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The peaceful and virgin nature of this corner of Cancun makes you feel out of this world, where the beach comes to an end and all you see are the crystal waters on each side. Isla Blanca is located at the north end of the city, so drive along Bonampak Avenue and when you get there, look for the spot with the best view – a point where you can watch the sea, the Cancun coastline, Isla Mujeres, Chacmuchuch Lagoon, and the best part: you can see how the sea and the lagoon merge. This paradise is off the beaten path; most tourists visit the popular beaches, as they’re in the hotel zone, and yes, they’re beautiful, but this is stunning. What can you do there? This is the perfect place for snapping stunning shots, camping, and doing water and wind sports (there’s a club near that provides the equipment).
Punta Nizuc is the second biggest coral reef in the world, which houses a wide range of marine life. As the reef is located in the mouth of the Nichupté lagoon, it is surrounded by jungle and mangroves, so the only way to get there is by boat. Take a boat tour in the lagoon and enjoy of a thrilling navigation through the jungle and its wildlife. In the reef you’ll find turtles, lobsters, and more species living inside the corals. Watch the spectacular manatees floating in the crystal waters between more than 200 kinds of seaweed. This place is the best in the island for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Chacmuchuch lagoon is not a popular destination to visit, so only the locals know about it. It’s a fantastic lagoon with exotic fauna, a destination for pink flamingos and 250 species of flora and fauna, which includes a wide variety of wild birds and mangroves. This lagoon is located at the north end of Cancun, before Isla Blanca. Kitesurfing is not advisable as it can affect its nature, but it’s a beautiful place to visit. You can camp, take some photos and video, and fly kites. Remember to respect the animals of the zone, and don’t leave trash behind.
A non-touristic place that most visitors don’t know exists, Faro de Punta Cancun is literally at the peak of the island. Also known as “The Sentinel of Cancun,” it is a meeting point for locals, due to the beauty of the sea and rocks. The lighthouse is a silent witness to the history of the island, and this is idyllic scenery for professional landscapes and wedding photographers, bloggers, and Instagrammers to shoot a good selfie. Take your date here to watch the amazing sunset.
There’s a place under the crystal waters of Cancun that gathers the magic of contemporary art: the underwater art museum MUSA. The museum is a dazzling reef made of 500 statues submerged permanently, along 420 m, the biggest in the Mexican Caribbean. Corals and marine life have found a home in this artistic installation, and the statues were made by important Mexican artists. How to get there? There’s a boat with crystals on the sides that let you appreciate the statues, but if you want to get closer and take some incredible photos, you can do some snorkeling or scuba diving and swim between turtles, fish, the cuerno de alce coral, and of course, the artworks.
If you are a tourist who also likes to know and feel the history of a place, this park is for you. Important for the city, it is also called “The lung of Cancun” and “The hearth of Cancun,” due to the expansiveness of its green areas. Located on Kabak Ave., the flora and fauna of the park has survived urbanization for decades, and it has a museum and a permanent photo gallery showing the first years of the city. Among the animals you can see only in this side of the world, are iguanas, coatis, tlacuaches, and chachalacas. This place is visited by locals who like to go jogging in the morning, do yoga, or spend time with their family, as it also has a playground.
Even though it is sometimes assumed that Chichen Itzá is a part of Cancun, it is not – it’s in Tinum and it takes six hours to drive there from the Island. However, there are important ruins in Cancun, but as they’re not in the Hotel Zone, some tourists who stay downtown never see them. Ruinas El Rey and San Miguelito are in this area, and further to the north is El Meco. But there’s one that is even less popular: the Temple of the Scorpion (Templo del Alacran), sitting between the Westin Laguna Mar Ocean Hotel and the Park Royal Cancun Resort. This temple has a great view overlooking the sea, and although it is small, it was an important spot for Mayans.