DestinationsSouth AmericaMexicoDiscover the Top 20 Must-See Cancún Attractions for Your Dream Vacation
Discover the Top 20 Must-See Cancún Attractions for Your Dream Vacation

Discover the Top 20 Must-See Cancún Attractions for Your Dream Vacation

Cancún, the stunning Mexican city located on the Yucatan Peninsula, is famous for its breathtaking white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and rich cultural heritage. This tropical paradise offers a plethora of attractions that cater to every type of traveler. From historic landmarks and archaeological sites to thrilling adventure parks and luxurious resorts, Cancún has it all. In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 20 Cancún attractions that will help you make the most of your trip to this mesmerizing destination. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the best of Cancún!

20 Best Cancún Attractions

Let’s discover the top 20 Attractions in Cancún, Mexico. From the white sand beaches and ancient Mayan ruins to thrilling parks and lively nightclubs, Cancún offers something for everyone.

The Beaches

Beaches are undoubtedly one of the main reasons why visitors flock to Cancún. With over 14 miles of pristine coastline, Cancún boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. From lively beaches with a party atmosphere to secluded coves with tranquil waters, Cancún’s beaches offer something for everyone. Let’s take a closer look at two of the best beaches in Cancún: Playa Delfines and Isla Mujeres.

Playa Delfines

playa delfines beach cancun
The beautiful white sand Playa Delfines beach in Cancún, Mexico.

A must-visit for anyone looking to soak up the sun and enjoy the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. This public beach boasts soft, white sand and a scenic view of the ocean, making it a popular spot for sunbathing and surfing. Visitors can also rent umbrellas and chairs or bring their own for a more comfortable beach day.

Isla Mujeres

zama beach club isla mujeres
Zama Beach Club on Isla Mujeres.

A small island off the coast of Cancún accessible by ferry. The island is home to several stunning beaches, including Playa Norte, which boasts calm, turquoise waters and soft, white sand. Visitors can rent snorkeling gear or take a catamaran tour to explore the colorful marine life around the island. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day in the sun or an adventure in the water, Isla Mujeres is a top attraction in Cancún.

Ancient Mayan Sites

Cancún is located in the heart of the Mayan world, and there are several ancient Mayan sites that are worth visiting. Here are three of the most popular ones:

Chichen Itza

chichen itza mayan ruins
One of the most visited Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins near Cancún.

Chichen Itza is one of the most famous and best-preserved Mayan archaeological sites in Mexico. It is home to several impressive structures, including the Temple of Kukulcan, which is also known as El Castillo. This pyramid-shaped temple is the main attraction and is a true masterpiece of ancient engineering.


mayan ruins tulum
The Mayan ruins in Tulum.

Tulum is another ancient Mayan site that is located on the coast, overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It is home to several well-preserved buildings, including the Castle and the Temple of the Frescoes. Tulum is also a great place to enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the region.

El Rey Ruins

el rey ruins in cancun
El Rey Ruins in Cancún, Mexico.

Located within the Hotel Zone of Cancún, the El Rey Ruins (Zona Arqueologica El Rey) is a small but interesting site that is worth a visit. It is home to the ruins of several Mayan buildings, including a palace, a marketplace, and a temple. The site is also home to a large population of friendly iguanas that roam freely around the ruins.

Parks and Nature

Cancún offers plenty of opportunities to experience the natural beauty of Mexico. From underground rivers to lush greenery, these parks and nature sites are a must-visit:

Xoximilco Cancun by Xcaret

This park offers a unique and festive experience, recreating the traditional floating gardens of Mexico City. Hop on a colorful boat and enjoy music, food, and drinks as you cruise along the canals.

Xcaret Park

This eco-archaeological park is one of the most popular attractions in Cancún, and for good reason. With underground rivers, wildlife exhibits, cultural shows, and a spectacular night show, Xcaret offers something for everyone.

Cenote Ik Kil

chichen itza and cenote ik kil tour
Chichen Itza and Cenote Ik Kil tour are very popular in Cancún. Image credit to Vicente Villamón Flickr.

Located near Chichen Itza, this natural sinkhole is a breathtaking sight. Surrounded by lush vegetation and filled with crystal-clear water, it’s the perfect spot for a refreshing swim or a relaxing break.

Xplor Park

For those seeking adventure, Xplor Park has it all. You can soar through the treetops on zip lines, navigate underground rivers in a raft, drive amphibious vehicles through the jungle, and swim in ancient caves.

