Cancun certainly has a reputation for fun. With mesmerizing blue water, soft sandy beaches, and notorious parties makes it pretty popular among the spring break crowd. In fact, it was actually one of my first international trips when I was a college student.
But there really is so much more this area has to offer then a fruity umbrella drink in the sun (although, those are nice too).
The CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort is a relaxing reprieve from the party atmosphere, and with ten fabulous restaurants and prime location right on the beach, you can get your relaxed vibe on without ever leaving the property. Though, I highly encourage you to go out and explore and you’ll see why in just a bit.
During my recent jaunt around the Caribbean, my Cancun itinerary had me arriving late in the evening, and after a tiring day of travel I couldn’t wait to unload my bags and dig in to a hot meal. After an easy check-in to my room, I opened my balcony door to hear the sound of the ocean, and even though it was night, I could still see the tantalizing color of the water that just beckons you to go for a swim. My growling stomach lured me back inside, so I thumbed through the room service menu and found authentic Mexican tacos with pork, cilantro, and a wedge of lime along with cinnamon churros and that ever so addictive, sweet caramel-y dulce de leche dipping sauce … score!
While unpacking and getting settled in, I couldn’t help but notice all the talavera style porcelain with its milky white glaze and cobalt blue designs. It’s these little touches that reminded me I was indeed in Mexico and it got me excited about the cultural activities I had coming up.
Cancun Culture – Maya Museum
The next morning, I headed off to visit the Maya Museum. With all the beauty Cancun has to offer outdoors, I know you’re probably wondering, why on earth would I want to spend time in a museum? But believe me, it’s worth it. In less than an hour’s time, you can really get a better understanding and appreciation for the area’s history and Mayan culture which I highly recommend doing before going to visit any of the bigger archeological sites such as Tulum or Chichen Itza.
This immense collection of artifacts is well air conditioned and contains over 350 pieces not previously available to the public. Among the highlights are the skeletal remains of La Mujer de las Palmas, estimated at about 10,000 years old and demonstrating a small slice-of-life of what Cancun was like during the ice age.
Just outside the museum and nestled in a lush tropical garden is the San Miguelito archeological site where you can walk through shaded pathways winding around a small collection of ruins. They’re quite amazing to see, especially witnessing something so ancient with the modern resorts and beach visible in the background.
Cancun Culture – Underwater Sculpture Museum
Next, I headed over to Cancun’s underwater sculpture museum. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s underwater and it’s the only museum that I know of where it is appropriate to show up in a bathing suit. Visible through snorkeling or scuba, this unique attraction is not just for entertainment, but also for environmental conservation as it’s helping the natural reefs recover while also supporting new coral growth on the sculptures.
I first saw this on the American TV program CBS’s Sunday Morning and it was instantly on my must-do list. During this visit, I had the opportunity to join a boat tour with AquaWorld and snorkel over Salon Manchones, the deepest of the installations just off the coast of Isla Mujeres. It’s quite deep and probably better suited for scuba, but still pretty awesome to witness even from about 30 to 40 feet above.
There’s a second installation south of Punta Cancun at Salon Punta Nizuc with even more sculpture work and shallower depths that are ideal for snorkeling. I can’t wait to see the second sculpture garden during my next visit to Cancun. It’s something you will want to see soon as the coral is definitely growing and starting to take over, making each visit to the sculptures unique and interesting as they are a living and ever changing exhibit.
Want to get a glimpse of what it’s like? Check out what I captured on the GoPro:
I was in Mexico as part of the Passport To Paradise project and was sponsored by Marriott Resorts. My enthusiasm for Mexico, the Caribbean, food and travel are all entirely my own.