Cancun continues to be the No. 1 top destination when it comes to U.S. traveling in other countries, due to low-cost air travels from the States, 14 miles of coastlines, and carnival-style night life which transforms the Z-shaped islet off the Yucatan Peninsula into a 24-hour party scene for university students pretty much every Spring Break. But if you imagine this former Mayan trading city is just a sloppy boozefest on the beach, you haven’t experienced the real 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 and Playa Delfines deliver the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is a festive party beach with calm, tranquil water including bungalow restaurants/bars below the palms; Playa Delfines is simply an escapist beach with white sand for travelers wanting to avoid the herds (and possibly catch a couple of 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 give the urban layout an uniquely mythic appearance (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). But for a more immersive adventure, have 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 closer in comparison to Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would definitely be a pity to leave Cancun without having a look of the most explosive, lavish club the party city has to give. Coco Bongo is a temple of extravagance to outrageous proportions– a huge 1,800-person club along with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star imitators, a rainbow blitz of roving spotlights, and hundreds of partiers dancing to DJ-spun hits on any platform they can climb up onto. Isla Mujeres This small island off the coast of Cancun is certainly a quiet retreat from the madness of the mainland. The palm-shaded coasts are perfect for laying out under the sun’s rays shortly after an intimate lunch break at one of the island’s dining establishments, and the blue water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rainforest of the Yucatan peninsula puts together an unique experience for vacationers trying to find adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes which you may access via rappelling into caverns. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya feature lots of offshore dive sites. But in the event that your tank skills are up to par, some of the coolest locations to scuba dive is the Underwater Museum of Art, designed 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? No problem. Scuba Cancun can easily set anyone up with a newcomer’s scuba diving session then a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: wontolla-gdl via Hotelbee.net / CC BY-SA