Cancun continues to be the No. 1 prime location with regard to AMERICAN traveling to foreign countries, with the help of cheap flights from the States, 14 miles of shorelines, and carnival-style nightlife that transforms the Z-shaped islet off the Yucatan Peninsula into a 24-hour party scene for university students pretty much every Spring Break. But in the event that you assume this former Mayan trading city is only a sloppy boozefest on the beach, you haven’t experienced the real Cancun. 3 must-see destinations intended for first-timers in Cancun: Sun, Sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The shores of Playa Tortugas along with Playa Delfines provide the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is a festive party beach with calm, tranquil oceans together with bungalow restaurants/bars below the palms; Playa Delfines is without a doubt an escapist beach with white sand for travelers seeking to avoid the crowds (and possibly grab a couple of waves). Excursion to the Mayan Ruins Integrated into the downtown area, the plaza ruins of El Ray remind people of the city’s ancient history as a Mayan trading port and provide the urban layout a distinctly mythic look and feel (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). However, for a much more immersive experience, get a day trip drive into Riviera Maya to the beach front ruins of Tulum and the jungle temples of Coba (they’re much less crowded and closer in comparison to Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would be a shame to leave Cancun without a peek of the most wild, extreme nightclub the party city has to feature. Coco Bongo is a temple of excess to ridiculous proportions– a huge 1,800-person nightclub along with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star impersonators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and hundreds of partiers dancing to DJ-spun favorites on any kind of platform these people are able to climb onto. Isla Mujeres This small island off the coast of Cancun is a quiet escape from the madness of the mainland. The palm-shaded coastlines are ideal for laying out under the sun’s rays after an intimate lunch break at one of the island’s eateries, and the azure water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rain forest of the Yucatan peninsula puts together an one-of-a-kind experience for tourists searching for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes that one can access by rappelling into caverns. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya offer lots of offshore dive sites. However in case your tank skills are up to par, some of the best locations to scuba dive is the Underwater Museum of Art, designed by British artist Jason de Caires Taylor, which, true to its name, is an underwater museum of sculptures displayed at the bottom of the sea. New to scuba? Not a problem. Scuba Cancun can set anyone up with a starter’s scuba diving session then a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: omarsan via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND