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What are some of the best water activities in Cancun?

Cancun beaches have earned their world renown thanks to their stunning stretches of white sand and endless turquoise water that provide a diversity of water activities. A visit to Cancun could mean lounging around on beaches whose white sands remain cool even during the sunniest days. But most travelers’ vacations would be incomplete without taking a plunge into the azure Caribbean Sea.

What better way to enjoy Cancun’s water activities than by living the island life? Plan a day to visit the world-famous Isla Mujeres, a charming Caribbean island with the magical colors of Mexico’s small towns. For more island life, plan a day to Isla Contoy, one of Mexico’s most protected and treasured biospheres.

There’s no better way to take in the splendor of the turquoise waters than aboard a luxury catamaran, sailing along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world. Get a closer look by jumping in and snorkeling around vividly colorful fish.

Another great way to explore the rich marine life and enjoy Cancun to the fullest is with a visit to the Xel-Ha all-inclusive water park. Its large inlet, hidden caves, and fun water activities like snorkeling make it one of the best places to enjoy the beauty of the water in a safe and beautiful environment, where you can eat and drink as much as you'd like.

Should you prefer land and fresh water, Cancun has you covered. Unique to the region, Cancun offers an intricate system of caves and underground rivers that create world-renowned cenotes (freshwater sinkholes). This system gives you a total mix of relaxation and adrenaline in the middle of the jungle. You can snorkel and zip line over the open water cenotes, or even go below ground and take a guided excursion inside these mythical subterranean rivers. One of the best ways to see a variety of cenotes in one day is with Xenotes — four cenotes in one excursion with a variety of water activities to enjoy Cancun and its nature to the fullest. These amazing natural jewels were once sacred to the Mayan community as a communication channel with their deities, and today, they provide you with a divinely refreshing experience during your time in the Mexican Caribbean.

Take a look at some hand-picked water activities for inspiration before taking your Cancun vacation.

Recommended excursions

Luxury sailing to Isla Mujeres

Sail off on this water adventure from Cancun that takes you on a catamaran to the quaint and colorful island of Isla Mujeres. You’ll also snorkel in crystal clear waters and a magnificent coral reef surrounded by sea life. Then walk on the streets of the small island town to capture its unique beauty.



Live a day of all-inclusive water activities at Xel-Ha, a natural park filled with lagoons and cenotes (freshwater sinkholes) for total water fun. Explore jungle trails and even lounge around on hammocks after enjoying buffet meals throughout the day.



Swim in four different types of cenotes as you surround yourself in the gorgeous Mayan jungle. Choose from an array of water activities at each cenote, including zip line jumping, snorkeling and kayaking, making this one of the most complete water tours in Cancun.


Underwater world

Go deep inside Cancun’s underwater world by snorkeling in an underground river below the Mayan jungle, giving you amazing views of rock formations that took millennia to form. Then take a dip in Caribbean waters to snorkel next to turtles, fish and coral reefs for a combined freshwater and saltwater activity in Cancun.


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