Mosaico de Puertas III – México 2008
Cancun remains the No. 1 major holiday destination when it comes to AMERICAN traveling abroad, thanks to economical airlines from the States, 14 miles of coastlines, and carnival-style night life that transforms the Z-shaped islet off the Yucatan Peninsula in to a 24-hour party scene for university students each and every single Spring Break. But in case you believe this former Mayan trading city is only a sloppy boozefest on the beach, you have not experienced the real Cancun. 3 must-see attractions for first-timers in Cancun: Sun, Fine sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The shores of Playa Tortugas along with Playa Delfines deliver the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is an upbeat party beach with calm, tranquil water together with bungalow restaurants/bars below the palms; Playa Delfines is simply an escapist beach with white sand for travelers seeking to escape the herds (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 visitors of the city’s early history as a Mayan trading port and give the urban layout an uniquely mythic look (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). But for a more immersive experience, get a day trip drive into Riviera Maya to the beach front ruins of Tulum and the jungle temples of Coba (they’re much less crowded and even closer than Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would be a pity to leave Cancun without a glimpse of the most wild, extreme club the party city has to offer. Coco Bongo is a temple of excess to ludicrous proportions– a huge 1,800-person nightclub along with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star impersonators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and thousands of partiers moving to DJ-spun favorites on any kind of platform these people are able to climb up onto. Isla Mujeres This little island off the coast of Cancun is a peaceful retreat from the chaos of the mainland. The palm-shaded beaches are superb for laying out under the sun 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 rain forest of the Yucatan peninsula sets up an unique experience for travelers searching for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes in which you can access via rappelling into caves. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya contain a lot of offshore dive sites. But in the event that your tank skills are up to par, one of the best areas to scuba dive is the Underwater Museum of Art, built 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 diving? No problem. Scuba Cancun can easily set anyone up with a newbie’s scuba diving lesson and after that a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: Lucy Nieto via Foter.com / CC BY-NC