While Cancun is a fascinating city, its surroundings are wonderful as well. No matter how much you love the resort you’re staying in, or the downtown salsa clubs, or sophisticated restaurants, if you’re spending a few days or weeks in the city, you should definitely explore a bit. Here’s a list of 8 destinations for day trip from Cancun.
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Chichen Itza is the kind of gem you simply can’t miss. It was a large, lively pre-Columbian city, now it’s one of the most popular and best-preserved archaeological sites in Mexico. Chichen Itza used to be a major military, religious and political center for Mayans. The variety of architectonic styles is astonishing and suggests that the city’s population was most likely very diverse. It’s a unique, mythical place and, even though centuries have passed since the times of its greatest glory, Chichen Itza remains spectacular. You need approximately 2-3 hours to get there from Cancun, but sceneries along the way are beautiful. The best way to explore the site is booking a tour with a professional guide. Surprisingly, it can also be cheaper than getting there on your own.
It’s all about: history, archaeology and mysterious atmosphere
Once seen, Tulum stays in the memory forever. Scenically located on 12-meter tall cliffs, the ruins are what remained of a Mayan walled city. The site looks over the Turquoise water of Caribbean Sea and gorgeous stretches of golden sand. It’s one of the best day trips from Cancun not only because the ruins, but beaches as well. After taking a history lesson, you can relax, sunbath and dive in the crystal-clear water. The Tulum’s beach is by many considered to be the most picturesque in the whole Mexico.
It’s all about: sceneries, Mayan treasures, beaches
Cozumel is the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean and it’s reachable by ferry from Playa del Carmen. It’s a quiet, lovely place, especially if you step out of the main touristy areas. The town’s charming with a nice square and outside of it you’ll find some amazing natural wonders. Most of all, Isla Cozumel is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. The surrounding waters form a marine park with the second-largest coral reef in the world. With great visibility and an incredible variety of species, the park offers fabulous scuba diving and snorkeling possibilities.
It’s all about: relaxing, water sports, escaping the world
Out of all the destinations for day trips from Cancun, Xel-Ha is the most fun. It’s a wonderful natural water theme park consisting of freshwater lagoons, salt water streams, lakes, cenotes and caves. You can swim through underwater rivers, play with dolphins, jump of a cliff, relax in a hammock and watch bats in their caves or butterflies in pavilions. It’s a great place for children and snorkeling beginners. Actually, it’s a great place for anyone who likes water. Besides, Xel-Ha is absolutely beautiful and no artificial water park can compare with it.
It’s all about: fun in the water, activities for children, beautiful nature
Akumal is a small fishing village where snorkelers and foodies can feel extremely happy. Snorkelers, because the waters are clear, easily accessible offshore and inhabited by adorable sea turtles. Foodies, because there are many excellent restaurants situated along the beach. After hours of snorkeling and admiring the marine life, you can go for a dinner and have a taste of delicious seafood. Because of the lagoon, swimming is delightful too.
It’s all about: eating, snorkeling, enchanting atmosphere
Playa del Carmen
Fancy a bit of shopping? Playa del Carmen is the best of day trips from Cancun if you want to buy something pretty. There are also many good restaurants in the city and the night-life is vibrant. Playa del Carmen is a touristy town, lots of Europeans visit it, some of them even stay to open their businesses (especially Italians). Combining the Mexican beauty with European chic, Playa del Carmen is a trendy and modern city. Nevertheless, nature-lovers can also find it interesting. Beaches are charming and marine life abundant, so you can dive, snorkel, sunbath or swim.
It’s all about: shopping, partying, dining and looking glamorous on the beach
Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
In Mayan language the reserve’s name means “Origin of the Sky”. The land is just as beautiful as its name: mangroves, marshes, tropical forests, abundant fauna and flora and, under the water, a wonderful barrier reef. Sian Ka’an is a home for over 300 species of birds. You can make a tour to watch those beautiful flying & singing creatures, take a boat ride or go snorkeling. In the heart of the reserve there’s Punta Allen, a lovely fishing village with friendly vibe and good restaurants. Sian Ka’an is the best place to taste seafood, admire nature and relax in a pleasant atmosphere.
It’s all about: seafood, bird-watching, fauna and flora
Bacalar Lagoon offers the kind of views we usually see in dreams, not reality. Known also as “The Lake of the Seven Colors “, Lago Bacalar is a magical lagoon composed of various shades of blue. It’s about 50 miles long and sceneries are breathtaking all along. The area is delightfully mellow, perfect as a small getaway.
It’s all about: spectacular vistas, secluded areas
Do you know some more worth-visiting places nearby Cancun? Let us know! And share this article with your friends who’re planning to visit Mexico.