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The ultimate guide to Cancun


The best of Cancun

The 10 best things to do in Cancún

As one of the most famous Spring Break destinations in the world, Cancún draws in college students in their droves. Thankfully that hectic season is kept mostly to March and April, leaving the rest of the year clear to visit the many attractions that'd suit a family just as much as a solo traveler. In Cancún itself, you’ll find an underwater art museum and beach-bathing sun worshippers. This city on the Yucatán Peninsula is also the gateway to key Mayan sites, including the ruins at Tulum and Chichen Itza. The killer food scene is not to be missed, with everything from 1am street tacos to experimental French dining and more must-try restaurants. In short, here’s how to make the most of Cancún. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.

The 13 best restaurants in Cancún

So long synonymous with serious party-goers, Cancún has worked hard to shake that reputation. No more is this gateway to the Riviera Maya a quick in-and-out job. Cancún has much to make you stay by way of historical attractions, like the ruins at Tulum and Chichen Itza,  things to do (snorkeling, exploring the beachfront) and a burgeoning food scene. Put simply, you can get anything you want in Cancún. From street tacos at 1am to world-class Japanese food and experimental, globally minded plates – the city’s restaurant scene has come a long way. On your next visit to the city, be sure to stop in at one of the best restaurants in Cancún.

The 10 best hotels in Cancún

In Cancún, it's all about the classic combination of sun, sea and sand. The sun shines down all across Cancún, so it's the spots by the beach that hotels compete for. Never mind that hotel prices in central Cancún are a fraction of what they are on the coastal hotel strips, the powdery beaches backed by glamorous all-inclusives are Cancún’s main asset, and it’s hard to come to one of the largest resorts in all the Americas and not want a view of, or at least immediate access to, that sparkling blue Caribbean Sea just outside your window. There are two main zones, the Zona Hotelera on a long sandy isthmus south-east of central Cancún, with every shape and size of resort and most of the nightlife, and the slightly quieter, more refined Playa Mujeres area to the northeast. And a world apart, the high-end Isla Mujeres are a boat ride away from the latter. Living up to its reputation as North America's ultimate spring break hotspot, the selection of sleeps in Cancún is vast. Relax, we’ve got you covered. We've handpicked the best boutique, family and adult-only hotels and resorts to make picking the right hotel as easy as pie.

The best nightlife in Cancún

Nightlife is to Cancún what tequila is to Mexico: inextricable. Even if you have no intention of clubbing till dawn, nightlife options abound in Cancún and you’ll be greeted with them almost upon landing at the airport. Embrace it! Exploring the late-night scene is a can't-miss thing to do in this vibrant city. Have your mind blown in Cancún’s biggest and most impressive clubs in the Hotel Zone as acrobats spin over your head, or wander over to La Ruta Nader (Nader Avenue) in downtown Cancún to rub shoulders with a more local crowd.