Templo de Nuestra Señora del Carmen,Cuauhtémoc,Ciudad de México,México

Templo de Nuestra Señora del Carmen,Cuauhtémoc,Ciudad de México,México
Templo de Nuestra Señora del Carmen,Cuauhtémoc,Ciudad de México,México

Cancun is still the No. 1 major getaway for AMERICAN vacation abroad, with the help of cheap flights from the States, 14 miles of beachfronts, and carnival-style nightlife that 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 in the event that you believe this former Mayan trading city is simply a sloppy boozefest on the beach front, you have not experienced the true Cancun. 3 must-see attractions for first-timers in Cancun: Sunshine, Fine sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The beaches of Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines supply the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is a festive party beach with calm, tranquil oceans and bungalow restaurants/bars under the palms; Playa Delfines is truly an escapist beach with white sand for vacationers wanting to escape 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 people of the city’s early 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). But for a much more immersive adventure, take 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 than Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would definitely be a shame to leave Cancun without having a look of the most wild, extreme nightclub the party city has to give. Coco Bongo is a temple of extravagance to ridiculous proportions– a massive 1,800-person club with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star impersonators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and hundreds of partiers dancing to DJ-spun favorites on virtually any platform these people are able to climb up onto. Isla Mujeres This little island off the coast of Cancun is simply a peaceful retreat from the craziness of the mainland. The palm-shaded coastlines are fantastic for laying out under the sun after an intimate lunch break at one of the island’s bistros, and the azure water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rain forest of the Yucatan peninsula builds a distinct experience for travelers searching for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes in which one can gain access to by rappelling into caverns. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya have a lot of offshore dive sites. But assuming that your tank skills are up to par, one of the coolest locations 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 exhibited at the bottom of the sea. Brand new to scuba? No problem. Scuba Cancun are able to set you up with a newbie’s diving session and after that a museum dive for $80.

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Photo credit: Catedrales e Iglesias via Foter.com / CC BY

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