A Guide to Cancun
Collected by Allison Murray , AFAR Contributor
Surrounded by Mayan ruins and one of the most luxurious tropical environments in the world, Cancun is rich with cultural and natural history. Its vibrancy attracts visitors year-round.
Av Yaxchilán, 2 de Febrero, 29086 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chis., Mexico
After dark, locals and tourists alike gather on this avenue. Here, you’ll see a blend of affordable downtown hotels side by side dimly lit dive bars, but the street is mostly known for its colorful eateries serving authentic Mexican food:...
Blvd Kukulcan Km 9.5, Punta Cancun, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
If you enjoy partying near the beach, Cancun won't disappoint you. A number of beachfront clubs have music (live or DJ) and dancing that spills out onto the sand into the wee hours. Some, such as Mandala Beach Club offer tables and bottle service...
Joaquín Zetina Gasca, Q.R., Mexico
Sweet, sugary, colorful, flaky, rich, eggy bread. It comes on a bicycle. If you sit on a street corner in any of the pueblos along Mexico's Mayan Riviera coast, it will pass by. All you need to do is wait. Of course the tamales bike will pass by...
Boulevard Kukulkan, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
For traditional Mexican handicrafts, Mercado Coral Negro is the easiest place to find all your wares. Here you can purchase jewelry, mayan relics, and unique creations from all over the region. The most beautiful items are the embroidered garments...
Lote 24, Blvd. Kukulcan 5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
When in Cancun or on the Riviera Maya, go to Cenacolo Mare—an Italian restaurant that specializes in pasta and seafood. This is their Mediterranean appetizer consisting of mozzarella, zucchini, mushrooms, sprouts, and roasted pepper and pesto...
Blvd. Kukulcan, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Under the waters of Cancun's coast, hundreds of statues are on display. Part unique art display and part artificial reef habitat, it's an environmentally friendly addition to the beach city. The Cancun Underwater Museum is best enjoyed on a...
Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Just when it seemed like the Riviera Maya Riviera had become nothing but a sea of all-inclusive beach resorts, you stumble upon the quaint little Mexican village of Puerto Morelos. There are almost no huge developments, no shopping outlets, and no...
Km.12.5, Blvd. Kukulcan Lt 18, El Rey, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Enjoy these stunning oceanview and beachside cabanas at The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort, a seaside resort in Cancun, Mexico. Enjoy the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean, a sweet haven for the sun-seekers. A perfect place to soak under the...
Carretera Cancún -Tulum Km 282, Puerto Juarez, Solidaridad, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
The Riviera Maya’s most beautifully styled adventure park begins with a reception area inside a natural cave. Tours here include Latin America’s highest zip lines over the tropical forest, amphibious vehicles you drive through caves...
Blvd. Kukulcan km 12.5, La Isla, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
If sitting on the beach is too boring or if you just need a shot of adrenaline, Cancun outfitters and resorts offer plenty of water sports lessons and equipment. There are the usual suspects: surfing, kiteboarding, and parasailing, as well as...
Blvd. Kukulcan, Punta Cancun, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
With ancient traditions and a rich history, Mayan society is a fascinating, integral part of Mexican culture and history. While immersed in the Museo Maya de Cancun you'll forget all about the resorts outside and instead be transported back onto...
Blvd. Kukulcan, La Isla, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
To satisfy your seafood cravings, El Fish Fritanga is a must-eat place, dubbed as "the place where locals eat." This hidden restaurant lies on the busy Kukulcan Boulevard in Cancun, nestled under some cocunut trees and overlooking a lagoon. Try...
Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Isla Mujeres, home to a protected sea turtle hatching area, is the perfect place to visit for nature lovers. The turtle hatchery is dedicated to their conservation and ensures the population is sustained. The small place is typically crowd-free...
Benito Juárez, Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico
I learned a great deal in Mexico: 1) 30 SPF does not cut it. 2) 50 SPF does not cut it. And 3) Aloe vera, cold shower, aloe vera, cold shower. Luckily for me, I also learned the best way to get your mind off of pain is delicious food, and freshly...
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