If you’re planning a trip to Cancun, or if you’re just daydreaming about it, there are a whole host of activities you can do. Obviously, Cancun boasts miles of gorgeous, pristine beaches to relax on, but if you’re interested in doing more than just getting your tan on, Cancun has many other options for those who aren’t quite so tropically-inclined.
Just because an area is famous for one thing doesn’t mean that it’s all you have to do! Diversify your vacation with some of these activities, and your trip will be all the more fun.
Spend a Day at the Museo Maya de Cancun
This museum is located within the Hotel Zone of the city but offers a real change of pace compared to other common vacation activities. Sophisticated and cultured, the museum offers a breathtaking look into the history of the Yucatan Peninsula and its people.
Highlights include the precious stones used in burial masks, the weapons and artifacts sections, and the archaeological site of San Miguelito, which is attached to the museum and accessible via a beautiful walk. Aside from presenting a stunning array of information and culture, the museum is a great way to get out of the sun. You’ll leave a little smarter and better able to appreciate the vibrant culture of Cancun.
Go Underwater (and Underground!) at the Ecopark Kantun-Chi Caverns
One of the most amazing natural formations in Mexico are the beautiful underground lakes and rivers. Called cenotes, these underwater pools form a natural water network created by the collapse of limestone bedrock.
The ancient Maya believed that cenotes were gates to the underworld, making these pools both culturally fascinating and naturally beautiful. Today, you can take tours of cenotes, or go swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving in them.
See stalactites hanging from the ceilings of caves as you swim over submerged pre-Hispanic artifacts, or go kayaking through the area and see the natural beauty of the rocks and trees above you.
Explore the Markets
Head to Mercado 23 in downtown Cancun for a glimpse at a more authentic and local experience. While by no-means free from tourists, the market is still a great cross-section of the local culture. With a staggering array of products at prices that are far cheaper than you’ll find in stores and gift shops in the tourist section, you can find clothes, food, and pottery for sale.
Be sure to try the amazing produce, because you won’t be able to find it at your local grocery store!
Market shopping involves haggling, and it’s expected that you and the vendor will debate the price. Don’t be afraid to argue about the cost of an item! The vendor won’t sell you something for less than it’s worth, so don’t feel like you’re insulting the vendor by asking for a lower price. This may be uncomfortable at first, but remember that they may be insulted if you don’t haggle with them!
All of these activities are great for pretty much any age, so consider them when you plan your Cancun vacation!
Dominique Barba, CTC, ECC