Cancun continues being the No. 1 major destination when it comes to AMERICAN traveling in other countries, with the help of affordable airfares from the States, 14 miles of coastlines, and carnival-style nightlife that changes the Z-shaped islet off the Yucatan Peninsula into a 24-hour party scene for university students each and every Spring Break. But if you assume this former Mayan trading city is simply a careless boozefest on the beach front, you haven’t experienced the real Cancun. 3 must-see destinations for first-timers in Cancun: Sunshine, Fine sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The coastlines of Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines provide the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is a festive party beach with calm, tranquil oceans along with bungalow restaurants/bars below the palms; Playa Delfines is truly an escapist beach with white sand for vacationers looking to escape the masses (and perhaps get a couple of waves). Day Trip to the Mayan Ruins Integrated into the downtown area, the plaza ruins of El Ray help remind people of the city’s ancient history as a Mayan trading port and give the urban layout a distinctly mythic appearance (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). But for a much more immersive experience, get a day trip drive down Riviera Maya to the beach front ruins of Tulum and the jungle temples of Coba (they’re far less crowded and even closer compared to Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would definitely be a pity to leave Cancun without having a look of the most wild, extravagant nightclub the party city has to give. Coco Bongo is a temple of extravagance to ridiculous proportions– a massive 1,800-person nightclub with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star imitators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and hundreds of partiers moving to DJ-spun favorites on any platform these people are able to climb up onto. Isla Mujeres This tiny island off the coast of Cancun is simply a peaceful escape from the chaos of the mainland. The palm-shaded coasts are fantastic for laying out under the sun following an intimate meal 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 creates an unique experience for vacationers looking for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes which one can access by rappelling into caverns. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya hold a lot of offshore dive sites. However 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, created by British artist Jason de Caires Taylor, which, true to its name, is an underwater museum of sculptures displayed at the bottom of the ocean. Brand new to diving? Don’t worry. Scuba Cancun are able to set you up with a starter’s diving lesson and after that a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: George DeMet via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA