The beaches in and around your resorts are great for relaxing with your loved ones. Plus, the resorts offer a plethora of activities that are certain to keep everyone happy and content. Team Traterra recommends two activities outside the resorts, however, that are well worth discovering:
This natural adventure park in the Riviera Maya is easily accessible to travelers staying in Cancun. Book through Traterra and we’ll arrange for you to be picked up and dropped off right at your resort’s front door.
Xplor’s biggest claim to fame is the fact that it’s home to the highest zipline in Latin America, as well as 13 other ziplines, that are certain to awe you as you fly high above the trees. Once you’ve come back down to earth, hop in one of the park’s amphibious vehicles and drive on trails that run through the jungle and the park’s large limestone caves. Cool off with a swim in the underground river surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites; then take an exciting paddle raft ride formed millions of years ago by natural subterranean water erosion. A delicious buffet meal completes the experience at Xplor.
With a 72-passenger capacity, you’ll be whisked 262 feet from the ground to the top of this 360-degree rotating tower. From the top, you can take in every angle of Quintana Roo and its surrounding natural beauty, including Cozumel Island on a clear day.
Xcaret’s dolphin attraction is one of the best you’ll ever experience and something your kids will never forget. You’ll spend 30-45 minutes in the water with these graceful, empathic animals as they swim around you, turn over for you to rub their bellies, and thrust you into the air with their noses. Their official photographers are great, so make sure to check out the shots they take while you’re in the water. We guarantee you’ll want the one they snap when they line up your whole family and both dolphins jump 15 feet over your heads.
This replica of a Mexican cemetery depicts Mexico’s deeply-rooted fascination with death that has existed since pre-Hispanic times and given rise to the country’s largest and best-known tradition—Dia de los Muertos—or Day of the Dead.
If you want to experience one thing at Xcaret, make it the evening show called Experience Mexico. This feast for the eyes and ears is a singing and dancing extravaganza that tells the stories of Mexican folklore.
This phenomenal Mexican buffet is an absolute must for lunch. Under a large thatch-roofed palapa, La Laguna offers up some impeccably prepared Mexican dishes including a phenomenal cochinita pipil (slow-roasted pork), a great arrachera (grilled flank steak), and chicharrons (fried pork skin) as big as your head. The buffet has great stuff for kids, too, including a solidly refreshing dessert bar.
When to Go
The sun shines in Cancun about 250 days a year. It’s no wonder then that the entire region is a year-round vacation destination. The best time of year to travel is between December and April, as it is not only the sunniest then, but the temperatures and humidity are also at their most pleasant—ranging from 65 degrees (at night) to 85 degrees (during the day). Hurricane season is from June-November and spring break is in March, so avoid both those times unless you like it when things get a little crazy.
A popular island with day-trippers, Isla Mujeres is reachable by ferry from Cancun or the nearby Puerto Juarez. Team Traterra offers a day trip to the island, or you can go on your own by booking the Cancun ferry that takes off from the pier behind Fat Tuesday in the Hotel Zone. It departs daily at 10 AM and returns at 5 PM. Water taxis and shuttles also regularly depart from Cancun to Isla Mujeres, but they are not as nice and air-conditioned as the ferry. It’s best to confirm all departure times with your concierge.
See more than 300 crocodiles at Crococun Crocodile Park in Cancun. Open daily from 8:30 AM-5:30 PM, this zoo is also home to deer, monkeys, parrots, and more.
One of Cancun’s newest attractions is an open-air shopping mall. Jewelry stores and brand –name designers here are top-of-the-line. It’s also a good place to shop for mementos. What really makes this mall stand out, particularly with kids, is its interactive aquarium complete with colorful saltwater fish, a shark tank, and a dolphin program.
You'll need a place to stay that matches the trip you're on. Our team recommends these hotels for this experience.
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Resorts in Cancun are all-inclusive, but if you and your family care to get out and explore some restaurants during your time together, check out these two Traterra favorites:
Av. Bonampak 71-72, Cancun
Just 200 yards from the entrance to Cancun’s Hotel Zone, Peter’s Restaurante specializes in Mexican and international cuisine. It’s a great spot for families, as well as for couples desiring a "date night” away from the kids. We like this restaurant because Chef Peter makes a personal visit to each table to take your order. Favorites include the veal Marsala or smoked salmon, topped off with the dessert Chocolate Lovers. Kid-friendly menus are available.
The Surfin’ Burrito
Kukulcan Blvd. Km 9.5, Cancun
While the exterior may not look like much, the burritos here are simply the best you’ll find in Cancun. Huge, fresh, and delicious, be prepared to wait-but it’ll be worth it. For a group, order a few different items (we like the carne asada, shrimp burritos, and fish tacos). Open 24/7, you can also hit this place up for delicious breakfast burritos.
Caribbean Funday, Isla Mujeres
Spend a day away from your resort and head to Isla Mujeres for a day of fun in the sun. This adventure departs from the Caribbean Carnaval pier at Playa Tortugas and comes complete with towels, snorkel equipment, a buffet meal, snacks, and the option to purchase additional on-island activities.
Jungle Maya Expedition
This six-hour adventure gets under way in a 4X4 all-terrain vehicle that takes you to the amazing sac-actun cenote system, the world’s longest underground river. You’ll snorkel in the Nohoch Nah Chiich cavern, surrounded by awesome rock formations and millenary stalactites and stalacmites, and swim in Yazmuul, a unique natural pool. You also visit Kantenah Natural Reserve, where you can rappel into a cenote and zip over the jungle’s foliage. The day also includes a buffet lunch and all necessary equipment.
Indiana Joe’s Aktun-chen Adventure Park
This park translates to “cave with an underground river inside.” This cave system within a park is believed to have formed more than five million years ago. A couple hours from the resorts in Cancun, this day tour incorporates caves galore with a zoo, an underground cenote for snorkeling, and ziplines. You have the entire day to explore these possibilities on your own.
Enjoy an exciting day in the Mayan world and visit Chichen Itza – one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico and one of the Mayans’ largest cities. Round-trip transportation and a buffet lunch is included.
Jungle Snorkeling Tour on Speed Boats
This fun-in-the-sun adventure combines snorkeling and speed boating through the Nichupte Lagoon and the Caribbean. Once you reach the Punta Nizuc Reefs, you'll put on your snorkeling gear to swim amidst bright coral formations and look for colorful tropical fish like stingrays, barracudas, and schools of Damselfish.
Swim with the Dolphins Educational Program
For anyone who’s ever wanted to swim with the dolphins, this 40-minute adventure is for you. An instructor will talk about different behaviors and characteristics of the dolphins and then let you get in the water and interact with them yourself. With a bit of luck, you’ll even receive a dolphin kiss!
Whale Shark Adventure
Swim with one of the largest fish in the ocean, the whale shark. Daily departures to look for this beautiful docile creature take place annually from the end of May to the middle of September. The best time to see a whale shark, however is from early June to the end of August. All necessary equipment, hotel pick-up and drop-off, as well as snacks, drinks, and lunch, are provided.