Updated: Oct 17, 2019
So you're heading to Cancun, Mexico soon huh? If you want to make your vacation epic, these are the 5 things you should do besides just drinking and wasting your day at the beach.
View of the beach from Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancun, Mexico. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
Cancun is a dream destination for many. It's also one of the world's top spring break spots. It's highlighted and heavily promoted by just about every major travel magazine and website in the world and for good reason.
Cancun is located on Mexico's East Coast and borders the Caribbean Sea. You get all the blue water and sunshine that you would ever need for the perfect background for selfies and Facebook posts to make your friends jealous.
If you plan your vacation right you can make this one of the best vacations of your life. So don't just waste your time getting drunk, sun burned or over-eating. There are many things to do, so please read on.
When you stay Le Blanc Spa Resort be ready to be spoiled. (Photos by Digital Nomad Foodie)
1. Stay at Le Blanc Spa Resort
If money is not an issue and you have no kids (or if you have someone watching them during your vacation) then you need to stay at Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancun.
Seriously, Le Blanc Spa Resort is our #1 favorite place to stay anywhere in the world.
It's not only luxuriously all-inclusive and adult's-only, but you also get your own personal butler. How cool is that?
As soon as you walk into Le Blanc you get these babies plus a hot towel to wipe your brow during check-in. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
From the moment you arrive, you are greeted with iced-cold pina coladas and will check into a private concierge. You will wear a wristband which grants you access to all of the facilities, restaurants and the other Palace Resorts (Beach Palace, Sun Palace, Moon Palace and the Grand at Moon Palace).
So just a quick review, staying at Le Blanc you will have access to all of the Palace Resorts in their portfolio. That's a deal in itself. All-inclusive to those location in case you get bored at Le Blanch, which I highly doubt will happen.
Some of the fine-Italian food served at BlancItalia. (Photos by Digital Nomad Foodie)
There are four highly-touted restaurants that cover a lot of global cuisines:
Lumiere, which is a French-fusion restaurant. Reservations required and dress-code is enforced.
BlancItalia, which is an Italian-Mediterranean restaurant. No reservations required, but has a casual elegant dress code.
BlancAsia, which is a Latin-influenced Asian fusion restaurant. No reservations required, but has a casual elegant dress code.
BlancInternational, which offers a well-rounded international cuisine. No reservations required with a casual dress code. There is also a daily breakfast and lunch buffet plus an a la carte Mexican and steakhouse for dinner.
If you happen to be traveling during Thanksgiving, you'll be pleasantly surprised with the spread at Le Blanc. (Photos by Digital Nomad Foodie)
When my wife and I stayed at Le Blanc, we happened to stay during the Thanksgiving holiday. Le Blanc went above and beyond and had the best Thanksgiving meal you could ask for away from home.
Actually, the Thanksgiving spread they had was probably better than any Thanksgiving meal you could imagine.
They had everything! A whole roasted pig, stone crabs, Japanese sushi/sashimi, sake, Peruvian ceviche, roast beef, turkey and to top it all off a fantastic fire dance show.
Luis was the absolute best guy, he had my favorite snack always popped and ready at the end of the night without asking past the first time. (Photos by Digital Nomad Foodie)
Our personal butler, Luis was the absolute best. Why? Well my favorite snack at the end of the day is freshly popped, popcorn. After we told him the first night, he would have a fresh batch ready by the time we checked back into our room every night we were there!
The other cool thing about having a personal butler is that when you plan excursions for the day, you can ask them to pack a lunch for you, which they will prepare for you and deliver the morning of your excursion.
You can also order room service 24 hours a day and the food is 100% gourmet. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
If you book or sign up for a membership to Palace Resorts, you will get a $1,500 resort credit which you can use towards gifts at their gift shops, the spa and your excursions. That's a great deal that we took advantage of until the last dollar.
Infinity and beyond! Well at least until you see the Caribbean Sea. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
The infinity swimming pool was awesome. It's what you would imagine an infinity pool to be. It's sky blue in the day and glowing blue at night. When you are sitting by it and look out towards the Caribbean Sea you feel like once you dip into it, you will end up in the ocean.
The swim up bar offers great service, drinks and these bacon-wrapped hot dogs. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
The other cool thing is the swim-up bar which serves awesome drinks and food like bacon-wrapped hot dogs. There is also a bar on the beach and if you want you can reserve a private cabana using your resort credit and have a romantic evening dinner on the beach.
Le Blanc Spa Resort is also in a very good location since it's located in the main party and activity area - Zona Hotelera.
You'll love staying here. Yes it's very expensive, but it makes your entire trip a life a luxury.
If you love dolphins and want to spend some up close and personal time with them you can on Isla Mujares. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
2. Visit Isla Mujares, then swim with dolphins
When you're in Cancun, you'll want to visit Isla Mujares since it's not very far away. If you decide to go, make sure you book tickets to Dolphin Discovery, the self-proclaimed #1 dolphin company in the world. After doing it, I would that it just might be.
It's a short ferry ride from Cancun to Isla Mujares. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
When you arrive at the ferry staging area, it can become a little confusing at first, but you'll want to get our wristbands (one indicating access to the the package you bought and the other one giving you access to the buffet, if you paid for it).
After a short ferry boat ride across the Caribbean Sea from Cancun to Isla Mujares you'll arrive to your destination which is Dolphin Discovery.
