Discovering the magic of Cancun starts with its incredible array of ecological parks, nature reserves and archaeological sites. All are unique, interesting, fun to visit, and give travelers a taste of the Yucatan Peninsula’s natural wonders and ancient history.
However, no natural feature is more intriguing than the cenote, created by breaches in the subterranean basin’s ceiling that reveal crystalline waters hundreds of feet deep. An estimated 6,000-plus cenotes tattoo the peninsula, some accessible only through a fissure in the limestone, others partly or completely open, resembling a pond.
Dozens of cenotes are open to the public along coastal Highway 307. At some you can have a refreshing cenote swim with catfish in large pools, or dive into crystal-clear waters that lead through seemingly endless caverns with striking rock formations.
Away from land, the warm tropical waters reflect the true diversity of animals in cancun, and it’s little wonder why scuba diving is so hyped up to travellers. While you’re in the water, you may want to kick your way down to the Cancun Underwater Museum (MUSA), which features hundreds of statues. Called the “Silent Evolution”, the exhibit serves as an unusual art piece as well as an artificial coral reef for sea critters. Elsewhere, in nearby Akumal Bay, you can even go snorkeling with sea turtles!
Of the most striking encounters with the natural world, however, Cancun whale shark tours seem to take the cake. They often run between May and September of each year when these wonders begin to congregate just off the city’s coastline.
Wherever you are, make time to take advantage of Cancun’s greatest virtue of all—its prime location in one of the most naturally blessed and culturally rich regions in all of Mexico.