The Yucatán Peninsula is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The laid back Mexican Caribbean vibe gives travelers a taste of what a slower, Caribbean lifestyle is all about. Regardless of what you want to get out of your vacation, there is never a shortage of things to do around here. From extreme jungle adventures to spa days, food tours, surfing at the beach or even partying the night away at the famous Coco Bongo – The Yucatán Peninsula has it all. Here are 6 lesser known, hidden gems in the area to consider on your next adventure.
Created in the late 1940s by the eccentric English poet Edward James, this incredible sculpture garden is hidden in the Mexican rainforest an hour south of Cancun. Las Pozas translates to “the pools” in Spanish, representing the nine pools on the 80 acre property created from naturally flowing water. Take a walk through rainforest covered mountains and a unique piece of history.
Address: Ruta 101, 77730 Q.R., Mexico
Akumal is known as the jewel of the coastline and is well worth the drive. If you like snorkeling, put this on your list of places to check out. “Akumal” translates to “place of turtles” and these white, sugary beaches and warm shallow waters are an absolute haven for nesting turtles and manta rays. If you get hungry or care to indulge in happy hour there is a well established beach bar called ‘Lol Ha’ that has something to satisfy everyone in the group. They even have a live webcam outside to check out current beach conditions, check it out here.
Address: Playa Akumal, Carretera Tulum, Yodzonot, 77776 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Xoximilco is considered the “floating fiestas,” and it is one of Mexico’s ultimate party experiences. The party starts at a traditional Mexican carnival then moves to a gondola where you’ll cruise through the beautiful jungle scenery while indulging in an open bar, dancing to live music, and playing different games that are bound to keep the laughter going.
Address: Chetumal Km. 282, Juárez, 77580 Puerto Morelos, Q.R., Mexico
This 5-mile long island is a highly protected nesting site for sea birds. It has stunning white sand beaches and a very secluded feel, only 200 visitors are allowed onto the island per day which makes it a very intimate experience for travelers. Isla Contoy is considered one of the best and most unique islands of the Yucatan. This untouched natural wonder is just a few miles off the coast of Cancun and near Isla Mujeres. If you’re looking to experience an authentic “island life” feel and perhaps visit the second-longest coral reef system in the world, The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef – Isla Contoy is definitely the place for you.
Punta Cancun Lighthouse
El Faro de Punta Cancún, aka the Punta Cancun Lighthouse is one of the best sunset spots in Cancun. Locals flock to this spot to take in the breathtaking views that the sunsets there have to offer and it’s a great place to get some nice photos. Situated at the northern end of the hotel zone, this red and white striped lighthouse is about 40 feet in height.
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan MZ51 LT7, Punta Cancun, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
El Rey Archaeological Area
One of Cancun’s most under-the-radar historic attractions, the El Rey Archaeological Area is one of the best places to explore the ancient ruins, learn the history of the area, while still avoiding crowds. For about $2.75 USD you will gain general admission access to the historic site.
Address: Hotel Zone, 77500 Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico
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