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Things to do in Cancún

Hot all year round, this Caribbean gem is the place to let your hair down at the beach or a fiesta.

Our most recommended things to do in Cancún

Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Cenote, Valladolid & Meal

1. Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Cenote, Valladolid & Meal

Dive into Mayan culture on a guided day trip with optional hotel transfers from Cancún or Riviera Maya to Chichén Itzá, named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World for being one of the world's best-preserved ancient cities. Enjoy a Mexican buffet and tequila tasting, and stop at Valladolid and a cenote. Stop by the charming town of Valladolid, famed for the ornate, 16th-century Convent of San Bernardino of Siena and the baroque San Gervasio Cathedral. Wander the cobblestone streets, take photos, and find souvenirs. Once at Chichén Itzá, follow the guide while learning all about the most important buildings. From the awe-inspiring Pyramid of Kukulcan to the ruins that once housed tens of thousands of Mayans, the Pyramid of El Castillo or El Caracol, this visit is filled with rarely heard stories, incredible details, and stunning photo opportunities. Discover why the huge city played such an important role from the Late Classic period (600 AD) into the early part of the Post Classic period (1200 AD), and why it remained a huge center of pilgrimage. After your Chichén Itzá adventure, enjoy a tequila tasting and an authentic Mexican buffet lunch At this point, the fun is just getting started as no visit to the area would be complete without a stop by a cenote, a refreshing, enchanting underground sinkhole, sacred to the Mayan people before returning to your starting point.

Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour

2. Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour

Travel back in time as you explore the Mayan  archeological ruins of Chichén Itzá on a guided tour. Connect with nature as you swim in the azure waters of the cenote of Saamal. Eat a mouth-watering buffet lunch and take a guided walking tour of Valladolid. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel, or a nearby meeting point, and then journey to one of the most important monuments on the Yucatán Peninsula.   Upon arrival at Chichén Itzá, look at the step pyramid of Kukulcan (El Castillo), known for the play of light from the equinox that casts shadows on each step to create an image of a serpent descending.   Go to the ancient cenote of Saamal and experience one of the sinkholes that form part of a network of underground rivers sacred to the Maya people. Enjoy a delicious buffet meal and take a stroll around the colonial city of Valladolid to complete your experience.

Cancun Airport (CUN): MERA Lounge Access Ticket

3. Cancun Airport (CUN): MERA Lounge Access Ticket

Book your ticket to Cancún International Airport’s MERA Lounge and avoid the crowds and chaos of the public departure lounge. Relax in style with the warmth of Mexican hospitality and enjoy food, drinks, Wi-Fi, charging stations, and International TV channels, newspapers, and magazines. In the MERA Business Lounge, enjoy the opportunity to unwind before your flight and relax. There are four MERA Lounge options located in terminal 2 (departure), terminal 3 (arrival), and terminal 4 (departure for both domestic and international flights). Take a seat and watch TV, equipped with most international channels, or read one of the many international newspapers and magazines. You can also make use of the lounges' unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi and charging stations. During your stay, dine on an array of freshly prepared seasonal food as well as drinks from a fully serviced bar accompanied by a fine selection of wines, spirits, and a wide choice of hot and cold drinks. 

Cancun: Isla Mujeres Catamaran Tour with Lunch and Open Bar

4. Cancun: Isla Mujeres Catamaran Tour with Lunch and Open Bar

Cruise from Cancun to Isla Mujeres aboard a catamaran. Relax on a picturesque beach and snorkel in tropical waters. Sip on drinks from the open bar. Taste local flavors with the option to select a tour that includes lunch buffet, or pick a tour that includes hotel transfers. Enjoy the views as you cruise along the sea, stopping at a coral reef park along the way for an hour of snorkeling. Swim in the crystal-clear waters while admiring beautiful coral formations, tropical fish, and other fascinating creatures of the sea. Your guide will sprinkle fish food into the water so that you’re surrounded by schools of colorful exotic fish. After snorkeling, head to the beach where you can relax and take in sweeping ocean views while savoring a delicious lunch buffet. Relax under palm trees with your favorite drink and marvel at the beauty of your surroundings.

