Unforgettable street food and ancient Mayan sites dot this adventure-first city.
Known equally well for its all-night parties as its bioluminescent lagoons, Cancún, Mexico, in the heart of Quintana Roo offers near-endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, ancient Mayan sites, deep relaxation and fine indulgence. Cancún is divided into three main zones: the cultural center of downtown, the buzzy hotel zone along the length of Isla Cancún, and the sandy beaches of Puerto Juarez to the north, where you can stretch out under the sun or hop on a ferry to Isla Mujeres.
- Punta Cancún
- Punta Nizuc
- Colonia Centro
- Puerto Juarez
All-inclusive resorts line pristine beaches in the Kukulcan neighborhood, but don’t overlook the shopping scene. From luxury brands to Mayan stained glass, there are plenty of shops to pop into to escape the sun. This buzzy area gets its moniker from a very important Mayan deity: a feathered serpent whose name fuses the words kukul (bird) and can (snake).
Seafood, Fishing, Beaches
While the dining and nightlife scene will attract visitors, the waters offshore are prime spots for snorkeling and scuba diving. Tread some water by day and club hop by night — each venue is connected by short stretches of sand and sidewalk, making it easy to make a night of it.
Fine Dining, Nightlife
There are two big draws to Punta Nizuc: the coral reef — home to a set of underwater sculptures that are best accessed with some snorkeling or scuba gear — and Playa Delfines, a classic spot for photos and the colorful “CANCUN” sign. Don’t sleep on the many shoreside restaurants for a seafood lunch.
Museums, Art, Snorkeling, Kayaking
Parks and markets line the streets of this historic district, where the queues for popular street food vendors selling esquites and cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork with banana leaves) can be long but always worth the wait. In particular, visit Las Palapas, a family-friendly spot where you can get your fill of many traditional dishes.
Markets, Parks, Dining
Puerto Juarez is a busy transportation hub for those heading out to snorkel or visit Isla Mujeres. If you book a water-based excursion, get to know the many seafood spots for pre- and post-tour fuel-ups before retreating to a nearby beach.
Shopping, Boating, Snorkeling, Dining
Stay in The Center of it All
Immerse yourself in your destination at these centrally located hotels.
Discover Cancún by Land and Sea in Three Days
Explore the City by Foot
Put your feet to the pavement — or the sand — and get to know Cancún with street food carts, street arts, the best tacos in town and some lively salsa dancing to bring the night to an exciting close.
Enjoy Some Beach Time
Spend the day relaxing on your choice of beaches, take a siesta, then stay up late to enjoy the water during an extra-special nighttime snorkeling tour. Witness the sea sparkle in a whole new way: with bioluminescent light.
Learn a Thing or Two
Learn a thing or two from Cancún’s many museums, art galleries, archaeological sites and nature tours. Leave not just rested and relaxed, but also enriched by the city’s vibrant culture and history.
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