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How to Spend a Day/Weekend in Cancun, Mexico

One of the most popular destinations in Mexico, there’s so much to do in Cancun. How many other places can you split your time between partying, chilling out on white-sand beaches, learning about Mayan culture, and a whole load of awesome outdoor activities?

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best places in Cancun where you can spend a day or even a weekend. Hopefully, it’ll make it easier to plan your vacation and make the most of your time in Yucatan!


Take a picture with the Cancun sign at Playa Delfines

Playa Delfines (which literally translates to Dolphins beach) is the largest public beach in Cancun. This strip of soft white sand is the perfect place to spend your day relaxing on the sun-kissed white sands. While the turquoise waters are a little rough and not great for swimmers, you can have a go at surfing here. Or even better, try SUP surfing! Make sure to get a lasting souvenir on your trip to Playa Delfines – a photo with the colorful Cancun sign!


Take a stroll through the Hotel Zone and watch the sunset

The Hotel Zone is the most popular area for tourists in Cancun… This 15-mile strip of sand is home to luxurious resort hotels, nightlife, and awesome beaches (one of which is Playa Delfines). Think Las Vegas strip but with hotter weather! There are incredible views of the ocean here and you can stop at any point on the beach. A great time to do so is at sunset when the views are sure to take your breath away!


Enjoy a spot of SUP through the mangroves of Cancun

A way to see nature like you never have before – taking a stand up paddleboard through the mangroves of Cancun. Be on the lookout for water birds and marine life as you escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Not only is this a unique way to see another side of the city, but it’s a great workout for your core too. If you’re new to it, take a lesson and learn the paddleboarding basics. It’s easier than you might think!


Sample traditional Mexican food and pick up souvenirs at Market 28

Unlike many cities, Downtown Cancun is often skipped by tourists who’d prefer to spend their time in the Hotel Zone. While there’s nothing wrong with that, there’s plenty to enjoy in the true center of Cancun. One of these is Mercado 28. This market is where you’ll find delicious and traditional Mexican dishes, such as mole poblano and tamales. You can pick up some cool souvenirs at the flea market area too! The market is made for haggling, so it’s a great opportunity to practice your Spanish!


Catch a show and a bite to eat at Las Palapas Park

While you’re in downtown Cancun, be sure to find some time to stop off at Parque Las Palapas. It’s packed with taco stands and less touristy restaurants – so you’ll save a little cash and you’ll be treated to mouthwatering authentic food. There are some nightlife spots in the area too where you can see how the locals enjoy a night out and share a few beers!


Learn about Mayan History at the Maya Museum in the Hotel Zone

There are several Mayan ruins in the vicinity of Cancun, including Chichen Itza – one of the most popular day trips there is. Although this is a great day trip from Cancun, you don’t have to leave the city to learn more about Mayan culture. The Maya Museum is in the Hotel Zone and it’s a great place to visit to get to know more about the history and culture of the city and surrounding the Yucatan Peninsula. There are more than 350 artifacts, some dating back more than 10,000 years. Part of the museum is the San Miguelito Archaeological Site, which you’re welcome to explore.


Shop til you drop at Plaza la Isla

Didn’t manage to get everything at Mercado 28? Perhaps a trip to Plaza la Isla is in order. This popular shopping area is a wonderful place to escape the midday heat of Cancun – whether that’s in the air-conditioned shops or alongside the Venetian style canals. Lots of spots to eat await you, including ice cream parlors and international restaurants. Looking for something unusual to do? There are a cinema and an aquarium – where you can swim with dolphins and feed sharks!


Admire Cancun from above at La Gran Rueda

Plaza la Isla isn’t just about shopping – there’s lots more here to do too! One such thing is La Gran Rueda. This observation wheel is fun for all the family, offering spectacular views across both the Caribbean Sea and the Nichupte Lagoon. Don’t miss visiting in the evening, when the Hotel Zone is all lit up!


Enjoy dinner and a (pirate) show at the Jolly Roger Pirate Ship

Always wanted to shiver your timbers on board a galleon? This recreation of the Santa Maria, on which Columbus sailed to the Americas, will allow you to do just that! However, rather than being packed full of sailors and weaponry, this one has space for more than 200 passengers to enjoy a delicious dinner and a fully stocked bar while watching an excellent pirate performance! Just don’t think about behaving badly… there’s a jail cell on board!


Final Thoughts on How to spend a day/weekend in Cancun, Mexico

We’re sure that there’s enough on this list for you to have an incredible time in Cancun. However, should you be planning a longer stay or you want to see the best things to do in Yucatan, take a look at Eco Travel Mexico. There is a range of tours that not only ensures you will have a great time but that you’re doing the best thing for the environment too!