The holiday is booked, you’ve checked the Cancun weather and the mercury is high. Now you’re making a list of things to do in Cancun to keep everybody happy. Here are 9 unforgettable Cancun excursions in 80 Seconds, which I did over 14 days, and you should too!
Trip to Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza which means “at the mouth of the well of Itza“, is an archaeological site which belongs on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The Kukulkan Pyramid which known as “El Castillo” (the castle), is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. After persuading my parents to join me on the trip so I wasn’t a loner they then found out the trip was 2.5 hours each way that involved numerous stops on the way.
On arrival I was taken by sheer surprise of the size of Chichen Itza, although it was a very long and tiring day and I’m glad to have ticked it off my bucket list. The trip was only $55 for transport, entrance fees and lunch. Judging by the taste, the lunch must have been about a dollar of that.
Swimming with Simba and Daniella – Dolphin Discovery
Heading over to idyllic Isla Mujeres for a 50 minute swim with the dolphins. We shook hands, we kissed, they let me ride their dorsal fins and lastly they tried to get rid of me by pushing me through the sea.
The guys at Dolphin Discovery looked after me from start to finish to ensure my day ran smoothly. The great thing about Dolphin Discovery is that the dolphins are kept in natural sea water and not enclosed in a small pool.
Diving in Cozumel
One of the best things I did in Mexico was diving. Why? Because I got a selfie with a stingray and a photo of a turtle gallivanting past. I booked with Dive with Martin who looked after me throughout as I’m not a qualified diver and the rest of the group were. I highly recommend them if you fancy scuba diving. The waters are warm and there was no need to wear a wetsuit. I was staying in Cancun so I had to take a bus to Playa Del Carmen, an hour away, then the 45 minute Ultra Mar Ferry crossing to Cozumel followed by a 10 minute taxi ride to the dive shop. The schedule ran like clockwork and I just caught the last ferry coming home.
WOW – beautiful underground caves surrounded by chilly waters. A cenote is a natural pit or sinkhole resulting in the collapse of limestone bedrock. We stopped here en route to the Chichen Itza in a little Mayan village.
There are over 6000 cenotes in Mexico and it was nice to cool off after 1 hour 15 minutes on the coach listening to the tour guide screaming down his microphone and working tirelessly for a tip at the end of the trip.
After swimming with the dolphins part of the trip was to spend the rest of the afternoon at Gaffron. I booked the VIP package and this entitled me to the private pools and Jacuzzi on the terrace overlooking the sea, with an upgraded buffet. I was too busy snorkelling and zip-lining across the water to care about beef and shrimp.
The best trip I did was the helicopter tour, possibly because I’m an aviation geek. Leaving this to the last day certainly put slammer in the tequila for the entire holiday. The flight was only short and lasted 12 minutes. After lift-off we headed straight over to the Cancun Hotel Zone before crossing Cancun lagoon then returning back to the helipad. I got some great shots of the Riu Palace Peninsula, Riu Cancun, Riu Palace Las Americas.
This full day trip was well worth doing and is home to one of the world’s top ten beaches. Simply take the Ultra Mar across to the island of Mujeres, the ferry is $19 return and only took 30 minutes. We strolled for 10 minutes before arriving at the incredible Playa Norte beach, we dumped our belongings and soon placed an order of Corona and nachos.
As a bit of an adrenaline junkie I thought I’d take a jet ski for a whirl around the Caribbean Sea for 30 minutes. Running the waves at about 45 mph, I could feel the salt water splashing off my arms and legs with the sun’s rays beaming down, which felt slightly uncomfortable. All in all it was great ride, before heading back to the pool to catch the rest of the afternoon’s rays and sipping a mojito.
A nice calm way of seeing the various hotels from above rather than the helicopter ride was parasailing. We were taken out to a boat from a jetski from the Riu Caribe hotel.
Riu Palace Peninsula in Cancun was absolutely fantastic and by far the best All Inclusive hotel I’ve ever stayed. It is geared towards honeymooners, couples, weddings and friends. All rooms have a whirlpool bath but you can upgrade to one on the balcony or even take advantage of the VIP Villas in a separate part of the main hotel that has its own infinity pool which is exclusive to the villa guests.
Food & Drink
The hotel had five à la carte restaurants, one main buffet and a sports bar. The food was to high quality and a huge variety. My favourite was The Steakhouse via the martini bar. There are various bars scattered around the Riu Palace with a huge selection of drinks. My recommended drinks are the banana martini and a Miami Vice.