Cancun is the No. 1 leading vacation spot regarding AMERICAN traveling abroad, with the help of affordable airline tickets from the States, 14 miles of beachfronts, and carnival-style night life that transforms the Z-shaped islet off the Yucatan Peninsula in to a 24-hour party scene for college students pretty much every Spring Break. But in case you imagine this former Mayan trading city is merely a sloppy boozefest on the beach, you haven’t experienced the true Cancun. 3 must-see destinations for first-timers in Cancun: Sunshine, Sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The coasts of Playa Tortugas along with Playa Delfines offer the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is a joyful party beach with calm, tranquil water together with bungalow restaurants/bars under the palms; Playa Delfines is an escapist beach with white sand for travelers seeking to get away from the masses (and maybe get a few waves). Day Trip to the Mayan Ruins Integrated into the downtown area, the plaza ruins of El Ray remind people of the city’s early history as a Mayan trading port and provide the urban layout a distinctively mythic appearance (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 compared to Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would be a shame to leave Cancun without having a look of the most wild, extravagant nightclub the party city has to give. Coco Bongo is a temple of excess to ridiculous proportions– a gigantic 1,800-person club with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star impersonators, a rainbow blitz of roving spotlights, and hundreds of partiers moving 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 quiet getaway from the craziness of the mainland. The palm-shaded oceanfronts are superb for laying out in the sun’s rays after an intimate meal 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 produces an unique experience for tourists looking for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes in which you can access by rappelling into caves. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya hold a number of offshore dive sites. However in case your tank skills are up to par, some of the coolest locations 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? Not a problem. Scuba Cancun can set anyone up with a starter’s diving lesson and then a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: Jesús Villaseca Pérez. via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA