Top 10+ Things to Do in Cancun for First Time Visitors – Must See & Do Attractions

Cancun has more to offer visitors than just stunning beaches and wild nightlife (though those are great, too).

We put together a list of the top things to do in Cancun, including water activities, beaches to explore, and more.

Save on Admission to Top Attractions

Many of these top attractions are available on the Go Cancun Card All-Inclusive Pass.

Choose as you go from many of the most popular Cancun attractions and save up to 45% off combined admission vs. paying at the gate.

For all available passes, attractions, and prices – Learn more.

Royal Swim VIP “Plus” in Isla Mujeres by Dolphin Discovery

Swim with dolphins at Isla Mujeres Dolphin Discovery

Get in the water and interact with friendly dolphins, sea lions, and manatees at Dolphin Discovery Isla Mujeres – one of the most popular experiences in Cancun.

You’ll get to do fun activities with the dolphins, like foot pushes, dorsal tows, kisses, hand targets, and more. Watch playful sea lions walk and interact with their human companions and then head over to the manatee habitat where you can feed the large mammals lettuce and learn all about their nutrition, habitats, and manatee conservation efforts.

This experience includes roundtrip ferry transportation to Isla Mujeres from Cancun, interactive experiences with dolphins, sea lions, and manatees, access to the VIP lounge, continental breakfast, and an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet with open bar.

Getting inRoyal Swim VIP Plus at Royal Garrafon Park tickets are included on Go Cancun Card as a premium option on All-Inclusive Passes of 3+ day durations.

Xplor Fuego (Night) All-Inclusive Admission

Xplor Fuego (Night) All-Inclusive AdmissionHead to Xplor Fuego after sunset and enjoy a night full of extreme adventure.

Explore illuminated caves, zipline in the dark, and explore the rainforest – all after dark – for a nighttime rush of adrenaline. The entire park is lit up by sparklers and fire to create a nighttime adventure for thrill-seekers. Be sure to pack or wear a swimsuit – you won’t want to miss the underground water adventures!

While you’re there, enjoy the buffet with unlimited drinks. This attraction includes roundtrip transportation from Base Xcaret, unlimited access to ziplines, amphibious vehicles, underground caves and rivers, rafts, safety equipment, lockers, and more.

Getting in: Xplor Fuego Park All-Inclusive Admission tickets  are an included attraction option with Go Cancun Card All-Inclusive Passes of 3+ day durations.

Xcaret Park Admission

One of the many adventures at Xcaret Park in Cancun

Experience over 40 attractions while surround by a natural paradise at Xcaret Park.

From picturesque beaches to clear waters teeming with sea life, Xcaret Park has all the best Cancun has to offer in one, convenient location.

Explore the Mayan village and temples, float down Paradise River, take a tour of underground rivers, and more.

Your Xcaret Park Admission ticket includes access to all shows, attractions, cultural tours, exhibits, beaches, and pools, roundtrip transportation to and from the park, necessary safety gear, and more. Just pack swimwear and sunscreen!

Getting in: Xcaret Park Admission tickets are an included attraction option with Go Cancun Card All-Inclusive Passes of 3+ day durations.

Extreme Adventures Combo All-Day Pass (private ATV) including roundtrip transportation

ATV at Extreme Adventure Park in Cancun

Spend the day exploring all the adventures at Extreme Adventure Park, complete with access to your own private ATV (all-terrain vehicle) for a fun-packed day of adventure in Puerto Morelos.

Puerto Morelos is home to the second largest great barrier reef in the world and some of the most famous cenotes (naturally-formed sinkholes filled with groundwater).

Start your day with snorkeling in the clear blue waters and explore the coral reef. You’ll get to see a variety of colorful sea life including fish, starfish, anemones, and more – you might even spot a turtle.

After snorkeling, you’ll have almost an hour of ‘free time’ to enjoy the picturesque beaches or oceanfront restaurants before beginning your ATV adventure zipping through the jungle.

When you’re done with your ATV ride, put on a harness and glide across the treetops on one of six zip lines.

End your day with a dive into a natural Mayan cenote filled with clear water and surrounded by nature.

Getting in: Extreme Adventure Park All-Day Combo Tour tickets are an included attraction option with Go Cancun Card All-Inclusive Passes of 3+ day durations.

Tulum-Tankha Cenotes Eco-Adventure Park Excursion by Mayaland

Enjoy the beauty and history of Tulum on the Tulum-Tankha Cenotes Eco-Adventure Tour – the perfect way to learn more about Mayan history and culture and visit some iconic spots like the historic pyramids and breathtaking cenotes.

You’ll get transportation to and from Cancun to the sights and attractions in Tulum. Your guide will provide context to everything you see along the way, making sure you don’t miss a thing. You’ll also get access to the Tankah (Mayan word for “town center”) Eco-Adventure Park where you can visit four cenotes (naturally-formed sinkholes filled with groundwater) and even go swimming in them.

Your Tulum-Tankha Cenotes Eco-Adventure Tour tickets also include a zip line adventure, kayaking, and a buffet-style lunch.

Getting in: Tulum-Tankha Cenotes Eco-Adventure Tour tickets are an included attraction option with Go Cancun Card All-Inclusive Passes of 3+ day durations.

Columbus Lobster Dinner Cruise

Get out on the water and enjoy a 2.5-hour sunset dinner cruise aboard a classic Spanish Galleon.

You’ll get to see stunning views of the sunset while enjoying a three-course meal (choose from lobster, steak, or vegetarian dishes) and a lively atmosphere complete with a live saxophone band and an open bar.

