Mexico – Chichén Itzá; Maya sculptures

Mexico - Chichén Itzá; Maya sculptures
Mexico – Chichén Itzá; Maya sculptures

Cancun is the No. 1 major getaway with UNITED STATE travel overseas, with the help of low-priced air travels from the States, 14 miles of shorelines, and carnival-style night life that changes the Z-shaped islet off the Yucatan Peninsula into a 24-hour party scene for college students each and every Spring Break. But if you presume this former Mayan trading city is simply a sloppy boozefest on the beach front, you have not experienced the true Cancun. 3 must-see tourist attractions for first-timers in Cancun: Sun, Sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The shores of Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines provide the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is a joyous party beach with calm, tranquil oceans including bungalow restaurants/bars under the palms; Playa Delfines is without a doubt an escapist beach with white sand for travelers aiming to avoid the crowds (and maybe get a couple of waves). Day Trip to the Mayan Ruins Integrated into the downtown area, the plaza ruins of El Ray remind tourists of the city’s ancient history as a Mayan trading port and provide the urban layout a distinctively mythic look and feel (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). But for a much more immersive adventure, get a day trip drive into Riviera Maya to the beachfront ruins of Tulum and the jungle temples of Coba (they’re significantly less crowded and closer compared to Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would definitely be a shame to leave Cancun without having a glimpse of the most wild, amazing club the party city has to feature. Coco Bongo is a temple of extravagance to unbelievable proportions– a gigantic 1,800-person club along with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star impersonators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and thousands of partiers moving to DJ-spun hits on any platform these people are able to climb onto. Isla Mujeres This tiny isle off the coast of Cancun is simply a peaceful escape from the craziness of the mainland. The palm-shaded oceanfronts are excellent for laying out in the sun shortly after an intimate lunch at one of the island’s dining establishments, and the glowing blue water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rainforest of the Yucatan peninsula sets up a distinct experience for tourists searching for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes that you can gain access to by rappelling into caverns. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya provide a number of offshore dive sites. But if your tank skills are up to par, some of the best spots 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 laid out at the bottom of the ocean. Brand-new to scuba diving? No problem. Scuba Cancun are able to set you up with a starter’s diving course and after that a museum dive for $80.

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Photo credit: Traveller-Reini via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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