If you ever want to discover paradise on earth, then Cancun is the place to do so. Situated on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, this tropical destination offers stunning beaches, impressive resorts and fantastic services. Nevertheless, while it is not strictly known for it, it is also a hotbed for Mexican culture. There are plenty of tours and activities in Cancun to help you find out about the nation’s pre-Hispanic past. The following is a list of those Cancun cultural activities to experience tradition and history during your next vacation.
Chichen Itza Deluxe Tour
Find out all about the Mayans in comfort when you take the Chichen Itza Deluxe tour. This excursion takes you to the pre-Columbian city in style, including breakfast and coffee on board. Chichen Itza is an incredible place, and there’s no better way to explore it than with a guided tour. Here you can see iconic sites like the Temple of Kukulcan and the Observatory, as well as the Mesoamerican ballgame court. You can also pick up stunning souvenirs created with painstaking care by local craftsmen.
The day doesn’t end with your guided tour though; there’s still lots of fun to be had! Savor local cuisine at the nearby town of Piste, before heading to Ik Kil, a stunning cenote (freshwater sinkhole) 85 feet below ground featuring cool, crystalline water. Moreover, you get to admire colonial Valladolid on the way back to your hotel and look back on an amazing day out. This excursion should be atop your list of things to do in Cancun.
Tulum Yalku Plus Tour
The fabulous Tulum Yalku Plus tour takes you exploring different facets of Yucatec culture. First you’ll visit the breathtaking coastal ruins of Tulum, a city that used to be a major port in the region. This incredible place features well-preserved ruins that show off the advanced engineering and astrology of the Mayans. The building called “El Castillo” in particular is fascinating, thanks to its former function as a lighthouse. Admire spectacular views of the Caribbean at this very unique place!
But there’s more to this standout tour on your Cancun cultural activities list. You’ll later head to an impressive cenote to relax and unwind, before making your way to your final stop, Yal-Ku. This eye-catching inlet is a wonderful place to snorkel and admire the abundance of life underneath the surface of the Caribbean. Enjoy a tasty lunch by the beach during a memorable day of culture and refreshment.
Coba Mayan Encounter Tour
The amazing Coba Mayan Encounter takes you to one of the most impressive archaeological sites on the continent — Coba. Situated in the heart of the jungle, the archaeological complex is enormous, and is one of the few sites where you can climb a pyramid. At 137-feet tall, the view from the top of Nohoch Mul pyramid is spectacular. In addition to a guided tour of Coba, this excursion takes you on a visit to a Mayan village.
Here you’ll enjoy the adrenaline of rappelling almost 60 feet into the crystalline waters of a beautiful cenote. You’ll also savor the wind rushing through your hair as you soar over the canopy on fantastic zip lines. The village gives you an opportunity to see sacred Mayan ruins in an indigenous community, as well as the chance to enjoy mouthwatering Mayan cuisine. This tour is a fantastic way to find out more about this fascinating pre-Hispanic culture.
Mayan Eco Adventure Tour
The Mayan Eco Adventure tour is one of the incredible Cancun cultural activities that takes you to the natural heart of the Riviera Maya. The destination for the day is the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the south of the Riviera Maya. This beautiful nature reserve welcomes you with a visit to a hidden Mayan archaeological site, which was only accessible through canals in its day. Because the site features characteristic of Peten architecture, you’ll marvel at impressive pyramids with steep walls. In addition, explore the jungle and surrounding wetlands, and admire the sophistication of the impressive Mayan culture.
Part of the tour is a small motorboat trip on Chunyaxche Lagoon using ancient Mayan canals. You can admire incredible flora and fauna here, including unique orchid species. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the canal before heading to a beach club in Tulum for lunch. Unwind by the stunning waters of the Caribbean as you look back on a memorable stay close to Mother Nature.
Xcaret Eco-Park Tour
While talking about Cancun cultural activities, the Xcaret tour always comes up. The largest eco-park in the region, Xcaret is a fabulous place for families offering countless attractions and activities that show off different aspects of Mexican culture. The country’s rich heritage can be appreciated in the equestrian shows and chapels by the 19th-century-style hemp hacienda, and in the cemetery and canals of the Mayan village. Consequently, you can make your own chocolate and admire different Mayan rituals as you make the most of every aspect of the park. See a Mesoamerican ball game on the court, and admire the iconic Papantla Flyers.
If you visit during the Day of the Dead celebrations, you’ll see the park come into its own. It hosts different activities honoring the dead, with mouthwatering regional delicacies, impressive altars, and a wide variety of workshops, concerts and shows. Even more, you can admire native wildlife like huge sea turtles, manatees, and different species of deer as you walk around the park. Other nature-based highlights include a butterfly farm, an orchidarium and an aviary. Enjoy a refreshing swim in underground rivers that take you across the park, or snorkel in the inlet and relax by the beach.
The park saves the best until last. Once the sun sets, the people are shown to the main auditorium for an exhibition of Mexican culture of incredible quality. The spectacular end of day show shows off the country’s history from its pre-Hispanic roots, through the Spanish conquest, to the present day. Moreover, it shows off iconic folk dances by featuring hundreds of performers. Above all, the Xcaret tour is an incredible tribute to Mexico, just an unmissable part of your time in Cancun!
Live the Best Cancun Cultural Activities with Amstar
So as you can see, Cancun has all you need for an unforgettable vacation exploring Mexico’s rich history and culture. Plan your trip well, and take the chance to get out and discover what this incredible region has to offer. Also, remember to count on Amstar’s 24/7 traveler support for any guidance or special requests to organize your journey. Additionally, remember to pre-book your transfer from Cancun Airport to your resort. Then you’ll be ready to enjoy different Cancun cultural activities during a fabulous vacation on Mexico’s Caribbean coast!
—This is an update of the original May 2015 post.