Have you heard of the “micro-cation” trend? If not, here’s how Travel + Leisure defines it: “These short getaways are basically like taking long weekends in lieu of extended vacation time, kind of like a mini-moon without the wedding. It can be a good tactic for getting the most out of your paid time off if you want to go to lots of different places in short amounts of time, especially if you use your weekends well.”Sound good? Well, a three-day weekend in Cancún is an absolutely perfect Mexican Carribbean micro-cation, with quick direct flights from countless North American cities.
Over the course of 72 action-packed hours in the destination, you’ll be able to experience culture, nightlife, luxury and cuisine … with plenty of time left over for the beach, too! Here’s what to do during 72 hours in Cancún.
DAY ONE: Hit the beach + go on a shopping spree
The beach isn’t just a place in Cancún. It’s a state of mind, a way of life. The only question is: which beach do you want to experience first? Playa Forum is one of the most iconic beaches in all of Riviera Maya, delivering everything you could possibly want. Puerto Morelos is one of the most charming and peaceful spots in the region. The fishing here is legendary, as is the snorkeling. Playa Delfines is one of the more relaxed Cancún beaches, with less crowds than others, plus plenty of authentic food vendors. Isla Blanca is an absolutely gorgeous stretch of sand for a romantic rendezvous, away from the crowds (especially on weekdays). Wherever you end up … don’t forget your sunscreen!
After you’ve soaked up plenty of Cancún sun, take a journey over to Kukulcán Plaza, located on the famed Boulevard Kukulcán. This spot offers a dizzying array of Cancún shopping options, including authentic Mexican craft shops and boutiques alongside upscale jewelry stores and perfumeries. It’s also a good place for a late lunch or early dinner. Seafood lover shouldn’t miss Lobster at Lorenzillo’s. which has been wowing diners for decades now with its fresh-caught lobster.
DAY TWO: Uncover Mayan culture in Cancún + sample authentic cuisine
Take a trip back in time on your Cancún micro-cation. The destination’s rich Mayan heritage comes to life at Museo Maya de Cancún, located in the heart of the city’s hotel zone. The sleekly designed museum features more than 400 incredible pieces of sculpture, ceramics and jewelry on display at any one time. The El Rey Archaeological Area is one of the other great Cancún historic attractions. El Rey is an evocative gem from the Yucatán Peninsula’s rich past. And unlike many other archaeological sites in the area, visitors can still climb on the 47 different structures that make up the site.
Then, travel back to the 21st century for some authentic Cancún cuisine. One of the best places to eat in Cancún, La Habichuela has been a favorite Riviera Maya restaurant since the 1970s, with a menu chock full of traditional Mexican cuisine and fresh Caribbean seafood. Tip: Ask for a table out on the open-air garden, where twinkling lights will accompany your meal. Or grab a table at Bovino’s Churrascaria, a Brazilian-style steakhouse where servers carve your meat tableside. The wine list is one of the most extensive in all of Cancún, too!
DAY THREE: Cancún Outdoor adventure + Nightlife
Relaxation and peace of mind are easy to find in Cancún. But the destination is also filled with outdoor adventure options. Nichupté Lagoon is a pristine 75,000-acre nature reserve. On a jungle tour, you’ll travel to lush mangroves and turquoise waters for a snorkeling adventure like no other. Garrafon Park, just a 25-minute boat ride from Cancún, boasts crystal clear waters. You’ll look down upon an amazing underwater landscape with an incredible array of dazzling marine life and colorful reef formations. One of the most amazing Cancún outdoor adventures is the Underwater Museum of Art, which features dozens of underwater sculptures to explore. Even if you’re not ready for scuba diving, you can still see MUSA aboard a glass-bottomed boat. Finally, don’t miss, Isla Mujeres, eight miles off the coast of Cancún. One of the safest areas of Cancun, here you’ll find countless adventures here, from snorkeling and kayaking in crystal clear waters to ziplining through a canopy of trees.
After your Cancún micro-cation outdoor adventures, discover Mexico’s signature spirit — tequila! The Tequila Herradura Sensorial Museum showcases the modern and traditional artisanal methods of making all varieties of tequila. And of course, there are plenty of opportunities for tequila tasting here, too.
That tequila might put you in the mood to experience Cancún nightlife – which is some of the most exciting in the world. Located in downtown Cancún in Plaza Hong Kong, Grand Mambo Café is the place to get down during your vacation, whether you want to try Salsa, Merengue or Bachata.