Visiting Cancún? Want to do more than sunbathe? Get outdoors and explore the Mexican paradise with eco activities around Cancún, natural aquariums in the Caribbean Sea and more.
Zip-lining though the Mexican jungle, diving in cenotes and snorkeling the Caribbean Sea is tiring work – you’ll need somewhere to rest after all that outdoor adventuring. So to help you out, we’ve hand-picked a selection of the best hotels and resorts near the destinations. Book on our website now and make the most of the Culture Trip Feel Good Booking Guarantee.
You won’t have more fun anywhere else near Cancún than Xplor eco adventure park. Zip-line through the trees across 14 routes with the Caribbean Sea glimmering in the background. Grab the wheel and drive through the jungle on amphibious vehicles, with caverns, narrow roads and hanging bridges along the way. Raft or swim through prehistoric rivers in the underground caverns. And look out for the only five-in-one waterslide in the world.
There are a handful of must-visit Mayan ruins near Cancún, but none are quite as naturally spectacular as the Tulum ruins, which sit on a cliff above a picture-perfect white sandy beach. The archaeological site was once an ancient city that was a seaport for trading jade and turquoise. Inquisitive travelers will love the theories and myths that surround the structures.
The whole family will love a day at the nature theme park Xcaret. Swim in underground rivers and get up close to the creatures of the Aviary, the Coral Reef Aquarium and the Butterfly Pavilion. From swimming with dolphins to floating down a lazy river, visiting a traditional cemetery to snorkeling the inlet, Xcaret will entertain you for days. There’s also a section for younger ones called Mundo de los Niños, and you won’t want to miss the live performances – the night show, a celebration of Mexican and Mayan history, is our favorite.
Ready to see the largest natural aquarium in the world? That’s what you’re in for at Xel-ha near Tulum, an eco-park where you can swim in grottos and cenotes (natural sinkholes), explore Mayan ruins, jump off the Cliff of Courage, cross the floating bridge, ride bikes or fly kites. There are plenty of other activities and exhibits to keep you occupied, or you could spend your time relaxing in the sun or napping in a seaside hammock. Xel-Ha also features a delicious buffet restaurant and a children’s area.
See the Yucatán Peninsula with a sustainable tour from Aventuras Mayas. Explore ancient Mayan archaeological sites and enjoy zip-lining excursions, cenote rappelling, and snorkeling along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the largest reef in the Western Hemisphere. Make the most of the Cenote Chukum tour, which explores a 130ft (40m) cenote named Chukum-Ha after the surrounding chukum trees indigenous to the area.