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Exploring Cancún

Language

Spanish

Currency

Mexican peso (Mex$)

Dialing code

+52-998

Time zone

Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Weather and when to go

Mexico offers more than spring break parties and fancy hotels. There are architectural wonders, lush green forests and stunning beaches all within a short drive of Cancún. The best time to go is from late December to mid-March. It’s busy, but you’ll get the best weather. From mid-March to early April spring breakers crowd the beaches and tours. After that through the fall you’ll find cheaper hotels and flights, but be warned: Cancún’s summers are sticky and hot, and fall brings thunderstorms.

Food and drink

From tacos to burritos, to sizzling fajitas and of course, margaritas, indulgence is on the menu here. For the best local food, head to the market stalls where streetside chefs will cook you up their family recipes for a fraction of the price you’ll pay at the tourist traps. Cancún's Hotel Zone offers beautiful options, but head downtown for some of the city’s best dining experiences. Sick of cheese and deep-fried sides? You’ll find modern Italian cuisine, Asian, French, seafood and more on offer here.

History and mystery

There’s evidence of mysterious Mayans all over Cancún and if it’s culture you’re after, there’s thousands of years of it here! Climb the various structures in the ruins, then soak up the sun on one of Cancún's best public beaches across the street from El Ray, one of the country’s lesser known Mayan ruins. Chichen Itza is a perennial fave and El Castillo is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Seeking serenity? Ek Balam, a couple hours west of Cancún is a Mayan wonderland in the Yucatan jungles.

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A world of pure imagination

Willy Wonka has nothing on Xenses Park, promising rides, illusions and even a slippery Sludgerie to slide down. Kids and adults alike will have a blast at this popular spot, packed with all the adrenaline-pumping fun you can imagine. Swim in glistening lagoons, challenge the law of physics in the head-spinning Mexican village, tour the Garden of Eden and cover yourself in cleansing mud and detox from all those margaritas. It’s the dirtiest way we know to feel wholesome.

Life's a beach

Kicking back on the beach is a must in Mexico. So soak up plenty of sun, sand and sea while you’re here! But remember: the currents are as strong as the sun here so slather on the suncream and swim where it’s safe. Puerto Morelos is a quiet fishing village 30 mins south of Cancún offering a calmer pace and a small town vibe. Playa Chac Mool will rent you water sports equipment, while Playa Forum is a vibrant, pretty beach with food and entertainment options everywhere.

Speed through the jungle

If the beaching gets to be too much, go for an adventure! Rev up for a speedy snorkeling adventure through the lush green mangrove forests of Nichupté Lagoon! This adventure in the wild lets you drive your own two-person speed boat through Punta Nizuc, before you strap your snorkels on for a tubed snoop around the world’s second-biggest coral reef (coming in just behind the Great Barrier Reef). You can’t catch the fish, but you can catch all the rays you like from your boat.

Visit an underwater museum

Yes, that’s right; an underwater museum! The Cancún Underwater Museum, AKA MUSA (Museo Subacuatico de Arte) has created a spellbinding world of marine life that coexists with earthly manmade sculptures which are designed to pop out in the azure waters. Snorkel around for 30 minutes and get up close to cars, sunken houses, even people with their heads buried in the sand (and that’s not a metaphor). All have been made with materials that help encourage marine life to grow.