When you visit the Mayan Riviera, there are a lot of attractions to please just about anyone. Whether you like to party all night and go up in the afternoon, or spend the day sightseeing and go to bed early, you will find fun here. Here are some examples of things to do, to make your holiday enjoyable and complete.
Aqua Tours Day Cruises
This company offers great day trips to the nearby island of Isla Mujeres, or Island of Women. Just sign up for a cruise on one of their multi million dollar yachts and they take you to the island, drop you off for lunch and sightsee at different places and then get back all in one day. During the trip there is open bar, sometimes competitions or shows. On the island, go snorkeling, watch a sea turtle farm called Tortugranja, or visit Hacienda Mundaca (probably the ruins of a pirate home), for example.
XCaret - a large park built in the Mexican jungle
This park is a dream of nature and history lovers. Here you can see native plants and animals, horse riding on the beach, swimming with dolphins, going to the theater and seeing various historical exhibitions or even going to a big butterfly hall. There is an underground cave to swim through, which is wonderful for those sizzling hot daily temperatures. Bring a sunscreen with you, believe me, thats a good idea. There are also many on-site restaurants, from snack to full meals. It is a beautiful and well-kept park designed to learn about Mexican history and nature.
This is a great archaeological site with a very impressive pyramid (El Castillo) in the once-prominent city controlled by the Mayan and Toltec Indians. Sign up to go on a tour through your hotel or resort, with trusted companies like Apple Tours or others. Not only hiring a guide that comes to you for having lived in Mexico for two years, I was told that freelance travel guides only do things and stuff your money. Get a good guide and see everything from the ballroom, El Castillo, Nunnery and other famous buildings in this great location. Charters often have lunch for you at nearby hotels, a lovely place with friendly staff and entertainment when you eat. If you have a chance to enter the pyramid, do it. Ive been there, and while its claustrophobic inside, the stairs lead up to a Jade Jaguar sculpture and a sloping figure used for ceremonies (Chac Mool.) This is genuine and well-preserved ancient history. You can also view hieroglyphs on some of the buildings.
From Cancun or Playa del Carmen, board a ferry across to the island of Cozumel. There you can go to Chankanaab Park if you like scuba diving, snorkeling and nature walks. Or shop for souvenirs at the many shops in the center. There are also smaller Mayan ruins on the island. Stop and dine at the many atmospheric restaurants, or take a buggy ride.
Playa del Carmen
This former fishing village is now a hot spot for many Europeans and has a different feel than Cancun. Its a bit more relaxed, but definitely not boring, by all means. Go fifth avenue (Quinta Avenida) and shop or stay for a meal. Spend time on the beautiful white sandy beaches up and down the coast. If you want to snorkel or dive there are many dive shops that would like to take you to the prime coral gardens. There is an aviary in the Playacar section of Playa, where you can see a variety of beautiful native birds in their own habitat. The golf club at Playacar is impressive and top class for anyone who loves golf.
If you are in nightclubs, there are many of them to choose from in the Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera.) Try Senor Frogs, Dad-O, Christine or Carlos N Charlies. These are not your average small potato clubs, but world-class, with exotic candles, drinks and fun for anyone who loves to party. Taxis are plentiful, so do not worry about coming back to the hotel when youre ready to go back early in the morning. Guaranteed, you will not be bored in Cancun.
Shoppers will also love Cancuns hotel zone. Plaza Caracol or Plaza Flamingo are two great places to see, or go to the Mexican market (mercado) and dicker with locals for native Mexican crafts. Change your money at the hotel or at Casas de Cambio but not on the market. Some cards changed me there when I switched my money, I hope I would not notice, so its better to do it somewhere else. Expect to pay less than the selected prices, suppliers expect you to obscure with them.
Enjoy your trip and pick up maps when you, to see whats happening, are not advertised in the travel brochures. Explore central Cancun, right outside the hotels sun. Be aware of safety and be careful to suggest waiting staff.