Rayos de Sol
Cancun continues to be the No. 1 prime location when it comes to U.S. travel in foreign countries, with the help of low-cost airlines from the States, 14 miles of coastlines, and carnival-style night life which changes the Z-shaped islet off the Yucatan Peninsula into a 24-hour party scene for college students pretty much every Spring Break. But if you think this former Mayan trading city is only a careless boozefest on the beach, you haven’t experienced the true Cancun. 3 must-see spots for first-timers in Cancun: Sunshine, Fine sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The shores of Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines offer the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is a festive party beach with calm, tranquil water along with bungalow restaurants/bars underneath the palms; Playa Delfines is an escapist beach with white sand for travelers looking to get away from the herds (and possibly catch a few 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 provide the urban layout a distinctively mythic look (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). However, for a more immersive experience, get a day trip drive down Riviera Maya to the beachfront ruins of Tulum and the jungle temples of Coba (they’re significantly less crowded and even closer in comparison to Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would undoubtedly be a pity to leave Cancun without having a glimpse of the most explosive, extravagant nightclub the party city has to offer. Coco Bongo is a temple of extravagance to ludicrous proportions– a massive 1,800-person nightclub with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star imitators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and thousands of partiers moving to DJ-spun hits on virtually any platform these guys are able to climb up onto. Isla Mujeres This tiny island off the coast of Cancun is a peaceful escape from the madness of the mainland. The palm-shaded coasts are perfect for laying out in the sun’s rays following an intimate lunch at one of the island’s bistros, and the blue water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rain forest of the Yucatan peninsula builds an unique experience for visitors looking for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes which you can access by rappelling into caverns. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya hold a lot of offshore dive sites. However in case your tank skills are up to par, one of the best areas to scuba dive is the Underwater Museum of Art, created by English artist Jason de Caires Taylor, which, true to its name, is an underwater museum of sculptures displayed at the bottom of the ocean. New to diving? Not a problem. Scuba Cancun can set you up with a starter’s diving session then a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: xun reborn via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA