Are you ready to discover a tropical paradise like no other? Let us introduce you to Cancun, Mexico – a place where the sun, sand, and surf combine to create an unforgettable vacation experience. While many travelers associate Cancun with raucous beach parties and throngs of tourists, there’s a quieter side to this destination that’s waiting to be explored. Imagine yourself lounging on a pristine beach, surrounded by crystal-clear waters and swaying palm trees, with nothing but the sound of the waves to keep you company. Sound like a dream come true? With a little insider knowledge, you too can experience the best of Cancun. Keep reading to find out when to visit and how to unlock the secrets of this hidden gem in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula.
If you’re tired of spending your hard-earned vacation time battling hordes of tourists, then it’s time to discover the peaceful side of Cancun, Mexico – and we have the inside scoop on how to do it! Our secret? Plan your visit for early December, like we did. We recently experienced Cancun in all its unspoiled glory and can attest to the magic of having the entire resort almost entirely to ourselves. No crowds, no distractions – just pure relaxation on the beach. Ready to escape the chaos of everyday life? Read on to find out why December is the ideal time to visit Cancun and how you can unlock the secrets of this hidden gem for yourself. Say goodbye to the crowds and hello to the ultimate beach vacation!
While most travelers flock to Cancun during its peak season, December offers a peaceful and serene vacation with a perfect climate, fewer crowds, and more affordable prices. Not only will you escape the winter chill, but with temperatures averaging a high of 82°F and a low of 70°F, it’s the ideal time for outdoor activities and soaking up the sun. December marks the beginning of the dry season in Cancun, which means less rain, crystal-clear water, and prime conditions for snorkeling and diving. And with fewer tourists around, you’ll have more opportunities to explore the local culture and indulge in exciting activities. As an added bonus, you’ll find more affordable deals on flights and accommodations, making it a budget-friendly option for a magical getaway. Don’t miss out on the festive holiday season in Cancun, where you can celebrate Christmas and New Year’s in paradise.
Even though there’s no shortage of picturesque wind sand beaches to relax on, this vibrant destination has so much more to offer. From exhilarating outdoor activities to immersive cultural experiences, Cancun is a treasure trove of adventure and discovery.
To help you plan the ultimate 6-day itinerary for your Cancun getaway, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide of the best things to do in this tropical paradise. Whether you’re seeking thrilling water sports, historical landmarks, or mouth-watering cuisine, our guide has got you covered. So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for an unforgettable vacation in Cancun, Mexico.
How to Reach Cancun
Cancun is a sought-after vacation spot with excellent air connectivity, making it accessible from most major airports worldwide. With regular domestic and international flights landing at the Cancun International Airport, reaching this tropical paradise is easier than ever.
We booked our round-trip flights from New York LaGuardia Airport for just $200 per person. You can also grab great deals on flights during peak season with some research.
Get ready to experience the magic of Cancun!
Where To Stay in Cancun
Looking for a safe, budget-friendly option for your Cancun getaway? Look no further than the Hotel Zone. This tourist-friendly area is home to a variety of stunning resorts, all nestled along the strip of pristine white sand beaches. From beachfront bars to delicious restaurants, you’ll have everything you need for a truly unforgettable experience. Choose from a range of accommodation options, all designed to fit your unique needs and budget.
Getting Around Cancun
When visiting Cancun, getting around the city is essential to ensure you make the most of your vacation. Luckily, Cancun is well-connected by local transportation, making it easy for visitors to get around the city.
One of the most popular ways to get around Cancun is by taking the local bus or shuttle service. These services run throughout the day, making it easy to explore the city and all its attractions. Upon arrival at the airport, you’ll find multiple shuttle services that can take you to your hotel. However, it’s best to book in advance to avoid any inconvenience.
With reliable and affordable transportation options, navigating Cancun is super easy!
Local R1 & R2 buses run every few minutes between Hotel Zone and downtown throughout the night, which makes getting to many cool clubs and restaurants in downtown fairly convenient and inexpensive!
The only thing that you will not find in Cancun, is Uber, but you won’t miss it much since the cheapest and easiest way to visit many attractions in and around Cancun is either by public transport, on foot or through local group tours.
When is the Best Time to Visit Cancun
Avoid the harsh summers with temperatures reaching up to 100 F (38 C) and plan your trip between December and April. The peak season falls between January and March, so beat the crowds and save money by traveling in early December. Don’t miss out on the amazing experiences Cancun has to offer during the perfect weather.
