Mexico – Chichén Itzá; the Pyramid "El Castillo" – one of the "New 7 Wonders"

Mexico - Chichén Itzá;  the Pyramid "El Castillo" - one of the "New 7 Wonders"
Mexico – Chichén Itzá; the Pyramid "El Castillo" – one of the "New 7 Wonders"

Cancun is still the No. 1 major getaway with regard to UNITED STATE travel in foreign countries, with the help of low-cost air travels from the States, 14 miles of beaches, and carnival-style nightlife that transforms the Z-shaped islet off the Yucatan Peninsula in to a 24-hour party scene for college students each and every single Spring Break. But in case you imagine this former Mayan trading city is simply a careless boozefest on the beach front, you haven’t experienced the true Cancun. 3 must-see spots for first-timers in Cancun: Sun, Fine sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The shores of Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines supply the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is a fun party beach with calm, tranquil oceans and bungalow restaurants/bars under the palms; Playa Delfines is an escapist beach with white sand for tourists planning to avoid the herds (and maybe catch a few waves). Day Trip to the Mayan Ruins Integrated into the downtown area, the plaza ruins of El Ray remind travelers of the city’s ancient history as a Mayan trading port and give the urban layout a distinctively mythic look and feel (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). However, for a much more immersive adventure, get 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 be a pity to leave Cancun without having a look of the most wild, extreme nightclub the party city has to feature. Coco Bongo is a temple of excess to outrageous proportions– a gigantic 1,800-person nightclub with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star imitators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and hundreds of partiers dancing to DJ-spun favorites on virtually any platform these guys can climb up onto. Isla Mujeres This little isle off the coast of Cancun is definitely a peaceful retreat from the craziness of the mainland. The palm-shaded coasts are fantastic for laying out under the sun’s rays shortly after an intimate lunch break at one of the island’s bistros, and the azure water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rainforest of the Yucatan peninsula builds an one-of-a-kind experience for travelers trying to find adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes which you can access by rappelling into caves. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya offer lots of offshore dive sites. However if your tank skills are up to par, some of the coolest 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 displayed at the bottom of the sea. New to diving? No problem. Scuba Cancun can set you up with a starter’s scuba diving session then a museum dive for $80.

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

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