• Jacqlyne Mba-Jonas

Top 13 Things to do While Visiting Cancun Mexico

Updated: Mar 19

As one of the most popular destinations in Mexico, Cancun has no shortage of beautiful all-inclusive resorts, white sand beaches, crystal blue waters and abundant nightlife. While you may be tempted to lounge at your all-inclusive beachfront resort all day with a margarita in hand, soaking up some sun, there are a ton of activities that you could enjoy doing. There's something for everyone, from activities that will immerse you in Cancun's rich history and culture to activities for adrenaline junkies. So lets dive in! Also check out my other guides on things to do in Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Tulum, each within an hour or two of Cancun.

1. Xavage

A park under the Experiencias Xcaret umbrella, Xavage is an adrenaline junkies dream. Located right in Cancun, Xavage is an adventure park with thrilling activities on water, land, or air. There are six main activities to choose from, including: Kayaking, Ropes Course, Jet Boat, Monster Truck, Zip-lines and Xavage Rafting. Delicious food and non-alcoholic beverages are also included with a ticket.

2. Xenotes

Cenotes are a big part of the Riviera Maya, and there's no better way to explore all the different kinds of cenotes than through a tour of Xenotes Oasis Maya. These enigmatic water tour offered under the Experiencias Xcaret umbrella allows you to explore natural environments through fun activities like assisted rappel, zip-lines, kayaking, and swimming. This is an all-inclusive tour offering transportation to four cenotes, certified guide, photographer, plus food and beverages.

3. Xoximilco

Located in Cancun, this evening Yucatan Fiesta park under the under the Experiencias Xcaret umbrella gives visitors a very unique experience. Float through the canals of Cancun on a colorful gondola surrounded by Mexican culture, customs, music and food. Take in charming natural scenarios of Xoximilco, play fun games, be entertained by a live mariachi and bolero band while enjoying 3-course Mexican meal with unlimited tequila, rum, vodka, beer, and soft drinks.

4. Cirque du Soleil JOYÀ

JOYÀ is Cirque du Soleil's first resident show in Latin America. Located in Vidanta Riviera Maya resort, this 80-minute long show combines culinary and performing arts in an intimate theater setting to engage the audience's five senses. Allow yourself be mesmerized by the story of an alchemist and his granddaughter seeking out the secrets of life. The show draws on the heritage and history of Mexico to weave the story, presented at a renowned dinner theatre in the jungle of the Riviera Maya.

5. Coco Bongo

Coco Bongo is arguably the spot to be to experience Cancun nightlife at it's fullest. Don't think night club, Coco Bongo is much more than that. Coco Bongo offers high energy entertainment and music. They feature acrobats, impersonators, musicians, and world class DJ’s. Interact with all the fun via massive video screens.

All of this does not come cheap, and this will likely be one of the most expensive night clubs you'll ever pay to get in to. But when you factor in all the entertainment and all-inclusive drinks, its arguably worth it.

6. Cancun Underwater Museum (MUSA)

If you're an avid snorkeler or scuba diver, this is a part of Cancun you'll truly love. Over 500 varying sculptures make up this manmade underwater marvel. It is also filled with colorful marine life, from turtles to various species of fish and corals. I recommend you have some snorkeling experience prior to visiting the museum, so you are skilled enough to fully experience it and take in all it has to offer.

7. Nichupte Lagoon

The Nichupte Lagoon is a lush jungle along the coast of Cancun. It includes a nature reserve and extensive mangrove eco-system. There are many ways to visit and explore this natural habitat including fishing, snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, jet skiing and bird watching. My favorite way however is by speedboat.

There are plenty of speed boat tours that will take you along this lush coastal jungle. My favorite part of this tour is you'll likely get to drive your own speedboat! Your tour could also include snorkeling at the nearby Punta Nizuc coral reef. Where you can view underwater statues and take in colorful marine life.

8. Catamaran Cruise

Spend a relaxing day out at sea and bask in the sun during a catamaran cruise. You can get a nice view of Cancun along with some of its nearby surrounding islands.

There are various kinds of cruises to choose from. You can choose a snorkeling cruise, sunset cruise, dinner cruise, party cruise or an island hopping cruise. Most cruises will included unlimited open bar, and some include food as well.

9. Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is a small island just off the coast of Cancun. If you want to take a break from Cancun for something more layed back and chill, then a day trip out to this island is a must. They have watersports, beautiful beaches, shopping and great food.

You could easily take a short ferry ride from Cancun to Isla Mujeres on your own. My favorite way to get there is by taking a catamaran cruise to the island. You can party and drink along the way with unlimited open bar, snorkel and participate in other water activities and enjoy a lunch buffet when you arrive at the island before heading out to explore on your own. While on the island, try to check out the Garrafon National Reef Park, Tortugranja turtle conservation center and Dolphin Discovery.

10. Street Food Tour

While there may be plenty of delicious food at your all-inclusive resort, trust me when I say nothing beats eating local. Eat where the locals do and experience authentic Mexican dishes busting in flavor. You can find different unique places on your own or with an experienced guide.

11. Parasailing

Take to the skies and soar as much as a 100 meters above ground. Get a beautiful panoramic view of Cancun, its white sand beaches, neighboring islands and it's crystal blue waters.

12. ATVing

Thrill seekers will enjoying riding an ATV through a muddy Mayan jungle. There are tons of ATV tours offered in Cancun. The tour I recommend gives you more for your money. Along with ATVing, it includes ziplining, a cenote swim, lunch and roundtrip resort transfers.

13. Mayan Purification Ceremony

Experience a temazcal and purify your mind, body and soul during an ancient Mayan ceremony led by a shaman. A temazcal is an ancient Mayan ceremony that is meant to be a source of energy and health. The ceremony takes place in a hut where rocks are heated and water and herbs are poured over them, turning the hut into a sauna. Your senses will be enlightened by the aroma of herbs that surrounds you as you soak it all in. You will be subjected to various stages of heat while you listen to live traditional Mayan music go into a meditative state. The ceremony will typically conclude with a refreshing dip in a cold bath or freshwater cenote and a natural Mayan dinner or light fruits. At the end of the experience, you should feel a sense of healing and well-being.

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