Getting in: Columbus Lobster Dinner Cruise tickets are included with all Go Cancun Card All-Inclusive Passes.

Parasailing Adventure in Cancun

Parasailing in Cancun

Get sweeping views on Cancun’s picture-perfect shorelines as you whip through the air on a parasailing adventure.

You’ll get 10-12 minutes of air time and some of the best views in Cancun of Isla Mujeres, Nichupté Lagoon, and the Cancun Hotel Zone. While you’re in the air, you’ll have a walkie-talkie so you can talk to the boat crew and let them know how high or low you want to go.

Getting in: Parasailing Adventure in Cancun tickets are included with all Go Cancun Card All-Inclusive Passes.

“Get up and Go” Catamaran Adventure with Albatros Sailing

Luxury sail boat tour in Cancun

Set sail aboard a luxury catamaran for a fun sailing tour of El Farito – the colorful reef you can hop off at and snorkel around.

After snorkeling, hop back on board and enjoy the ride to Isla Mujeres, a small island where you can explore the little downtown area, beaches, and cliffs. Your Catamaran Sailing Tour tickets include access to the Beach Club on Isla Mujeres and the Spinnaker Ride, too, if you want.

On your way back, enjoy a buffet-style lunch and domestic bar with an exclusive drink special.

Getting in: “Get up and Go” Catamaran Adventure with Albatros Sailing tickets are included with all Go Cancun Card All-Inclusive Passes.

Extreme Adventure Puerto Morelos Snorkel

snorkeling at Puerto Morelos in Cancun

Snorkel at the world’s second largest great barrier reef, right in Puerto Morelos, and get up close to vibrantly colored tropical fish, lively corals, and lots of marine life.

You’ll get to snorkel at two different locations, with about 50 minutes at each location. After snorkeling, you’ll have time explore Puerto Morelos’ downtown and beachfront areas.

Getting in: Extreme Adventure Puerto Morelos Snorkel tickets are included with all Go Cancun Card All-Inclusive Passes.

90 Minute Surf Lesson at 360 Surf School

learn how to surf in Cancun

Get the full Cancun experience with a 90-minute surf lesson at 360 Surf School and enjoy one of the locals’ favorite activities – surfing.

Your experience starts with an informative lesson, so you can enjoy your experience no matter what experience level you are, from beginner to expert. You’ll get a surfboard, board wax, leash, and even a lycra top for extra sun protection so you’re fully prepared to hit the waves.

While you’re in the water, experienced instructors will be in the water with you offering tips and guidance to help you get up and surfing in no time!

Getting in: 90 Minute Surf Lesson tickets are included with all Go Cancun Card All-Inclusive Passes.

Dancer Cruise Cancun with Snorkeling

Dancer Cruise Cancun with Snorkeling

Dancer Cruise Cancun is another catamaran cruise option with a snorkeling adventure, dancing lessons, food and beverages on board, games, and more.

Enjoy a full day of fun on the water with activities that will keep you and your family entertained in between three stops your cruise will make: Meco Reef where you can snorkel around the vibrant coral reef and see tons of sea life, a calm water stop where you can hop off the boat’s diving board or ride the two-story slide into the water, and Isla Mujeres where you can explore local shops or relax on the picturesque beaches of the little island.

Getting in: Dancer Cruise Cancun with Snorkeling tickets are included with all Go Cancun Card All-Inclusive Passes.

Jungle Tour Speedboat Adventure

Jungle Tour Speedboat Adventure in Cancun

Get behind the wheel of your own personal speedboat and snorkel the waters of Nichupté Lagoon with Jungle Tour Speedboat Adventure tickets.

You’ll get to captain a two-person speedboat and zip around the waters while following your tour guide towards Punta Nizuc where you can drop anchor and gear up for a snorkeling adventure where you’ll see tons of sealife, from fishes to turtles, before hopping back in your boat and returning to land.

Your whole adventure will last around 2.5 hours.

Getting in: Jungle Tour Speedboat Adventure tickets are included with all Go Cancun Card All-Inclusive Passes.

Tulum Express Tour (small group) including hotel pick up and park fees

Tour from Cancun to Tulum

Don’t miss out on the Mayan ruins of Tulum – enjoy a fully-guided express tour through the old commerce town of Tulum and learn all about ancient Mayan culture.

You’ll get entry to the Mayan ruins of Tulum, roundtrip transportation from Cancun, and an expert guide who will take you to Tulum’s highlights.

Visit the pyramids, take a swim, and relax on the beach with a little bit of free time built into the day – all on this comprehensive Tulum tour.

Getting in: Tulum Express Tour tickets are included with all Go Cancun Card All-Inclusive Passes.

Paradise Snorkel at Paraiso Nizuc with Underwater Museum

View the Cancun Underwater Museum on this snorkeling tour

What’s on every traveler’s bucket list? Snorkeling in the Underwater Museum at Paraiso Nizuc. Check this one off your bucket list with this snorkeling adventure.

You’ll get to enjoy a motorboat ride to Punta Nizuc reef where you can snorkel for as long as you want in the crystal clear waters. Make your way over to the Underwater Museum where you can view 16 eerie underwater statues, designed by local artist Elier Amado Gil, and the sea life that they have helped support.

Getting in: Underwater Museum Snorkel at Paraiso Nizuc tickets are included with all Go Cancun Card All-Inclusive Passes.

Let’s Recap

There you have it – our picks for some of the most fun and most popular things to do in Cancun.

Plan to add a few of the attractions above to your vacation itinerary to make the most of your trip to Cancun.

Remember, you can save on admission to a number of these popular attractions and more with a Go Cancun Card.

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

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