I made my way to the beautiful Yucatán Peninsula. The vivid turquoise waters filled my eyes with awe, as the sun allowed the waves to dance and sparkle like diamonds. Beneath me, the soft white sands grazed my toes and I couldn’t help but feel inspired being upon such natural beauty…
I arrived at the airport in Cancun, Mexico after a short 4.5 hour flight from LAX and checked into The Royal Cancun Hotel, which overlooked the vibrant Caribbean Sea. For dinner, we had all you can eat tacos at the resort, which immediately won my heart. Any place that allows me to eat my weight in tacos is A-Ok in my book! If you’d like to explore the beautiful Yucatán Peninsula, here are the 5 best day trips you can take from Cancun!
1) CHICHEN ITZA
First on our list was one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the magical Chichen Itza. It is one of the most visited archeological sites in Mexico and receives over 1 million selfie sticks, I mean tourists, a year. This mystical site was located about 2 hrs, by coach bus from Cancun. We spent half the day exploring Chichen Itza, in the sweltering sun, drenched in our own sweat to later be met with another majestic beauty, the Cenote Il Kil. You may have seen photos of this large sink hole floating around on your Pinterest feed. The dreamy vines surrounding the water and sun glistening overtop so impeccably makes it a perfect photo for the gram. We jumped off a cliff and into the center of these blue waters which was the ideal situation we needed to cool off.
X’Caret was the next destination we wanted to cross off our list. We were told if we visited Cancun and didn’t go to X’Caret, you didn’t really go. I think that’s a bit of a stretch. As beautiful and detailed as X’Caret park is, at the end of the day it is just a theme water park on steroids. The tour for X’Caret is an all day matter with a bus schedule from 7 am – 10pm. You can float down several rivers observing beautiful scenery, swim with dolphins or sharks, engage in water sports and at the end of the night watch a spectacular show on Mexico that includes folk dancing, singing, live music and a history of Mexico.
3) ISLA MUJERES
Isla Mujeres is a short 20 minute ferry ride from Cancun. What awaits you is a colorful Mexican community, filled with lots of tourism. You can rent golf-carts to get around this small island, snorkel and scuba dive (which is what it is really known for), or you can lay out and take in the gorgeous beach like we did, gorging on ceviche and Modelos.
Tulum has been an increasingly trendy hot-spot for the past couple of years, and is located just 2 hours from Cancun by car. You can discover the Tulum ruins and also take a dip in their beautiful beaches. For me, I believe Tulum has the best souvenirs, with colorful mandalas and several hammocks to choose from. The artistry is exquisite.
5) AVENIDA QUINTA – PLAYA DEL CARMEN
After Tulum you can make your way to the lively streets of Avenida Quinta in Playa del Carmen for some sustenance. We got cabanas at Kool, next to Mamitas Beach Club because we were apply the cabana fee towards our food and drinks (in Mexico it is called “consume”), such a great deal! The fish tacos here were so amazing and a perfect ending to our adventure filled day.
There is so much you can do in Cancun besides just taking in the gorgeous Caribbean Sea, but I wouldn’t hold it against you if you were to lay in a hammock all day doing just that. Just don’t forget to eat, because Mexican food is life! I had so much seafood, chilaquiles, paletas (ice cream bars), but above everything I really loved the Cochinita pibil, which is the Yucatán style slow roasted pork. Get it! It won’t disappoint.
Do you know any other great day trips around Mexico? Please share in the comments below! Read Next > 3 Days In Mexico City