What to Do
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The Caribbean Sea and the Nichupté Lagoon surround Cancun, which is why its Hotel Zone is a paradise for aquatic activities. There are many nautical and dive shops offering deep sea fishing trips, scuba lessons, and shark tours where you can explore shark, whale and manta ray habitats. Snorkeling in the nearby reefs off the Hotel Zone or Isla Mujeres is another fun way to spend the day.
Most hotels have rental shops where you can find everything needed to enjoy snorkeling, wave runners, sailboats or kayaks. Many also offer parasailing for the ultimate beachside adventure.
Jungle tours are extremely popular too. These cool excursions take you on a wave runner or private boat through the lagoon’s mangrove canals as you seek out the area’s most mysterious and beautiful caverns and pools.
If you’re mostly interested in fishing, many shops have boats to rent and offer professional fishing tours hosted by experts. The best fishing season is between April and September. In the Mexican Caribbean you can fish for marlin, swordfish, barracuda, gilthead fish and many more. A lot of guides will happily prepare ceviche with the fish you catch. (Ceviche is a traditional dish from the Mexican coast based on fresh fish, lemon, spices, olive oil and cooking herbs.) Sport fishing tours typically last between four and eight hours, and they cast off early, a little bit after dawn.
If you prefer a more relaxed boat tour, there are rides in submarine-like boats and glass bottom boats. Imagine being submerged under the crystal clear water watching schools of shiny fish swim by.
The Riviera Maya has a number of more secluded places where you can scuba dive or snorkel. These spots are less frequented by tourists and feature some marvelous underground rivers and special cenotes. Cozumel is also a beloved destination for reef snorkeling and scuba diving, and it’s easy to get to from Cancun and the RIviera Maya.
For dolphin fans, the Mexican Caribbean hosts some of the world’s best dolphinariums where you can closely interact with these smart, funny creatures. You’ll find dolphin adventures in Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Puerto Aventuras, Xcaret, and Xel-Há in the Riviera Maya. Some tours stop at the dolphinariums and include an option to swim with dolphins, so be sure to check out all your options.