Once you disembark you will want to secure a locker, get towels, then find the meeting area to receive further instructions. You'll get your life vest and then walk towards the fun part - to see and swim with the dolphins.
You'll walk along the boardwalk into the enclosed area to begin your dolphin discovery. (Photo by Digital Nomad)
You'll spend most of your time in the enclosed area and inside warm salt water. The entire experience lasts about 2 hours.
You get to hold onto the dolphins fins while it's on it's back, which is very cool! You also get pushed by the dolphin from your feet. Don't be surprised if you move fast in the water because you do!
The buffet spread at El Ceviche hits the spot after you are done with all the activities. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
After the show is over, you get some photos ops with the dolphins and then are lead back to the staging area to return your vests. At this time you can go upstairs to eat and also to check out your photos to purchase.
At the end of the day you'll be tired, but will come home with some great memories playing with dolphins!
El Castillo (The Castle) is the main attraction at Chichen Itza. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
3. Explore Chichen Itza in Yucatan
You should visit one of the seven wonders of the world - Chichen Itza, while you are vacationing in Cancun. Might as well cross it off your bucket list!
It will take up an entire day to get to and from, plus exploring this UNESCO Heritage Site.
After the long ride to Chichen Itza, you will finally arrive to a large space where you can use the facilities, grab a drink and some food before heading inside.
As you walk inside going towards El Castillo, which is the main attraction and what you've seen your friends post selfies with on Instagram you'll notice many vendors selling art, t-shirts and other items. You'll commonly hear the words, "almost free", which is comical to me but great marketing.
A map of Chichen Itza. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
El Castillo (The Castle) is the dominant pyramid that attracts thousands of people a year. It was built to align with specific sunsets in May and July. I won't go more into detail about all the science and history behind it, you need to come here for yourself to experience it or you can Google it.
One fun thing you'll do is clap your hands and you will be able to hear the echo and the sound you'll hear mimics a bird.
The mysterious cenote where many things have been tossed inside. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
The other big thing you might want to check out is the cenote or sink hole. This is where ancient sacrifices were made and it's cool to just go and look.
Zip line all over Xplor adventure park! (Photo by Xplor)
4. Have fun at one of the best jungle adventure parks in the world - Xplor
Xplor was so much fun! My wife and I had one of the best days of our lives doing all the activities here even on a rainy day.
It's best to buy your tickets by first checking with the hotel you are staying at. If you have resort credit make sure to use it on Xplor because it's totally worth it.
Xplor is about an hour away from Cancun, which is an easy bus ride. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
Once you arrive, be prepared to have a lot of fun. I wouldn't advise bringing your cell phone because you are guaranteed to get wet. Just secure it in the locker you will get assigned upon arrival.
Bring a GoPro w/ helmet, chest or wrist harness.
Also, bring snacks and an extra change of clothes and a towel because you'll need it after you are done.
You'll be assigned a locker (the locker rooms are all color-coordinated, which makes it easier to find) and a helmet (which must be worn).
I really enjoyed the amount of detail at Xplor. The check-in area is in a cave-like area and you are surrounded by a green jungle.
You'll go through lush jungle, dark caves and plenty of water while driving the amphibious vehicles at Xplor. (Photo by Xplor)
The main activities are:
All of the activities were super-fun, but my favorites were the zip lines and the underground rivers.
The zip lines are very cool because you zip all around the park. You're above the jungle canopy and in some areas you can see alligators in the water, which gives it an element of suspense and fear as you glide over them (at a very high and safe distance of course).
The underground rivers mixed with stalactites and stalagmites just make the experience 100x better. (Photo by Xplor)
The underground rivers were very cool. You swim in mostly the dark at your own pace. There are several shortcuts and safe areas to get out of the water in case you get tired or scared.
The best part was when you end up at the bottom of a deep well (which you will see from a birds-eye view when you do the zip lines because you'll be on a very tall tower with the well in the middle).
As you look up from the bottom of the well, you'll see water cascading down the sides and see the sunlight. It's a very good way to end the underground river swim.
The area to eat is massive and offers plenty of food to replenish your calories after an adventure-filled day at Xplor. (Photos by Digital Nomad Foodie)
Xplor offers an awesome buffet which comes in handy because you'll be starving after burning all the calories exploring the park. You'll also encounter some wild animals and domestic cats begging for food.
You'll see plenty of signs pointing you in the right direction at Xplor. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
Once your day is over don't forget to pose by the corazon (heart) for a photo-op and to stop by the gift shop to purchase souvenirs or clothing (which we did because we didn't think of bringing an extra set of clothes).
Shameless selfie before we get wet on the Aqua Twister on Nichupte Lagoon, Cancun. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
5. Ride the Aqua Twister
If you love speed and loud music make sure you sign up to ride the Aqua Twister at Aqua World.
You'll experience 270 degree spins, sharp brakes, gravity pulling energy all while catching your breath on the Nichupte Lagoon.
The Aqua Twister is an exhilarating ride on Nichupte Lagoon. (Video by Digital Nomad Foodie)
The speed boat sits 20 people and you'll be joining them on a 30 minute thrill ride. The entire one-of-a-kind experience (there are no other companies in Cancun that offer it) feels longer than 30 minutes, maybe we got lucky and got some extra time by the end the ride, you'll be glad you tried it.
Let me know if you have anything to add, what your experiences were like and other comments below. Have fun in Cancun!