10 Top Things To Do In Cancun

Top Things To do in Cancun | Best Water & Land Activities 

If you are in the Cancun, Mexico area and searching for the best things to do in Cancun you’ve come to the right place. We have created a small resource to help you explore the top activities in Cancun.

Beautiful Cancun beaches are not the only attraction for visitors in the area. We will take you through some of the best activities that you can enjoy within the city and its outskirts.  In comparison on things to do in Playa del Carmen, Cancun been a bigger destination and an older city, it has a larger variety of things to explore.  This will help you narrow down your options especially if you want to discover a bit more than what an all-inclusive resort has to offer.

Of course, the main attraction will always be the pristine turquoise waters of the Mayan Riviera. Cancun is virtually a diver’s paradise, but also a vacation destination for couples, families, and friends. The city attracts tourists predominantly from North America and a few European countries.

To help you create your perfect vacation or holiday in Cancun we’ll divide the activities into two areas; our top 5 ocean, or beach activities, and our top 5 attractions and activities on land. Simple. We hope this guide helps make your Cancun vacation or holiday one to remember, and if you’re undecided about coming here we hope it gives you the extra nudge to do so. Especially in the cold winter season!

Top Things To Do In the Cancun – Water Attractions and Activities 

There are different water attractions in the area, from non-private catamaran tours to Isla Mujeres to Jet skis and Whale Shark tours.  Here are some of the main water attractions that you should consider adventuring in while in the Cancun area.

1. Charter a Yacht or a Catamaran in Cancun 

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When visiting Cancun, one of the main attraction that draws tourist are the pristine beaches and the Caribbean ocean. That is one of the reason most visitors that want to spend some private time with friends and families choose to rent a luxurious yacht or catamaran. And why is this activity soared popularly over the years? Avoiding the bustling crowds and celebrate Cancun’s majestic sunsets, beautiful skylines and seeing the city come to life at night makes for a unique exposure that every vacationer needs to experience.

If you are looking for a more sophisticated, private and relaxed activity a private yacht, boat or catamaran might be the best way to escape touristy Cancun. If this is an activity you would like to do with your family, friends, or significant others check out Playa Yachting’s rental packages.

There you can choose from the wide selection of luxury yachts, classic sailing yachts, and larger catamarans. There are also packages for catamaran non-private tours if you are more on budget. Charter your own sailboat with the best crew and modern equipment for an adventurous day out on the open sea.

Price per person: Rent can be as low as $179/ hour up to $600/ hour depends on the type of boat you want. This also depends if you are renting a private charter or joining a group tour.

Playa Yachting Luxury Yacht Boat Cancun

Type of Activity: Water

Time Spent: 4 – 6 hours

Ideal Group Size: 2 – 50



2. Cancun Fishing, Snorkelling, and Scuba Diving 

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These activities may fall in the tried and tested, no-nonsense water activities that have been giving delight to the majority of vacationers. One of the best things to do in Cancun is deep sea spear-fishing. The thrilling experience will take you to a wondrous world of sea life. If you are looking to fish then you’ll enjoy great tuna or wily snapper, among others on your trip. Just imagine what you feel after a great catch and after you enjoy a fresh fish for dinner!

Cancun offers a unique way to snorkel especially when you visit Xel-ha Eco Park. What makes it different from other snorkeling destinations is the mixture of the dense sea water and fresh water from the rivers. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that there are lots of sea life in the shallow salt water lagoon and they aren’t shy to greet you as you visit their home.

If you or someone in your group is apprehensive about trying Scuba Diving but still want to see fish and turtles up close, you still can! Go on a supervised scuba dive, you’ll be wearing a weight belt and inflated vest to keep you safe and at a particular depth. There are a lot of tours offering this particular activity, check out Scuba Cancun’s website for more info on these type of tours.

top activities in Cancun fishing scuba diving snorkeling

Price per person: The popular Xel-Há Park All-Inclusive 1-Day Pass is priced at $89.99 but there are half a day tour that costs less than $60.00 per person

Type of Activity: Water

Time Spent: 3 – 6 hours

Ideal Group Size: 2 – 20

3. Visit the Cenotes in Cancun 

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Cenotes are caverns in the jungle that have fresh water in them. These underwater rivers are some of the most amazing aquatic marvels in the world. You definitely do not want to miss exploring the Cenotes in Cancun and surrounding cities.

While most of the cenotes are in or near Tulum, several dive operators in Cancun have day trips going there. So you won’t miss out on this majestic wonder. We recommend the cenotes in Taj Maha and Angelita for the more experienced diver. The latter cenote, Angelita has a cloud of hydrogen sulfide floating between the water at about 100 feet. Once you’re past that, the water turns crystal clear and would look like you are diving beneath a sea of clouds. It is truly a more spectacular experience in person than pictures or videos could ever show.

top activities in Cancun cenotes

Price per person: A day tour to a cenote can set you back from $40 to $60 per person.

Type of Activity: Water

Time Spent: 2 – 5 hours

Ideal Group Size: N/A



4. Learn to Surf, Kayak, Paddle Board, Sailboarding or Jet skiing

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This activity is not meant for you to overthink, rather, it’s a mere suggestion of the precursor to the best things to do in Cancun. For example, quite a number of water sports need you to at least master or learn the basics before you can fully enjoy it. These activities are surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, sailboarding, jet skiing and more!

If you want to have the most amount of fun then a few hours of learning is necessary. An added bonus of properly learning one of these water sports is also learning the basic safety precautions to protect yourself from incoming danger and mishaps.

top activities in Cancun learn to surf etc

Price per person: Lessons start at $100 to $140 (1 student, 1 instructor)

Type of Activity: Water

Time Spent: 2 – 4 hours

Ideal Group Size: 2 – 10



5. A Museum Under The Sea

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Yes, you certainly read it right. A museum under the sea is one of Cancun’s most amazing attractions. Located off the western coast of Isla Mujeres, Museo Subacuático de Arte is where English sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor created the magnificent sculptures of women of all shapes and sizes. At the price of your hair getting wet, it’s all worth it once you’ve gazed at the magnificent art structures.

The museum’s main objective was to provide an alternative destination for tourists and dive enthusiasts to eventually save the nearby coral reefs. Now that’s beauty with a purpose!

top activities in Cancun visit Isla Mujeres

Price per person: We recommend a combo tour to Isla Mujeres and Isla Contoy priced at $129 per person

Type of Activity: Water

Time Spent: 2 – 3 hours

Ideal Group Size: N/A

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Best Things To Do In Cancun – Land Attractions and Activities 

Now, there are quite a few tourists that prefer to stay on land during their visit to Cancun, so we have provided these activities so they can choose and wouldn’t feel left out. Here is the ultimate guide for the best things to do in Cancun while getting that coveted tan without getting your hair wet.

1. Chichen Itza Ruins
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Bask in the Glory of A Well Preserved Pyramid at Chichen Itza.

The aura of mystery and majesty still lingers around the Mayan archaeological sites. In fact, the most well known of these ruins is the Chichen Itza ruins. The pyramid literally means, “At the mouth of the well of the Itza” in Mayan.

When you visit you’ll encounter the best-preserved structure that vastly amazes visitors and locals alike. Named as one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, it has drawn quite a number of tourists from around the world each year in particular. No trip to the Yucatan Peninsula would be complete without a visit to Chichen Itza, after all. You will enjoy the massive Temple of Kukulkan where a feathered serpent sculpture lies at the base its stairway.

top activities in cancun visit chichen itza

Price per person: All-inclusive tickets can be as low as $50 per person

Type of Activity: Guided Escort tour

Time Spent: 1-day tour

Ideal Group Size: 6-12

2. Tulum Mayan Ruins 

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The Tulum Ruins notably stand out from the other ruins in the area because of their prime location. They are located right next to a private pristine beach, well known as the only Mayan city built on the coast. A visit to these ruins is a must, especially if you’re unable to visit Chichen Itza.

Visiting the ruins in Tulum is much cheaper than Chichen Itza, about 500 pesos difference. Also, it only takes 2.5 hours to get there from Cancun or about half an hour from Playa del Carmen via public transportation. That is not a lot of time when you compare it to the price or the time it takes to visit Chichen Itza (4-5 hours travel time). Finally, a 5-minute drive from the Tulum Ruins you’ll find downtown Tulum. Furthermore, the town has restaurants, bars, and cafes, which is very convenient for a very weary and dehydrated traveler.

Among all the top cultural activities to do in Cancun

There are other notable ruins to visit that are equally important are Ek Balam and Coba. The latter, for one thing, will allow you the experience to climb up its zenith.

top activities in Cancun visit Tulum Mayan Ruins
Price per person:

Depending on the tour you’ve booked, it can be $104 to $115 per person.

Type of Activity: Guided Tour

Time Spent: 4-12 hours

Ideal Group Size: 4-6 persons

3. Selvatica Excursion Rides and Ziplining 

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If you’re in for some adventure, head to Selvatica to enjoy one of the best excursion rides, height-defying zip-lining, and for some extra thrills. Made especially for the adrenaline rush addicts. You’ll indeed get your money’s worth as you dangle past canopies of trees and try their ten different zip line circuits. The Extreme Canopy Tour at Selvatica starts at a hundred dollars for adults and about half of the cost for children.

Price per person: They have a discount on offer online, $139 instead of $199 in person. This is certainly for an all-inclusive adventure package

top activities in Cancun Selvatica

Type of Activity: Adventure tour

Time Spent: 1 day

Ideal Group Size: 2-10


4. Experience Nightlife in Cancun 

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The party is at Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 9.5, a strip where truly the heart of the nightlife awaits you. Although there are amazing all-Inclusive resorts that offer some great nightlife venues, this gives you more of a chance to meet and socialize with amazing people. Check out the Oasis Cancun, they in fact, bring artists and international DJ’s almost every week. The Hard Rock is famous for its parties, and Coco Bongo the most popular venue for party goers looking to experience a show and disco. Also, Mandala is a very popular club that similar to Coco Bongo you can find it in Playa del Carmen or here in Cancun.


top activities in Cancun nightlifePrice per person: While most bars won’t require tickets at the entrance, the ever-popular Coco Bongo Show and Disco are priced at $70 to $195 per person.

Type of Activity: Bar Hopping and Night Clubbing

Time Spent: 2-5 hours

Ideal Group Size: 4-6 persons

5. Cancun Spa Day – Visit a Temazcal 

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Ah, we’ve almost come to the end of your vacation. Your feet are surely weary. Your muscles and bones are aching from all the exercise you’ve been doing exploring the beauty of Cancun and the surrounding areas. But wait! Your flight is not until the next day. Did you think you’ve experienced everything that Cancun has to offer? Guess what? You still haven’t tried a temazcal, Cancun’s answer to your total relaxation and rest.

A Temazcal is basically an ancient curative ceremony thought to purify the body with aromatic herbs, fire, steam, and hot stones. It’s the perfect treat before you leave Cancun. For more information indeed check out Cancun Temazcal for more details.

top activities in Cancun temazcal
Price per person: Prices starts at $109/person

Type of Activity: Meditation/Spa

Time Spent: 2-3 hours

Ideal Group Size: N/A

By now you have finally made up your mind to get that plane ticket to tour Cancun and experience its majestic aura, but before you do fill up that traveler’s luggage with all sorts of bikinis, camera, and other tech gadgets, we hope you’ll find this article as a useful guide to visit the places and try the activities listed above.

Keep an open mind and an adventurous heart, also don’t forget to apply an eco-friendly sunscreen and don’t forget to drink lots of water on your trip!

One more tip: Souvenir Shopping in Downtown Cancun

top activities in Cancun shopping

Your trip to Cancun would also be incomplete without a day of shopping. Do you want to be able to bring Cancun with you after your vacation for instance? Then, by all means, check out the souvenir shops along Mercado 28. You’ll love its colorful flea-market style, with more handmade items, pieces of art, souvenirs, and pieces of jewelry that would never fit them all in your purse.

Pro-tip though. Haggle, haggle, haggle! Try your luck at bargaining with the shop owners for the prices, who knows, you may even find the best deals!

Let us know if you have any other suggestions for things to do in Cancun or if you have any questions on the activities we’ve featured.



Email us with any of those questions or regarding our boat and yacht tours at info@playayachting.com. Enjoy Cancun!