Cancun is surrounded by some of the most fascinating places to visit in the world, from the breath-taking seaside ruins of Tulum to the temples of Coba still unclaimed from the jungle, and the underwater museum near Isla de Mujeres – there’s something for everyone in the fascinating and beautiful Riviera Maya.
1. Explore the Mayan Ruins of Tulum
Sat on the clifftops above the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, Tulum is one of Mexico’s most impressive sites. The ruins here are beautifully preserved and the views second to none. Explore the ancient walls, take a guided tour, check out the craft market or relax on the stunning beach – there’s enough here to spend a day absorbing this fascinating piece of history.
2. Visit the Underwater Museum at Isla de Mujeres
Located just off the coast of Isla Mujeres, the Museo Subacuático de Arte is one of the largest underwater art displays in the world. Consisting of over 500 life-size sculptures and brimming with marine life, the museum aims to sustain the natural life in Mexico’s waters and give tourists a fascinating activity which also helps the environment.
3. Climb the Coba Temples
These ancient Mayan ruins are so deep in the jungle they were only made accessible in the 1970s – they remain one of Mexico’s hidden gems. The site is around a 2.5 hour drive from Cancun but well worth the journey for its magnificent architecture and dense jungle life. If you’re feeling fit, attempt a climb to the top of Coba’s giant pyramid for spectacular views across the lush tropics of the Yucatan Peninsula.
4. Turtle Watch in Akumal
The tiny town of Akumal is home to some pretty large locals – the giant sea turtle. If you’re holidaying in May or October this is when the baby sea turtles make the journey from their eggs to the sea.
5. Tour Chichen Itza
Already a World Heritage Site, Chichen Itza was recently named one of the Seven Wonders of the World. These magnificent Mayan ruins consist of several vast pyramids covered in symbols and ornate art. The most famous of these is Temple of Kukulcan which is built so that at sunset on the spring and autumn equinoxes, a shadow of a great snake climbs down the side of the pyramid in a remarkable ancient display.
6. Swim in Cancun’s Cenotes
Cenotes are Mexico’s famous underwater caves and the best ones can be found at Kantun-Chi, an ecological park set in the heart of the Riviera Maya. Take a boat tour of these stunning natural formations or jump straight in with some snorkelling to see the caves from beneath the water.