Top 10 Things To Do While Visiting Cancun

by : David Friel

Cancun offers such a wide range of great things to do, your biggest challenge might be fitting them all in without feeling like you have missed something. Instead of spending hours researching everything Cancun has to offer, we have done the dirty work for you. Without further ado, here are 10 things you do not want to miss while vacationing in Cancun:

Number one is definitely hit the beach. Cancun spoils you with some of the worlds most beautiful beaches, featuring white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise blue water, and water sports galore. Sun yourself, play in the pristine water, scuba dive or snorkel in one of the world's most effervescent patches of ocean, sail, sea kayak, jet ski you will be hard pressed to run out of ways to enjoy yourself.

Number two is to kick back on Isla Mujeres. You can hop a ferry from the mainland to explore this once sleepy fishing island eight miles offshore, now chock full of quaint restaurants, shops, and exquisite beaches. As you stroll through Isla Mujeres streets, music surrounds you, providing a locally flavored soundtrack for your exploration.

The islands magnificent white sand beaches feature many of the same water sports found on the mainland snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing, kayaking but in a more relaxed setting. You can even swim with dolphins and docile sharks a great story to take back to the mainland with you.

Number three is to dive into an enchanting new world
with the worlds second largest reef just offshore. Cancun offers some of the most spectacular scuba diving in the Western Hemisphere. Warm, crystal clear waters provide visibility of up to 100 feet, and the range of flora and fauna is virtually unrivaled. There are more than a dozen different diving and snorkeling sites in and around Cancun and another 10 on Isla Mujeres.

Number four is to discover the real Cancun in El Centro. El Centro, the citys thriving downtown where most of the locals and expats live, provides a glimpse of the Mexican urban lifestyle. Filled with excellent restaurants, shopping, and local crafts, you will find great prices and the best Mexican food in Cancun.

Mercado Veintiocho also called Market 28 is a huge crafts market filled with vendors hawking many of the same wares you will find in the Hotel Zone, but at half the price. More bargains can be found along Avenida Tulum, El Centros main drag, and Avenida Yaxchilan, which also has a number of good restaurants and nightlife.

If sidewalk cafes and smaller restaurants are you are thing, check out Avenida Nader. Also near Avenida Tulum, Parque de Palapas is an action packed park popular with locals offering music, food, and a giant thatched roof stage.

Number five is to in Cancun is to dance, dance, dance.
Whether you want to cut the rug or just watch professionals do it on stage, the internationally renowned Ballet Folklorico Nacional de Mexico Aztlan performs traditional dances set to Mexican music in the Cancun Convention Center. For one price, you can take in the show while enjoying dinner and an open bar.

More locally seasoned dinner and dancing can be found at El Mexicano Restaurant Folkloric Ballet & Mariachis, located in the Costa Blanca shopping center. Starting at 7 p.m. and running until 11 p.m., every performance features live mariachi music, dancing, and folkloric ballet. Enjoy the show while feasting on large, colorful plates of enticingly fresh and authentic Mexican dishes. If you are traveling with the kids, check out Casa de la Cultura on Isla Mujeres, which hosts dance classes and other childrens activities.

Number six is to behold the timeless matador.
To experience one of the oldest Mexican traditions, head to Plaza del Toros in downtown Cancun for the thrills and spills of bullfighting. Every Wednesday afternoon, man and beast face off in a battle of wits, cunning, and endurance. Matches are preceded by horseback riders, ropers, and dancers decked out in elaborate costumes.

Number Seven is to visit the magical Mayan ruins.
Mayan history is alive and well in Cancun. Located on the Hotel Zones lagoon side, Ruinas Del Rey are now part of the Hilton Resort complex but open to the public for a small fee. Skeletons excavated at the site suggest it may have been a royal Mayan burial ground. Just north of Cancun, the ancient coastal city of El Meco features Mayan pyramids, from the top of which you can take in stunning views of Chacmochuc Lagoon. Recently opened to the public, you wwill not have to worry about throngs of tourists.

Number eight is to go museum hopping.
The Museo de Antropologia e Historia features artifacts and displays chronicling centuries of Mexican culture, including an examination of Mayan culture with items dating back as many as 1,500 years. Museo INAH also has an impressive amount of Mayan cultural and archeological relics, including jewelry, masks, skulls, and a hieroglyphic staircase from the 6th Century.

Number nine is to get close to nature at Reserva Natural Tres Rios. It is located 35 minutes south of Cancun airport, this off the beaten path ecological park is often overlooked by visitors but worth the short trip. Situated in a pristine low subtropical jungle, you can explore this nature reserve by foot, horseback, or bicycle, either on your own or by guided tour.

More than 100 exotic animals make their home here, as well as countless varieties of flora. Kayak, canoe, or jet ski through the reserves mangrove swamps. Snorkel off the coast and take in the wide array of tropical fish and ever changing coral reefs. You can even overnight here group camping is available.

Number 10: Eco Cool Wrapped up in a Theme Park
45 minutes outside of Cancun, Xcaret Eco Theme Park features Mayan culture and archeological tours, as well as entertaining shows, scuba diving, snorkeling, and a chance to swim with dolphins.