5 Must Do Activities in Cancún
Updated: May 22, 2022
When to Visit Cancun:
Most travel blogs and booking sites will tell you that the best time to visit Cancun is between December-April. That window is when you will experience the “best weather” - however, that is also when you will come across the most tourists. If you’re looking to avoid going when there aren’t a lot of other travelers, do not rule out visiting during the “off season.” If you’re willing to dodge a passing rainstorm here and there, then you’ll find the emptiest beaches and best deals by booking anytime between July-October. If you’re hoping to spot some wildlife while visiting, the late-spring/early-summer months (May-August) are the best time to see sea turtles nest and whale sharks migrate! We visited the Yucatan in mid-September and had clear skies, turquoise waters, and warm temps every day except for our last evening when it rained but not until around 9pm.
What to Do:
1. Stay at an All-Inclusive Resort
Talk to just about anyone and they will tell you that “an all-inclusive is the only way to go” while visiting Cancun. While there are pros and cons, you can’t beat the convenience that an all-inclusive offers. There are many of them to choose from in the Hotel Zone! We stayed at Iberostar Selection Cancun, and I cannot say enough good things about this all-inclusive! You can read my full [unsponsored] review here!
2. Visit Chichen Itza
When visiting the Yucatan Peninsula, you cannot miss out on the opportunity to see one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Chichen Itza is a famous Archeological Site with over 20 Mayan Ruins to be seen throughout – the most well-known being the Chicen Itza Pyramid or El Castillo. Even though you can no longer climb the steps of the pyramid, it is still a spectacular sight to observe and appreciate. It is so mesmerizing that it draws over a million visitors a year!
3. Swim in a Cenote
There are thousands of cenotes sprinkled throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. If you’re unfamiliar, a cenote is essentially a natural sinkhole that is filled with groundwater. In ancient times, Mayans used the cenotes as a source of freshwater, as well as sometimes for religious rituals, such as sacrifices. More recently, they have become refreshing spots for locals and tourists to swim and dive. We stopped off at one of the less-popular and therefore less crowded cenotes on our way back from Chichen Itza: Cenote Oxman. Cenote Oxman is located near the city of Valladolid and is known for its famous rope swing. Taking a jump and a swing from the cenote’s wooden platform will land you into its crystal-clear water. Be sure to bring your GoPro to capture some footage of the wildlife underwater, like the cenote catfish!
4. Visit Valladolid
On our way back from Chichen Itza, we stopped in the city of Valladolid, a favorite emerging city on the Yucatan Peninsula. Its streets are lined with colorful colonial-era pastel buildings and the city is alive with authentic Mayan culture and history. We were dropped off for free exploration across from Parque Principal Francisco Cantón Rosado, which was bustling with food vendors. We strolled through the park, past a beautiful fountain, to the opposite end where we stopped to admire Iglesia de San Servacio. The impressive church was founded in 1545 and rebuilt in the 1700s - you could practically feel its rich history just by marveling at it from across the street!
5. Go Snorkeling on a Reef
The Caribbean offers some of the best snorkeling in the world! If you’re a beginner, I highly recommend booking a snorkeling excursion through Total Snorkel – we booked through them and were amazed to see stingrays, sea turtles, many fishes, and a variety of coral species! The guides were also super knowledgeable, patient and understanding - even when I was keeled over on the boat from motion sickness. Be sure to take some Dramamine before boarding the boat if your prone to seasickness!
Swim with whale sharks –
it's best to do this when the whale sharks are at peak-migration time (typically June-August)
Day trip to Tulum
Day trip to Isla Mujeres
Parasailing or Jet Skiing