Cancun Sightseeing Attractions and Things to Do
The main Cancun attractions are based on Isla Cancun, where long sandy beaches and exhilarating water sports attract the crowds. It is these beaches that are responsible for the existence of Cancun as it is today and they remain one of the primary attractions.
Diving and snorkeling
Many hotels along the island offer beginner diving courses, while more experienced divers can explore the second largest reef in the world just off the coast at Nizuc. Snorkeling just off the beaches, in the Nichupte lagoon or over the reef is another popular way to discover the colourful underwater world of the Caribbean. Cave diving is another favourite Cancun attraction. Atkun Chen is one of the most well known places in the area for this. It is about an hour from the island but the caverns, filled with stalagmites and stalactites, are worth the journey. Divers wanting to explore these must be certified for cave diving.
Other water sports
Along the Nichupte lagoon you'll find numerous outlets where you can rent water skis, snorkeling gear, jet skis, windsurfing boards, water skis and sailboats. Aqua world is a great place to take kids. There is a variety of aquatic activities for the whole family including boat tours of the mangroves and a submarine dive. Another family oriented destination is Parque Nizuc, a water park with slides and a wave pool, at the southern end of the island.
Cancun has become almost as famous for its shopping as it has for its water sports. A number of malls are located at various points along the island with the biggest concentration in Punta Cancun. The biggest of the malls has 300 shops with a movie theatre and a bowling alley among them. Here you can find popular designer brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce e Gabbana and Diesel but prices tend to be a bit more expensive than in the UK. For a more cultural approach to shopping there are some crafts markets near the convention centre on Avenida Tulum in Cancun City.
Deep sea fishing can be organized either at one of the many piers along the beaches or at a travel agency. Prices normally include bait, fishing gear and drinks. Biking can also be arranged at various outlets and is a fantastic way to explore the coves and beaches of Isla Mujeres. Horseback riding is another great way to see the sights of Cancun. Riding through jungle mangroves is a popular choice at the Rancho Loma Bonita. A large number of golf courses, many of which belong to hotels, offer 18-hole greens with palm trees for shade.
For more traditional Cancun attractions there are a number of culturally based shows and activities both on the island and in the city. Bullfighting happens on a Wednesday and is one of downtown Cancun's main attractions. The Ballet Folclorico and the Teatro de Cancun are live shows featuring colourful costumes and dances based on the region's history. One of the more unique of Cancun's attractions is La Destileria. It is a restaurant that doubles as a museum of tequila in honour of Mexico's favourite drink. It serves over 150 brands of tequila and every concoction imaginable from plain margaritas to more unique blends.
You don't have to go far to find a little piece of Mayan history. The Museo de Antropologia e Historia is a museum of Cancun's anthropology and history with some interesting relics from the surrounding area. To get closer to the history of the area, the El Meco and El Rey ruins are both within walking distance of the main tourist zone on the island.
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