Local Attractions in Cancun, Mexico

93rd ASP Meeting

Local Attractions:

Below are a few suggestions to consider when you start planning your tour itinerary for your visit to Cancun. Official visitor’s guides and coupon books will be placed in your welcome bag.

* The eco-archaeological Park Xcaret (for the whole family) is located on the seashore near Cancun in the Riviera Maya, with several restaurants, and attractions such as the traditional Fiesta Charra, the Mayan Ball or natural places such as Jaguar Island or the Butterfly Pavilion. You can also enjoy the Caribbean Sea, taking a snorkeling tour or swimming in a underground river. During the evenings, you can watch the presentation "Xcaret Mexico Espectacular", a show with more than 300 artists describing the history of Mexico.

* Xel-Há (for the whole family) is also located on the seashore near Cancun and in the heart of the Riviera Maya. It is a wonderful place for snorkeling to see hundreds of colorful tropical coral reef fishes and the diversity of marine species that inhabit its cove and cenotes. This is an All Inclusive Park with water activities, ecological attractions, restaurants and wonderful sightseeing.

* Playa del Carmen (for young people) is located south of Cancun on the Riviera Maya. It is famous for its exciting nightlife and beautiful beaches.

* Sian Kaan (the door to heaven in Mayan language) has been a Biosphere Reserve since 1986. It is one of the most fascinating parts of the Yucatan peninsula. It is located 2 hours south of Cancun near the small town of Tulum. Sian Ka'an is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna; there is an extensive array of channels, teeming with fish that were constructed by the Mayans. These channels connect several cenotes (= sinkholes) that flow into the Caribbean Sea.

*Cozumel (the best place for diving) is an island off the coast of Playa del Carmen, easily accessible via a ferry. It is wonderful place for snorkeling or diving among beautiful coral reefs. The island has very good hotel resorts and restaurants. There is no need to book in advance, just look for a tour guide along the dock after arriving in Cozumel.

* Coba (Mayan ruins) means ‘waters stirred by the wind’. This Mayan site is still largely unexplored. Visitors can enjoy shaded walkways that are the original sacbe (white roads), explore three settlements that depict the original architecture of the region, visit 2 ball courts, or climb the highest Mayan pyramid in the Yucatan, Nohoch Mul.

* Tulum, with beautiful landscape and beach, is located 130 km south of Cancun. It was built late in the thirteenth century, during what is known as the Mayan post-classic period. This is the only Mayan city built on the coast with an “elegant setting on sheer limestone cliffs above the turquoise splendor of the crashing Caribbean”.

* Holbox and Punta Sam: For the adventurous these two cities offer an opportunity to swim with whale sharks. Whale sharks are usually found around the islands of Holbox and Contoy from May to September, but occur most often during the months of July and August. You can book a  swimming tour leaving Cancun from Punta Sam, or you can take a trip to Isla Holbox and book it while you are there. The tours last about 5 hours. If you want to swim with the whale shark, make sure you book your tour with a recommended tour operator. It is a truly amazing experience and one that you will never forget.

Local Organizing Committee:

Victor Manuel Vidal Martinez, Cinvestav Mérida, vvidal@cinvestav.mx

Leopoldina Aguirre Macedo, Cinvestav Mérida, leopoldina.aguirre@cinvestav.mx

Rossana Rodríguez Canul, Cinvestav Mérida, rossana.rodriguez@cinvestav.mx

Edgar Mendoza Franco, Universidad de Campeche, efmendoz@uacam.mx

David González Solís, ECOSUR Q. Roo, dgonzale@ecosur.mx

Ma. Isabel Jiménez García, Instituto Tecnológico Boca del Rio, Veracruz, mariaisabeljimenez@itboca.edu.mx

Hugo Mejía Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM, Ciudad de México, hugo_mejia_madrid@ciencias.unam.mx 

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