WHAT TO SEE, WHERE TO GO, AND WHAT TO DO IN CANCUN.
Cancún, situated on the east cost of the Yucatan Peninsula, is divided into two zones THE ZONA HOTELERA (Hotel Zone)located on Cancun island and EL CENTRO (Downtown), on the mainland. There are many ways to get around Cancun: rental cars, moped, bicycles, taxis and buses abound. Bus stops are conveniently sprinkled
throughout both the Hotel Zone and Downtown and the cost is very low and they run every couple of minutes until midnight. Cancun´s greatest asset is, of course, its natural marine playground sparkling under the warm sun, with breezes keeping the temperature at a comfortable average of 25ºC (77ºF) There are many places in the world where you can take a seabath, but there is no place like cancun, there are no sand as white, fine and sparkling as cancun´s sand,there are no sea as colorfull and clear as in cancun and if you don’t believe it come here and sparkle yourself with cancun stars.
XEL-HA is the perfect spot for snorkeling and relax. This natural aquarium is famous for its thousands of brightly colored tropical fish and the dramatic limestone formations. Visit the largest natural aquarium in Mexico and make your day the best!
TRES RIOS is a ecological park in an area of low subtropical jungle and mangrove on the Riviera Maya, where you are invited to participate actively to enjoy contact with unspoiled nature.
Xcaret Nature´s sacred paradise, ecoarchaeological park, underground river, dolphin shows, horses, zoo with tropical birds, beach and snorkeling in its famous crystal caves and underground river. Named after the ancient Maya word for "little inlet", Xcaret was once an important port and a revered ceremonial center.
XPU-HA is a large beautiful bay with a calm ocean and with superb underwater visibility. The seven separate entrances which lead to this small community of hotels, restaurants and dive shops are all dirt roads.Towards the north is the Cenote Manatee, one of the largest in the region, and Xpu-Ha lagoon where, it is said, the endangered species of manatees can still be found. There are also two cenotes on the opposite side of the night way.
Bat cave cenote The Bat Cave is a snorkeller´s paradise, cenote dos ojos Because of the abundant natural light, the colors in Dos Ojos are spectacular, tak bi ha cenote The waters surrounding the underground island of Tak Bi Ha provide a magical snorkelling experience.
ISLA MUJERES At the height of Mayan civilization, Isla Mujeres was considered a sacred place where the ancients worshiped “Ixchel” mother of all gods, deity of the moon and symbol of fertility. Isla Mujeres means “Island of Women”, a name inspired by the large number of statues of women discovered there in 1517 by the Spanish conquistador, Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba. Nowadays Isla Mujeres is known around the world for its spectacular scenery and richness of the easily explored coral reefs around it. Near Garrafón, the island’s southern tip rises out of the Caribbean forming the highest natural point above sea level in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Garrafon, Punta Sur is also home to Garrafón Park, Isla Mujeres’ nature reserve. From its magnificent heights visitors can enjoy sweeping views of the Caribbean with Cancun in the distance. Garrafón is famous throughout the region for its teeming coral reefs and crystal clear waters. Easily accessible and filled with life they attract professional divers and novices alike who come here to experience breathtakingly beautiful underwater scenery.
HOLBOX, There is no better place to get away from it all than on Isla Holbox. This small island (25 km/16 mi long) rests at the tip of Quintana Roo, just north of Cancun and offers a kind of romance and tranquility that is rare these days. The small village has no paved roads and the gregarious residents get around on electric golf carts. On the gulf side of the island are long stretches of sand, where the birds gather to bask in the sun. It’s a beachcomber’s paradise – the sands are strewn with hundreds of seashells. Afternoon breezes from the Gulf of Mexico ensure that the island remains cool. Hotels are charming but few fall into the luxury category as compared to Cancun. But with that breeze, glorious sunrises and sunsets, serenity and calm, fresh seafood and cold beer, swinging in a hammock under a palapa roof may be all that you need. To get there from Cancun, take Highway 180 (almost to Chemax), after the checkpoint station, turn north to Kantunilkin road. Follow this road north to the village of Chiquilá where the road ends. Here you can catch a ferry or a water taxi to Isla Holbox. Times vary but there are usually five crossings per day.
