It’s no surprise that Cancun had a hotel occupancy rate of 82% before the summer season began: with stunning white-sand beaches, azure-blue surf and plenty of traditional cuisine and culture, this much-loved Mexican getaway is especially popular with North American tourists looking for a tropical paradise that isn’t too far from home.
Cancun also has one more trick up its sleeve – it is home to a host of hidden gems ranging from speciality museums to ancient Mayan ruins, all conveniently located close to the hotel zone. Without further ado, here are the top three hidden gems in the Cancun area, found on the trusted travel site, Trip Advisor.
Mayan Museum Of Cancun
This stunning archaeological museum displays a wide array of Mayan artefacts found in the state of Quintana Roo, as well as the Palenque, Chichen Itza and Comalcalco areas of Mexico. This attraction is suitable for adults and children alike, with a variety of art and activities to discover.
The museum is conveniently located just a 10-minute drive away from the Hotel Zone in Cancun, close to Playa Delfines beach.
Information cards in the museum are available in both English and Spanish. There is also a gift shop, bookstore, cafeteria and luggage storage on-site, perfect for visitors who want a bite to eat or a souvenir to take home.
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan km 16.5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 9 am-6 pm. Last entry at 5.30 pm.
Admission Fee: 85 Mexican Pesos (equivalent to USD $4.25)
This stunning stretch of coastline is home to hundreds of animal species, including white and loggerhead turtle hatchlings that climb up the beach each year – there is even a turtle sanctuary along the beach, for those who want to get up close and personal with one of nature’s greatest beauties.
As well as the normal beach activities of sunbathing and swimming, Xcacel also has ample opportunities for birdwatching and relaxing on hammocks made of environmentally-friendly materials. Parking and restroom facilities are also available.
Visitors who want to view the beauty of Xcacel are encouraged to read the regulations on their website: as a nature sanctuary, no smoking or littering is permitted. Food, alcohol and sunscreen are also limited on the beach.
Finally, visitors should know that swimming is only allowed on the left part of the beach, as the central and right areas contain a strong current that could put people at risk.
Address: The beach is located at Kilometer 247 of Federal Highway 307, Cancun – Tulum, in Chan Chemuyil Mexico, 77774.
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.
Admission Fee: 81 Mexican pesos (equivalent to USD $4.03)
This archaeological site has the power to transport any visitor back in time: Also known as Scorpion’s Temple, Yamil Lu’um was originally a Mayan temple built sometime between AD 1200 and 1550. This attraction is ideal for travellers with families, especially as there are lots of iguanas to spot in the surrounding trees.
The site is situated between the Park Royal and Westin Lagunamar hotels. Visitors who want to access the site can ask at the front desk of either hotel for access to the ruins – otherwise, head to Playa Marlin beach to see the ruins from afar. This is one of many reasons that Yamil Lu’um is rated so highly on Trip Advisor: its proximity to the El Centro district means that travellers are able to sample delicious food in Cancun’s downtown area and then visit an ancient Mayan masterpiece, all within the space of an afternoon.
Address: Blvd. Kukulcán, Km 12
Cancún, Quintana Roo 77500, Mexico
Opening Hours: The ruins are open 24 hours a day.
Admission Fee: Free
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