A guide to things to do in Cancun

Holidays to Cancun are so much more than one big party – although if party’s what you’re looking for, it’s a pretty safe bet. Famous for Spring Break, swimming with dolphins and ancient Mayan civilisations, Cancun offers a slice of the Caribbean in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Particularly popular with families, as well as couples and friends looking for the best of both worlds in a holiday – that’s lazy pool days and action-packed excursions. Here’s a few of the best things to do in Cancun.

Top things to do in Cancun

Endless beaches

If you’re looking for a good beach, Cancun can offer some pretty spectacular ones. With over 20 kilometres of glorious white sand, you’re never far from the ocean. Generally the North Side beaches are considered to be more tranquil, with calm waters perfect for swimming or kids’ paddling. The East Side, in contrast, offers excitement in the form of the perfect waves for surfing. Each beach has something different to offer, so you could spend your holiday beach hopping.

Playa Delfines – literally ‘dolphin beach’ – has some of the clearest water in the whole of Cancun. One of the city’s largest beaches, it’s popular among thrill-seekers who come to surf the waves. Playa Tortugas offers excellent snorkelling opportunities, sailboard rentals and a bungee tower over the water. If you’re looking for solitude, however, Pearl Beach has calm, warm water perfect for children or a relaxing swim. You won’t regret taking the ferry across to Isla Mujeres, either. This idyllic island across the water from Cancun is home to the picturesque North Beach – one of the most highly-rated beaches in all of Mexico.

Mayan culture

It’s hard to miss Mayan culture, even if you’ve only travelled to Cancun for a party. The Mayans were an ancient culture indigenous to Mexico and southwards to Central America. They reached the peak of their power around the 6th century AD but dramatically declined after this, for reasons unknown to historians.

The Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, however, still has plenty of evidence of their existence, and spectacular remains to explore. Cancun is the ideal base to access these awe-inspiring ancient sites. Some – like El Rey, an archaeological site at the Sheraton Cancun Resort and Towers – are situated in Cancun itself. Named after a skeleton found at the site, at El Rey you can see the remains of ancient buildings separated by plazas, as well as two temples used in later history.

Two hours’ drive away, Chichen Itza sits in the middle of the Yucatan Peninsula and is home to an iconic Mayan pyramid. You simply can’t go to Cancun without seeing this iconic ancient city.

Things to do with kids in Cancun

Experience zip-Lining through the jungle

What better way to experience the vast, luscious Mexican jungle than to soar through it on a zip-line through the treetops?! You’ll feel as free as a bird and have the time of your life. There are various aerial excursions you can choose from close to Cancun, and they’re the perfect way to inject some adrenaline into your holiday. You could even combine your zip-lining adventure with other excursions such as quad biking or river rafting! It’s great fun for all the family with endless laughter and memories guaranteed.

Enjoy a traditional Mexican Fiesta

You can enjoy a traditional Mexican experience with an exciting twist at Xoximilco, where you climb aboard a colourful gondola for a floating fiesta! It’s endless fun, with different types of fun to be had for different kinds of groups. Families, couples and singles alike can enjoy lively Mexican music, exciting games, upbeat dancing and delicious food on this unique journey through Cancun. On board there’s an open bar serving tequila, rum, beer and soft drinks – in Mexico, there’s always something to cheer for. Each gondola has a friendly, enthusiastic host who will make sure it’s a joyous occasion for all on-board. It’s an experience unlike any other!

Things to do as a couple in Cancun

Explore the stunning Cenotes

The Riviera Maya is scattered with beautiful cenotes of all shapes and sizes. You can hike to these and even swim in them! Floating in these pools feels like escaping to another world, with underground rivers and ice blue waters that shimmer in the sunlight. The limestone lagoons and intricate caves make for a truly magical setting, so be sure to take your camera along on your trip. It’s one of the best things to do as a couple in Cancun if you enjoy adventure and spectacular views. You won’t want to miss a photo opportunity as good as this one!

Party the night away at Coco Bongo

The party animals among you certainly won’t be disappointed with a night out on the Cancun strip! It’s known globally for its vibrant nightlife and outstanding clubs and you have to try it at least once. One of our favourites is the iconic Coco Bongo. It’s more than just a nightclub – it has all kinds of entertainment, including talented acrobats, world-famous DJs and live music galore. With plenty of drinks to choose from and a diverse line-up of events planned at any given time, it’s the perfect place to dance the night away with the one you love. There’s no wonder it’s the most popular club in Cancun!

Things to do for free in Cancun

Browse the markets

When you’re visiting Cancun, there’s no end to the fabulous places to shop – or to just browse. One of the best spots is at Mercado 28. It’s a maze of colourful, authentic market stalls selling all kinds of goods, from beautiful textiles to handmade ornaments. In true market fashion, you can bag yourself a bargain by making one of the hundreds of stall owners an offer they can’t refuse. If there’s ever a time to treat yourself, it’s when you’re on your holidays, but this lively spot is perfect for a bit of walking, sightseeing and interacting with the locals without spending a penny!

Downtown Cancun

There’s so much to do and see in Downtown Cancun, and it gives you a real taste of the marvellous Mexican culture. One minute you could find yourself catching the delicious smell of tacos wafting around you – or even tequila, and the next you’ll come across a Mexican wrestling show! You can browse small, local shops (perfect for holiday souvenirs!) and take a stroll around the beautiful Parque Las Palapas. Here, you’ll often find plenty of locals, street food vendors and live music to make your day extra special.