Top attractions in Cancún
Top 10 things to do 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.
1. Contoy Island
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!
2. Chichen Itza
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.
3. Ik Kil
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!
4. Cancún Underwater Museum
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!
6. Xel-Ha Park
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!
7. Dos Ojos
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!
8. Isla Mujeres
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!
9. Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
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!
Planning Your Visit
Best time to visit?
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.
How many days?
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.
Good to know
- 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!
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
They were late picking us up. I sent an email but did not receive an answer. We asked the concierge at the hotel to call and they said there were running late due an accident in the road. When I made my reservation I specifically noted that we were vegans. Breakfast time came and they handed a turkey sandwich. The guide said that he did not receive any specific request regarding the vegan food and that I needed to contact the provider so they could buy us food. After chatting in the van with costumer service and proving proof of my request, we pulled over into a gas station and were able to get apples, peanuts and juice. In Coba, they notified us that we could no longer climb the building. We were ok with that but I’m sure this could be frustrating to many others. The sites in Coba, Chichen Itzka and Ik Kil are amazing and worth the long drive. Our guides Francisco and Adrian did everything to make us happy and fix our food issue. Overall it was a good experience.
Celebrating my 50th Birthday and traveling alone. I wanted to be in a fun atmosphere on my birthday and let me tell you the Jolly Roger was definitely the right place! The show, the party, the food ALL GREAT! Fun for all ages. My personal pirate Charlie was so attentive as all of them were. The characters the Shaman and Salvatore were my favorites! The entire crew’s goal is to make sure everyone is having a great time. At the end I got a very special surprise, a birthday announcement and birthday song from the crew and passengers and a cute little cake! I can’t say enough great things. Thank you Charlie, Shaman and Salvatore and the entire Jolly Rogers crew for giving me an amazing 50th Birthday memory to treasure
So beautiful! Everything was so easy, but I do recommend getting picked up and dropped at the hotel. It's well worth it. The water is gorgeous, everything was very safe, the VIP passes were also well worth it to avoid the crowds and have a little extra. The snorkeling was easy and fun, the beaches were beautiful, the food and drinks were excellent. The check in process is a bit long. Definitely slather on the sunscreen repeatedly!
I had an amazing experience during this tour!! Angel was very informative with every place we went to and not to mention that each restaurant was absolutely DELICIOUS! And the beer complemented the tacos nicely. I also have to add that the pick up and drop off was done in timely manner and it was a breeze. Overall I would recommend this tour to anyone willing to try the cuisine from Cancun.
Excellent service. We were on the boat Agila with captain Sergio. The Captain and two young men made this boat ride so fun and memorable for em an my kids. The snorkeling is done in the middle of the ocean ,but they went out of their way to take the time to take my young kids snorkeling while at one of our stop. My kids where so excited an happy.