Why Cancun is one of the world's most popular vacation destinations

Cancun features outdoor adventure, nightlife, culture … and plenty of picture-perfect beaches.

We all know the name "Cancún." But maybe you haven't discovered this incredible vacation destination yet? There are so many things to do in Cancún. Home to the all inclusive Occidental Tucancún and Occidental Costa Cancún, this destination features outdoor adventure, nightlife, culture … and plenty of picture-perfect beaches.

Cancún beaches

Let’s face it. When you go to Cancún, you’re going to spend plenty of time at the beach. The beach is one of the best things to do in Cancún. But beyond the beautiful beaches you’ll find steps from the Occidental Tucancún and Occidental Costa Cancún, there are many other options for sun, sand and surf.

  • Located between the Riviera Maya resorts of Cancún and Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos is one of the most charming and peaceful spots in the region. The fishing here is legendary, as is the snorkeling – the reef just off-shore is part of the Great Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest reef system in the world.
  • Playa Forum is one of the most iconic beaches in all of Riviera Maya, delivering everything you could possibly want. Even more, it’s located right in the heart of the hotel zone, where exciting nightlife and great eats are just a few steps away.
  • Playa Delfines is one of the more relaxed Cancun beaches, with less crowds than others. But it’s worth a visit for its laid-back vibes and authentic food vendors – not to mention the famed “Cancún” sign, which is one of Cancún’s most Instagrammable spots.
  • Isla Blanca is an absolutely gorgeous and secluded Cancun beach. It’s the perfect stretch of sand for a romantic rendezvous, away from the crowds (especially on weekdays). The white sand beaches and sparkling sea provide ample eye candy.

Cancún outdoor adventures

Cancún isn’t all about kicking back on the beach! Discover some of the best Cancun outdoor adventures.

  • If you’re staying at Occidental Tucancún, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of Nichupté Lagoon, a nature reserve with almost 75,000 acres. But it’s also a place worth visiting. Explore this pristine spot on a jungle tour, during which you will travel to lush mangroves and turquoise waters for a snorkeling adventure like no other. The water here is crystal clear, making it easy to see all kinds of marine life, from sea turtles to tropical fish.
  • Located on the legendary Isla Mujeres, Garrafon Park is just a 25-minute boat ride from Cancún. But its pristine beauty feels a world away from everywhere. It’s the kind of place that encourages exploration. Snorkel in crystal clear waters. You don’t even need to be a strong swimmer; you’ll get a life jacket that will help you float along the surface, looking down upon an amazing underwater landscape with an incredible array of dazzling marine life and colorful reef formations.
  • There are countless opportunities to see what’s happening beneath the waves in the waters just off of Cancún. But one of the most amazing spots is the Underwater Museum of Art, which features dozens of underwater sculptures to explore. Tip: If you’re not ready for scuba diving, you can still see MUSA aboard a glass-bottomed boat.

Cancún shopping

In the mood for a shopping spree? Cancún won’t disappoint.

  • Kukulcán Plaza (on the famed Boulevard Kukulcán offers a dizzying array of Cancún shopping options. Here, you’ll discover authentic Mexican craft shops and boutiques alongside upscale jewelry stores and perfumeries.
  • A premier Cancún shopping mall, Plaza Las America, is a beloved spot by both locals and visitors. Located on bustling Tulum Avenue, there are more than 70 stores here, offering all kinds of items, from handmade Cancún souvenirs to stylish swimwear.
  • Located oceanfront, Forum by the Sea is one of the best Cancún shopping experiences. Here you’ll find your favorite international brand names: Harley Davidson, Solaris and Zingara, as well as silverware, souvenirs and beachwear and much more.

Cancún restaurants & nightlife

There’s a world of flavors to discover in Cancun – and plenty of nightlife. Here are some of the best options.

  • Lobster at Lorenzillo’s: One of the best restaurants in Cancún to enjoy a romantic seafood dinner is Lobster at Lorenzillo’s. Located on the famed Boulevard Kukulkán, it’s been wowing diners for decades now with its fresh-caught lobster.
  • La Trattoria Restaurant: Occidental Costa Cancún’s own fine dining experience is just right for an intimate night out, offering perfectly prepared Italian cuisine in a stylish setting. Get dressed up and enjoy!
  • Tequila Herradura Sensorial Museum: You can’t come to Cancún without enjoying a visit to the Tequila Herradura Sensorial Museum, which showcases the modern and traditional artisanal methods of making Mexico’s national spirit – Tequila. And there are plenty of opportunities for tequila tasting here, too. Cheers!
  • La Claraboya: Enjoy beautiful Caribbean Sea views from your table at La Claraboya (located at Occidental Tucancún). You’ll also enjoy fresh-caught seafood dishes!
  • Dancing is one of the most fun things to do in Cancún. 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. Ensure your night of dancing is truly memorable by taking on board our Cancun safety tips.