Let’s dive into some of the most incredible and exciting things to do in this beautiful destination.
Discover the Best Things to Do in Cancun
DAY 1: Make the Most of Your First Day in Paradise
Relax at the Beaches in Hotel Zone
Start your trip to Cancun the right way by arriving early and jumping straight into your adventure! After checking into your hotel, head to the gorgeous white sand beaches in the Hotel Zone, such as Playa Delfines, Playa Caracol, or Isla Mujeres. Find a secluded spot to relax and soak up the stunning views.
Shop, Dine, and Swim with Dolphins at La Isla Shopping Village
Next, head to La Isla Shopping Village for a truly unforgettable experience. Browse luxury brands like Coach and Louis Vuitton, enjoy delicious Mexican cuisine at local restaurants. Don’t miss the amazing sunset views from Taco Y Tequila Cancun, where you can indulge in some mouthwatering fish tacos.
Don’t miss the chance to visit the Interactive Aquarium, where you can swim with dolphins for a truly unforgettable experience. It’s perfect for families or anyone seeking a unique adventure.
End your day by unwinding at your hotel spa, to prepare yourself for the adventures yet to come. With so many amazing things to see and do, you won’t want to waste a single moment of your Cancun getaway!
DAY 2: Unleash Your Adventurous Side with These Exciting Activities
Ready for an action-packed Day 2 in Cancun? You won’t be disappointed with these exhilarating excursions. But first, you’ll have to wake up early and have an early start as most excursions are about an hour and a half to two hours of travel from Hotel Zone.
We booked our Chichen Itza Classic Tour with Cancun Discounts, and we couldn’t be happier with the experience. Not only did we enjoy the convenience of hotel pick-up and drop-off, clean air-conditioned buses, and knowledgeable English-speaking guides, but we also got the tour at one of the lowest prices available in Cancun. Only $69 per person.
Dive into the stunning Ik-Kil Cenote
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Ik-Kil Cenote, a large sinkhole draped with vines and tree roots, located near Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Dive into the crystal-clear waters and feel the magical sparkle created by the sun rays.
For just 80 pesos (approximately $4 USD) entry fee, you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the cenote. If you’re taking a group tour, like we did, it is often included in your tour cost. For an additional $5 USD, you can rent lockers and life-jackets. Diving into the refreshing waters is a must-do experience for adventure seekers like us, but be warned, the water is freezing cold!
If you’re feeling peckish after your swim, there’s a restaurant on the complex that serves buffet lunch for around $10-$15 per person. While the food isn’t the greatest, it’s included in your tour cost if you’re coming with a tour company. If your hotel offers the option of packed lunches, we suggest going for that instead. Don’t miss out on the chance to explore this hidden paradise during your Mexican adventure!
Tick Off a Wonder of the World with Chichen Itza
Step into the world of the Mayans and witness their magnificent architectural prowess at Chichen Itza, one of the largest archaeological sites in the Yucatan region. This complex houses 17 awe-inspiring structures, including intricately designed pyramids and Mayan temples that are bound to leave you spellbound.
The centerpiece of the site is the Pyramid of Kukulcan, a majestic structure that boasts a unique feature. During the spring and fall solstices, the sun sets in such a way that it casts a shadow on the pyramid, creating an illusion of a slithering snake. It’s an incredible sight that you cannot miss!
If you want to avoid the crowds, plan to visit the site when it opens at 8 am. Spend a good 1-2 hours here to learn about the Mayan history and immerse yourself in the enchanting surroundings.
Don’t forget to visit the bustling market surrounding the complex, where you can find unique souvenirs. But be prepared to haggle because prices tend to be high. Tick off one of the Wonders of the World from your bucket list and make unforgettable memories at Chichen Itza!
DAY 3: Experience the Best of Cancun
Savor Authentic Mexican Street Food at Parque de Las Palapas and Mercado 28
No visit to Mexico is complete without indulging in some lip-smacking street food, and Cancun has a treasure trove of mouth-watering delicacies waiting for you. But where to find the best street food? Head straight to Parque de Las Palapas for a truly authentic culinary experience.
The best way to reach Parque de Las Palapas is by taking the R2 bus from a bus stop near your hotel and getting off at the Mercado 28 stop. Trust us, it’s worth the journey. Once you’re there, try the machacado, a Mexican version of shave ice that’s sure to cool you down in the tropical heat. And don’t forget to try the mole enchiladas and street tacos for a true taste of Mexico.
