I’ll be the first to admit that I totally underestimated Cancun, Mexico. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because it’s on everyone’s travel bucket list or that it’s been crossed off already. It wasn’t really on my radar and didn’t seem all that exciting of a destination.
I was really racking my brain about what to do in Cancun but it turns out Mexico really does have it all. Adventure, a rich history and beautiful beaches that demand to be laid upon because let’s be honest, everyone needs a serious dose of relaxation beachside.
I can now happily utter those words, “my husband was right” and I’m so thrilled he convinced me to book Cancun for our beach vacation with my family. I’m excited to share with you some of my favorite things to do in Cancun!
WHAT TO DO IN CANCUN
Experience Chichén Itzá
We booked our full day Cancun excursion with Flavio tours and it was a great experience from beginning to end. Flavio provided us with transportation to and from our hotel (a long 2 hour drive) lunch, refreshments and insightful information about the history of the Yucatan and its people. I highly recommend this company.
Two hours away from Cancun lies the incredible Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza located in the Yucatan Peninsula. The complex is a sacred site comprised of massive monuments, temples, a ball court, amazing carvings and so much more. We spent about 2.5 exploring the grounds which was enough time, I imagine you can spend an entire day there and still not see everything, it was a city after all.
Entrance fees to Chichen Itza: Adults-95 pesos or $5.22 and children under 12 are free.
Take a swim in the Yucatan Cenotes
After our Chichen Itza tour we stopped by a cenote to cool off from the hot sun. The Yucatan has a vast amount of cenotes somewhere around 6,000. Cenotes are naturally formed sinkholes caused by the collapse of limestone.
The word cenote translates to “the sacred well” and these were extremely important to the ancient civilizations since water was scarce and these were their main water sources.
The natural pits were also used as a sacrificial place to honor the gods. Mayans would sacrifice valuable possessions and sometimes themselves. Many scientists have even found human remains in cenotes. EEK!
Swimming in a cenote was the icing on the cake and the perfect to cool down after frying in the sun at Chichen Itza!
Visit a tequila factory
We ended our Cancun excursion with the final stop at a tequila factory. Outside the factory of course were heaps and heaps of gorgeous blue agave plants.
Sadly I don’t have the greatest relationship with tequila but it was still fun to put on my big girl pants and sample a few.
5 samples were offered but I only made it through 2! A for effort right?
Buy souvenirs at Market 28 Cancun
I had to do a little Cancun shopping and visit Market 28 for some artisanal souvenirs. The market is full of a wide variety of items but be on the lookout for exceptional leather goods and textiles for very affordable prices. I bought a really cute pair of sandals and a traditional onesie for my friend’s baby. A word of advice, be prepared to haggle. Most things are overpriced and the shopkeepers expect you to ask for a bargain.
After 1.5 hours of perusing the stalls it began to get a bit repetitive. No need to spend an entire day here, come for what you need and then move on.
Relax on the beautiful Cancun beaches
Lucky for tourists there are loads of Cancun resorts to choose from! We decided on the beautiful Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas and Spa located along the Cancun hotel zone or check out this post here for more accommodation options.
The hotel had an amazing pool overlooking the ocean, decent restaurants and nice rooms! What amazed me the most about the Cancun hotel zone was the beauty of the beaches! Holy smokes!
I could spend all day relaxing near the perfect shade of ocean blue atop the softest white sand and that is exactly what we did for the last 2 days of our trip. We sipped fruity drinks, read books, and hit the waves with boogie boards. Life was good.
One thing I love to do on every beach vacation is wake up before dawn and beat the swarm of people and enjoy a nice quiet walk along the shore and catch a sunrise. I don’t get to hear the sound of the waves crashing into the shore very often so I relish in those moments.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Cancun, Mexico?
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