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.
- CurrencyMexican Peso (MXN)
- Time ZoneUTC (-05:00)
- Country Code+52
- Best time to visitSummer 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
Everything went seamlessly, from our pick-up time to our arrival back to the hotel zone, 12 hours later. We enjoyed every minute, despite the torrential rain at Chichen Itza.
We especially enjoyed how Marco told us about Mayan culture and stories about how they lived, rituals, etc. He was one of the best guides we have ever had!!
Sergio was an awesome tour guide and we had a great day touring the two archaeological sites and seeing the cenote. The cenote was a little too crowded and commercialized for my taste, but it was pretty and the included lunch was good. Overall, I would definitely recommend this tour!
I cannot imagine visiting Chichenitza any other way! The 5 AM pickup at a bus stop was on time, with assigned seating on a large tour bus. Everyone slept until we reached a small Mayan town, and then we went through explanations of Mayan culture and received a blessing. They gave us a sack lunch to eat on the way. We were the very first bus at Chichenitza!! At Chichenitza, Frank, our guide, explained what we were seeing and told us where to look. He had so much knowledge and made the experience so interesting. I knew nothing about Mayans or Chichenitza before we took his tour, and left having learned things. You really need a guide to explain things, as there is not a lot of signage explaining what you are seeing. After his 2 hour tour, we had one hour to look at other sites (the place is massive) or shop at vendors. When we left, it was so crowded. The bus ride back was quiet and they dropped everybody off at their hotels. Highly recommend this tour!
Can see why Trip Adviser rates this excursion so highly! The water was crystal clear, great break for the heat outside. Our guide Katia was extremely knowledgeable and engaging. The toast at the end was unexpected and delicious, and the buffet was a wonderful way to end the day. Bring pesos to tip the van drivers out and back from the caves.