Off the Beaten Path: Non Touristy Things to Do in Cancun Mexico for Couples and Groups
Updated: May 12
Welcome to sunny Cancun, Mexico! Known for its crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and vibrant nightlife, Cancun is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. However, if you're looking to get off the beaten path and explore some non-touristy activities, you're in the right place. In this post, we'll share some hidden gems that are perfect for couples and groups looking to have a unique and unforgettable experience in Cancun. From exploring the local cuisine to visiting lesser-known attractions, we'll show you how to make the most of your trip to Cancun and create memories that will last a lifetime. So, grab your sunscreen and let's dive in!
Non touristy things to do in Cancun
Cenote Dos Ojos and Gran Cenote are two of the most stunning natural wonders you can find in Cancun. These cenotes are part of the extensive network of underground rivers and waterways that run through the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. With their crystal-clear waters, unique rock formations, and diverse marine life, they offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience that every traveler should include in their itinerary.
Cenotes, also known as sinkholes, are a geological formation that is found in areas where the limestone bedrock has collapsed, revealing an underground water source. They have been an integral part of Mayan culture for thousands of years, serving as a source of fresh water for the local communities and as a place of worship and ritual.
Cenote Dos Ojos, which translates to "two eyes," is named after the two circular sinkholes that are connected by a long tunnel system. Located just 22 kilometers north of Tulum, this cenote is one of the most famous diving sites in the world, attracting thousands of divers and snorkelers every year. The water is so clear that you can see up to 100 meters ahead, making it an ideal spot for underwater exploration.
The unique geological formations found in the cenote are a result of millions of years of geological processes, including the deposition of calcium carbonate from the water. Stalactites, stalagmites, and columns create a breathtaking backdrop that seems almost surreal. The intricate network of tunnels and caverns that connect the two cenotes are also home to a diverse array of marine life, including freshwater fish, turtles, and even crocodiles.
Gran Cenote, on the other hand, is a bit more accessible than Cenote Dos Ojos. Located just 4 kilometers west of Tulum, this cenote is a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling. The water is also incredibly clear, making it an excellent place to observe the underwater rock formations and marine life.
One of the highlights of Gran Cenote is the large wooden platform that is suspended over the water. From this vantage point, you can see the entire cenote and the diverse aquatic life that calls it home. Snorkeling around the edges of the cenote, you can see the intricate cave formations that make this location so unique.
Both Cenote Dos Ojos and Gran Cenote offer a unique opportunity to explore the underwater world of the Yucatan Peninsula. Whether you are an experienced diver or a novice snorkeler, these cenotes have something for everyone. The clear waters, fascinating rock formations, and diverse marine life make them a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Cancun.
If you plan to visit these cenotes, it's important to be mindful of the environment and the local culture. Remember to respect the natural habitat and avoid touching or disturbing any of the marine life or rock formations. Additionally, it's important to dress appropriately, wear sunscreen, and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated during your visit.
The Mayan jungle is home to a vast array of plant and animal species, and it's a fascinating place to explore. You can take a guided tour through the jungle, learning about the local flora and fauna as you go. There are also several activities you can do, such as zip-lining, ATV riding, or rappelling. The jungle is a great place to get some exercise and enjoy the natural beauty of Cancun.
Zip-lining in Cancun
Zip-lining is an activity that involves gliding through the air on a cable while being harnessed to a pulley. In Cancun, there are several zip-lining parks that offer a variety of courses suitable for all levels of experience. Some of the parks even include other activities like suspension bridges and cenote swimming.
One of the most popular zip-lining parks in Cancun is Xplor. Located about 45 minutes from Cancun, Xplor offers a thrilling zip-lining course that spans over 3.8 kilometers through the jungle. The course includes 14 zip-lines, a hammock bridge, and a water landing. This park is perfect for adventure seekers who are looking for a full day of fun and excitement.
ATV Riding in Cancun
Another adventure activity that is gaining popularity in Cancun is ATV riding. This activity involves driving an all-terrain vehicle through the jungle on rough terrain. It's an exciting way to explore the natural beauty of the Mexican jungle.
There are several parks in Cancun that offer ATV riding tours, but one of the most popular is Jungle Maya. Located just a few minutes from Tulum, Jungle Maya offers a 3-hour ATV tour that takes you through the jungle to a hidden cenote. The tour includes a stop at a Mayan ruin and a rappelling activity down into the cenote. This park is perfect for those who want to combine adventure and culture.
Rappelling in Cancun
Rappelling is an activity that involves descending a vertical surface with the use of ropes and harnesses. It's an exciting way to explore the cenotes and cliffs of the Mexican jungle.
One of the best places to go rappelling in Cancun is Selvatica. Located about 45 minutes from Cancun, Selvatica offers a thrilling rappelling experience that takes you down a 45-foot cliff. The park also offers other activities like zip-lining, ATV riding, and cenote swimming.
Tips for Adventure Activities in Cancun
If you're planning on trying one of these adventure activities in Cancun, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Wear comfortable clothing: Make sure to wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely. Avoid wearing flip-flops and opt for closed-toe shoes instead.
Stay hydrated: The Mexican sun can be unforgiving, so make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. Bring plenty of water and drink it regularly.
Follow instructions: Listen carefully to the instructions provided by your guide and follow them closely. This will ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.
Be prepared for the weather: The weather in Cancun can be unpredictable, so make sure to check the forecast before heading out. Bring a raincoat or poncho if necessary.
If you're looking for a unique experience during your trip to Cancun, a visit to the Isla Blanca lighthouse should be on your list. Located on the northern tip of Cancun, Isla Blanca is a relatively undeveloped area that offers breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea.
To get to the lighthouse, you'll need to take a ferry or drive about 40 minutes from Cancun's hotel zone. Once you arrive, you'll be greeted by a small village and a beautiful stretch of white sand beach. The lighthouse is visible from the beach, and you'll need to walk about 15-20 minutes to get there.
The walk to the lighthouse is a bit of an adventure in itself. You'll cross a wooden bridge that spans a lagoon, where you'll see a variety of birds and fish. The bridge can be a bit rickety, so be careful as you make your way across.
Once you reach the lighthouse, you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of the coastline and the sea. The lighthouse itself is a striking white tower that stands 110 feet tall. It was built in 1902 and served as a navigational aid for ships traveling along the coast. Today, it's a popular spot for tourists to visit.
The view from the top of the lighthouse is truly breathtaking. You'll be able to see for miles in every direction, with turquoise waters stretching as far as the eye can see. If you're lucky, you may even spot some dolphins or sea turtles in the water below.
The climb to the top of the lighthouse is not for the faint of heart. There are 110 steps, and the spiral staircase is narrow and steep. But if you're up for the challenge, the view from the top is well worth the effort.
In addition to the lighthouse, there are a few other things to do in Isla Blanca. You can spend some time lounging on the beach, go fishing or snorkeling, or take a boat tour of the area. There are also a few small restaurants and shops in the village where you can grab a bite to eat or pick up some souvenirs.
If you're planning a visit to the Isla Blanca lighthouse, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the area can be quite hot and humid, so be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Second, the beach is quite secluded, so there are not a lot of amenities available. Finally, the lighthouse is not open every day, so be sure to check ahead of time to make sure it's open when you plan to visit.
Cancun is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, and exciting nightlife. However, did you know that Cancun is also a food lover’s paradise? With its rich history and diverse cultural influences, Cancun offers a unique culinary experience that is hard to find anywhere else in the world. One of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in the local cuisine is by taking cooking classes in Cancun.
Cooking classes in Cancun offer a hands-on experience that allows you to learn about the local ingredients, cooking techniques, and traditional dishes. Whether you are an experienced chef or a beginner cook, there is a class that is perfect for you. Here are some of the top reasons why you should consider taking cooking classes in Cancun.
Learn About the Local Ingredients
The local ingredients in Cancun are fresh, flavorful, and unique. From tropical fruits and vegetables to fresh seafood, you will have the opportunity to work with ingredients that you may have never encountered before. Taking a cooking class in Cancun will allow you to learn about these ingredients, how they are grown and harvested, and how they are used in traditional dishes.
One of the most popular ingredients in Cancun is the Yucatan habanero pepper. This small, fiery pepper is used in many traditional dishes and sauces and adds a spicy kick to any dish. Taking a cooking class in Cancun will give you the opportunity to work with this unique ingredient and learn how to use it to add flavor and heat to your dishes.
Discover Traditional Dishes
Cancun is home to a wide variety of traditional dishes that are packed with flavor and cultural significance. Taking a cooking class in Cancun will allow you to discover these dishes and learn how to recreate them in your own kitchen. From cochinita pibil, a slow-cooked pork dish marinated in achiote paste and sour orange juice, to sopa de lima, a savory chicken soup with lime juice and crispy tortilla strips, the traditional dishes of Cancun are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Experience the Local Culture
Cooking classes in Cancun are not just about learning how to cook. They are also about experiencing the local culture and connecting with the people who call Cancun home. Many cooking classes are held in local homes or restaurants, which gives you the opportunity to meet local chefs and home cooks and learn about their traditions and culture.
In addition, many cooking classes include a trip to the local market, where you can see the ingredients up close, meet local vendors, and experience the hustle and bustle of a traditional Mexican market. This is a great opportunity to learn about the local ingredients and gain a deeper understanding of the local culture.
Cancun, Mexico is not just about its beaches and tourist attractions. There are plenty of non-touristy things to do that can make your visit to this beautiful destination unforgettable. From exploring the hidden gems of the city to indulging in its rich culture and cuisine, whether you're a couple looking for a romantic getaway or a group of friends seeking adventure, Cancun has it all. So, the next time you plan a trip to this Mexican paradise, don't forget to try out these non-touristy activities and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Also see Where to Stay in Cancun
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