Cancun continues to be the No. 1 main destination with AMERICAN traveling to foreign countries, with the help of low-priced airline tickets 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 pretty much every Spring Break. But if you assume this former Mayan trading city is merely a sloppy boozefest on the beach front, you haven’t 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 coastlines of Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines offer the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is a fun party beach with calm, tranquil oceans along with bungalow restaurants/bars below the palms; Playa Delfines is truly an escapist beach with white sand for vacationers seeking to escape the herds (and perhaps grab a couple of waves). Excursion to the Mayan Ruins Integrated into the downtown area, the plaza ruins of El Ray remind vacationers of the city’s ancient history as a Mayan trading port and provide the urban layout a distinctly mythic look and feel (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). However, for a 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 far less crowded and even closer in comparison to Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would definitely be a pity to leave Cancun without a peek of the most explosive, lavish nightclub the party city has to feature. Coco Bongo is a temple of excess to ridiculous proportions– a massive 1,800-person nightclub with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star imitators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and thousands of partiers dancing to DJ-spun hits on any platform they are able to climb onto. Isla Mujeres This small isle off the coast of Cancun is simply a peaceful getaway from the madness of the mainland. The palm-shaded oceanfronts are perfect for laying out in the sun shortly after an intimate lunch at one of the island’s dining establishments, and the azure water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rainforest of the Yucatan peninsula creates an one-of-a-kind experience for visitors looking for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes that one can gain access to via rappelling into caverns. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya have lots of offshore dive sites. However if your tank skills are up to par, one of the best locations to scuba dive is the Underwater Museum of Art, designed by English artist Jason de Caires Taylor, which, true to its name, is an underwater museum of sculptures arranged at the bottom of the ocean. Brand new to scuba diving? Don’t worry. Scuba Cancun are able to set you up with a newbie’s diving course then a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: hugovilchis via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA