3 Essential Things to do in Cancun, Mexico
At the end of last year I flew to Mexico to experience Cancun with lowcostholidays. One big goal of the trip was to bust the myth that lowcostholidays only deal with budget hotels – it’s quite the contrary! They also specialise in some pretty special mid-range and luxury hotels too, and I got to experience two of them during my stay; The Moon Palace and Le Blanc Spa Resort (check out my review of Le Blanc Spa Resort too).
Alongside filming my videos, taking tonnes of photos and checking out the hotels, my friend Ollie and had a lot of fun in the process. We had just enough time to get out of the hotels and discover some of Cancun’s highlights, as well as travelling inland to the boarder state of Yucatan. Here are my 3 favourite things to do in Cancun…
1. Shop for local treasures in Market 28
We visited Market 28 on our first day in Cancun, which was recommended to us by the helpful concierge at Moon Palace Golf Resort & Spa (our first hotel). Market 28 is a traditional Mexican flea market, which is made up of a labyrinth of alleyways and stalls. Here you can find locally made jewelry, ceramics, clothing, rugs, hammocks, ornaments and general Mexican paraphernalia. It’s perfect for picking up souvenirs and gifts.
We spent a couple of hours getting lost in Market 28, bartering with the vendors and trying on everything we saw. I bought a colourful ceramic ‘day of the dead’ skull, which is now in pride of place in my bathroom. Inside the market are also some authentic Mexican cafes serving ‘street food’ style dishes. The food is incredible and the people are friendly. I would really advise grabbing lunch here as part of your visit!
Travelista Tip: The vendors are keen to make a sale, and at times you can feel as if you’re being hassled. If you’re not interested, just give them a firm ‘no thank you’ and walk on. If you want to buy something, be sure to negotiate the price down.
2.Discover the Mayan culture of Chichen Itza
I loved visiting Chichen Itza so much that I wrote a whole blog post about it (What to expect when visiting Chichen Itza). Chichen Itza is one of Mexico’s most visited tourist attractions and a new Wonder of the World. It’s an ancient Mayan city and is the perfect place to learn about Mexico’s fascinating history and culture. The site is spread out over many acres, and there’s much more to discover here than the famous El Castillo pyramid.
If you’re visiting Cancun, you can visit Chichen Itza on a day trip, which is exactly what I did. As Chichen Itza is in the bordering state of Yucatan, it’s a substantial 3 hour drive each way. But if you can man up and face the journey, it’s totally worth it! A day trip to Chichen Itza is the perfect option if you want to add a slice of culture to your Cancun beach holiday.
Travelista Tip: Tours to Chichen Itza from Cancun can be arranged either at the travel agents in town, or at your hotel. Tours include return coach travel, lunch, admission and a tour guide.
3. Party the night away at Coco Bongo
Cancun is famous for being a party town and downtown Cancun has a great choice of clubs, bars and entertainment venues. But the clear winner in Cancun’s nightlife scene is Coco Bongo; an all-singing, all-dancing cabaret club. The best way to describe Coco Bongo is that it’s like Cirque du Soleil in a nightclub. It’s ridiculous, mind-boggling and fabulous all at the same time.
I had SO much fun at this place and quite honestly didn’t stop dancing from the moment I arrived to the moment I left. The atmosphere is incredible and energy is infectious. Singers, dancers, trapeze artists, contortionists, arial dancers, fire breathers and other weird and wonderful performers come together to put on a spectacle of epic proportions. Even if you’re not sure if this is your ‘thing’, I urge you to give it a go!
Travelista Tip: Be sure to buy your tickets in advance. You can buy them from most hotel receptions, but beware they’ll add on a commission. We bought ours for much cheaper from a ticket tout at Market 28, and you can always buy them online.
For more travel tips on Cancun and a closer look at what I got up to, check out my highlights video below:
What do you think of my top 3 things to do in Cancun? Is there anything else you think that should be added to my list? If you’re thinking of visiting Cancun or simply enjoyed this post, it love you to leave me a comment in the box below! x
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