7 Must-Do's on Your First Time in Cancun and the Riviera Maya

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We’re here! Now what?

So it’s your first time in Cancun or the Riviera Maya, you’ve arrived at your hotel and you’re wondering how to make the most of your time here. We’ve put together a short list of ideas for you to get a great taste of the Mexican Caribbean so you can keep coming back for more!

 

1. Go to Xcaret

How to define Xcaret? It’s part archaeological site, part eco-theme park, part Mayan-themed Broadway show, and all incredible! You and your family will have an entire day of swimming in underground rivers, experiencing local wildlife, learning about the Mayan culture, all in a stunningly beautiful natural park setting. It’s a must, again and again.

And we haven’t even mentioned Xel-ha or Xplor….

See here for more on Xcaret.

 

2. Experience the Magic of the Mayans

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Amazing stone carvings at Ek Balam…
First time in Cancun
Climb Nohoch Mul pyramid at Coba…

Before there were sun-baked tourists here, it was the home of the Mayan culture. Spectacular examples of this civilization abound in the area, from world-reknowned Chichen Itza and Tulum to lesser known but no  less inspiring sites like Cobá and Ek Balam.

See how these cultures we may see as primitive, built wonders that still persist today.

Learn how to visit these awe-inspiring sites here.

 

3. Do Absolutely Nothing. Enjoy some down time.

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Sand in your toes and a cool breeze…nothing better.
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Even hyperactive kids get into the relaxing act…

Work. School. The Routine. Let it all come to a screeching halt at least once or twice during your vacation in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

Wake up late. Turn off the cell phone and the IPad for the kids and yourself. Order room service. Spend a day out by the hotel pool and beach and play a little and just kick back and soak in some of the turquoise blue and powder white that made you want to come down in the first place.

Your body and mind will thank you for it.

 

4. When the going gets tough, the tough go….SHOPPING!

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From local markets in downtown Cancun and Isla Mujeres to the stimulating Quinta Avenida in Playa del Carmen, and then on to luxury brand Mecca Fashion Harbour at La Isla, you can shop till you drop while here.

Take advantage of strong foreign currency exchange rates to find good deal, or put your bargaining skills to the test with market vendors to bring home something to always remind you of your time in paradise.

Want to put together your own private Shopping Tour? Click away!

 

5. Island Time

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Punta Sur, Isla Mujeres

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With stunning beaches, beautiful views and plenty of local color, experience Isla Mujeres, the island that existed long before Cancun.

Enjoy a sail around the island to go snorkeling or enjoy a fabulous sunset cruise. A quaint “downtown” area will offer you great food and drink, picturesque shops and lots to photograph.

A day on the island is just what the doctor ordered. Here’s how to see it best.

 

6. Playa del Carmen

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Para bailar la bamba….Quinta Avenida, Playa del Carmen
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Playa by night…

We locals just call it Playa. 30 years ago it was little more than the dock to take the ferry to Cozumel. Today, it’s the most important part of the Riviera Maya, and a place teeming with culture and excitement.

Spend your day walking along famous Quinta Avenida, a cobblestoney walkway extending for miles right near the beach with shops, restaurants, bars, galleries and plenty to keep your eyes and mind stimulated.

Enjoy time on an outdoor king sized bed at Playa Mamitas beach and meet people from all over the world and enjoy a drink, a bite or dance to your favorite music outdoors. It’s an international party!

And guess what? Xcaret, Xplor and a bunch of great attractions are less than half hour away! Find out more here…

 

7. Aaaaaaargh!

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Admit it, you have an inner pirate just dying to get out right? The whole family can arrgh like a pirate and be part of a full-length pirate adventure show on the Jolly Roger!

This show is non-stop laughs, excitement and fun for all ages. Find out more here.

 

Now if you think this is all you can do while on holiday in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, please know there is much, much more. This is just the beginning.

For more ideas on how to make the most of your time, budget and energy while here in the Mexican Caribbean, check out ecotourism-cancun.com. It’s a local company owned and staffed by long-time residents who really know the area and care about your experience while here.

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Swimming with Turtles- an Absolutely Brilliant Experience!