PLAYA DEL CARMEN
Originally named Xaman-Ha (waters of the north) Playa del Carmen is a living vibrant part of the Maya World (Mundo Maya). Located on the beautiful Mexicana Caribbean coast some 40 miles (60 kms.) south of Cancun, Playa del Carmen is blessed with miles of unspoiled white sandy beaches and crystal-clear Caribbean waters that´ s proving harder and harder to find. It´s a place for those in search of the real Caribbean. Experience Playa del Carmen and the endless adventures Mundo Maya has to offer.
THE KING This small site rests within the Cancun Hotel Zone. It was first sighted in the 16th century, rediscovered in 1842, and finally excavated in 1954. Ruinas del Rey (Ruins of the King) dates back to 200 BC and is thought to have been an astronomy lookout. Skeletons found on site also suggest it may have been a royal burial ground. While Del Rey is not as impressive as some of the other larger sites it is still worth a visit to see it unusual architecture. It has two main plazas flanked by two main streets (most ruins have only one) and a small pyramid topped with a vault. Inside are fresco paintings in fairly good condition. Today, its only residents are the large iguanas who like to bask on the walls and stones in the mid-afternoon heat. They add to the general tranquility amidst the modern bustle surrounding Del Rey. If you don’t have time to visit some of the larger sites, El Rey in an excellent introduction offering the flavor of ancient Maya cities. Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM. Admission: $3, free on Sundays. Located on Blvd. Kukulcán, Km. 17.
COBA Translates from the Maya as "water stirred by the wind." Surrounded by five lakes, this great city covered 70 square kilometers and grew into a powerful economic center controlling most of the region. Cobá is famous for its massive temple-pyramids – Nohoch Mul at 138 feet is the tallest pyramid in the area. Archaeologists estimate there are 6,500 structures in Cobá but only 5% have been uncovered. It will take decades to uncover the complete city. In the meantime, there are some impressive groupings to explore separated by several miles of dense jungle. It´s easy to get lost here, so stay on the main road and don´t be tempted by the narrow paths that lead off into the jungle unless you have a qualified guide with you. Don’t swim in any of the lakes unless you want to be a crocodile’s lunch.
TULUM is the only Mayan city built on the beach. Exploring these ruins you will enjoy unforgettable views on the white beach and turquoise-blue Caribbean Sea.. Tulum is the most important archeological site on Mexico´s Caribbean coast. Tulum is protected on one side by ocean cliffs, and on the others by a stone wall. It was founded around 1200 as a commercial trading port, and reached its height of importance in the 1400s. Tulum is smaller and can be discovered by a short trip of two hours.
One of the best things of being in Cancún on vacations is to have the perfect excuse to eat out morning, noon and night. There are restaurants for every taste and pocket, so if you want to eat and stretch your budget you can go to some nice taco restaurants in downtown, or try some traditional food llike empanadas or tortas, or some Italian food and pizzas, you can also try the food courts at the malls. To mention some we can name TAQITOS LA PARRILLA, EL POBLANO, PIZZA HUT, BURGER KING, LAS PALAPAS, ETC. But, if you want to have a fancy and great dinner you can go to the hotel zone and choose from the large variety of international and Mexican fine restaurants. To mention some we can name CASA ROLANDI, LA DOLCE VITA, LA MADONNA, CAMBALACHE, FRIDAYS, SAVIOS,ETC.
During the day Cancun is pretty laid back. That changes at night when both the Hotel Zone and downtown start rocking with music. It’s all here: salsa, meringue, flamenco, reggae, jazz, classical, disco, rock and roll, hip-hop and techno. Many restaurants do double duty as party centers with “all you can drink” specials and waiters who don’t hesitate to get up on stage and dance in between serving drinks. Discos and dance bars usually have taped music accompanied to high tech laser light shows with the occasional live band thrown in for good measure. The nightclubs, especially the Latin Clubs, all have live music and import some of the hottest bands from Latin America. Barhopping during happy hour (4 PM – 7 PM) is a great way to check out the different hotels and evening cruises have a high-energy, party atmosphere. For a taste of how the locals like to party head to one of the Salsa clubs or check out the clubs in the downtown area. There is usually a free evening concert in the downtown Parque de las Palapas and close by are some excellent jazz clubs featuring local musicians. Just choose your spot and you can dance until the wee hours of the morning.If you’re not into the party scene, there is still plenty to do in the evenings. Many of the finest restaurants are only open in the evening and have live entertainment.You can go for dinner or have a drink in their bar watching the ocean, listening to the music.There are also a number of dinner-theatre places that have Caribbean or Mexican song and dance revues like the Ballet de Folkloricó de Cancun that performs nightly at the Convention Center.