Cancun continues being the No. 1 major destination with AMERICAN vacation in foreign countries, thanks to affordable flights from the States, 14 miles of coastlines, and carnival-style night life which changes the Z-shaped islet off the Yucatan Peninsula in to a 24-hour party scene for university students each and every single Spring Break. But in case you believe this former Mayan trading city is only a sloppy boozefest on the beach, you have not experienced the true Cancun. 3 must-see destinations for first-timers in Cancun: Sunshine, Fine sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The coasts of Playa Tortugas along with Playa Delfines provide the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is a joyful party beach with calm, tranquil water along with bungalow restaurants/bars beneath the palms; Playa Delfines is simply an escapist beach with white sand for travelers wanting to escape the masses (and possibly grab a few waves). Day Trip to the Mayan Ruins Integrated into the downtown area, the plaza ruins of El Ray remind visitors of the city’s early history as a Mayan trading port and provide the urban layout an uniquely mythic look (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). However, for a much 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 significantly less crowded and closer than Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would definitely be a shame to leave Cancun without having a gander of the most explosive, extreme nightclub the party city has to feature. Coco Bongo is a temple of excess to unbelievable proportions– a massive 1,800-person club with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star imitators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and thousands of partiers moving to DJ-spun favorites on any kind of platform these people are able to climb up onto. Isla Mujeres This small isle off the coast of Cancun is definitely a quiet retreat from the chaos of the mainland. The palm-shaded coasts are fantastic for laying out under the sun’s rays following an intimate lunch break at one of the island’s dining establishments, and the glowing blue water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rain forest of the Yucatan peninsula creates an unique experience for tourists looking for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes that one can access by rappelling into caves. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya hold a lot of offshore dive sites. But assuming that your tank skills are up to par, some of the coolest areas 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 ocean. New to diving? Don’t worry. Scuba Cancun are able to set you up with a newcomer’s diving course and then a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: Nick Kenrick. via Hotelbee.net / CC BY-NC-SA