42 Tips for a Cancun Honeymoon

'The Castle' in Tulum - Photo by James Riswick
‘The Castle’ in Tulum – Photo by James Riswick

KNOW STAY EAT SEE & DO

SEE & DO

30. Lounge on the beach, that’s why you’re going to Cancun, right? 31. The easiest way to get a taste of Mayan culture and history is to visit the Museo Maya de Cancun located on the southern end of the Hotel Zone. Located adjacent to an actual archaeological site, this museum houses 350 artifacts in a building built on stilts over the jungle.

Temple of Kulkukan in Chichen Itza - Photo by Sam Rowe
Temple of Kulkukan in Chichen Itza – Photo by Sam Rowe

32. The easiest Mayan site to visit is Tulum. Perched atop a cliff overlooking the Caribbean on the southern end of the Riviera Maya, the ruins at this site range from simple houses to the grand Castillo (or castle). Make sure to bring your bathing suit, though, as there’s an easily accessible, half-decent beach at the bottom of the cliff.

33. The grandest, most iconic Mayan site is Chichen Itza. This world heritage site that thrived as the Mayan Empire’s cultural center from around AD 700 to 1200 has been reclaimed from the jungle to reveal some of its original glory. The spectacular Temple of Kulkukan pyramid is without question the highlight, but climbing the 91 steps to the top is no longer allowed. It takes about 2.5 hours to reach Chichen Itza from the Hotel Zone and a little longer from the Riviera Maya.

34. Those staying in the Riviera Maya may want to consider Coba as an alternative. Sure, this Mayan ruin is an hour shorter drive (equal from the Hotel Zone), but it hasn’t been developed or cleared of jungle like Chichen Itza has. In other words, it’s a tad more authentic as an archaeological site. And although Coba was stripped of its status as the largest and most important of the Yucatan’s cities by Chichen Itza long ago, you’ll still get a sense of the Maya’s many achievements.

35. You can rent a car and drive to any of these sites, it certainly isn’t difficult. However, being part of a tour is without question easier and may include a guide. You may also be able to charter a cab for the day given the season and how much you want to spend.

36. There are a number of adventure and nature parks along the Riviera Maya, which we’ve listed below. Doing at least one is a must should you be staying in that area, and they’re certainly worth a trip from the Hotel Zone. Each provides round-trip service from your hotel.

Ziplining at Xplor - Photo by Trish Riswick
Ziplining at Xplor – Photo by Trish Riswick

37. Xplor includes two courses of multiple zip-lines over the jungle, plus swimming in caves and driving an all-terrain vehicle through the jungle you just zipped over. Drinks and food are all-inclusive here as well. If you’re looking to get your pulse racing (well, at least outside your hotel room), this is the best way to do it in a safe, well-maintained environment. We highly recommend it.

38. Xel-Ha is a natural water park. Float down a real freshwater lazy river through mangroves, take a leap off a cliff and go snorkeling in an enormous real lagoon filled with tropical fish. Drinks and food are all-inclusive, but you’ll pay extra for encounters with dolphins, manatees and something called a Zip Bike.

39. Xcaret is more family oriented. It too features snorkeling and cave swimming, but puts an emphasis on wildlife and cultural elements like a recreation Mayan Village and a nightly dinner show.

40. Your best bet for a taste of interesting local life is in Playa del Carmen even though it’s been increasingly remade for the tourists staying in the nearby Riviera Maya resorts. This former fishing village offers an energetic beach and nightlife, along with shopping and restaurants.

41. Your best bet for a high-speed thrill is going on a Sea-Doo adventure. Climb aboard a Sea-Doo together and motor through Cancun’s fresh lagoon and out into the sea, following a knowledgeable guide to a nice little reef off the north coast for some snorkeling.

42. There is no shortage of snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities in Cancun, but for a unique experience under the sea, visit the world’s only underwater sculpture garden Museo Subacuatico del Arte. Two galleries consisting of 487 sculptures were arranged at different depths to be enjoyed by snorkelers and scuba divers alike. This celebration of both man-made and natural beauty is something you can only experience in Cancun.

KNOW STAY EAT SEE & DO

Honeymoon, Cancun
Sunset in Cancun – Photo by James Riswick

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