If you’re reading this post, it may be because you either aren’t the standard run-of-the-mill tourist or you’re a veteran of Cancun and Riviera Maya vacations. Either way, you want something different, right?

We’re going to share news about a set of thrills, deep in the Mayan jungles of the Riviera, that will give you something to remember forever, as you’ll have a full day of excitement and adrenalin, surrounded by the natural wonders of our area.

Get Ready for Snorkel Xtreme!

Swimming with turtles

 

 

The First and Ultimate Thrill! Snorkeling and Swimming with Turtles

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Strap on a mask, fins, vest and a new snorkel and take to the water with these beautiful creatures!

Start the day off at Turtle Bay, where you will enjoy the best ocean snorkeling while surrounded by amazing marine turtles.

 

Thrill #2: Rappelling

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He’s screaming from excitement, not because he’s afraid of heights. No, really…

We will then gear you up to rappel into the depths of the Mayan jungle. It’s totally safe and super fun!

 

Thrill #3: Zip Lines!

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swimming with turtles
Fly through the air with the greatest of ease…apparently the Eagle pose is a thing now…

Experience the thrill of flying over the jungle canopy in the fastest zip-line circuit in the region!

 

Thrill #4: Cenote Swim and Snorkel

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It really is like being in a whole new world in there…

Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of a mystical Mayan Cenote with underground river while exploring astounding rock formations.

 

Your experience is capped off with a fantastic Mexican meal, as you and your friends and loved ones recall what an amazing time you had, and plan your return next time!

Contact us at Ecotourism-Cancun.com today to see how you and yours can have a once-in-a-lifetime experience like Snorkel Xtreme!


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At ecotourism-cancun.com, our mission is to find you the most exhilarating vacation tours and excursions experiences around, and to help you save time, money and effort doing it!


Cenotes Unlock the Secrets to Underwater Mayan Mysteries

Almost 15 years ago, a team of Mexican archaeologists found three human skeletons; one of them was carbon-dated to be 13,600 years old. In 2008, divers located the remains of a MASTODON as well as a human skull that might be the oldest evidence of early man in the region.

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MASTODON bones and ancient human skulls. What other secrets are down there?

 

Where did they find those ancient treasures? They found them, and much more, in cenotes.

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What are cenotes?

Cenotes (se NOH tays) are surface connections to underground bodies of water, and in the English-speaking world we know them as sinkholes. Ah, but they are so much more here in Cancun, the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan Peninsula.

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Explore inner space…

There are an estimated 6000 cenotes in the entire Yucatan Peninsula, forming a vast underground network of caves, caverns and the source of much of the fresh water for the entire area.

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Some of the better known cenotes in our home state of Quintana Roo.

 

The best-known cenotes are large open water pools measuring tens of meters in diameter, such as at Chichén Itzá.

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Cenote Sagrado, the Sacred Cenote…at Chichen Itza an important body of water used for ceremonial rites

As far as swimming is concerned, cenote water is often very cool and clear, as the water comes from rain water filtering slowly through the ground, and where there is little or no direct access to sunlight. Some cenotes are open, where sections of cave roof have collapsed revealing an underlying cave system.

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Unlock the door to a whole new world…

 

There are four main different types of cenotes, named for their shapes.

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1. Jug or Pit cenotes are those with a surface connection narrower than the diameter of the water body, shaped like a bottle.

2. Cylinder cenotes are those with strictly vertical walls.

3. Basin cenotes are those with shallow water basins

4. Cave cenotes are those having a horizontal entrance with dry sections.

 

Take a Cenote Tour and Be Ready to Have Your Mind Blown

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The following tours have some stunning cenotes as one of their features. In some you can swim in, rappel into or just simply admire for their natural beauty.

1. Chichen Itzaalong with visiting one of the Seven Man-made Wonders of the World, visit the Cenote Sagrado and swim in nearby Ik Kil.

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Ik Kil, a stone’s throw from the Chichen Itza archaeological site.

 

2. Xenotes-from the same people who brought you Xcaret, Xenotes brings you four Cenote experiences, named for Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

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3. Coba Mayan EncounterYour unforgettable, off-the-beaten-track adventure tour then begins: exciting zip-line flying over a lagoon, rappelling down into an incredibly beautiful cenote where you can enjoy a refreshing swim before going up again.

