Cancun is still the No. 1 top holiday destination regarding U.S. traveling in other countries, with the help of cheap airline tickets from the States, 14 miles of shorelines, and carnival-style nightlife which transforms the Z-shaped islet off the Yucatan Peninsula in to a 24-hour party scene for college students each and every Spring Break. But in case you imagine this former Mayan trading city is merely a careless boozefest on the beach, you haven’t experienced the true Cancun. 3 must-see attractions 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 offer the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is a joyous party beach with calm, tranquil oceans including bungalow restaurants/bars underneath the palms; Playa Delfines is truly an escapist beach with white sand for tourists wanting to escape the masses (and maybe grab a couple of waves). Excursion to the Mayan Ruins Integrated into the downtown area, the plaza ruins of El Ray help remind tourists of the city’s early history as a Mayan trading port and give the urban layout a distinctively mythic appearance (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). However, for a more immersive adventure, have 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 closer than Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would undoubtedly be a pity to leave Cancun without a peek of the most wild, lavish nightclub the party city has to offer. Coco Bongo is a temple of extravagance to ridiculous proportions– a huge 1,800-person nightclub with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star imitators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and thousands of partiers moving to DJ-spun hits on any kind of platform they are able to climb onto. Isla Mujeres This tiny island off the coast of Cancun is certainly a peaceful getaway from the chaos of the mainland. The palm-shaded oceanfronts are fantastic for laying out under the sun following an intimate lunch at one of the island’s eateries, and the glowing blue water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rain forest of the Yucatan peninsula sets up a distinct experience for travelers trying to find adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes that you may access via rappelling into caves. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya hold a lot of offshore dive sites. But if your tank skills are up to par, one of the coolest areas to scuba dive is the Underwater Museum of Art, built by British artist Jason de Caires Taylor, which, true to its name, is an underwater museum of sculptures laid out at the bottom of the sea. Brand-new to scuba diving? No problem. Scuba Cancun can set you up with a beginner’s diving lesson then a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: Nick Kenrick. via Hotelbee.net / CC BY-NC-SA