Adventure enthusiasts will find that there is plenty of action to be found within hours of Cancun, all designed to keep you busy and entertained at any time of the day or night.
Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Culture and ruins, ruins and more ruins. Take a step back into time.
Chichen-Itza: Discover the most important cultural center of the Mayan civilization just a short two and a half hour drive from Cancun. Chichen-Itza, ancient capital of the Mayan empire, also lays claim to being one of the new wonders of the world.
Tulum: The massive walled city of Tulum is unique for being the only one of its kind to overlook the Caribbean and it’s only a short distance south of Cancun. Over seventeen centuries ago, this Mayan archeological site was a major trade center due to its strategic geographical location. Wander around the ruins for a couple of hours and then cool off with a dip in the ocean before heading on to your next destination.
Coba: Coba can be found deep in the heart of the jungle, three hours south of Cancun. It is thought to be one of the largest of all the Mayan cities, yet only a small percentage of these ruins have been excavated.
The 50 square kilometer area holds well over 6,000 structures, with an impressive ball court, over 20 stelae and several pyramids, including the Pyramid of Nohoch Mul.
This pyramid is the highest of its kind on the Yucatán Peninsula and is worth the climb to the top. Today, the Pyramid of Nohoch Mul is the only pyramid among these three Mayan cities that can still be climbed.
Ek-Balam: Ek-Balam is located near the colonial city of Valladolid and it is still considered a relatively new site to the public.
Although too new to be drawing the crowds that Chichen-Itza, Tulum and Coba bring in, Ek-Balam is home to some remarkably well-preserved Mayan ruins.
It’s also a little bit off the beaten path, but it’s not difficult to find. From Vallodolid, go through the main square of El Zócalo and then follow the signs to Tizimin.
2. Nightlife: The hotel zone in Cancun has some of the best discotheques in the world. Whether you’re looking for high-flying acts, burlesque shows, jazz bars or pubs, there’s a place for everyone here.
Coco Bongo: Get ready for flying acrobats, musical tributes and shows, lights and special effects, live bands and DJ’s, giant video screens, balloons, confetti streamers, soap bubbles and 1800 of your closest friends.
Captain Hook: Ay ay, mate! Enjoy a swashbuckling adventure aboard authentic 17th century Spanish galleon replicas as you cruise the Caribbean Sea. Enjoy a unique dining experience and beware of pirates.
3. Eco-theme Parks: Enjoy amazing water activities at Mexico’s famous eco-theme parks. These natural sea-aquariums are renowned for their stunning beauty. If you’re a water nut, you’ll want to take advantage of the numerous water activities that these parks offer. You can swim with the dolphins, snorkel, scuba or scuba dive, enjoy the lagoon or explore the caves and underground rivers.
Xcaret: Archaeological ruins, a dolphin show, horses, a farm with tropical birds, butterflies, bat caves and a stunning beach can all be enjoyed in this natural paradise.
Xel-ha: This magnificent water park has a variety of water activities, natural and ecological attractions. Relax on the river as you sail along on an inner tube or take a nap on Hammock Island.
4. Nohoch Jungle Trekking: Book your adventure and head out into the jungle in a 4X4 all-terrain vehicle.
Stop at a charming ranch called San Felipe and cool off in Nohoch Nah Chich Cenote, a long underground river that will refresh and revive you with its crystal-clear water.
5. Horseback riding: Animal lovers will rejoice in a fantastic day of trail-riding. Enjoy two hours of trail riding in the bush before ending your day with a refreshing ride in the sea. There are several terrific options for horse-back riding in Cancun. Tours can be booked through your resort, at eco-theme parks or at one of the horse ranches in the area.