Best Things to See and Do in Cancun, Mexico
Are you traveling to Cancun, Mexico for vacation? Below are helpful insider tips for things to see and do in Cancun. If you are on vacation, the first place you’ll probably want to check out is the beach.
When I crave Yucatan cusine, I turn to La Habichuela. This restaurant has been serving local specialities in downtown Cancun since 1977.
To escape work I walk on the beach at “Las Perlas beach” or go to “el Mirado.” These are public access beaches. You can park in a public lot and walk along the beach. The beach is kid and pet-friendly and is like a trip to the park.
For complete quiet, I can hide away at any Puerto Morelos beach for a day. For a weekend escape go to Tulum. A few minutes from downtown Cancun is Playa Blanca, the continental area of Isla Mujeres. This beach remains untouched and is where the locals go. There are a few “ceviche bars” to have cold beer (cervesa) and great “Tikinchik fish.”
If you come to Cancun, get your picture taken at “el Mirador” at Ballena’s Beach, right on the km 17 of the Kukulcan Blvd.
If you have to order one thing off the menu at Simply Seafood, get the Smoked Blue Marlin on a grilled crostini.
Cancun is my one stop shop for handcrafts, talavera pottery and silver. I had a chance to visit Mercado 28. Check out the YouTube video here.
When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I go to VIP’s restaurants. They have good hygiene standards, an international menu and a playground for kids.
For a huge splurge, I’d recommend Gustino at the JW Marriott Cancun. The restaurant specializes in Italian and seafood, but I had the rack of lamb and it was excellent.
Photo ops in Cancun include a trip to Chichen Itza or any back drop with a Riviera Maya beach.
The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of the Chicken-itza pyramid or at the top of the Coba pyramid.
The most random thing about Cancun is Holkan Kingdom. A 175 acre outdoor activity center offering ziplining, jet boating, atv riding and horseback riding all in one location. I went horseback riding in the Mayan jungle at Holkan Kingdom.
In Cancun, an active day outdoors involves walking or jogging through the hotel zone.
My favorite walking route is the circuit beginning at the km 20 until km 18 at the Ecological Reserve.
For a night of dancing, go to Cocobongo!
To find out what’s going on at night or on weekends, read Novedades de Quintana Roo or Cancunissimo Magazine.
You can tell a lot about Cancun from visiting the rural villages outside of Cancun.
In the spring you should attend the echinoid at Chichen Itza.
In the summer, from May to mid-October, you can volunteer to help protect the sea turtles and their eggs.
In the fall you should visit Viva Mexico for month long September activities.
In the winter you might want to swim with whale sharks.
A hidden gem in Cancun is Kabah Ecological Park, located on the heart of Cancun’s downtown. It has a museum featuring the very first images of this destination. It also has a garden and health circuit for exercising.
For a great breakfast treat or espresso, go to Italian Coffee.
Just outside of Cancun you can visit Puerto Morelos. Have lunch at Los Pelicanos restaurant; a traditional beach front restaurant serving some of the best ceviche in the area.
The best way to see Cancun is to take public transportation as distances are quite long and the weather can be quite hot during some seasons.
If you have kids, you won’t want to miss the interactive aquarium at “Plaza La Isla” or Crococun Zoo; a crocodile reserve just a few minutes away from Cancun.
What are your favorite things to do in Cancun, Mexico?
Thank you to Marina Calunga, Director of Marketing at JW Marriott Cancun for assistance with this post.
Photos and YouTube video courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of JW Marriott Cancun and Holkan Kingdom.