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Cancun » Spring Break

Attractions & Excursions for Spring Breakers

Cancun Spring Break Guide

By STACY TUCCOLO

"You can party anywhere but you're not in Cancun every day, so be sure to check out some of the natural, historical and cultural wonders of the island! Besides, it'll give you something interesting to talk about with that cute guy or girl at the beach party later!"

So, you're taking a break from partying like it's your job and you want to check out some of the local culture and activities on the island! Good for you! Your parents will be proud! (Make sure you take pictures to prove that you did something other than body shots, stage diving, sexy kissing contests and sleeping on the beach at high noon!)

Experiencing the culture, history, landscape, wildlife and ecosystems of the places you travel always makes a trip more memorable (and if those are the only activities you experience while sober, they may be your ONLY memories)! You can party anywhere but you're not in Cancun every day, so be sure to check out some of the natural, historical and cultural wonders of the island! Besides, it'll give you something interesting to talk about with that cute guy or girl you meet at the beach party later! There are so many things to do when visiting Cancun it's tough to know where to start! So, in no particular order of preference, here are some great things to check out on Cancun!

Wildlife Parks - the Other Kind of Wild Life

Put at least one of these amazing places on your to-do list before leaving Cancun! Isla Contoy offers a haven of wildlife, and I do mean that in an ecological sense. Located 15 miles north of Isla Mujeres, this island is 4 miles long and teaming with egrets, pelicans, flamingos, stingrays, exotic plants, reptiles and marine life. With a white sandy beach on one side and a rocky shore on the other, where you can see the largest fish in the ocean known as the Whale Shark, you can trek around the island, check out the observatory or sign up for a guided tour. Xcaret Eco Park is located in the Playa del Carmen just 45 minutes from Cancun on the Riviera Maya. Proof that conservation culture and entertainment can blissfully coincide, this park offers a variety of activities including an amazing Aquarium, Interactive Dolphin Encounter, Butterfly Pavilion, Xcaret Underground snorkeling tours, Xcaret Spectacular mysticism shows, Mayan village and archaeological sites. Reserva Natural Tres Rios is an unforgettable natural wonder located in a subtropical jungle on the Riviera Maya between Cancun and the Playa del Carmen. Brimming with rivers, jungles, swamps and beaches, you can explore this eco park by walking the trails, riding horseback, biking, kayaking the coast or snorkeling to your heart's content. With hundreds of animal species, subtropical flora and sea life calling this place home, you could spend an entire day here and still want to see more. Garrafon National Park on the southeastern tip of Isla Mujeres is a quick ferry ride away from Cancun and well worth the trip - even if you go to get away from the crowds and enjoy a quieter beach experience with someone you want to get to know a little better! But there's one adventure you won't want to miss - riding along a steel cable known as a zip line over the sea! And be sure to check out the gorgeous sights from the top of the bluff to beneath the crystal clear waters where many visitors flock to snorkel and scuba dive.

Golfing in Cancun

If your mind isn't too bleary from partying the night before, the double vision has subsided and you can walk several steps without collapsing, golfing is absolutely fantastic on Cancun! There are many gorgeous greens to choose from starting with our own Spring Break friend, the Cancun Oasis! Yes, they have a relatively small, 9-hole golf course but it's very nice and possibly all you can handle after a night of partying. Besides, if you were partying at the Oasis Club Foam Party all night and woke up on the beach out front, you're just a hop, skip and stagger away from taking a quick swim to wash away the cobwebs and strolling onto the greens! Or there's a putting green if you want to see how much you sweat and shake before trying the 9-hole course. Puerto Aventuras is another small, 9-hole course with a putting green if you want to keep it short and sweet. Pok-Ta-Pok Golf Course is an 18-hole beauty overlooking the lagoon and sea. Then there's the Hilton Cancun Beach and Golf Resort (formerly called Caesar Park) located next to the Nuchupte Lagoon with a full-service 18-hole complex, driving range, putting green and unique sand traps. The Gran Melia Cancun is another exceptional 18hole executive par golf course located at the Hotel Melia that offers a fantastic ocean view. The Playacar Golf Club is a picturesque par 72 champion golf course designed by Robert Von Hagge, the world renowned golf course architect, designed in the Mayan Jungle! Club de Golf Cancun is another 18-hole professional quality course with a pro shop and club house (for a little hair-of-the-dog) and a nice restaurant.