But wait, there’s more! After filling your belly, take a short walk to Mercado 28, a bustling and colorful market filled with unique souvenirs and trinkets. You’re sure to find something you’ll love here, so don’t forget to haggle for the best price.
And the best part? This food and shopping adventure won’t break the bank. The R2 bus ride only costs 8.5 pesos (or $1 USD), making it an affordable and authentic way to experience Cancun’s local culture. Just be sure to catch the same bus back from Walmart to return to Hotel Zone.
Experience the Ultimate Nightlife at Coco Bongo
If you’re looking for a night out in Cancun that you’ll never forget, Coco Bongo is the place to be! This is no ordinary nightclub – with mesmerizing acrobats, epic musical performances, and a high-energy party atmosphere, you’re in for a night of non-stop fun.
Located in the heart of Hotel Zone, it’s just a few stops away on the R2 bus. But beware, the lines get long so be sure to arrive early or buy your tickets online in advance to skip the queues. Though the ticket price may seem steep, it includes an open bar so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth!
As you enter the club, you’ll be swept up in a sea of energetic party-goers all looking to have the time of their life, just like you. Though finding a spot to sit can be a challenge, with so much excitement and energy in the air, who wants to sit anyway?
We had an unforgettable time at Coco Bongo and before we knew it, the night had flown by. The only downside was the lack of seating to enjoy the amazing performances. Don’t miss out on the ultimate Cancun nightlife experience at Coco Bongo!
DAY 4: Discover the Hidden Wonders of Ancient Mexico
Uncover the Secrets of Ancient Mexico: A Tour of Tulum Ruins
A trip to Cancun is incomplete without exploring the ancient Mayan Ruins of Tulum. Perched on the edge of a cliff in Quintana Roo, overlooking the mesmerizing Caribbean ocean, Tulum Ruins is a visual treat to the eyes that shouldn’t be missed.
Surrounded by palm trees, beautiful cactus flowers, and steep rocky cliffs, the archaeological site is an excellent place to explore Mexico’s fascinating history. Plus, keep an eye out for iguanas roaming around the ruins!
To make the most of your visit, book the Tulum & Beach Combo Tour with Cancun Discounts. With an early start at 7 am, you’ll have ample time to explore the ruins and enjoy the beautiful Playa Paraiso beach surrounded by rocky cliffs.
While Tulum can be crowded during peak hours, finding a secluded corner to soak in the rich history is possible. But, make sure you plan for extra beach time as the tour only offers 30 minutes at Playa Paraiso, which is not enough to enjoy this beautiful beach.
Immerse yourself in the secrets of the Mayan civilization and take a journey back in time with a visit to Tulum Ruins.
DAY 5: Experience the Ultimate Adventure
Unwind at the Beautiful Playa Del Carmen: A Shopaholic’s Paradise
Looking for the perfect place to unwind and indulge in some retail therapy? Playa Del Carmen is the ultimate resort city that has it all! Whether you want to lounge by the beach or shop until you drop, Playa Del Carmen’s famous 5th Avenue will not disappoint.
Unleash the adventurer in you and explore the vibrant underwater world of Cozumel on day five of your Cancun trip! Just a quick 30-minute ferry ride away from Playa Del Carmen, Cozumel is a popular scuba diving destination, known for its crystal-clear waters, magnificent coral reefs, and diverse marine life.
With endless shops, bars, and restaurants lining the streets, 5th Avenue is perfect for people-watching and leisurely strolls. But that’s not all – the ancient Mayan archaeological site of Coba is also a must-visit attraction in Playa Del Carmen.
Soak in the rich history and culture of the Mayans while exploring the ruins, and then reward yourself with a shopping spree on 5th Avenue. Don’t miss out on this paradise for shopaholics!
Explore the Underwater World with Scuba Diving in Cozumel
Cozumel, an island located just a 30-minute ferry ride from Playa Del Carmen, is a world-renowned scuba diving destination. With crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life, scuba diving in Cozumel is an experience you’ll never forget. Swim alongside giant sea turtles, schools of colorful fish and explore the stunning coral reefs.
Book a package with My Deep Life and dive in two different sites for 45 minutes each. During our dives, we encountered a plethora of sea life, some of which we had never even seen before! The package also includes hotel pickup and drop-off, as well as some time to explore Playa Del Carmen’s 5th Avenue.
While Cozumel is about two and a half hours away from Cancun, we assure you that the journey is worth it. We left at 5 am and returned to our hotel by 6 pm, leaving us with unforgettable memories of the stunning underwater world. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure!
