Travel is one of those things that is very personal. Different destinations offer up vastly different experiences and what draws us to one place, may not be the same thing that draws us to another. I, for one, have never been into the party scene. In all of my travels I’ve completely avoided places that have a stigma for being a haven for partiers. So imagine my surprise to learn while on a recent getaway to Cancun, that the beachside Mexican city isn’t just for spring breakers! I think the key is definitely to go in the off-season, but here are 5 non-spring-break related things you can do in Cancun:
Get Sweaty in a Temazkalli.
The Temazkalli is a traditional pre-Hispanic ceremony that comes from the Náhuatl words Temaz “bath” or “steam” and kalli “house.” It’s a physical and spiritual purification ceremony, and I can’t recommend it enough. Mikiyaotl, the Shaman that led the Temazkalli ceremony I took part in, also gave me a full history lesson to accompany the ancient steam bath treatment—such a bonus!
Swim in a Cenote.
Cenotes are underground freshwater caverns and many of them have turned into rivers and swimming holes after years of rain eating away at the limestone that covers them. There are plenty of public cenotes that you can visit on your own, but I recommend first timers go as part of a tour so you can spend your day kayaking, rappelling and diving worry-free.
Visit Mayan Ruins.
Did you know there were Mayan ruins in Cancun? I didn’t! There are ruins throughout the Yucatan peninsula and on the surrounding islands that are open to the public— so why not experience a bit of history while on vacation?
Go on an Adventure.
If an adrenaline rush is what you’re looking for, then rent an ATV and go for a ride through the jungle. Or if you prefer your adventures wet, you can snorkel and scuba dive and even go parasailing (I prefer to keep my feet on land, but, do you!)
This seemingly counterintuitive suggestion is anything but. I love adventure as much as the next girl, but I’ve really come to enjoy my ‘me’ time. And surprisingly one of the things I enjoyed the most during my Cancun vacay, was just hanging out at my all-inclusive. Sometimes alternating between a soft sand beach, an infinity pool and a cozy bed makes for an amazing day.
Full transparency: There has been a lot of buzz on the news in recent months about safety in Cancun. There have been reported incidents of people’s drinks being spiked at resorts and even a rise in murders. I don’t write this to alarm you or even dissuade you from going, but rather because it’s important to have all of the facts and be fully aware of the environment before you visit any new place. That said, what I found in my research indicates that the majority of these murders are drug related, so as long as you’re not dealing in any cartel business, there is nothing to fear. The police have even increased their presence around the airport and in tourist areas to thwart off criminal activity. The state of Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located was designated by the US embassy as a Level 2 threat, which means you should “exercise increased caution” while there. Which is to say, use common sense and stick with who and what you know and you will be A-Okay.