There is no coincidence that Cancun has the word ‘CAN’ right in its name – this is a destination where you ‘can’ see and do it all. If you still can’t quite spell it out, here is an acrostic poem to guide you through this ‘can’ do location in Mexico.
C – Cultural experiences
A – Arts and crafts markets
N – Native Mayan ruins
C – Choice of accommodations
U – Underwater adventures
N – Nightlife!
Lets explore in more detail each perspective of this fabulous vacation destination that many vacationers have discover and you certainly wish to see yourself.
C – Cultural Experiences
Cancun is the hub of cultural events, festivals and shows in the eastern region of Mexico. Known for its vibrant locals, thriving tourist centres, shopping spots, and ever-changing culture, Cancun is a hopping city, both day and night, with enriching experiences. The local markets are some of the best places to shop for arts and crafts in Mexico, while malls in the city carry recognizable brand names at a cheaper price.
But to appreciate modern Mexico, you also need to understand historic Mexico, and Cancun is your gateway. You are in the centre of pre-European architecture of the Caribbean, so do not miss your chance to step back a few centuries and learn about this fascinating and changing country. Whatever you do, you will always be immersed in a unique cultural experience that is only found in Cancun.
A – Arts and Crafts Markets
One of the top attractions in the Cancun area are the local markets in and around the city. The largest of these markets are in central Cancun, the most popular being the Marcados 23 and 28. These outdoor open air markets allow you to enjoy the Mexico sunshine while casually wandering through local wares. There are many opportunities in these markets to purchase authentic Mexican arts and crafts, but watch for the ‘tourist art’ that is usually mass-produced at a cheaper price. In preparation for your market visit, practice your bargaining skills and your ability to spot the most authentic arts, as they will both come in handy in getting you a fair share.
Along with downtown open air markets, there are a number of smaller local spots and flea markets that often offer cheaper prices than the tourist zones. Be prepared for the crowds as all markets are especially busy during tourist high seasons. If you want a break from the heat, the shopping malls around Cancun often sell similar wares as the markets and sometimes at a cheaper price and often have brand name flagship stores.
Finally, if you are feeling especially adventurous, head out to nearby towns such as Playa Del Carmen. While still crowded with tourists, these places have a bit of a slower pace and often more local handicrafts than the big city.
N – Native Mayan Ruins
Along with the markets of Cancun, another top site to visit in the area are the Mayan ruins. The provinces surrounding Cancun are undisputedly the best spots in the Caribbean to view pre-European culture. This is not only a ‘can’ do activity, it is a ‘must’ do. Depending on your time, interest, and budget, there are a number of options. Smaller archeological sites, such as El Meco and El Ray, are situated fairly close to the city if you are looking for a quick and relatively inexpensive look at Mayan culture.
The larger and more substantial sites, however, involve an excursion (the length of which you can choose). Consider joining a bus tour that shuttles you to and from the site and often includes a local guide to interpret the historic structures and educate you on the Mayan past. You can choose half day excursions to one site, or spend your entire day passing through a few sites nearby. While this is a ‘must’ do in Cancun, you still have a number of options to suit your individual preferences.
C – Choice of Accommodations
Cancun has been catering to tourists for decades and therefore has a very developed infrastructure. Most of the area is dominated by large hotels and resorts, many of which are on the beachfront with white power sand beach and warm clear ocean water.
With so much competition, prices are relatively low even for premium luxury. If you prefer the ‘road less travelled’, Cancun is still filled with local hotels, particularly in the downtown and smaller outlying towns.
U – Underwater Adventures
Whether you want to stay above or below the waves, Cancun’s watersports are diverse and varied. The beaches are relatively shallow and offer excellent swimming and snorkeling, while excursions will take you further out to scuba dive or deep-sea fish. As with most Caribbean destinations, there are a number of options available to suit your skill and interest levels. Often the best deals are found through your hotel. The average weather in Cancun is about 28º Celsius with the sun shinning on average 250 days per year.
N – Nightlife!
Cancun does not sleep when the sun goes down and neither should you! With such a large concentration of hotels, the city of Cancun is truly a place that never sleeps. No matter what day of the week you venture out, you are bound to find a disco, bar, theatre, or casino to entertain you late into the night. One of the most popular disco in Cancun is the Coco Bongo. This nightclub offer everything for a great evening. After long days of brushing up on your Mexican history and culture, experience the evening like a local and dance the night away.