Activities in Cancun
The beaches are probably one of the main reasons for your visit. Cancun’s beaches are legendary and with good cause. The powdery, incredibly white sand, of the Caribbean blesses all of the beaches in Cancun. These beaches seem to go on forever and each one is a beach lover’s fantasy come true. The Caribbean Sea is unusually warm with incredibly blue water and at most times is very calm. Look down any beach, at almost any time, and you will see people enjoying the calming effects that seem to instantly relieve the tensions of everyday life.
The "Zona Hotelera" or Tourist Zone, a narrow island 14 miles long, is the area of Cancun where it all comes together for most visitors. Hotels and beachfront condominiums line the beaches and serve as the nearly uninterrupted backdrop along this stretch of incredible Caribbean coastline. Kukulcán Blvd is the main thoroughfare that dissects the island and is a name that you will become familiar with in your travels around Cancun. On the inland side of Cancun Island is Laguna Nichupté, a vast lagoon that serves as home to numerous marinas, water front restaurants, shopping malls, a couple of golf courses, a few islands and inlets and some fantastic sunsets . Laguna Nichupté is fed by fresh underground water and is connected to the sea in two places which in turn provide an outlet for numerous water related activities and tours. In Cancun one is never very far from the water so naturally much of your time is going to be spent in, on, or very close to the water. There is an area near the center of all this which is known as the "Party Zone" which is home to many of the areas nightclubs and discos. The very same area is also home to some of Cancun’s better restaurants and one of the nicer shopping malls. Do not rule this area out of your itinerary just because you are not a party animal.
Restaurants and nightclubs in the tourist zone, of which there are many, come in endless varieties with something that is just right for everyone. From trendy "Brand Name" night clubs to simple taco stands, do a little hands on research and you're sure to find a favorite that will beckon you to return.
The tourist zone has some minor archeological sites, the best example of which is Ruinas El Rey located on Kukulacán Blvd at Km. 17 across from the Hilton Cancun Beach & Golf Resort (formerly Caesar Park). A visit to El Rey is well worth the modest entry fee. The ruins are well preserved and the sheer number of resident Iguanas make for a pleasant diversion. Bilingual tour guides are available for the more inquisitive types. There are other very minor ruins along the beach, well marked on most maps.
Cancun is naturally a haven for water sports of all kinds. Just about every kind of water sport is available here. Almost every beach has vendors that offer parasailing, banana rides, jet skis and other varieties of small watercraft. Parasailing is offered in different forms for one or two flyers, one of the variations offered here resembles a small flying boat that is perfect for the less adventurous. Jet skis, waverunners and parasailing are available on the Caribbean and on the usually calm surface of Laguna Nichupté, which also offers near perfect conditions for water skiing. World class scuba diving is available at many nearby locations, most notably, the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. A wide variety of packages are available, most of which include transportation. Snorkeling is practiced everywhere but the best locations are generally away from Cancun proper. A modern water park with a wave making machine, rivers, slides, a free fall thrill ride and restaurants, is located near Punta Nizúc. Check out our Activities page and our Travel & Tours page for more information on the overwhelming number of options that await you.
Cancun and the surrounding area offer some excellent sportfishing, deep sea fishing in the outer Caribbean for sailfish, marlin, dorado, wahoo, grouper and bluefin tuna. The many nearby inlets, flats and lagoons give anglers a chance to try their luck at catching tarpon, snook, permit and some hard fighting bonefish. Charters can be arranged through the activity desk at your hotel or at one of the many marinas along Laguna Nichupté. Nearby, Isla Cozumel also has a small, though well equipped marina and a reputable sportfishing fleet.If you happen to be spending a few days on Cozumel the fishing grounds are a little closer to the island and therefore you get more real fishing time for your money.
If diving or snorkeling is on your agenda you have certainly come to the right place. The waters of the Caribbean are noted for their clarity. Some of the world’s most famous reefs are just a short distance from your hotel. There are underwater national parks and many, many dive sites that are easily accessible from many of the nearby beaches or islands. World-class dive operations are everywhere, just waiting to take you on what may turn out to be your best dive ever. All equipment can be rented, saving all but expert divers, the hassle of lugging your gear along with you.
Cancun is not a place where you will get bored, unless of course, that is the purpose of your visit. In Cancun even relaxing is never boring. The hammock and a book set will have to put their books down occasionally for a bit of world class people watching. There is plenty to keep everyone occupied when they want to get away from the beach for a while. Explore some of Cancun's local Mayan ruins. Go shopping, ride a bike on some of Mexico's most well groomed bike paths. Take in a bull fight (Wednesday afternoons), go ride an ultra fast go kart or experience The Rocket, if you are really brave. You can rent a motorcycle or buggy and go exploring in the jungle, or visit the alligator farm or the nearby botany park. The local malls and restaurants could keep you busy for an entire vacation.
Golf & Tennis
If you a golfer or a tennis player, you will not be disappointed with Cancun. Two championship 18 hole golf courses are located in Cancun proper. There are also two 3 par executive courses and a miniature golf course for the kids (and grownups). There are three more 18 hole courses less than an hours drive away. The first is located just 15 minutes west of the hotel zone at the new Moon Palace resort. Another is at Playacar, next to Playa del Carmen, and still another is located at Puerto Aventuras a little farther down the coast.
Tennis can be enjoyed at most of Cancun's hotels. Many will allow non guests to play, also, sometimes for a small fee. Pok-Ta-Pok Golf Club has two tennis courts that are open to the public. They also have a club house with a waterfront restaurant that is a very pleasant location, away from the crowds.
Shoppers rejoice! Cancun has it all! The varied aspects of Cancun's shopping facilities are seemingly endless. From ultra modern malls with chic boutiques and shops to street vendors and open-air markets, it is all here. You could forget the beach if you wanted to, but that was probably one of the main reasons you came here. Everything from Cuban cigars to expensive jewelry and everything in between, is just a short distance away in Cancun; truly, a shopper’s delight.
You should not go hungry in Cancun. Great restaurants are everywhere and they serve up some incredible meals. Steak lovers to vegetarians, everyone has a great choice of meals. Everywhere you go there are waterfront restaurants and taco stands, food courts to fast food. Have it delivered to your hotel or dress up and go out, the choice is yours. Some of the fancier restaurants have a dress code; you may want to inquire ahead of time.
You’ve been at the beach all day; you've had your siesta and now you’re ready to dance the night away! This is the place! Cancun has major numbers of nightclubs, discos and bars. The discos go all night, the bars range from fancy to downright funky. Live music and Karaoke, to ultra loud disco music, it just depends on your mood. Everyone should easily find a place to call their favorite while on vacation in Cancun.