Top attractions in Cancún
Stunning beaches and a thriving nightlife are Cancun's main attractions, but it would be foolish to limit yourself in a city that offers visitors so much! From ancient ruins to top restaurants and wildlife, here are a few of the highlights.
Isla Contoy is a nature reserve and home to many birds, plants, and turtles. Tours are usually led by a biologist and end with snorkelling off its pristine shoreline!
This renowned archaeological site is the most essential item on any Cancun sightseeing list. The restored pyramid at its heart crowns an iconic city from Mayan mythology.
The Yucatan's vast groundwater sinkholes were considered portals to the underworld by the ancient Maya. Few are as famous as Ik Kil, which is open for public swimming!
Snorkel through this incredible museum at the Aquaworld scuba-diving center – home to hundreds of submerged sculptures and the world's largest artificial coral reef!
Climb the 130 steps to the top of the Mayan pyramid, and look out over the ruins of an ancient city that was once the grave enemy of Chichen Itza!
There's plenty for the whole family to enjoy at this ecotourism hotspot. Swim with dolphins, manatees, and stingrays when you're not relaxing amid the spectacular scenery!
The "Two Eyes" cenote system still hasn't been completely explored, but the parts that have offer crystal-clear waters and a lot of natural light – perfect for snorkelling!
It's only a 15-minute boat ride to the "Island of Women," where visitors can enjoy the uncluttered beaches, tour the lively town on a golf cart, or go swimming with dolphins!
Stretched over more than a million acres, Sian Ka'an boasts numerous archaeological sites and wildlife habitats, as well as gorgeous beaches that must be accessed via the jungle!
Don't have time for Chichen Itza or Coba? Then head to Tulum. The ruins aren't quite as impressive, but it's closer and there are lots of great open-air restaurants downtown!
Peak season is December to April, with near-perfect weather drawing the larger crowds. Though spring, summer, and fall may offer more enticing vacation deals and hotel rates, the summers are punishingly hot and the fall months often stormy.
With so many immersive activities and attractions, you'll want to spend at least a week in Cancun to make the most of your visit!
The official currency of Mexico's eastermost city is, of course, the Mexican peso. However, American dollars are widely accepted in the tourist areas. Either way it isn't hard to find a bank or exchange house that will swap whatever cash you came with.
- Mexican Peso (MXN)
- Time Zone
- UTC (-05:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- Summer is peak season, so delay your visit to September through November, when you'll still enjoy good weather, but fewer crowds. Just remember, the light drizzle is ever-present!
Things to Do in Cancún
Top Attractions in Cancún
Cities in Mexico
Other Sightseeing Options in Cancún
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What people are saying about Cancún
It is pricy but totally worth it. The cheapest tickets are those bought in advance, do choose the transportation option which will give you more time at the park. Very accessible with ADO bus as well but you loose about an hour in the morning. Meals and drinks are included ( that includes alcoholic beverages) and both are excellent. You get a locker and key as well. I chose to snorkel but you can also tube down the river. There are several access points to get in/ out of the water wherever you want. The trail along the cenotes is very nice as well but can be slippery on wet water shoes, look for the small caution triangles. I was in the water by 10 am, used a bicycle to get to the beginning of the river. I did the whole river to lagoon once and then spend time in the lagoon exploring the marine life near the rocks and watched the folks on the zip lines etc It’s huge! I had lunch in about 30 min, walked the trail for about 45 min., and spend the rest of the time in the water.
The trip was filled with amazing activities and the tour guides did an exceptional job. The first stop was to a Mayan community which was lots of fun. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and was able to give us helpful tips for the trip (i.e wear sunscreen, prepare for mosquitoes, food to try). At Chichén Itzá we were given the option of English or Spanish tour and were given plenty of time to walk around after the tour. At the small town we stopped on our way back to Cancun was a nice taste of Mexican culture a part from the tourist side of the city. Over all it was worth it and I would have expected to pay way more for the service. I would highly recommend. Be prepare to be walking all day because it’s a 12 hour day filled with activities.
Eugenio was an exceptional guide, he welcomed everyone in the group and introduced us all to the others in the group which broke the ice and we felt we really got to know everyone. The day was relaxed, no wasted time but not rushed either. First went to swim with the turtles via a short boat trip, saw two turtles and loads of colourful fish in the reef followed by a cruise past the Tulum Mayan ruins, then lunch on the go to 4 cenotes, swimming in a couple of them. We bought the photos at the end, Eugenio was using a GoPro camera throughout which we eventually received the photos 12 days later after repeated requests, not sure what the delay was but some great photos and videos (via drop box). Thoroughly recommend this trip.
It was a long day, but the tour guide was enthusiastic and the places were nice to see! Went with a big touring bus with good airco. First we went to Valladolid, then had a stop at a (bit too) commercial Maya shop with buffet lunch (which tasted fine!), then went to Chichen Itza and then to the Ik Kil cenote. Disadvantage is you go to Chichen Itza at the hottest period of the day. Advantage is, because it is after lunch, that it is not so busy anymore. And after that you will have a refreshing dive in the cenote, if you dare (a lot of people don't seem to and that is funny to see :D ). No regrets for taking this tour.
The day was very long and very tiring, however it was worth the time and money. Very friendly team of tour guides with good knowledge of the areas. They of course try to make some extra money for the local areas along the way but they are not over selling and there is no pressure if you don’t want to purchase anything. All inclusive is recommended as you will be kept fully fueled thoughout the day with a good choice of drinks, Tequila, Beer, soft drinks, water at every stop. Good well organised and punctual transport, nice modern comfortable coach for the whole day.