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Colorful sign with the word CANCUN spelled out and the ocean behind it

Things To Do In Cancun

Ruins, Adventure Parks, Water Sports, Shopping, Dining, Cultural Shows

Cancun, Riviera Maya, and the Yucatan Peninsula are rich in Mayan and Mexican cultural history, as well as fascinating vacation attractions and fun things to do. Take some day trips to see ancient ruins, visit nearby islands, take snorkeling and diving trips, swim in cenotes, spend the day at adventure parks, take in some spectacular evening cultural shows, swim with sea turtles and whale sharks, shop for local artisan crafts and wares, feast on local cuisine, and so much more.

While staying at the resorts you can enjoy many activities and experiences such as beach volleyball, water polo, yoga and stretching classes, water aerobics, cooking classes, tequila and wine tasting, kids’ activities, crafts, romantic dinners on the beach, learn some Spanish, take a Salsa dancing class, take a hike to a waterfall, kayaking, paddleboarding, tennis & pickleball, and a myriad of other activities to keep you busy while staying at the luxury resorts in Mexico.

a stone snake head with a Mayan pyramid in the background

Ancient Mayan Ruins

There are many Mayan ruins throughout Cancun; here are just a few of the top ruins around Cancun, Playa del Carman, and the Yucatan Peninsula:

  • Chichen Itza – One of the most important cities in pre-Hispanic America, it is one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, according to UNESCO. With 26 ruins to be seen, it is a site not to be missed! Many tour operators offer trips to Chichen Itza.
  • Tulum – Tulum was the only Mayan city built on a coast as a seaport, one of just a few walled cities, and one of the last cities to be inhabited by the Mayan people. Walk through the grounds exploring the many accessible ruins, and then take a stroll on the beach and see the ruins from a completely different vantage point.
  • Coba – The Mayan ruins of Coba are distinct due to the fact that only a few of the approximate 6,500 structures have been unearthed. Unlike other ruins, you can climb the 120 stairs to the top of the main Nohoch Mul pyramid, at a height of 138 feet.
two people flying through the air in a harness high above the jungle

Adventure Parks

There are several adventure and cultural parks throughout Cancun and the state of Quintana Roo. Here are some of the most popular parks in the region:

  • Xcaret – Xcaret Park includes more than 50 natural and cultural attractions including the Caribbean Sea where you can enjoy the beach and ocean, the jungle, float through underground rivers, see spectacular shows and performances, a massive multi-story butterfly pavilion, swim with dolphins, and more.
  • Xel-Ha – This all-inclusive natural water park is on the ocean in the Riviera Maya where you can swim in cenotes, snorkel, ride a bike through the jungle, zip line, slide down waterslides, float down the river on inner tubes, relax in hammocks on the beach, and more.
  • Xavage – An extreme all-inclusive adventure park featuring thrilling activities on water, land, and air. Try your hand on a ropes course, kayak through canals, zip line or take a monster truck through the rocky roads in the jungle, or if you have a need for speed take a jet boat ride that performs 360° turns, raft through the only whitewater rapids in Riviera Maya, and more.
  • Xenotes – The only cenote tour in Cancun where you can experience all 4 types of cenotes and enjoy not only swimming in the cenotes, but assisted rappelling, zip-lines, and kayaking. It also includes food and beverages.
  • Xoximilco – Get your party on and experience the festive side of Mexico! Xoximilco pays tribute to the traditions, culture, and folklore of one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCP. Step on board a colorful Mexican gondola that will take you on a ride through the charming natural scenarios of Xoximilco where you will partake in celebrations, dancing, singing, and more. Dinner and drinks included.
a group of people on underwater motorized power snorkels

Water Activities

With Cancun located on the Yucatan Peninsula and the Caribbean Sea, there is a wealth of water activities to do while staying at Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Cancun. Here are a few of the most popular water sports in the Rivera Maya.

  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba diiving
  • Paddleboarding (SUP)
  • Kayaking
  • Swim in cenotes
  • Sailing
  • Sunset cruises
  • Pirate ships
  • Jet ski
  • Flyboard and jetpack
  • Swim with sea turtles, dolphins, and whale sharks
  • Experience MUSA (Underwater Museum of Art)
an island with buildings on turquoise waters with people kayaking and swimming in the water.

Explore Nearby Islands

There are many islands near Cancun that you can visit for a day trip. All of them can be accessed easily via boat. You can soak up the sun, snorkel and scuba dive, take a walking tour, shop and eat at local Mexican restaurants and markets. Here are some of the nearby islands:

  • Isla Mujeres: Isla Mujeres (the Island of Women) is a relaxed and carefree can island. It is known for its beautiful white sand beaches, calm crystal clear turquoise waters, and Playa Norte is considered to be one of the best beaches in Mexico. The island be seen from Garza Blanca Cancun, and there is a ferry located next to the resort that will take you directly to and from the island.
  • Isla Holbox: This provincial island is remote and one of the more laid-back islands near Cancun and is known for its clear turquoise waters and spectacular beaches. Since no cars are permitted on the island, you can get around by golf cart or beach cruisers. While you’re there, you can laze the day away in hammocks on the beach, swim with whale sharks, try your hand at kite surfing, swim in cenotes, and more.
  • Isla Cozumel: Positioned on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest coral reef system in the world, Cozumel has been widely known for decades as one of the best places in the Caribbean to scuba dive, snorkel, and experience colorful coral and sea life.
A black slate sign with TAKE A TOUR written on it in white chalk with the O as a stopwatch

Cancun Tour Companies

There are a number of ways to book your excursions in Cancun. You can call the attraction directly and book them, then find transportation to each of the attraction, or you can keep it simple and book your activities through experienced tour companies. Here are a few reputable tour companies in Cancun to help you plan your Mexico adventures:

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