If you haven’t visited Cancun and the Riviera Maya in a number of years, you may not recognize it. Miles and miles of some of the softest white sand you’ll ever sink your toes into are filled with upscale resorts, thatched-roof palapas, Bali daybeds, and picture-perfect beaches. But how many of Cancun’s numerous activities can travelers enjoy today? Surprisingly, a lot.
In late 2020, Quintana Roo, the Mexican state Cancun is in, upgraded its COVID-19 status. This upgrade opened up a world of options for travelers, as restaurants, historic sites, theme parks, golf courses, nautical activities, shopping malls, and spas could now operate at 60% of normal capacity. Here are just some of the exciting, unforgettable and safe activities that await you in Cancun.
Explore Maya Ruins
Take a day trip to the ancient Maya city of Chichén Itzá, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. While visitors can no longer climb El Castillo, you can still walk the steps of nearby Coba and Ek Balam for some of the best views in all of Mexico. Tulum, the photogenic ruin perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean, is also easily accessible from Cancun.
Dive into Cenotes
Take a refreshing dip in one of the Yucatan’s most famous jungle sinkholes — Ik-Kil, a.k.a. the Sacred Blue Cenote. A grand staircase takes you down 85 feet to the surface of this pristine pool, festooned with hanging vines and waterfalls.
See Art Underwater
For an unforgettable museum experience, don’t miss the Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA). Whether you visit by glass-bottomed boat or scuba dive to the bottom for a close-up view of the more than 500 pieces of monumental sculpture, MUSA is absolutely surreal.
Splash, Smile, Repeat
Cancun and the Riviera Maya are the ideal places to swim with dolphins, take an aqua dive tour, go on a whale shark excursion or simply cruise the calm sea on a beautiful yacht, sailboat, paddleboard, or catamaran. However you dive in, the warm Caribbean waters will soothe your aching soul and have you smiling like a child in no time.
After the year we’ve all had, maybe the best thing to do in Cancun is simply relax. Lounge on the beach with a perfectly chilled margarita resting in your hand, watching your kids learn how to snorkel. Or transport your mind and body at one of the more than thirty Cancun spa resorts, many of which offer unique treatments that combine ancient Mayan healing rituals with modern stress-reducing techniques.