Six Unexpected Things to Do in Cancun

This Mexican city is synonymous with lovely resorts, icing-sugar 
beaches, great shopping, fine dining and vibrant nightlife, 
but here's how to explore some of its 
lesser-known delights.
 

Photograph by Laura Storm/Alamy

1. Visit an underwater art museum

Located on the Caribbean’s shallow seabed around Cancun, the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA) is one of the world’s largest underwater art museums. Snorkel, scuba dive or hop aboard a glass-bottom boat to view underwater galleries displaying more than 500 otherworldly life-sized statues and sculptures.

 

2. See street art

Mural by Celeste Byers and Aaron Glasson. Photograph by Celeste Byers.

Stroll Cancun’s streets to see an array of colourful new murals transforming walls and building exteriors in the Hotel Zone and downtown into an open-air street art museum. The work of international volunteer artists, the murals portray local culture and issues important to Cancun, such as ocean conservation.

 

3. Explore Mayan ruins in the Hotel Zone

Photograph by Denita Delmont Creative/Alamy

You don’t need to venture far to explore ruins of the ancient Maya civilization. Right in the heart of the Hotel Zone, you’ll find Yamil Lu’um and El Rey, with the latter containing 47 excavated buildings, including a pyramid temple. Nearby, the Maya Museum of Cancun houses the San Miguelito archaeological site.

 

4. Go to Cancun’s first resort casino

Photograph courtesy of the Red Casino at Grand Oasis Cancun.

Try your luck at the Red Casino at Grand Oasis Cancun, the city’s first resort casino. Here, you can watch the big game, take in a live performance or dance the night away. The resort’s Oasis Arena hosts concerts and sporting events.

 

5. Imbibe in a growing craft beer scene

Photograph courtesy of Hyatt Ziva Cancun.

Cerveza-lovers will delight in Cancun’s growing craft beer scene. Tres Cervezas at Hyatt Ziva Cancun is the world’s only microbrewery in an all-inclusive; stop by to try one of the three different brews on tap. Mexico’s artisanal beer takes centre stage at Cancun’s Soy Cerveza festival, an annual event (held every July) that showcases local craft beer.

 

6. Release sea turtle hatchlings into the sea

Photograph by Enrique Garcia Navarro/Alamy

Hundreds of female hawksbill and loggerhead turtles return to their Cancun beach birthplaces to lay eggs at night during sea turtle nesting season, May to November. Most hotels run programs to protect the eggs, later giving excited guests the chance to release the hatchlings into the sea.

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