Cancun is the No. 1 prime holiday location for U.S. traveling to foreign countries, due to economical airfares from the States, 14 miles of beachfronts, and carnival-style night life that changes the Z-shaped islet off the Yucatan Peninsula in to a 24-hour party scene for university students every Spring Break. But if you imagine this former Mayan trading city is merely a sloppy boozefest on the beach, you haven’t experienced the real Cancun. 3 must-see tourist attractions for first-timers in Cancun: Sunshine, Fine sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The shores of Playa Tortugas along with Playa Delfines offer the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is a fun party beach with calm, tranquil oceans and bungalow restaurants/bars underneath the palms; Playa Delfines is without a doubt an escapist beach with white sand for vacationers aiming to escape the masses (and possibly catch a few waves). Excursion to the Mayan Ruins Integrated into the downtown area, the plaza ruins of El Ray remind tourists of the city’s ancient history as a Mayan trading port and give the urban layout a distinctively mythic look and feel (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). However, for a more immersive experience, take a day trip drive down Riviera Maya to the beachfront ruins of Tulum and the jungle temples of Coba (they’re far less crowded and even closer in comparison to Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would be a pity to leave Cancun without a gander of the most wild, lavish club the party city has to give. Coco Bongo is a temple of excess to ridiculous proportions– a gigantic 1,800-person club with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star impersonators, a rainbow blitz of roving spotlights, and hundreds of partiers dancing to DJ-spun hits on any platform they can climb onto. Isla Mujeres This tiny island off the coast of Cancun is a quiet getaway from the chaos of the mainland. The palm-shaded coastlines are excellent for laying out in the sun after an intimate lunch break at one of the island’s restaurants, and the blue water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rainforest of the Yucatan peninsula puts together an unique experience for travelers 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 feature lots of offshore dive sites. But in the event that your tank skills are up to par, one of the best locations to scuba dive is the Underwater Museum of Art, developed by English artist Jason de Caires Taylor, which, true to its name, is an underwater museum of sculptures exhibited at the bottom of the ocean. New to scuba? No problem. Scuba Cancun can easily set anyone up with a newbie’s scuba diving course and afterwards a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: D-Stanley via Foter.com / CC BY