Cancun continues being the No. 1 leading destination with AMERICAN travel abroad, thanks to economical airlines from the States, 14 miles of shorelines, and carnival-style nightlife that changes the Z-shaped islet off the Yucatan Peninsula into a 24-hour party scene for college students every Spring Break. But in case you presume this former Mayan trading city is only a sloppy boozefest on the beach front, you have not experienced the real Cancun. 3 must-see tourist attractions intended for first-timers in Cancun: Sun, Sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The coasts of Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines deliver the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is a festive party beach with calm, tranquil oceans including bungalow restaurants/bars underneath the palms; Playa Delfines is truly an escapist beach with white sand for travelers planning to avoid the herds (and perhaps get a few waves). Day Trip to the Mayan Ruins Integrated into the downtown area, the plaza ruins of El Ray help remind vacationers of the city’s early history as a Mayan trading port and provide the urban layout a distinctly mythic look (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). However, for a more immersive adventure, have 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 closer compared to Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would undoubtedly be a pity to leave Cancun without a gander of the most explosive, extravagant club the party city has to feature. Coco Bongo is a temple of excess to ridiculous proportions– a gigantic 1,800-person nightclub with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star impersonators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and hundreds of partiers dancing to DJ-spun hits on any platform these guys can climb onto. Isla Mujeres This tiny island off the coast of Cancun is simply a peaceful getaway from the craziness of the mainland. The palm-shaded coasts are fantastic for laying out in the sun’s rays shortly after an intimate lunch break at one of the island’s dining establishments, and the azure water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rainforest of the Yucatan peninsula achieves an one-of-a-kind experience for tourists looking for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes which one can access via rappelling into caves. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya have plenty of offshore dive sites. However in the event that your tank skills are up to par, one of the coolest 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 displayed at the bottom of the ocean. Brand new to diving? Don’t worry. Scuba Cancun can set you up with a newbie’s scuba diving course and after that a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: Runningbrook Farms via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND