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Things to do in Cancún

Looking for things to do in Cancún? Mexico’s most popular resort town is a tourist wonderland, with everything from world-class shopping, great white-sand beaches, and sizzling nightclubs to easy access to Mayan ruins, authentic craft markets, and unspoiled nature. This party town may be spring break central, but it also makes for an easy sun-filled getaway for couples and families traveling from the United States.

Beyond the Hotel Zone’s dizzying number of amenities (massive pools, beach service, organized watersports, seaside spas), there are many activities and attractions worth venturing beyond your chaise lounge for, like Chichén Itzá, one of Mexico’s most famous Mayan ruins. Those searching for what to do in Cancún won’t want to miss the turtles off nearby Isla Mujeres; Xel-Ha, a nature theme park where you can swim with dolphins; diving in local cenotes; snorkeling in Cozumel; and shopping for authentic Mexican crafts—silver, ceramics, clothing, candies—downtown. Or, stay closer to your hotel and hit the city’s hot nightlife scene, where margaritas flow freely and the music is thumping. Whether you venture further afield on a day trip to beautiful, low-key Tulum or just want to laze on your towel at the resort, there are plenty of things to do in Cancún, and nearby.

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  • CocoBongo

    Equal parts disco, Vegas revue, and Cirque du Soleil, this coliseum-size dance club holds 3,000 revelers in vertiginous multilevel seating with an ... More
  • Dolphin Discovery

    With its passionate guides and open-ocean enclosures, Dolphin Discovery is the best of several companies in Mexico offering swims with dolphins. Un... More
  • Kensington Tours

    A vast range of personalized itineraries, including working on archaeological digs in Israel and trekking to see gorillas in Rwanda, while staying ... More
  • La Isla Shopping Village

    Tucked into faux townhouses overlooking Venetian-style canals and bridges, the 150 retailers at this gleaming new complex range from high-end chain... More
  • Ritz-Carlton Culinary Center

    Tall, blond southern boy Rory Dunaway might not seem the obvious choice to unravel the secrets of Mexican gastronomy, but the new recreational kitc... More
  • Thai Lounge

    Try to nab a couch in front of the aquarium wall—a dramatic backdrop to lantern-lit cabanas and dining palapas rising from a lagoon on stilts. The ... More

Explore things to do in Cancún + The Riviera Maya for more options.


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