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
Pick up was on time. We were taken to the forrest. Carlos - the guide, knew so much about birds and their habitats. He knew how to call them to make them show up. We saw 35 different species that day. Between observations, we had a breakfast in the local family diner, what was also great experience.
The tour is listed as 5 hours (half day) from Cancun. However, it was 10.5 hours in total duration. A little misleading. Overall the tour was great. We had Ruth and Cecilio as our tour guides. They were amazing and I would definitely do this again.
It is THE thing to do : you learn so much on maya’s history, you swim in an unbelievable fresh water, you discover a real maya’s community,.. Guides were at the top level too, good thanks for this amazing day !
I definitely recommend this package ! It was so much fun and an amazing experience. I have a little fear of water and the guides helped so much and made it so much more comfortable. Ask doe Roy and jimmy !
LOVED this tour! We did two parks in one day, and it was amazing. Both guides and all workers were excellent. Very prompt and good transportation to and from hotel. 10/10 would recommend to anyone!