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You can still climb the Nohoch Mul pyramid.

 

4. Akumal Snorkel Extreme TourTogether with your guide, fly above the trees of the Riviera Maya by zipline, snorkel at Akumal among turtles, fish and coral. Then rappel like an adventurer, and marvel as you make your way along the underground rivers of the Mayan cenotes.

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While white sand beaches and turquoise blue waters of Cancun and the Riviera Maya may have brought you here, the mysterious and stunning beauty of the jungle is what will stay with you forever. If you want to see, hear and feel what it was like to be in the Garden of Eden during your holiday, reserve a cenote tour today.

Click on the different cenotes tours above or click here to enjoy the highest quality affordable tours and excursions in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

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We are Ecotourism-Cancun, and we bring you ultimate vacation experiences in Cancun, the Riviera Maya and the entire Mayan World.

 

 

Experience Isla Contoy-True Caribbean Island Wildlife

Isla Contoy Wildlife

 Isla Contoy

At 25 miles (40 km) away from the busy vacation capital of Cancun, Isla Contoy is a pristine and protected island, where you can observe and enjoy thousands of birds, fish, and other wildlife in a virgin island setting.

Established as a protected natural reserve by the Mexican government, access is restricted to a maximum of 200 visitors per day so as to minimize the impact of tourism on the island’s natural resources.

 

www.ecotourism-cancun.com

There are no permanent inhabitants living on the island. There is, however, a dedicated team of scientists who make Contoy their temporary home as they study its precious animal and plant wildlife. The visitor’s center and research facilities will make you feel like you are producing your own NatGeo show!

www.ecotourism-cancun.com

 

Activities to Enjoy on Isla Contoy:

The Contoy Island Tour from Ecotourism-cancun.com will take you to live an amazing adventure on a virgin island, complete with a visit to the ecological museum…a key feature of this Mexican Caribbean ecotourism tour.

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  •  Sail through the wonderful waters of the Caribbean until reaching the carefully protected reef at Isla Contoy.
  • Marine biologists will teach and delight you with a magnificent explanation about the wildlife that inhabits this place, also known as Bird Island.
  •  As you explore the island and swim in its pristine waters, you’ll feel what it would be like to spend time on a deserted island paradise, far from land and where you are a part of nature.

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  •  Manta rays will swim right up to you long the beach.
  • Enjoy a delicious grilled fish for lunch, part of that morning’s catch freshly brought to you by fishermen from the nearest island.
  • On the way back we will take you to Isla Mujeres to enjoy a little island shopping in their picturesque “downtown” area.

 

Isla Contoy is truly one of the jewels of the Mexican Caribbean! If you are coming to Cancun or the Riviera Maya for your next vacation, definitely make sure to spend some time on Isla Contoy! Contact ecotourism-cancun.com today and check out our Facebook page and if you like our information, give us a like!

Swim with Sting Rays

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Sting Rays

Experience this holiday a day full of excitement in Isla Mujeres, which is located in front of Cancun just 35 minutes by boat.
The tour of Isla Mujeres with Dolphins leaves from the hotel zone of Cancun and in addition to the program with the dolphins will include a meeting with Sting rays, where you can coexists with these harmless creatures of the shark family.
The Sting rays have no bones, they are made primarily of cartilage and can measure a few centimeters or up to 5-7 meters long. They are carnivores and they eat small fish, crabs and shrimp, always hunt at night using their sense of smell and special receivers to detect their prey.
Touching the stingrays you ll see them floating through the sea, giving the impression that their Flying, sometimes they remain motionless, almost buried in the sand exposing only their eyes.

After swimming with the dolphins you can  swim with fifteen rays, the activity has a duration of 30 minutes, the trainer will help you get a chance to touch and interact with these curious creatures.
Some say that swimming with Sting rays is an experience not to be missed in life. To learn more about this trip to Isla Mujeres in Cancun click here.

Dare to Fly in the Sky Ridder in Cancun

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Sky Ridder Cancun

There is another way to enjoy the turquoise Caribbean Sea in Cancun from the magnificent heights, the tour is called Sky Ridder, is perfect for people who do not like very extreme emotions and weighing less than 100 kilos, all children above age 7 years can do this tour.