Xel-Ha Park

This natural aquarium park is a paradise for water lovers. Snorkel among tropical fish, tube down a lazy river, go biking through the jungle, or just relax on a beach chair.

Garrafon Natural Reef Park

Located on Isla Mujeres, this park offers stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and the Cancún skyline. You can snorkel in the crystal-clear waters, kayak through the mangroves, zip line over the ocean, or swim with dolphins.


Cancún is also well-known for its vibrant entertainment scene that caters to visitors of all ages. Here are two of the most popular entertainment attractions in Cancún:

Coco Bongo

Coco Bongo is an iconic nightclub that offers a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience. With live performances, music, dancing, and drinks in a festive atmosphere, this club has been named the “best party in town” by many visitors. Coco Bongo is a must-visit attraction for those who want to dance the night away in Cancún.

Ventura Park

Ventura Park is a family-friendly amusement park that features a wide range of attractions, from water slides and roller coasters to go-karts and laser tag. This park is ideal for families who want to have a fun-filled day in Cancún. Ventura Park also has an extensive dining and shopping area that visitors can enjoy.

Museums and Aquariums

Discover the rich marine life and ancient civilizations of Cancún through these top museums and aquariums.

Cancún Underwater Museum

The Cancún Underwater Museum, also known as MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte), is a unique museum that showcases over 500 sculptures submerged in the sea. The museum’s purpose is to protect and preserve the nearby natural coral reef by attracting divers and snorkelers away from it. The sculptures were created by different artists, and they vary in size and style. Visitors can explore the museum by scuba diving or taking a glass-bottom boat tour.

Interactive Aquarium

The Interactive Aquarium in Cancún offers a hands-on experience with marine animals. You can touch and feed different species, such as sharks, dolphins, and stingrays. The aquarium also features exhibits with various fish and sea creatures, as well as educational programs and shows. The facility is family-friendly and perfect for those who want to learn more about the marine life of the Caribbean.

Museo Maya De Cancún

Museo Maya De Cancún
The Museo Maya De Cancún.

The Museo Maya De Cancún is a museum that showcases the history and culture of the ancient Mayan civilization. The museum features a collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the Mayans, from their origins to their decline. Visitors can see a replica of a Mayan tomb, as well as pottery, jade, and gold objects. The museum also has an outdoor archaeological site with a variety of structures, including a reconstructed temple.

Other Cancún Attractions

Places such as El Parque de las Palapas, Cancun Jungle Tour, and Wet’n Wild Cancun are also some of the other attractions that you can enjoy in Cancún.

El Parque de las Palapas

parque de las palapas cancun mexico
El Parque de las Palapas Cancún, Mexico. Source of image: Shinya Suzuki on Flickr.

A charming park located in downtown Cancún, where you can experience the local culture and cuisine. The park has a variety of food stalls that offer traditional Mexican dishes, as well as live music performances and cultural events.

Wet’n Wild Cancun

A water park that offers a range of water activities for all ages, from thrilling water slides to lazy rivers and wave pools. There is also a kids’ area with mini-slides and shallow pools.

Cancun Jungle Tour

A fun and exciting tour that takes you through the mangroves and coral reefs on a speedboat. You can snorkel in the turquoise waters and admire the colorful marine life, and then enjoy a delicious lunch on a beach.

Whether you want to relax on the beach, explore ancient ruins, experience local culture, or have some adrenaline-pumping fun, Cancún has something for everyone.

How to Get Around Cancún and Visit These Attractions

Cancún is a popular tourist destination with a well-developed transportation system that makes it easy to get around and explore its many attractions. Visitors have several options for getting around the city, including public transportation, taxis, and car rentals.

Public Transportation

Public transportation in Cancún is affordable and efficient, with buses and colectivos (shared vans) serving most parts of the city. The buses are generally safe and reliable, but they can get crowded during peak hours. Colectivos are a good option for shorter trips and can be hailed from the side of the road.

Taxi or Ride-sharing Apps

Taxis are another popular mode of transportation in Cancún, and they can be found throughout the city. They are generally safe and regulated by the local government. However, it’s important to make sure the taxi is licensed and has a working meter before getting in.

Otherwise, Uber or Lyft is a good choice in Cancún.