From Cancun: Round-Trip Ferry Ticket to/from Isla Mujeres

5. From Cancun: Round-Trip Ferry Ticket to/from Isla Mujeres

Pre-book a quick 25-minute round-trip ferry service between Cancun and Isla Mujeres. Get max flexibility with continuous daily departures from Cancún and a 6-month ticket validation period. Ride in comfort with on-board air conditioning, leather seats, restrooms, a snack bar, and other amenities.  On the day of your chosen departure, hop on board a high-speed 157-foot JETLINE Class catamaran type ferry, constructed of aluminum and with 3 decks with a capacity between 150 and 800 passengers. Enjoy new generation gangways for express boarding and carry-on baggage handling. On board, take advantage of covered and open-air decks, panoramic windows, a children's play area (KIDS ZONE), TV screens, a snack bar, electrical outlets, live music, and underwater illumination. As you head to your destination, take some time to relax with plenty of legroom in ergonomic leather seats of the highest quality, designed and constructed in Europe by the same high technology companies that provide Porsche and Ferrari.  The immeasurable beauty of the islands, coupled with the comfort and quickness of the boats, make this the preferred trip for visitors to this area. Experience a ferry transfer focused on passengers who wish to make their journey something even more special.

Isla Mujeres: Catamaran with Snorkel, Open Bar, and Transfer

6. Isla Mujeres: Catamaran with Snorkel, Open Bar, and Transfer

Hop aboard a catamaran bound for Isla Mujeres, a picturesque island off the coast of Cancun known for its gorgeous beaches and snorkeling. After departing from the port, stop to snorkel at a plentiful coral reef. Your onboard guides will provide you with all the necessary equipment and show you the best spots on the reef. Set sail once more for Isla Mujeres to enjoy the soft white sand of Playa Norte beach, lined with palm trees and washed by the blue turquoise sea. After relaxing in the sun, head to the traditional downtown area of Isla Mujeres, a favorite of the locals. Stroll down the picturesque and friendly streets, rent a golf car, or buy a fun souvenir to remember your trip to paradise.

From Cancun/Tulum/Riviera: Las Coloradas & Rio Lagartos Tour

7. From Cancun/Tulum/Riviera: Las Coloradas & Rio Lagartos Tour

Encounter crocodiles in their natural habitat with a visit to a crocodile sanctuary, and look for flamingoes in the salt ponds of Las Coloradas. Enjoy a guided tour of Rio Lagartos and Las Coloradas on a day trip from Playa del Carmen or Cancún. Keep an eye out for crocodiles and see them up close at a crocodile sanctuary. Marvel at the pink shades of the lagoons of Las Coloradas and watch the flamingos fly by. Travel in comfort by air-conditioned vehicle to the neighboring state of Yucatán and the famous pink lakes of Las Coloradas. This is an area of untouched nature that will knock you out, the stunning views of Las Coloradas Yucatán have to be seen to be believed. Your expert guide will explain the facts and folklore of the region. They will also help you get the best Instagram-worthy photos of this marvelous area of stunning natural beauty. Take a boat ride through the mangroves of a magnificent protected area. Keep a lookout for the crocodiles and the huge array of bird species, including cormorants, ospreys, herons, and pelicans. Rio Lagartos Yucatan is a bird watcher's paradise. Finally, stop for lunch of salad, soft drinks, and the main course of your choice. Choose between fresh fish, chicken, or a vegetarian dish. The food is fresh and delicious and a great way to refuel after all your adventures. Once you've had your fill, head back to your hotel after an incredible day trip in the Yucatán Peninsula.

Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

8. Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

Discover the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá on a guided tour from Playa del Carmen. Immerse yourself in the jungle at an eco-park, with some time for swimming in a cenote and a hearty buffet lunch. Start with pickup from Playa del Carmen and first travel to the jungle eco-park. Marvel at the sacred cenote as you refresh yourself with a purifying swim in crystalline waters. Dig into a delicious buffet lunch at the restaurant at the eco-park, and be ready for a flavor sensation. Try some of the famed Mexican cuisine with regional dishes from Yucatán. After your buffet, head to the world-famous Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá. Take a guided tour of the ceremonial site and listen to fascinating tales of the ancient Maya civilization. Learn more with your expert guides and hear entertaining stories of life at Chichen Itzá. Discover a culture that was way ahead of its time. Then, enjoy some free time to explore by yourself and walk in the footsteps of the Mayan people. Your final stop is in the colonial center of Valladolid for a quick visit to this charming “Magic Town” of Mexico. The imposing church and architecture of the town surrounding the “zocalo'' or town square are perfect photo ops and a chance to relax and enjoy the laid-back vibes of Yucatán, before heading back to Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen: Xplor Park All-Inclusive Entry Ticket

