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  Cancun Activities and Tours Guide

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Cancun has the beautiful beaches and crystal clear water that are perfect for some outdoor and ocean fun. For the person looking for things to do in Cancun, there is no shortage of activities or of services to help you make the most of your stay here. Here are some of the most popular activities:

Diving & Fishing
The waters surrounding Cancun are legendary for their clarity and diversity. You can snorkel right off the beach or scuba dive/snorkel over the "Mayan Reef" on Mexico's Caribbean. Most of the good snorkeling on Cancun can be done off the Punta Cancun, near the convention center and Forum shopping center. The water is calm and there are rental services available.

Famous dive spots like Palancar, El Bajito, Manchones and Chitales are all nearby can be found off of Cozumel, about an hour south of Cancun. There is also the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks, offshore from Isla Mujeres, where divers can sometimes "pet" the sharks. Isla Mujeres is probably the most scenic place in the area for diving & snorkeling though, and the reefs just offshore at 10' to 40' deep are perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving.

Deep sea fishing is available throughout Cancun, although it is not well known for that sport. Marlin, sailfish, tuna and dorado are available during their respective seasons.

Cancun has 4 18-hole golf courses available for the avid golfer. In Cancun you'll find one at each tip of the island. The other two courses are found to the south on the Mayan Riviera.

Kayaking & Windsurfing
Kayakers & windsurfers will find Cancun's waters perfect for your enjoyment. For calmer waters, try the protected Nichupté Lagoon or the northern end of Cancun Island. Jet skiing, parasailing and regular sailing are also popular in this water paradise.

Every Wednesday, you'll find the classic struggle of man (bullfighter or torrero) against beast (bull or toro) downtown at the Plaza de Toros Cancun. Dances, cockfights and traditional cuisine can sometimes be experienced here also. A word of caution: bullfighting is a blood sport, so if you are not ready for that kind of visual it might be best to pass on that activity.

Side Trips

Actun Chen
Actun Chen is about an hour from Cancun on the road to Tulum. The name means "cave with an underground river inside," but the words only hint at the underground grandeur. The main cave of three, over 600 yards long and with a magnificent vault, has been illuminated and supplied with paths for easy walking. There are thousands of intriguing stalactites, stalagmites and natural sculptures, as well as a crystal-clear cenote forty feet deep. Trained guides escort visitors, giving a combination history lesson and geology class.

Around is the jungle, with special trails through the tropical vegetation that may reveal some of the local wildlife: white-tailed deer, a badger, a spider monkey, an iguana or a wild turkey. There is a restaurant, and rest rooms -- but otherwise, the 988 acres of Aktun Chen remain as they have been for millennia.

Tres Rios
Tres Rios, stretching inland from a pristine mile-long white sand beach just 25 miles from Cancun, encompasses subtropical jungle and mangroves, covers 370 acres and offers a prime selection of cenotes -- the pools where the area's underground rivers break through to the surface. Only in Tres Rios are these cenotes at ground level, found in the shallow rivers that run to the sea.

At Tres Rios visitors can walk or bicycle through the jungle, canoe down the river, kayak in the sea, ride a horse along the beach, snorkel in the river or on the park's outstanding section of the Great Mayan Reef. For the less adventurous, there are hammocks to swing in, sandcastles to build, delicious ceviches of marinated fish to enjoy and a few simple rules to help ensure that the next generation will find the park as it is today.

Just over 50 miles south of the resort, Xpu-Ha (shpoo-ha) offers close contact with nature, and a chance for visitors to make it part of their lives. Of its 91.5 acres, only 3% has been developed: to build access roads, install bathrooms and showers, and provide two snack bars, as well as a beautiful seaside restaurant, La Palapa. There are sunbathing areas, places for soccer and volleyball, and shops where aquatic equipment for snorkeling or scuba can be rented. There is even a beginner's dive class.

Ranked among the most diverse environments in North America, Xpu-Ha is a sanctuary for rare birds, some of them endangered, and for protected species such as crocodiles, sea turtles, native deer and snakes. Walks along nature trails are led by expert guides, who explain and interpret, simply and memorably, the many types of vegetation and the geological features, as well as the fauna.


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