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People from all walks of life come to Cancún to party and for the beautiful beaches. Snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing, scuba diving, parasailing, jet skiing, and a wide range of other water-based sports are all very popular and readily available at or in conjunction with the resorts and hotels. Nearby, however, there are a variety of tourist attractions, water parks, and Mayan ruins that are well worth visiting.

Things to do in Cancun

Aqua World

Devoted to water sports, this marina offers submarine tours, parasailing, and snorkeling and scuba diving excursions. The submarine tour is truly breathtaking, especially if you’re not a scuba diver or snorkler, but want a first-person view of the undersea world.

Blvd. Kukulcan, Km. 15.2, 011-52-998-848-8300,
Tags: family | snorkeling | things to do | family attraction

Casa de Cultura

Pick up oil paintings, sculptures, sketches, and photographs at this art gallery that showcases modern Mexican artists.

Prolongacion Av. Yaxchilan, Sm 25, 011-52-998-884-8364
Tags: shopping | expensive | editor pick | art | things to do | souvenirs | home

Interactive Aquarium

Located within Plaza La Isla, a lovely outdoor shopping mall that features a vast selection of upscale shops and restaurants, you’ll find the popular indoor/outdoor Interactive Aquarium attraction, which is suitable for kids, teens, and adults alike. Plan on spending two to three hours here, as you explore the marine wildlife exhibits, learn about local marine life, and watch live animal shows (including a trained dolphin show). For an added fee, you can swim with dolphins or feed a shark.

Plaza La Isla, Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 12.5, Quintana Roo, 011-52-998-883-0411,
Tags: family | things to do | wildlife | museum | aquarium

La Casa del Arte Popular Mexicano

Discover Mexican culture at this folk art museum, which has 3,400 original works and handicrafts by the country’s most reputed artists from Oaxaca to the Yucatan Peninsula. Plan on spending one to three hours here.

Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 4, 011-52-998-849-4332,
Tags: editor pick | things to do | architecture | history | tour

Mercado Veintiocho

The largest open-air market in Cancun sells locally made pottery, leather goods, and hand-woven items such as hats and baskets at rock bottom prices.

off Ave. Yaxchilan and Sunyaxchen,
Tags: shopping | great value | things to do | souvenirs | crafts

Mundo Marino

Boasting around 400 species of fish, from billfish to red snapper, the waters off Cancún are a haven for those who want to try deep sea fishing. Mundo Marino offers half- and full-day trips. This is a great activity for a “guy’s day out” or something unique to do with kids or teens. The tour operator also offers a wide range of other water-sports and guided tours, as well as boat and watercraft rentals.

Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 5.5, 011-52-998-849-7257
Tags: expensive | smart splurge | things to do | outdoors | fishing

Playa Mujeres Golf Club

Offering views of the Caribbean and surrounded by lush greenery, this Greg Norman-designed 18-hole, par 72 course is one of the hottest destinations for golfers in Mexico. It’s also one of the few golf courses in Cancún that is open to the public. The facilities include a club house, pro shop (offering all the major brands), and an upscale restaurant where Mexican specialties, fast food, fresh salads, and other goodies are served.

Playa Mujeres Casa Club, Bonampak S/N, 011-52-998-887-7322,
Tags: golf | editor pick | smart splurge | things to do | outdoors | sports

Ruinas del Rey

Visit these ruins, which date as far back as the 3rd century BC and may have been a burial ground for royalty. A raised pyramid features Mayan artwork on its interior walls. You can take a short taxi or bus tide to this attraction, and admission is just $4. If you really want to see Mayan ruins, however, plan a day trip to Tulum.

Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 17,
Tags: editor pick | great value | things to do | architecture | history | tour

Wet 'N Wild Cancun

Ideal for families traveling with kids, Wet ‘N Wild is a fun-filled water park, featuring water slides, wave pools, and other water-based attractions. Plan on spending at least a half to full day here, and don’t forget a bathing suit and sun block. While the park itself isn’t too large (less than 10 slides and activities), it is a fun alternative to the beach. Admission is $49 for adults and $43 for kids, which is a bit steep for what’s offered. Open daily from 9:30am until 5pm (weather permitting).

Blvd. Kukulkan, Km. 25, 011-52-998-193-2000,
Tags: family | moderate | things to do | amusement park

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