Self-driving Car

For those who prefer to drive themselves, car rentals are widely available in Cancún. However, driving in the city can be challenging, especially for those who are not used to Mexican traffic laws and road conditions.

a red colectivo in mexico
A typical colectivo in Cancún, Mexico. Image source: Ted McGrath on Flickr.

When it comes to visiting the various attractions listed in this article, most can be reached by public transportation or taxi. Some, such as Chichen Itza and Tulum, are located outside the city and require a longer trip. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and check the travel times and directions to avoid any confusion or delays.

Enjoy Your Trip Exploring Cancún Attractions

Cancún offers an abundance of exciting and unique attractions to explore, from its stunning beaches and ancient Mayan sites to its incredible parks, museums, and entertainment venues. With a variety of options for transportation, including public transit, taxis, and car rentals, it’s easy to get around and experience all that this beautiful destination has to offer. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or simply seeking fun and adventure, Cancún has something for everyone. So, pack your bags and prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey to this paradise in the heart of the Caribbean.

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cancun tourist attractions

Khoi Nguyen builds The Broad Life with a desire to inspire people go exploring the world and live a more interesting, experience, and adventurous life. This blog shares the stories, pictures, and experiences at destinations where he has traveled to.


  • Kimberley

    Thanks for sharing these great recommendations. I have been to Mexico before, but not yet cancun. I am planning on meeting an online friend and she lives in Cancun. Can’t wait to go and check out some of these beautiful spots.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Have a great trip in Cancún! You will experience so many things there.

  • luna s

    My biggest thing would be trying to decide where to go first! all of these spots look amazing and each hold a different type of experience. i love the phOtOs you included too.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Thanks for your comment! The Ancient Mayan Sites are surely the destinations that you can think of first.

  • Bryan

    I have been to Cancun twice, but need another visit, as there is so much to see and do. I visited both Chichen Itza and tulum when I was there in the past.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Ya, Chichen Itza and Tulum are two of the must visited places in Cancún.

  • Monidipa

    Wow, this article on the 20 best Cancun attractions is a gem! The stunning visuals and detailed descriptions of each attraction make me want to book a trip right away.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      I’m glad that the article really inspires you to visit Cancún. Have a great trip!

  • wilhelmina

    What a beautiful area! There is such a great mix of modern and ancient here, i am totally in love with this place! We can’t wait to go back and try some thing from your list that we missed.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Please come back here and share with use your experience at Cancún. Many people will love the experiences you share.

  • Angela Ricardo Bethea

    I love how there are tons of places you can visit in Cancun and all of them are equally wonderful. Would love to explore them all, especially Cenote Ik Kil, which looks like a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yeah, cenote Ik Kil is a gem that has been discovered, but it’s still a great place that cannot be miss when visiting Cancún.

  • Dr. Elise Ho

    Cancun is a great vacation destination. There is so much to do and the prices are quite reasonable.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yeah, there are so many interesting things to do in Cancún.

  • Beth

    interactive aquarium will be my number one reason to visit this place. I love marine life and be able to touch animals.

  • Alita

    I love the beach and its breathtaking white sandy beaches are the best reason to go here.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      The white sand beach of Cancún is attractive and people spend the whole day there.

  • Brianna

    I love cancun! I have done a lot of these but haven’t been to a cenote yet, I’m drying to visit one!

    • Khoi Nguyen

      You should bookmark this post for the next time visiting Cancún. I’m sure it will help a lot in planning your trip.

  • Ntensibe Edgar

    wow…..Cancun simply is the biggest attraction itself. There is no place I wouldn’t like in cancun. for a start though, i’d like to visit Isla Mujeres. It looks so pretty from here.

  • Jennifer Prince

    cenote ik kil looks so lovely! although it also looks quite crowded. i think so many folks go to cancun to relax on the beach, but you’ve given lots of reasons to go other places beyond the resort!

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yeah, Cenote Ik Kil is the place that a lot of people want to go to when visiting Cancún.

  • Marysa

    I have been to Mexico many times, and have been to many of these places on your list. Isla Holbox is also a favorite of mine. I love cenotes and mayan ruins, and of course the beautiful beaches.

  • Bedabrata Chakraborty

    This post could not have been TIMEd BETTER.. I am visiting cancun in Mexico in JUNE. the extensive guide will come HANDY.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Enjoy your trip to Cancún! And don’t forget to come back and share with us your experience.

  • Raymond

    Thanks for the interesting content!

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