When you think of Cancun, you may only think of resorts, cocktails, and Spring Break parties but in reality, there are soooooo many cool things to do beyond the resort life in this popular part of Mexico.
We traveled with my sister’s family, and my young adult cousin Celine, who joined us from Boston. Our group of 7 included a mix of ages, from 3 to 54, and I can honestly say we ALL had a great time. From snorkeling in Puerto Morales to ziplining in the jungle to swimming in the most beautiful cenotes to swimming with whale sharks, our 3 days in Cancun were jam packed with amazing adventures.
We stayed at the Marriott in Cancun, and got upgraded to a beachfront room which included a lovely balcony that overlooked the beach. We were told that it would be highly likely to spot sea turtles on the beach at this time of the year, since it was mating season, but we didn’t see any during our time there. But, we did get to see some beautiful sunrises!
The Marriott Cancun is a pretty vast property, with a big pool and a nice beach + beachside restaurant. There were a lot of constructions going on during our stay though, so it definitely made our experience less pleasant but overall, it was a good value for the price.
Our first excursion was through an AMAZING tour company call Kay Tours, recommended by another Worldschooling family. We signed up for their Puerto Morales tour, which began with a snorkeling trip in the beautiful Puerto Morales, a Mexican port town on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. We were picked up at our hotel bright and early at 7am, in a comfortable van filled with water and snacks for our convenience. After a short drive, we arrived to Puerto Morales, where we changed into wetsuits, received our snorkeling gear, and then took a small boat out to the coral reefs.
The reefs were so beautiful, and much healthier than the Great Barrier Reef! We saw so many different variety of fishes, a small stingray, and a giant lobster!
We snorkeled at 2 different sites, for a total of about an hour, and then we left Puerto Morales to head to Cenotes Zapotes Ecopark, where we got to experience 3 very different cenotes! The first one was call Cenote El Abuelo Che Che, an underground, cave-like cenote with clear, pristine water. It was such a cool place!! We snorkeled to see the famous statue underneath the water that resembled a grandfather holding a baby, which is what the cenote is named after.
The next cenote that we visited was Cenote Zapote, and it had 2 platforms (32′ and 46′ high) for you to jump into the cool, refreshing water. Bridgette did not hesitate at all and jumped right off the 32′ platform, which made my knees shake just a bit, lol.
The rest of us wanted so badly to jump off that platform too, but our feet remained glue to the ground in conjunction with our palpitating hearts, and after much deliberation of what it may feel like to hit the water from such height, we decided not to jump, lol.
The third and final cenote that Kay Tours took us to was the Cenote Palmas. This cenote was special because you could jump into the beautiful blue-green water from a zipline above! Despite some initial hesitation, we all ended up doing the zipline, and it was so much fun!
The final excursion for this tour were a series of zip lines that took us flying through a small jungle. We even saw a spider monkey! Bridge and I have zip lined in a lot of different places around the world, but this was a different experience because they gave us these wooden hooks to be used as manual brakes! It made me nervous when they first explained it, because we’re suppose to hold onto them and know when to swing it in front of the moving zip line to slow ourselves down. If we didn’t, we’d basically keep zipping at full speed until the end of the zip line which would be very dangerous because…well, trees! 😅
We all made it through the zip lines safe and sound, with the manual brakes and all. 🙂 By then, we were famished from all the activities and devoured the Mexican lunch that was included as a part of the tour. The tortilla were freshly made from a wood burning oven and was the best ever!
A big shout out to our awesome guide Tamara from Kay Tours for a truly spectacular day! She timed all our activities perfectly so that we would not have to waste time waiting in lines, and she also made sure we could visit the cenotes with little to no people around, which made the whole experience that much more pleasant.
That evening, we went to a really special restaurant for dinner right across from the Marriott. It was called Fred’s House, located right next to the water. Despite the heat, we opted to sit outside so that we could catch the beautiful sunset!
The food was pretty good, and the service was exceptional, but price was definitely pricey for Mexico. It was worth it for the view though….and the kids’ club that was available for Brady to hang out. 🙂