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Cancun is the No. 1 main holiday location for UNITED STATE vacation in foreign countries, due to cheap airfares from the States, 14 miles of coasts, and carnival-style night life that transforms the Z-shaped islet off the Yucatan Peninsula into a 24-hour party scene for university students every Spring Break. But if you assume this former Mayan trading city is just a careless boozefest on the beach, you haven’t experienced the real Cancun. 3 must-see tourist attractions for first-timers in Cancun: Sunshine, Fine sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The coastlines of Playa Tortugas along with Playa Delfines offer the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is an upbeat party beach with calm, tranquil water and bungalow restaurants/bars beneath the palms; Playa Delfines is truly an escapist beach with white sand for travelers aiming to get away from the crowds (and possibly get a couple of waves). Excursion to the Mayan Ruins Integrated into the downtown area, the plaza ruins of El Ray help remind visitors of the city’s early history as a Mayan trading port and give the urban layout a distinctly mythic look and feel (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). But for a much more immersive experience, have a day trip drive down Riviera Maya to the beach front ruins of Tulum and the jungle temples of Coba (they’re significantly less crowded and even closer compared to Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would certainly be a shame to leave Cancun without having a peek of the most wild, amazing club the party city has to give. Coco Bongo is a temple of extravagance to ludicrous proportions– a huge 1,800-person club with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star impersonators, a rainbow blitz of roving spotlights, and thousands of partiers dancing to DJ-spun hits on any kind of platform they are able to climb onto. Isla Mujeres This small island off the coast of Cancun is simply a peaceful getaway from the chaos of the mainland. The palm-shaded coasts are ideal for laying out in the sun shortly after an intimate lunch break at one of the island’s dining establishments, and the glowing blue water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rain forest of the Yucatan peninsula sets up an one-of-a-kind experience for visitors searching for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes which one may gain access to via rappelling into caves. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya feature plenty 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, 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 ocean. Brand new to scuba diving? No problem. Scuba Cancun are able to set anyone up with a newcomer’s diving course and after that a museum dive for $80.

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Photo credit: rhyndman via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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