Since it takes place in a parachute harness instead of individual, it has a couch for two people which is driven from a specialized craft reaching a height of 80 meters, the tour lasts 10 minutes, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the hotel zone of Cancun.

You can do this activity on your next vacation in Cancun, contact us for more information.

Buses and Taxis, the Best Form of Transportation in Cancun

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Cancun Hotel Zone

So you’re coming to Cancún on Vacation and you’re worried about how to get around from one point to the other without spending a lot of money? Worry no more!

All along the Hotel Zone we have two perfect and economic forms of transportation:

Public buses are labeled HOTELES and the area they serve, be it any hotel along the hotel zone or into Downtown Cancun. For example, R1 (Tulum Avenue), R2 and R15 (Wal-Mart, Market 28). These buses have a cost of 8.50 Mexican pesos per person (all children pay, unless being carried by their parents in their arms). The buses are reliable, run frequently (something like every 2 minutes) and during the season they don’t stop running, meaning they work 24 hours a day. If you plan on hitting the clubs and plan on returning by bus ask the driver before getting off, the schedule of his route, and take into consideration the buses could be a little tight as we local also use them.

Now, if you don’t like the tight squeeze of a full bus, for pocket change you also have the taxis at your service! Completely safe, you can check rates from your hotel lobby. If you take them on the street, ask the driver for his price to wherever you want to go.

Taxis are cheap in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, but the rule is: don’t sit down until you’ve worked out a price!

What are you waiting for to visit us and enjoy the best vacation of your life?

Click here for more information!!

Why Rent a Catamaran?

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Catamarans in Cancun

Do you love the water? Does your perfect vacation with your family consist in sweet smooth sailing in Cancun, enjoying the sun and the ocean breeze with a cold, refreshing drink nearby? Then you definitely want to rent a catamaran!

We’ve got ‘em! Large and small, with a sail or without, you can enjoy either 4 or 8 hours as a private service. You can snorkel the reef, as the equipment and your guide is included! Find a delicious restaurant on Isla Mujeres and enjoy freshly grilled fish or a ceviche on board! Mmm, this is an adventure you can’t miss! If you come with a group or your family, the private service isn’t as expensive as it might seem, and it’s much more fun! Don’t waste any more time and ask for a price quote right now! And Sail on a Catamaran in Cancún!

 

Discover the beauty beneath the Caribbean Sea

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Discover the natural beauty

Cancun is known worldwide as one of the best places for diving and snorkeling

All those wishing to discover the natural beauty offered by the depths of the Caribbean Sea can choose between diving in old cenotes along the magical coral reefs or also in the creeks and parks.

If you are not a certified diver you can join a beginners tour:

View Classes for Beginners Diving

The Great Mesoamerican Reef is the longest and most impressive reef formation in the Western Hemisphere. Its home to a wide variety of species of coral, molluscs, fish, sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other striking sea creatures. A dream place for divers and snorkel lovers.

View Tour Snorkeling Adventure

Snorkel Tour in the Underwater Museum

Snorkel Tour in Cancun

The Underwater Museum in Cancun offers you the opportunity to see art differently, this museum in the Caribbean consists of several sculptures of different size at depths of 3 to 6 meters, which form a new artificial reef in the Marine National Park of Cancun and Isla Mujeres and have become home to a wide variety of creatures.

Enjoy this unique attraction in Cancun on a tour where you just need a pair of fins, snorkel equipment and life vest.
The snorkel tour at the Museum of Submarine in Cancun takes place every Wednesday, Friday and Sundays from 2 to 4:30 pm at a cost of $ 29 per person.

But if you want more excitement and want to see the sculptures up close, we have the diving tour that costs $88 for beginners, you can do it from Monday to Sunday. First you have an audiovisual lesson and then you go practice everything learned in a small pool. Finally fulfill your diving 1 tank where you will enjoy the art exhibition of the Underwater Museum and the marine life in the coral reefs.

If you are already a certified diver, the appointment is at 1 pm Monday through Saturday, with $ 77 use ​​2 tanks each approximately 45 minutes during the first tank to enjoy the new underwater museum. Or if you prefer only 1 tank the appointment is on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays for only $ 54.