Wish you were here .. Mexico
Cancun is the No. 1 major spot regarding USA traveling abroad, thanks to economical airline tickets from the States, 14 miles of coasts, and carnival-style nightlife 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 believe this former Mayan trading city is only a careless boozefest on the beach front, you haven’t experienced the real Cancun. 3 must-see spots for first-timers in Cancun: Sun, Fine 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 oceans along with bungalow restaurants/bars beneath the palms; Playa Delfines is an escapist beach with white sand for vacationers looking to get away from the masses (and maybe get 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 early history as a Mayan trading port and give the urban layout a distinctively mythic look and feel (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 even closer than Chichen Itza). Coco Bongo It would certainly be a pity to leave Cancun without a peek of the most wild, lavish club the party city has to feature. Coco Bongo is a temple of excess to ludicrous proportions– a massive 1,800-person club with nightly trapeze acts, rock-star imitators, a rainbow blitz of wandering spotlights, and thousands of partiers moving to DJ-spun hits on any platform these people are able to climb onto. Isla Mujeres This little isle off the coast of Cancun is certainly a quiet escape from the madness of the mainland. The palm-shaded beaches are superb for laying out in the sun shortly after an intimate lunch 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 produces an unique experience for visitors trying to find adventure in the form of sunken cenotes– subterranean rivers and lakes that one can access via rappelling into caves. Underwater Museum of Art Sure, Cancun and the Riviera Maya hold a lot of offshore dive sites. However assuming that your tank skills are up to par, one 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 exhibited at the bottom of the ocean. New to scuba? Not a problem. Scuba Cancun can set you up with a newbie’s scuba diving lesson then a museum dive for $80.
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Photo credit: Nick Kenrick. via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA