Mexico – Chichén Itzá; front of Las Monjas Temple
Cancun is the No. 1 major getaway for U.S. vacation overseas, with the help of economical air travels from the States, 14 miles of shorelines, 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 pretty much every Spring Break. But if you expect this former Mayan trading city is only a careless boozefest on the beach, you have not 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 coasts of Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines offer the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is a festive party beach with calm, tranquil oceans together with bungalow restaurants/bars under the palms; Playa Delfines is without a doubt an escapist beach with white sand for tourists aiming to avoid the crowds (and maybe get a couple of waves). Excursion to the Mayan Ruins Integrated into the downtown area, the plaza ruins of El Ray remind visitors of the city’s ancient history as a Mayan trading port and give the urban layout a distinctly mythic look (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). But for a much more immersive experience, have a day trip drive into Riviera Maya to the beachfront ruins of Tulum and the jungle temples of Coba (they’re much less crowded and closer than Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would undoubtedly be a pity to leave Cancun without a glimpse of the most wild, extravagant club the party city has to give. Coco Bongo is a temple of extravagance to ludicrous proportions– a huge 1,800-person club with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star impersonators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and hundreds of partiers moving to DJ-spun favorites on any platform these people are able to climb onto. Isla Mujeres This little island off the coast of Cancun is definitely a quiet escape from the craziness of the mainland. The palm-shaded oceanfronts are excellent for laying out in the sun’s rays following an intimate lunch break at one of the island’s bistros, and the glowing blue water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rain forest of the Yucatan peninsula achieves an unique experience for travelers searching for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes which one may gain access to by rappelling into caverns. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya provide lots of offshore dive sites. But if your tank skills are up to par, some of the best locations to scuba dive is the Underwater Museum of Art, developed 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 ocean. Brand new to scuba diving? Don’t worry. Scuba Cancun are able to set anyone up with a newcomer’s diving lesson and after that a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: Traveller-Reini via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA