We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Cancun, Beyond the Beach

93%
Found this guide helpful

Cancun, the very name conjures images of white sand and crashing azur blue waves, the smell of sweet coconut and sun tan lotion..but what lies beyond the walls of the resort?

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Beach Goer

8 Places

1 City Tip

Print
Map

8 Places

Interactive Aquarium

Aquariums

Mercado 28

Flea & Street Markets

El Rey Ruins (Zona Arqueologica El Rey)

Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites

Can Cook in Cancun

Cooking Classes

Chichen Itza

Destinations

Zona Arqueologica de Coba

Ancient Ruins

Xcaret Park

Theme Parks, Water Parks

Xel-Ha

Water Parks, Scuba & Snorkeling, Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks

BinMcKin's City Tips

  • After you have cleared immigration at the Cancun International Airport you will be ready to pick up your bags. The airport employs porters who are standing by to help you with your bags. These guys are efficient and helpful. If you need ground transport these guys know how and who can hook you up. Don't forget to tip! The public transit/bus line in Cancun is very easy to use and a great alternative to expensive taxi rides. Chain restaurants are expensive, opt for the cantina with authentic Mexican food, you will not be disapointed.
  • Interactive Aquarium
    Aquariums
    See more photos
    BinMcKin Says:

    Have you already got in your beach/pool time and need some time off the beach? The Interactive Aquarium is a great way to spend a few hours or a quick walk through. The Aquarium has many interesting species of fish, which not only kept my two young children interested but the adults as well. The sting ray tank will forever be etched in my memory...I have never seen a sting ray so up close! I was soaked afterwards!! They also offer dolphin swims, and experiences. You will have your picture taken with a Sea Lion before your dolphin or shark swim which is available for purchase afterwards. A photographer will also take pictures of you and your group during the swim, which are available for purchase afterwards as well. These are expensive, but the memories are priceless!

    Good for
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • The pictures are available to purchase afterwards and are expensive. You cannot take your own pictures.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #29 of 100 things to do in Cancun
    • Decent Aquarium. 09/12/2018
    • Small but mighty - 06/12/2018
    • Interactive Aquarium
    Address:
    Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 12.5 Zona
    Zona Hotelera, La Isla Shopping Mall
    Cancun 77504
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 998 206 3311
    Price range:
    US$14 - US$14
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Other:
  • Mercado 28
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    BinMcKin Says:

    I love shopping in markets such as Mercado 28. All the vendor stalls packed to the limit with handicrafts, silver, authentic Mexican street food...what more could you need for an adventure? Mercado 28 is far from the fancy malls you will find on Avenida Kukulkan, but here I have found some of my most treasured souvenirs. Year after year I come home with beautiful hand made glasses and pitchers as well as beautiful hand painted pottery.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • take a taxi from your resort and ask the taxi to wait for you while you shop. they will do this as a courtesy and it will not cost you any extra money.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #58 of 100 things to do in Cancun
    • Great place to waste a few hours and get a bargain 12/12/2018
    • This is more a warning for unsuspecting tourist (somewhat like myself) 12/12/2018
    • Mercado 28
    Address:
    Calle Xel Ha
    SM 28, Mz 13
    Cancun 77509
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 998 892 4303
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Other:
  • El Rey Ruins (Zona Arqueologica El Rey)
    Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    BinMcKin Says:

    I have always been fascinated by the Mayan ruins. The ruins are easily accessed off the Kukulcan BLVD. We walked from our resort and it was an enjoyable easy walk. Admission to the ruins is $4.00/person, it is hot, so remember to bring water, wear a hat and bring the camera! You can climb the buildings!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 100 things to do in Cancun
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Histories in stone 11/12/2018
    • Interesting Archeological Site 07/12/2018
    • El Rey Ruins (Zona Arqueologica El Rey)
    Address:
    Blvd Kukulcan Km 17
    Zona Hotelera
    Cancun 77500
    Mexico
    Other:
  • Can Cook in Cancun
    Cooking Classes
    See more photos
    BinMcKin Says:

    This was the most amazing day in Cancun! We were welcomed into Claudia and Lorenzo's home with fresh brewed Mexican coffee, fresh churros and tequilla! We learned about the different cuisines of the regions of Mexico and why they are different. Then we get hands on!! Making salsas, tamales, soup...the flavors! After we cook, we are all seated on a gorgeous patio dining area and treated to an incredible, authentic meal. This is a must do! I will return to this class every opportunity I get!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • book online www.cancookincancun.com you will be able to choose your day and corresponding menu. Lorenzo will also help you to set up transport to their home. We paid $15.00/person round trip door to door. Claudia also has a little store on site and you can purchase ingredients there (the goat milk caramel is to die for!) you also leave with a copy of the recipes from the class and an apron!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 12 Food & Drink in Cancun
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The highlight of our trip 17/11/2018
    • Best Meal of the Trip! 24/10/2018
    • Can Cook in Cancun
    Phone:
    +52 998 914 0162
    Other:
  • Chichen Itza
    Destinations
    See more photos
    BinMcKin Says:

    Chichen Itza, how does one explain this place? You are standing in the same place as the ancient Mayan peoples, it is mystical, intriguing, haunting and beautiful. Yes, a trip here is a full day adventure...but it is worth every minute away from the beach. we booked the day trip through xperience xcaret tours, this can be done at the adventure booking desk at your hotel/resort. We boarded a big bus, served breakfast and we were on our way. The guides are certified, they go to school and study the ancient ruins, peoples and are passionate about their heritage. When he spoke, I had goosebumps!! The entrance to Chichen is bustling! People everywhere! but as you make your way inside the crowds disperse. The walk to the ruins is an easy level walk, the paths are lined with people selling all kinds of hand made goods and trinkets (these vendors tend to have better prices on goods than many other markets). The site is huge, take your time and explore, look closely at the detail in the rock carvings. Listen and ask many questions, your mind will be blown!! Be sure to bring water, sunscreen and it's not a bad idea to bring a rain poncho. The bus tour took us through a small Mayan village and onto Valladolid for lunch.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Family
    Tips
    • long lines for the bathroom, try to go before you get there. Spend the money and get a good guide (one that is certified, they usually have an ID card). If you are going on your own, be there early!! you dont want to have to fight the bus tour crowds. Look for Mayan Honey with roasted cacoa beans, seriously delicious. I would not take small children to Chichen Itza.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    • Chichen Itza
  • Zona Arqueologica de Coba
    Ancient Ruins
    See more photos
    BinMcKin Says:

    Climb the pyramid! We hopped in a taxi and told the driver to take us on an adventure. And we were brought to what appeared to be a little market. Once through the gate we saw lineups of rickshaw bikes at the ready to take tourists to the ruins. You can walk or take the rickshaw ride for $10 US dollars. We opted for the ride. Our driver stopped along the way to show us some very interesting sights we would not have seen if we had gone on our own. All of a sudden you are out of the jungle and in a clearing is the Coba Pyramid. A rope is hung in the middle of the staircase to assist people walking up and down the steep, tiny steps. At the top is a view of the jungle. The view of the gods!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Thrifty Traveller
    Tips
    • wear good shoes! flip flops are going to cause problems on the tiny, steep steps. Not for really young kids, not a lot of safety precautions are taken and could be dangerous for small children at the top.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Coba
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Coba visit with "The Wolf pack" 13/12/2018
    • Coba Sunset tour. Best tour yet 13/12/2018
    • Zona Arqueologica de Coba
    Price range:
    US$59 - US$59
    Other:
  • Xcaret Park
    Theme Parks, Water Parks
    See more photos
    BinMcKin Says:

    Fun for the entire family!! A zoo, an adventure park, dolphin swim, restaurants, evening shows to rival Las Vegas, concerts, living history museum...Xcaret (esh kar eh) has everything!!! You can book a tour, which would include round trip transport, lunch and entrance fee from your hotel/resort. But we just hop in a taxi and pay the entrance fee at the gate. There are many many things to do in the park so plan to spend the entire day here. Snorkel, swim with dolphins, float on a lazy river, take a raft ride, explore a silver mine, explore recreations of ancient ruins, eat, drink, spend a few hours in a hammock then catch a re-anactment of an ancient Mesoamerican Ball Game. You will not be sorry for leaving the beach to spend the day at Xcaret!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 63 things to do in Playa del Carmen
    • Great Park 13/12/2018
    • Experience of a Lifetime! 13/12/2018
    • Xcaret Park
    Address:
    Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km. 282
    Playa del Carmen 77710
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 998 883 3143
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
    Other:
  • Xel-Ha
    Water Parks, Scuba & Snorkeling, Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks
    See more photos
    BinMcKin Says:

    Xel-Ha is another great day trip from Cancun. You will want to take a full day to really enjoy all the park has to offer. Swim with dolphins and manatees. Snorkel with huge fish, string rays, parrot fish and other colorful tropical fish. Show everyone how big your brave is and jump of a 30 FT cliff into the beautiful blue water of the lazy river! or just grab a tube and watch the people jump! Try snuba and walk on the sea floor. Swim in a cenote...which is a magical, other worldly experience. Xel-ha is full of memories to be made!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • you can book your day at Xel-ha through the hotel/resort, they often offer combo tickets for half day here and half day at Xcaret. Or you can just take a taxi and pay your entrance fee.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 13 Water & Amusement Parks in Riviera Maya
    • Lovely experience, but can be expensive! 13/12/2018
    • Fun 13/12/2018
    • Xel-Ha
    Address:
    Km 240 Carretera Chetumal Puerto Juarez
    locales 1 & 2, modulo B, Solidaridad
    77780
    Mexico
    Phone:
    1-855-326-2696
    Other:
top
Get a Cancun guide that is built Just for You
Get started >
×
Was this guide helpful?
YesNo