10 Surprising Things to Do in Cancun

by Carla Fiorito on September 22, 2010

Things to do in Cancun include a visit to the beach

40 years ago, Cancun was a deserted island in the Caribbean that no one had heard of.

That all changed in 1970 when construction to make Cancun a tourist destination began – complete with a tourist row on the island, city on the mainland to support tourism, and international airport nearby.

It’s no surprise that the resort area in Cancun is best known for its awesome beaches and Mayan surroundings – it was created for those purposes.

But this tourist destination has grown to have a culture of its own and here are some surprising things to do in Cancun:

  1. The Cancun International Film Festival, now in its third year, usually takes place November. Latin and International feature films, documentaries, and short films by new and famous directors are played at various cinemas throughout the city.
  2. The Cancun Jazz Festival takes place during the week of Memorial Day and includes Jazz flavors from all around the world. Enjoy listening to jazz with diverse Caribbean influences on various stages throughout the city.
  3. The Archaeological Museum is the perfect way to get to know Cancun’s past, filled with ancient sculptures, monoliths, and ceramics as it offers a peek into ancient life.
  4. Bull Fighting is not only Spain’s trademark – Every Wednesday at 3:30pm, Plaza de Toros hosts an authentic bullfighting event. Because of tradition, this attraction is not for animal lovers.
  5. The Alux Restaurant and Lounge is set in an underground cave about 45 minutes away from Cancun, in Playa del Carmen. The restaurant’s accent lighting paired with the occasional live music performance is a whole different kind of dining experience.
  6. Enjoy watching the Ballet Folklorico Nacional de Mexico-Aztlan perform a traditional dance in full costume each night at the Continental Villas Plaza Hotel.
  7. During the second half of March, the Lasser Sailing Show attracts sailboat enthusiasts and merchants from around the world. Expect to see different types of sailboats – big and small – roaming Cancun’s coast for these two weeks.
  8. Every year, Cancun hosts an International Gastronomic Festival where you are able to taste the creations of world-renowned chefs against the backdrop of the Mayan Riviera.
  9. The International Gay Festival in Cancun is a five-day celebration which takes place in May and is complete with cruises, parties, and bar events.
  10. La Torre Cancun offers the best view of Cancun as it rotates above the El Embarcadero park and entertainment complex. Stop by and gaze and the entire city from one of its highest points.

What are some surprising things you’ve done or seen in Cancun?

Carla is currently an intern at All About Mexico. She is studying Hotel & Restaurant Management at University of Houston. She loves writing, traveling, and tourism.
Carla Fiorito
View all posts by Carla Fiorito

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