The Caribbean resort town on Mexico’s southeast coast is a magnet for divers, fishermen, history buffs and pleasure-seekers. A popular destination since the tourism boom of the 1980s, Cancun’s charms extend far beyond its raucous “Spring Break’ reputation. A wide range of aquatic activities, and centuries of Mayan, Mexican and Caribbean history and culture make Cancun a destination for all kinds of travelers.
Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. Just offshore runs a huge coral reef, providing Cancun visitors with some of the best diving spots in Mexico. Snorkel straight from the shore at Playa Tortugas to discover colorful species of local fish and marine plant life. Team up with one of Cancun’s many dive charter companies for a scuba experience or to swim with dolphins at Playa Delfines. The Gulf is an angler’s paradise, and charter fishing trips are easily booked from Aquaworld, right on the foreshore.
The area surrounding Cancun is of great significance to the Mayans, the traditional owners of the land. You’ll find a number of historic archaeological sites in the area, including the El Rey Ruins in the heart of Cancun’s hotel precinct. Visit the state-of-the-art Maya Cancun Museum to learn about the region’s rich cultural history, and to discover why the Mayans believed the world would end in 2012.
From a downtown beach, hop on a ferry to nearby Isla Mujeres, an island getaway that remains less touched by modern tourism than Cancun. Here, you can climb through the jungle at Garrafon Natural Reef Park or relax on one of the island’s tranquil beaches.
Cancun’s location means it remains warm throughout the winter months, and is most popular from December through to April. The summer months can be incredibly hot, and early autumn sees the start of the wet season, making it a less-than-ideal time to visit. Cancun features efficient public transport, English is spoken widely and the city is considered one of the safest parts of Mexico for tourists to visit. Serviced by its own international airport, Cancun is easily accessible by long-distance bus and ferry services.
Beach, Entertainment and Relaxing
Catch some waves or just escape the crowds at this peaceful beach that's long been a firm favorite with locals.
Visit the iguanas that now inhabit the spectacular ruins of this ancient Mayan city right in the heart of Cancun’s hotel district.
Swim with wild dolphins, dive Cancun’s best sites or spend the day deep-sea fishing with the people who know the best locations on the coast.
Swim with sharks, kiss a sea lion and hand-feed, or dive in with, a pod of dolphins at one of Mexico’s premier aquariums.
Cancun’s best all-round beach serves up excellent swimming, diving and local entertainment.
Take the kids for a swim or eat the local cuisine while you relax on the sandy shores of this picturesque beach.
Get an up-close look at the charms and treasures of the Yucatán on this all-inclusive day of exploration. You can learn about the vast archeological site of Chichén Itzá, cool off with a dip in a serene cenote, and snap colorful photos in colonial Valladolid, complete with a tasty buffet lunch and a spacious coach ride between each stop.
Cruise away from Cancun's sun-soaked coast to head to the pristine shores of Isla Mujeres. Enjoy a relaxing ride on a luxurious catamaran with plenty of room to stretch out, do some snorkeling in the island's brilliant blue water, and swing through the charming town to do some leisurely window shopping.
Leave the beach for an ATV, zipline, and cenote jungle adventure for the whole family. Kick up dust while off-roading in the jungle, feel the wind as you fly through the trees on 6 exhilarating ziplines, and cool off in the refreshing waters of a natural Mayan cenote.
Travel back in time during a day trip to the mysterious Maya ruins of Tulum. Uncover the secrets of this ancient civilization as you tour the archeological site with a guide, enjoy some free time to dig your toes into the sand of Tulum's picture-perfect beach and then take a refreshing dip in Cenote Dos Ojos.
Fall head over heels for ancient Mayan civilization during a comprehensive guided tour of Chichén Itzá. Absorb fascinating information about the Yucatán Peninsula's past from a local archeologist, and then visit picturesque Cenotewhere you can revel in a refreshing swim.
Dive into your own aquatic adventure at the waterfront oasis of Xel-Há Park. Get up-close with tropical fish on a snorkeling adventure, explore the Yucatan jungle, or take a leap of faith into a deep blue cenote as you sample the park's 20 different activities, all framed by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
Planning romantic trips for parents beyond the honeymoon
Getting away from everyday life with a vacation in Tulum, Mexico
Exploring the Mayan ruins near Cancun