Mexico is known for its food, beaches, nightlife, and has been high on my bucket list for years! I recently vacationed to Cancun for four days, and did it for only $600! Direct flights into Cancun are frequent from the US and are very affordable because of the current exchange rate. My boyfriend and I booked this getaway on CheapCaribbean.com! Our package included an all-inclusive resort, flights, and an airport transfer. The only extra costs were an excursion and souvenirs. I HIGHLY recommend this site when booking a trip to the Caribbean. You will undoubtedly find a great deal and the booking was completely legitimate. Keep reading for tips about things to do in Cancun on a budget!
Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in May 2018 and was updated in spring 2021 for relevancy.
Things To Do In Cancun: All-Inclusive Resort
We spent most of our time swimming in the pool, relaxing under the palm trees, walking on the nearby beach, and eating at various restaurants since our resort, the Occidental Costa Cancun, was an all-inclusive. This was my first time staying at an all-inclusive resort, and I absolutely loved it. You definitely get your money’s worth since all drinks, meals, and activities are included.
The only downside is that most restaurants do not take reservations ahead of time, so you have to wake up early every morning and wait in a long line to book a reservation for that night. Since we were pressed for time, we woke up early most mornings anyways, but this can be a real inconvenience to most.
Things To Do In Cancun: Chichen Itza
The highlight of our trip was for sure our excursion in the Yucatan peninsula! Cancun is located in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico, where most resorts are located on the Caribbean coast. We took a 3 hour bus ride across the border into central Mexico to visit Chichen Itza and swim in a cenote! I booked the excursion through Cancun Adventure Tours. The guides were extremely informative and kept us very safe- give them a try!
Chichen Itza is an ancient city consisting of several Mayan ruins dating back to the 600s AD. We took a guided tour and were able to see the ball court where two teams would use only their hips and elbows to hit a rubber ball through a hoop. The captain of the winning team would honorably have his head cut off and sacrificed to the gods! This may be the only game I can think of where you DON’T want to win!
We also saw the Wall of Skulls and the Temple of the Warriors where human sacrifice occurred. It was common for human hearts to be lit on fire so that the smoke could reach the gods!
Lastly, we learned about the massive El Castillo pyramid. This pyramid became the 7th Wonder of the World on July 7, 2007 at 7 pm (7 is a sacred number for the Mayans). During the spring and fall equinoxes, the sun’s shadow gives the illusion of a snake slowly creeping down the northern staircase. Thousands of visitors come to Chichen Itza each year to watch this natural phenomenon.
Things To Do In Cancun: Cenotes
After Chichen Itza, we had lunch and drove to the Ik Kil Cenote. A cenote is a natural sinkhole with fresh water. There are over 6,000 cenotes in the Yucatan peninsula alone, with Ik Kil being one of the largest and most famous. The cenote was believed by the Mayans to be the portal to the underworld, and because of this many human sacrifices occurred here as well. Luckily, hearing this information didn’t stop us from enjoying one of the best swims we’ve ever had. We were able to jump off of rocks into the cool water and the scenery was breathtaking. If you plan on visiting Mexico, definitely book a similar excursion and visit a cenote!
I hope this post gives you a good idea of a few things to do in Cancun. had an amazing time in Mexico and loved trying authentic Mexican food and putting my Spanish skills to use! I am thrilled to have crossed another World Wonder off my bucket list, and look forward to visiting another one next week during my trip to China and Inner Mongolia!!! My next blog post will be coming at you live from Asia, so stay tuned! 🙂 Until then… Adios!
PS. Looking to rent a boat for the day in Cancun? Check out Get My Boat for the best rental deals!
Like this post? Pin it to save it for later and share with others!