A duo experience in Cancun and Merida is an ideal holiday combo, you get the gorgeous beach vacation you’ve been dreaming of, plus a vast array of cultural experiences, all within one region of Mexico.
GirlsGetaway’s Top Things to do in Cancun
Cancun is not your ordinary beach resort town, it has morphed into a diverse region chock-a-block with wonderful activities that have a wide enough range to appeal to a most tastes and preferences. Here’s GirlsGetaway’s list of favorite things to do in Cancun.
Top on our list is spending time on the beach. Cancun beaches are legendary, with dazzling white sand to wiggle your toes in, warm turquoise water and great surf. There’s tons of beach activities like volleyball, jet skis, and parasailing or you can try your hand at my fav activity, lifting a cool margarita to my lips, one, two, three…
Isla Mujeres translated into English means the Island of Women, what an awesome name! As soon as I discovered this I knew I had to visit, and I was so happy I did. The island is a short ferry ride from Cancun, and the day trip to the island was one of my favorite activities while in Cancun. We enjoyed the laid back hippie vibe and being able to use a golf cart to tour the island.
Be sure to check out Tortugranjam, a small turtle farm, located on a spit of land jutting out from the island’s west coast, it’s a bit hard to find, but definitely worth a visit. There’s tons of opportunity to get up close and personal with little, bitty baby turtles. The farm is located at Carretera Sac Bajo no. 5; the easiest way to find it would be by taxi. Admission is 30 pesos; the shelter is open daily from 9am to 5pm.
Ride a bike in Coba
Renting a bike is a brilliant way to see the Coba Maya Ruins. The site is large with quite a few trails; renting a bike means you’ll be spending most of your time exploring the archeological site and less time walking. Coba is my favorite Mayan ruin in the Yucatan, it’s less developed, without the throngs of tourists you’ll see Chichen Itza and Tulum, and a big bonus, you can still climb the Nohuch Mul pyramid, if you dare!
There are several ADO buses every morning to Coba from Cancun and two each afternoon out again at 13h30 and 15h30 or you can arrange a tour through your Cancun hotel. Bike rentals are located at the entrance to Coba.
GirlsGetaway’s Top Things to do in Merida
Merida is the largest city on the Yucatan peninsula and it is an ideal place to explore the traditions and culture of Mexico. Here are a few of our favorite things to do while vacationing in Merida.
Merida on Sundays
Plaza Grande, Merida’s main square is the place to hang out on Sundays. From early in the morning ‘til dawn on Monday, all the streets around the square are closed to cars, turning the Plaza and surrounding roads into an enormous market and street festival. My favorite find? Hot churros from a street vendor, yum!
Swim in a Cenote
Imagine swimming in a cool, freshwater aqua blue pool in a deep cave. Magical. Yucatan is known for its many beautiful cenotes, these are deep sinkholes in limestone with a pool at the bottom, and they’re considered sacred by the Mayan people.
The closest cenote to Merida is located about 15km from the city next to the Mayan archeological site of Dzibilchaltún. If you want to travel a little further you can explore the spectacular cenotes near the town of Cozuma located about an hour from Merida, tours can be arranged in the village or though Mayan EcoTours.
Things to bring for a cenote visit:
– Flip flops or water shoes
– Bottled water
– Waterproof camera
– Sun protection (hat, sunscreen, etc.)
Pretty in Pink: The Pink Flamingoes of Celestun
Check out the pink flamingoes in the coastal town of Celestun, an easy hour drive west of Mérida. About 90% of the world’s wild pink flamingos spend the winter in Yucatan, and the largest groups of these can be found in the marshes around Celestun. Take a boat tour in the park for a chance to see great flocks of pink in the trees and flying in the air!
Disclosure: As part of a sponsorship agreement with Transat Holidays, the airline asked me to talk about my favorite activities in Mexico and to explore the many benefits of a dual vacation experience in Cancun and Merida.
The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Transat Holidays.