Nevado de Toluca
Cancun is still the No. 1 major destination when it comes to U.S. vacation in other countries, thanks to low-cost flights from the States, 14 miles of beachfronts, and carnival-style nightlife which 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 if you presume this former Mayan trading city is just a careless boozefest on the beach, you have not experienced the true Cancun. 3 must-see destinations intended for first-timers in Cancun: Sunshine, Sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The beaches 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 including bungalow restaurants/bars under the palms; Playa Delfines is simply an escapist beach with white sand for vacationers hoping to avoid the crowds (and maybe 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 early history as a Mayan trading port and give the urban layout a distinctively mythic look (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). However, for a more immersive experience, have a day trip drive into Riviera Maya to the beach front ruins of Tulum and the jungle temples of Coba (they’re far less crowded and closer in comparison to Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would certainly be a shame to leave Cancun without having a glimpse of the most wild, extreme club the party city has to feature. Coco Bongo is a temple of extravagance to ridiculous proportions– a huge 1,800-person club with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star impersonators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and thousands of partiers moving to DJ-spun hits on virtually any platform these people are able to climb up onto. Isla Mujeres This small isle off the coast of Cancun is a peaceful escape from the craziness of the mainland. The palm-shaded beaches are superb for laying out under the sun following an intimate lunch break at one of the island’s bistros, and the glowing blue water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rain forest of the Yucatan peninsula creates a distinct experience for travelers looking for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes that you can access by rappelling into caverns. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya offer plenty of offshore dive sites. But in the event that your tank skills are up to par, some of the coolest spots to scuba dive is the Underwater Museum of Art, created by British 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? Not a problem. Scuba Cancun can easily set anyone up with a newbie’s diving course and afterwards a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: Eneas via Foter.com / CC BY