9. Playa del Carmen: Xplor Park All-Inclusive Entry Ticket

Discover a paradise for thrill-seekers holidaying in the Riviera Maya. Book your all-inclusive Xplor Park ticket and zoom past impressive rock formations on a zip line. Take part in adrenaline-pumping activities, such as rafting and cave swimming, and enjoy a lunch buffet with unlimited drinks. Step into the heart of the jungle and live out your wildest Riviera Maya dreams. Make use of the latest safety equipment and receive instructions from the professional staff. Have access to 2 zip line circuits, 2 amphibious vehicle circuits, 2 unique river swims, and a river rafting experience. Drive for 10 kilometers aboard amphibious vehicles, admire panoramic views of nature as you glide along the zip lines, and see stunning stalagmite rock formations while swimming through the caves. Be treated to a delicious lunch buffet and unlimited drinks throughout the day.

From Cancún: Rio Lagartos & Las Coloradas Day Trip & Lunch

10. From Cancún: Rio Lagartos & Las Coloradas Day Trip & Lunch

Rio Lagartos is a small fishing village in a Nature Reserve; one of the natural treasures of the Yucatan Peninsula. Here we can enjoy a boat tour through its water canals surrounded by mangroves, where you can observe a variety of species of birds such as pink flamingos, herons, eagles, seagulls, pelicans, and cormorants. During the tour, we pass under the bridge of Las Coloradas to get to the salt deposits where we see different bodies of water involved in this process, some of which an eye-catching pink. Following, we will rejoice in the Mayan Bath, covering the body in nutrient-rich clay. Next, we’ll be heading to an unspoiled beach to remove the clay in the crystal water, where we will enjoy ourselves with the tasty local fish-and-shellfish-based food.

Available activities

  • Mayan ruins & cenote trips
  • Riviera snorkeling
  • Caribbean beach adventures
  • Jungle amusement parks
  • Mexican food, drinks, & parties
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Frequently asked questions about Cancún

What are the best day trips and excursions from Cancún?

The best day trips and excursions from Cancún are:

Tulum

Other Sightseeing Options in Cancún

Want to discover all there is to do in Cancún? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Cancún

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 9,665 reviews

What an excellent tour! This trip was one of the highlights of my time in Mexico. Our guide Jacqui was knowledgeable and passionate about Mayan history and the Chichen Itza. Even though the pick up was very early, it was definitely worth it as we made it to the site before all the other big tourist buses. The guide gave an invaluable information about the site and helped us to see hidden details that we would have otherwise missed. The only downside was that it would of been nice to have more free time around Chichen Itza site, as half an hour seemed very rushed, especially if you want to see the cenote which is a 5 min walk (one way) from the main area. The Ikl Kil cenote was astonishing, We spent nearly an hour swimming around it and just admiring the surroundings. It is definitely worth going into the cenote first and then going for the buffet lunch. Just a minor thing-the van didn't have much leg room and some seats were broken. Would of been nice to have a better transportation.

This was the absolute best tour if you are interested in birds at all. My husband’s hobby is bird photography and this was probably his favorite part of our honeymoon. The driver, Axel, and the guide, Lope, were professional and very friendly! We ended up seeing 52 different bird species in the morning and were provided a delicious homemade breakfast. If we were back in the Cancún area I am sure we would do the tour again!

Had a great time, crew was great. Cant remember captains name but our tour guide yefte was wonderful. Switches from english to spanish so beautifully. He is truely talented at what he does. Saw amazing sea animals below the boat, beautiful ride. Clean, friendly staff from check in to check out. Nice cold drinks

Highly recommended for a family activity. Very professional guides. The boat ride is just amazing especially as it goes into the narrow water path. The snorkeling part was good but I had higher expectations as to the different types of fishes.

well organized, car was there with sign and had the same driver on return. great experience.