Cancun is the No. 1 main holiday destination regarding AMERICAN travel in foreign countries, thanks to economical air travels from the States, 14 miles of coasts, and carnival-style night life that changes the Z-shaped islet off the Yucatan Peninsula in to a 24-hour party scene for college students every Spring Break. But if you imagine this former Mayan trading city is merely a sloppy boozefest on the beach front, you haven’t experienced the real Cancun. 3 must-see attractions for first-timers in Cancun: Sun, Fine sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The beaches of Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines provide the full-spectrum of the Cancun beach scene: Playa Tortugas is an upbeat party beach with calm, tranquil oceans and bungalow restaurants/bars underneath the palms; Playa Delfines is truly an escapist beach with white sand for tourists seeking to avoid the crowds (and possibly catch a few waves). Excursion to the Mayan Ruins Integrated into the downtown area, the plaza ruins of El Ray remind travelers of the city’s ancient history as a Mayan trading port and give the urban layout an uniquely mythic appearance (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). However, for a more immersive experience, take a day trip drive into Riviera Maya to the beach front ruins of Tulum and the jungle temples of Coba (they’re much less crowded and even closer than Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would definitely be a pity to leave Cancun without having a peek of the most wild, extreme club the party city has to offer. Coco Bongo is a temple of excess to outrageous proportions– a massive 1,800-person club along with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star impersonators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and thousands of partiers dancing to DJ-spun favorites on virtually any platform these guys can climb up onto. Isla Mujeres This small island off the coast of Cancun is simply a peaceful escape from the chaos of the mainland. The palm-shaded beaches are superb for laying out under the sun’s rays shortly after an intimate lunch break at one of the island’s eateries, and the azure water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rain forest of the Yucatan peninsula achieves an unique experience for visitors looking for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes that you can gain access to via rappelling into caverns. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya have a number of offshore dive sites. However 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, developed 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 diving? No problem. Scuba Cancun can easily set you up with a newcomer’s diving course and afterwards a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: H. Caesar via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND