Cancun is surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches and in the Caribbean and Isla’s, Spanish word for Islands, all of which can be see by taking a day trip from Cancun. Even tho most hotels offer everything you need for your vacation but make sure you take advantage of where you are, how often do you get to visit paradise?
One of the main tourist destinations that is within 8 miles of Cancun is Isla Mujeres, by boat or ferry is around a 20 minute trip. The islands history dates back to 564 -1516 AD, during that time the island was not inhabited but was a sanctuary to Lxchel, goddess of weaving, happiness, the moon, abundance, love and fertility among others.
Today the Isle is a thriving tourist destination popular for both day trips, stop over for yachts and short stays, it is the perfect place to escape and unwind. One experience here not to miss is visiting Garrafon Park, here you find yourself immersed into the magical world of dolphins, you can swim with these amazing creatures as well as sting rays, sea lions, manatees and sharks. If swimming with dolphins isn’t enough try riding the zip-line in Garrafon Park, fly across the Caribbean waters or for something more laid back take a bike ride around the Eco-park, kayak or hire a golf buggy and do a self guided tour. If you are planning to travel to Cancun between June 1 and September 15 you will be here for the Whale Shark season make sure to organize a tour where you get the opportunity to swim with the magical creatures.
Isla Contoy is a small island that has been declared a national park in 1998 by the Mexican Government, the island is located approximately 30 kilometers north of Isla Mujeres, The island is only 8.5 km in length and has an area of 3.17 square kilometers. The island is under strict Eco-tourism guides and only 200 people daily are allowed to visit, permits can be arranged in Cancun or on Isla Mujeres.
The untouched island is home to the loggerhead turtle, Green turtle, Hawks-bill turtle, and the leather back turtle. The reserve is also a sanctuary to approximately 152 tropical marine birds, like the frigate bird, brown pelican, and the double-crested cormorant. Surrounding Isla Contoy is the Ixlache Reef where you will find countless numbers vibrant marine life waiting for you to explore and discover.
Isla Holbox is the perfect location for anyone wanting to get away and experience total bliss, with it’s white sandy Caribbean beaches, exotic wildlife and marine wonderland. Here you will not find masses of resorts or crowds, expect to see colorful Caribbean buildings and a secluded hideaway where you can hire a golf buggy to cruise the island at your own pace.
The island itself is about 30 km long and from 500 m to 2 km wide and surrounded by endless beaches, tours to Holbox leave pretty early as it takes around 3 hours to get there and a ferry crossing but the trip is worth it. Holbox is home to more than 150 species of birds, including pelicans, flamingos, roseate spoonbills, herons and ibis. During the summer months an uncountable amount of the majestic whale sharks seek shelter close by to Holbox as they continue on with their migration.
The holy city of Chichen Itza is a 3 hours drive from Cancun, learn about the historical significance of the importance of the temples. Admire magnificent monuments, vestiges & witness the Majesty of Chichén Itza, ancient city considered as sacred by the ancient Mayas such as the Observatory, the Nunnery, where the famous Temple of Kukulcan is located (El Castillo or the Pyramid) the remarkable Ball Game Court, the Temple of the Jaguars, the Temple of the Warriors and its adjacent Temple of the 1,000 columns. Here you will also have the opportunity to purchase some amazing local made crafts, clothing and be sure to try the massage rocks. Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico; an estimated 1.2 million tourists visit the ruins every year.
Cenote Ik Kil
A short drive from Chichen Itza you will find one of the most beautiful open air cenotes, Ik Kil, which is 26 meters below ground and 60 metres in diameter and around 40 meters Cenote Ik Kil. Ik Kil is a well known cenote outside Pisté in the Municipality of Tinúm, Yucatán, Mexico, It is located in the northern center of the Yucatán Peninsula and is part of the Ik Kil Archeological Park near Chichen Itza. It is open to the public for swimming and is often included in bus tours. The vines which reach from the opening all the way down to the water along with small waterfalls created from the natural rocky outline, the water is fresh and is perfect after spending the morning exploring Chichen Itza.
We have put together a list of the most wanted tours and activities for Cancun to help you plan your dream vacation and to mark all the best spots.