DAY 6: Experience the Eerie Beauty of Cancun
Scuba Dive at the Cancun Underwater Museum
Make the most of your last day in Cancun with an unforgettable scuba diving experience at the Cancun Underwater Museum (MUSA). This eerie yet fascinating dive site features hundreds of immortalized statues of women and children that create a unique and haunting ambiance. Each statue has distinct expressions and features, telling a story that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Multiple scuba tours are available, with most offering pick-up at the Aquaworld Marina and a short boat ride to the dive location. The dive lasts around two hours, giving you ample time to explore the mesmerizing beauty of the underwater museum. After the dive, you’ll be dropped back at the marina.
If it’s your first time diving, we recommend starting with the MUSA as it’s an unforgettable experience. For Day 5, you can spend time at Playa Del Carmen and its beaches, or relax at your hotel’s beach. As diving enthusiasts, we loved this experience and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a unique adventure in Cancun.
Chill at Isla Mujeres
After an awe-inspiring dive at the Cancun Underwater Museum, your heart might still be racing. So, take a breath and let the tranquil vibe of Isla Mujeres calm your senses. This idyllic island boasts a laid-back atmosphere unlike anywhere else in Cancun, making it the perfect place to unwind.
Hop on the R2 bus from Aquaworld Marina to Playa Tortugas and then catch a ferry to Isla Mujeres. Once there, head to Playa Norte, the most popular beach on the island. Relax on one of the many beach loungers available for $15/hour or $50 per day.
Keep in mind that the ferry operates on a fixed schedule from 5 am to 9:30 pm, so plan your trip accordingly to avoid missing the last return ferry. Don’t miss out on this peaceful paradise and let Isla Mujeres provide the perfect end to your Cancun adventure.
While there are countless exciting activities to do in Cancun, it’s important to carve out some time to relax and unwind. After all, what’s a tropical vacation without some relaxation and partying at the beach, right?
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some downtime at your hotel’s beach. Lounge in a beach chair, soak up the sun, and listen to the sound of the waves crashing. Or, take a dip in your hotel’s Jacuzzi to truly unwind.
But don’t forget to let loose and dance the night away at one of Cancun’s famous beach parties. Sip on a refreshing cocktail and enjoy the lively atmosphere with new friends or loved ones. With relaxation and partying on the itinerary as well, your Cancun vacation will be the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation.
Cancun Vacation Budget: How Much Does it Cost to Experience Paradise?
Vacation budgets are always a tricky thing to nail down, and Cancun is no exception. The amount of money you’ll need to have a great time here depends on your personal preferences and the level of comfort you expect from your trip. For our itinerary, we spent:
- $1300 on Hotel + Flights Package Deal
- $234 on Group Tours
- $134 on Public Transportation (bus, ferry, and airport shuttle)
- $400 for Scuba Diving in Cozumel
- $190 for Scuba Diving in MUSA
- $320 on Food and Drinks
If you’re planning to have a similar experience, these numbers can give you a general idea of what to expect. Of course, you can always adjust your spending to fit your own budget and priorities. Either way, Cancun is definitely worth the investment!
In conclusion, Cancun is a destination that goes beyond just sandy beaches and sunny weather. It offers a plethora of unique and exciting activities that cater to all types of travelers. By including some of the things we have listed in this article in your vacation plans, you will be able to experience the true essence of Cancun and create unforgettable memories. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore this amazing city and all it has to offer!
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Planning a trip to Cancun real soon? The following article on travel tips to Mexico might be useful.
10 Tips To Have A Fabulous Holiday in Cancun, Mexico
So, you’re planning to travel to Mexico huh? But, you’re not entirely sure how you’d manage in a new country, with a different language and a different culture? Then you’ve come to the right place. This article will give you some of the best tips and tricks to help you have a stress free vacation in Cancun, Mexico.
55 thoughts on “Cancun Bucket List: 11 Must-Do Activities You Can’t Miss on Your 6-Day Vacation!”
Well done! 🙏
Looks absolutely stunning, we would love to go there one day – Cancun!
I remember a lot of these destinations from my trip to Cancun years ago. A lot on here that I missed, too! I agree there is so much to do there besides the partying, but I did a bit of that, too 😉
You’re nailing these vacation itinerarys! Love how nice your pictures and detailed your reviews are for each travel destination 🙂 Planning to visit Cancun soon and this would be really useful. Thanks 🙂