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Enjoying the beautiful beaches of Cancun and partying the night away in its bars and clubs is a blast, but if you take the road less traveled you can discover extraordinary places you’ll never forget.

Here’s a list of five places must-see places near Cancun:

1. ISLA MUJERES

The beautiful Isla Mujeres is an island just 20 minutes by ferry from Cancun. This is one of the most charming places in the Caribbean.

Rent a golf cart or bicycles and take a spin around the island. Stop by Punta Sur, the westernmost point of the country of Mexico.

In the evening watch the “tequila sunset” like the one in the picture below.
sunset Isla Mujeres

 2. IZAMAL

Only 2 hours from Cancun by car, this magical town awaits you. Arrive hungry and enjoy the culinary delights of the local flea market.

Take a horse-drawn carriage ride around “the yellow town” (yes everything is yellow) and get lots of great shots for your photo album, and our Pinterest page!

A picture is worth a thousand words!

yellow town Mexico

3. BACALAR

Bacalar, the only magic town in the Mexican Caribbean, is undoubtedly one of the treasures waiting to be discovered near Cancun.

Bacalar includes several highlights; the magnificent Laguna de los 7 Colores (the Lake of Seven Colors), Cenote Azul (Blue Cenote) and Chacchoben archaeological site.

Ideally, you should rent a car and visit the Costa Maya in Quintana Roo as well. Don’t miss Mahahual, Xcalak and Banco Chinchorro.

Costa Maya

  4. LA RUTA DE LOS CENOTES

This is an area near Puerto Morelos where there are many cenotes and underground rivers. Most include activities for all ages, from your youngest to adventurous teenagers or adults, like snorkeling, zip lines or scuba diving.

Two of the best cenotes along the route are Kin Ha and Verde Lucero.

Here is a map of the route:

map ruta de cenotes

 5. PUERTO MORELOS

Puerto Morelos is an option for those seeking tranquility and a relaxing place to unwind. Stop here after exploring la Ruta de los Cenotes and order a delicious ceviche or some garlic shrimp in one of the waterfront restaurants.

If you are ready for more exploring, the second largest coral reef system in the world is located just 500 meters off the beach in Puerto Morelos and is an ideal place for scuba diving, windsurfing and snorkeling and other marine activities.

beach Puerto Morelos

Have you already been to any of these places? If you have, leave a tip in the comments section.

Original article by Maria Curts. Translated by: