the quintessential way to cool off in Mexico.

Chichen Itza (Photo: TYT)

Chichen Itza (Photo: David Stanley)

Sian Ka’an

This UNESCO-recognised biosphere reserve incorporates terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems, and was known to the Mayans as ‘Origin of the Sky’. As well as over 300 species of birds, this rich natural habitat is home to jaguar, tapir and crocodiles. Just two hours south of Cancun, the area can be visited by day on a whistle-stop nature tour, or visitors who want to spend more time exploring can opt to stay overnight in the small coastal town of Tulum, nearby.

Sian - Kaan Biosphere Reserve (Photo: Google)

Sian – Kaan Biosphere Reserve (Photo: D. Stanley)

The Underwater Museum

Explore Cancun’s hidden depths with a trip to one of the world’s most surreal museums, located just off the coastline in the shallow waters surrounding the Isla de Muertes. Over 500 sculptures have been lovingly submerged in two underwater ‘galleries’. The idea is that they will become natural reefs over time, but for now, visitors can explore their delights with the assistance of a snorkel or SCUBA gear.

Cancun Underwater Museum

Cancun’s Underwater Museum (Photo: Baz Mattaz)

If you really do fancy partying, then this is a notorious Spring Break destination. For something a little more grown-up, visit one of pulsing clubs, Mandala or The City will be a source of delight for EDM fans. But there are plenty of places to get away from the bustle of party goers, and those outlined above are just a small handful. Adventure and relaxation come hand in hand at Cancun, making it impossible not to have the ultimate time away there.

Images by David Stanley and Baz Mattaz, used under the Creative Commons license.

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