Swimming with the Dolphins

Xcaret Park has some unique, interactive programs where you can play and swim with the dolphins while learning about their anatomy, behaviors and psychology - yes, dolphin psychology! Who'd a thought? The Parque Nizuc is a water park on the southern tip of the hotel zone with dolphin swim packages and programs for all ages. Isla Mujeres also has an educational program with a 30-minute dolphin swim. The Interactive Aquarium at the La Isla Shopping Center has programs for swimming with the dolphins and feeding the sharks (don't worry - separate programs in separate areas)!

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

Cancun is bordered by the second largest barrier reef in the world! The crystal clear, calm, warm water and lively sea life make this colorful underwater world a diver's dream! You can snorkel and dive straight from the shores of the amazing beaches of Cancun or book a guided adventure or lesson! Two of the most famous snorkeling and diving sites are the Punta Nizuc at the northern tip of the Great Mesoamerican Reef which is the largest reef in the Western Hemisphere and one of the largest in the world and El Garrafon at the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks (there aren't really sleeping sharks waiting for you - too many noisy tourists)! Most hotels and resorts offer scuba and snorkel equipment rentals (some let you use the snorkel gear for free) on the premises and there are plenty independent businesses throughout the island that offer equipment rental, guided scuba and snorkeling excursions and scuba diving lessons and certification programs. For equipment rental, guides and lessons, check out Blue Peace Diving (998-898-4312), Scuba Cancun (998-849-7508), Aquaworld (998-848-8300), Cancun Mermaid (998-843-651), Manta Divers (http://www.mantadivers.com/) and Xcaret (http://www.xcaret.com/water-activities.php).

Cultural Attractions Definitely Worth Checking Out

The gorgeous 8-mile island called Isla Mujeres takes you away from the glitzy, rowdy Cancun environment and back in time to the pre-tourist culture of the island. There's a unique Bohemian feel to this charming fishing community that's definitely worth checking out. Walk around the shopping area, take in the quiet romance of the lighthouse and Mayan ruins with someone special (whom you may have just met last night), swim with the dolphins, snorkel at one of the most gorgeous snorkeling beaches in the area and check out the Playa Caribbean restaurant, bar and beach club when it's time to eat and drink again!

The Museo Arqueologico de Cancun, an archaeological museum located to the right of the entrance of the Cancun Convention Center, is the perfect place for an accelerated history and culture tour of Cancun. Certainly worth the trip, this anthropology and history museum houses relics and artifacts of stone, stucco and clay, ancient incense burners, ceramics, jewelry and stone carvings from civilizations gone by. And, if you don't check out the Mayan Ruins while you're in Cancun, you should be ashamed of yourself (in addition to being ashamed of all the embarrassing, drunken and lewd things you did at the bars and dance clubs).

The world famous Mayan Ruins were erected from the ancient settlers who established communities in Belize, El Salvador, Guatamala, Honduras and Mexico's southeastern states Chiapas, Tabasco and the three states of the Yucatan Peninsula: Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan. The region known as the Mundo Maya is blessed with over 3,000 amazing architectural sites of this ancient and powerful culture.

But, let's face it; nothing sobers you up like watching a good old fashioned Bullfight! Cancun has a small bullfighting ring known as the Plaza de Toros located just opposite the Restaurant Los Almendros where bullfights are held every Wednesday afternoon and are followed by a Mexican Cowboy show. The bullfights are real - blood, gore and all - so don't go if you're an animal lover or if your stomach is weak after all those frozen drinks last night! They're also not always held year round, so check for availability before heading over by calling (998) 884-8372.


John Big Hat Walsh - See you in Cancun!

See you in Cancun!
John Walsh
John "Big Hat" Walsh

 
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