Things to do in

Cancún

Hot all year round, this Caribbean gem is the place to let your hair down at the beach or a fiesta.

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Top 10 things to do in Cancún

Stunning beaches and a thriving nightlife are Cancun's main attractions, but it would be foolish to limit yourself in a city that offers visitors so much! From ancient ruins to top restaurants and wildlife, here are a few of the highlights.

  • 1. Contoy Island

    Isla Contoy is a nature reserve and home to many birds, plants, and turtles. Tours are usually led by a biologist and end with snorkelling off its pristine shoreline!

  • 2. Chichen Itza

    This renowned archaeological site is the most essential item on any Cancun sightseeing list. The restored pyramid at its heart crowns an iconic city from Mayan mythology.

  • 3. Ik Kil

    The Yucatan's vast groundwater sinkholes were considered portals to the underworld by the ancient Maya. Few are as famous as Ik Kil, which is open for public swimming!

  • 4. Cancún Underwater Museum

    Snorkel through this incredible museum at the Aquaworld scuba-diving center – home to hundreds of submerged sculptures and the world's largest artificial coral reef!

  • 5. Coba

    Climb the 130 steps to the top of the Mayan pyramid, and look out over the ruins of an ancient city that was once the grave enemy of Chichen Itza!

  • 6. Xel-Ha Park

    There's plenty for the whole family to enjoy at this ecotourism hotspot. Swim with dolphins, manatees, and stingrays when you're not relaxing amid the spectacular scenery!

  • 7. Dos Ojos

    The "Two Eyes" cenote system still hasn't been completely explored, but the parts that have offer crystal-clear waters and a lot of natural light – perfect for snorkelling!

  • 8. Isla Mujeres

    It's only a 15-minute boat ride to the "Island of Women," where visitors can enjoy the uncluttered beaches, tour the lively town on a golf cart, or go swimming with dolphins!

  • 9. Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve

    Stretched over more than a million acres, Sian Ka'an boasts numerous archaeological sites and wildlife habitats, as well as gorgeous beaches that must be accessed via the jungle!

  • 10. Tulum

    Don't have time for Chichen Itza or Coba? Then head to Tulum. The ruins aren't quite as impressive, but it's closer and there are lots of great open-air restaurants downtown!

Frequently asked questions about Cancún

What top attractions are a must-see in Cancún?

Planning Your Visit

  • Best time to visit?

    Peak season is December to April, with near-perfect weather drawing the larger crowds. Though spring, summer, and fall may offer more enticing vacation deals and hotel rates, the summers are punishingly hot and the fall months often stormy.

  • How many days?

    With so many immersive activities and attractions, you'll want to spend at least a week in Cancun to make the most of your visit!

  • Which currency?

    The official currency of Mexico's eastermost city is, of course, the Mexican peso. However, American dollars are widely accepted in the tourist areas. Either way it isn't hard to find a bank or exchange house that will swap whatever cash you came with.

Good to know

  • Language
    Spanish
  • Currency
    Mexican Peso (MXN)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-05:00)
  • Country Code
    +52
  • Best time to visit
    Summer is peak season, so delay your visit to September through November, when you'll still enjoy good weather, but fewer crowds. Just remember, the light drizzle is ever-present!

Other Sightseeing Options in Cancún

Want to discover all there is to do in Cancún? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Cancún

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 4,863 reviews

This experience was very fun! My friend and I loved the snorkeling bit and got some really cute photos from it(you have to pay separately but its worth it). The buffet was plentiful and diverse! And the boat ride was very nice as well (I just recommend that if the water is REMOTELY choppy, sit in the back because you will get drenched if you sit near the front). Just be prepared to be exhausted by the end from all the fun you had throughout the day!

The experience was something amazing. Worth every cent. The animals are majestic and to see them in their natural habitat was epic. I went about a week ago and still talk about it to anyone that will listen. Will definitely go again. Tour guides were great. TAKE THE SEA SICKNESS PILL. We had some guests get sea sick and messed up their experience. Thank you Jose for the info. Very knowledgeable guides.

My husband and I had a good time. Our guide was Tino and he is a certified tour guide and a history teacher so he knows a lot especially about maya culture since his wife is mayan. Highly recommend

It was amazing!!! The guides were very friendly and the information they gave us was a addition and make the experience great!

We had an amazing time! The crew is so professional and very nice. Thanks for everything