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Opodo Travel Blog
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With many travel companies often now taking the approach of travelling ‘off the beaten track’ to entice the more adventurous of travellers to doing something different, we shouldn’t forget that visiting the places ‘on the beaten track’ deserves our attention too. Forgetting about constantly doing something different and just enjoying travel experience for what they are is important.

And there’s one place in Mexico that is certainly well trodden, well established and a whole bunch of fun. Welcome to Cancun.


Situated within the paradisiacal Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun needs no introduction. Its incredible beaches, lush green surroundings and pulsating nightlife are just the tip of the taco here. Cancun and the surrounding areas have more attractions than Disneyland.

Whether you’re splashing the cash or travelling on a shoestring budget, whether you’re sat in the middle of Cancun’s beating heart or flirting on the outskirts, coming here has a bit of everything for everybody.

Underwater Museum


One of Cancun’s newest attractions, the man-made underwater museum is a cool experience for all the keen snorkelers and scuba divers out there. In fact the museum isn’t very deep and only has a depth of 8 metres. If you don’t fancy the dip into the blue, you can take boat trips with glass bottoms to get a glance of the statues and sculptures.

Visiting the museum is a way for people to spend less time on the precious coral reefs in the Yucatan waters, so if you visit you’re doing something good for the eco-environment!

Isla Mujeres


A twenty-minute boat ride from the Cancun side, Isla Mujeres meaning ‘Woman Island’ is a great way to spend a few days. With see-through waters, thin stretches of sandy beaches, a vibrant nightlife and all the relaxing elements of island life you wouldn’t be blamed to spend your whole time on the island!

Popular for scuba divers and oceans enthusiasts, during season you can spot Whale Sharks roaming these waters along with several species of turtles!

Tacos and Tequila

Mexico’s signature food and drink are everywhere in Cancun – and whether you’re a foodie trying every taco flavour possible or you’re about to start the night off with some pre-drink shots of Tequila – it’s all good in and around Cancun.


There’s even a bar called Taco y Tequila located in Isla Mall. Tacos Rigo regularly gets mentioned in the Hotel Zone too. For off beat choices make a beeline outside of the centre to Las Pescadillas. Their fish tacos are delicious and cheap! You wanna try out? Go ahead and look for your best deals to Cancun.

Playa Delfines


When you visit Cancun you’ll soon discover the place is really built up and in many areas, very commercialised. But visiting Playa Delfines is the beauty of Cancun; its underdeveloped surroundings make it a more natural spot to visit.

Playa Tortugas


Playa Tortugas on the other hand is one of Cancun’s most popular public beaches to visit for locals and visitors alike. Although it was once a spot purely for the local Cancunians to enjoy without the splurge of mass tourism, nowadays it has an alternative, festival like atmosphere, made for the visitors. Suitable for all visitors, Tortugas has ideal beach water for water activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling and swimming.

If you want something more exhilarating you can take a swing at bungee jump at the Bungee Jump Tower. It isn’t the highest of heights at over 20m high but it definitely feels a long way down when you’re up there! Are you as much in love as we are? Look for he best Cancun flight+hotel offers now:




Arguably the most extravagant club in North America, Cocobongo’s is a wild night and definitely one for the bucket list. Rather than being a typical bouncing off the wall nightclub, Cocobongo’s is a club of theatre. Actors and performers will re-enact the best movies and music videos in true acrobatic style. The novelty certainly plays a part but the party atmosphere is infectious and everybody seems to have a good time.

Mandala Beach Club

If Cocobongo’s is for the novelty and show, if you’re a nightclub enthusiast then Mandala Beach Club probably tops the lot. An open air setting added with great tunes and guest DJ’s, Mandala is simply cool. Oozing with the best vibes in town, every night is a good night here. It’s not always the night that takes all the glory either, with plenty of daytime activity from pool parties to bikini contests!

Party Hostels

Everyone associates Cancun with resorts and hotels bang in the middle of the Hotel Zone. Well, there are some pretty epic hostels to consider too. Mezcal Hostel, a short walk away from ADO bus station has an addictive and equally buzzing vibe. Here, you get free meals every day, there’s a pool and constant events happening both during the day and night. If you want to eat, make sure you check out Nomad Cocina – full of Mexican tapas, delicious cocktails and a fun and friendly atmosphere. For food, you must try their duck carnitas and for drinks the tamarind whisky sour cocktail!

Another hostel that is relatively new on the block, is the modern version of Mezcal but bigger. Mayan Monkey, also only around the corner from ADO bus station has a rooftop, swimming pool, luxury budget rooms and a modern, party vibe.

Outside of Cancun

Chichen Itza


You can take a day trip from Cancun to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the legendary Mayan temple that is Chichen Itza. Marvel in its towering pyramid structure, this landmark was certainly a prominent place in ancient Mayan civilisations. Once you reach here, you won’t be able to you’re your eyes off it.

Playa del Carmen


Only a couple hours down the road from Cancun, ‘Playa’ has a reputation of a pumping night out. 5th Avenue where you’ll find everything from bars to restaurants hotels to markets to shows. And it’s right by the beach!

For eco-theme park lovers, Xcaret Park is also located in Playa del Carmen. The popular park is full of attractions such as ancient villages, wildlife, marine life, shows and plazas and particularly attractive to families.



Situated on the Caribbean Coast, Tulum National Park is known for its Mayan ruins and perfect blend of turquoise waters and white beaches. Also, Tulum is home to the Gran Cenote, thought to be the best in the Yucatan. Cenotes are limestone sinkholes that are perfect for a refreshing dip. You can find these all around the Yucatan Peninsula.



Thirty minutes down the road, Coba is home to century old Mayan ruins. With a jungle drop in the background, Coba has a sense of real Mayan heritage here. If you’re a cultural cat, Coba is for you.



Thought to be the most beautiful beach in the Yucatan, if you want white sand beach, head to Holbox Island. Although it’s been a secret from mass tourism previously, the word is getting out. Enjoy this paradise before it becomes touristy than ever!


One response to “In&Outside Cancun: Mexico’s Ultimate Playground

  1. wow, I am so excited after seeing your post. Really you have mentioned so many interesting places that even about outside Cancun. I want to visit Cancun with my family to spend a more enjoyable moment. My friend said that Sarmez Cancun Shuttle can provide me all the needful facilities with more details about Cancun tour. So I have a plan for this wonderful trip in the coming month.

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