Cancun continues being the No. 1 top getaway regarding U.S.A vacation in foreign countries, thanks to low-cost airfares from the States, 14 miles of beaches, and carnival-style night life which 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 case you consider this former Mayan trading city is simply a sloppy boozefest on the beach, you haven’t experienced the real Cancun. 3 must-see tourist attractions for first-timers in Cancun: Sun, Fine sand, and Waves at Playa Tortugas and Playa Delfines The shores 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 along with bungalow restaurants/bars under the palms; Playa Delfines is without a doubt an escapist beach with white sand for travelers planning to avoid the herds (and possibly catch a few waves). Day Trip to the Mayan Ruins Integrated into the downtown area, the plaza ruins of El Ray help remind tourists of the city’s ancient history as a Mayan trading port and give the urban layout a distinctively mythic appearance (and a kitschy cache to bankroll tourist dollars). However, for a more immersive experience, take a day trip drive down Riviera Maya to the beach front ruins of Tulum and the jungle temples of Coba (they’re much less crowded and even closer in comparison to Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would certainly be a pity to leave Cancun without having a peek of the most explosive, extravagant nightclub the party city has to offer. Coco Bongo is a temple of excess to ridiculous proportions– a gigantic 1,800-person nightclub along with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star imitators, a rainbow blitz of roving spotlights, and hundreds of partiers moving to DJ-spun favorites on any kind of platform these people can climb onto. Isla Mujeres This small island off the coast of Cancun is definitely a peaceful getaway from the madness of the mainland. The palm-shaded beaches are perfect for laying out in the sun following an intimate meal at one of the island’s eateries, and the azure water seems made for an afternoon swim. Dipping Into the Cenotes The rainforest of the Yucatan peninsula puts together an unique experience for travelers searching for adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes that you can access by rappelling into caverns. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya contain lots of offshore dive sites. But in case your tank skills are up to par, some of the coolest locations to scuba dive is the Underwater Museum of Art, constructed by English artist Jason de Caires Taylor, which, true to its name, is an underwater museum of sculptures displayed at the bottom of the sea. Brand new to scuba diving? Not a problem. Scuba Cancun can set you up with a newbie’s diving lesson and after that a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: Geraint Rowland Photography via Hotelbee.net / CC BY-NC