10 Reasons to Vacation in Cancun in 2020

Here's why you need to drop everything and pay a visit to the sun-soaked beaches of Mexico's delightful Yucatan Peninsula.

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December 17, 2019

The tourism economy in Cancun was rocked over the summer when sargassum, a smelly seaweed-like algae, took over the white sandy beaches across the Yucatan Peninsula. The sun-drenched beaches have since been cleaned up, making it an ideal time to add Cancun back to your list of possible 2020 vacation destinations. Beyond sand and surf, go for brand new hotels, ancient ruins and surprising culinary experiences. Here are 10 reasons to put the Mayan Riviera on your radar.

Starting at $192 per night

Once better known for Spring Breakers and the party scene at Senor Frogs, Cancun now boasts multiple family-centric hotel properties, like the new all-suites Estudio Playa Mujeres, which debuted in August. This modern property keeps kids busy with a white sandy beach, multiple splash pools and Doodle Land, a fun and creative kids program. Meanwhile, at the all-inclusive Seadust Cancun Family Resort, look for a zipline, a mini golf course, a climbing wall and a water park with a pirate ship and water slides.

Book a Room at Seadust
Starting at $57 per person

Go snorkeling or diving at the Cancun Underwater Museum. It's the world's largest underwater museum, featuring 500 sculptures in two different watery galleries. Book a day-long snorkel adventure where you'll gently glide into the Caribbean Sea on a sailboat to this bucket list-worthy underwater museum. Sculptures on the ocean floor are situated from three to six meters below the surface, so it's even possible to view the works of art from a glass-bottom boat tour. The museum was created to foster coral growth in the sea reefs.

Book a Snorkeling Tour
Starting at $40 per person

The ancient ruins at Tulum are less than two hours from Cancun, making for an easy day trip to see the archaeological remains of this Mayan walled city. Given its proximity to Cancun, Tulum can get busy with eager tourists keen to snap photos, so arrive at the site early. If you can, book a guided tour with an archaeologist and enter the site ahead of the crowds for an in-depth exploration of the ancient ruins and civilization. Laze on the pristine sandy beach at Tulum before your return to Cancun.

Book a Tour
Starting at $64 per person

Cancun is ideal for a micro-cation. As in, a quick getaway of no more than four nights. The primary Cancun Hotel Zone is less than eight miles from the airport, making it possible to deplane and lounge poolside with a fruity drink in less than one hour. Countless cities across the US fly non-stop to Cancun, too, including Atlanta, Boston, Detroit and Cleveland. Once you get the urge to escape the winter cold, you'll be on Cancun's sun-soaked beaches in no time. Private shuttles service the airport, too, to get you to your beachfront hotel quickly.

Book Transportation
Prices Vary

Of course, no list of reasons to put Cancun back on your radar would be complete without reference to how truly beautiful the beaches are. The sparkling turquoise waters and white, wind-swept beaches all along the Yucatan Peninsula beckon travelers to come and stay awhile. Many consider Cancun to have some of the most exquisite beaches in the world. Whether you book a package vacation or piece together a getaway on your own, you'll be glad you made the journey to Cancun.

Book a Private Villa
Starting at $194 per night

We all want to do our part to help save the planet. In Cancun, you can do just that at the newly rebranded Panama Jack Resorts Cancun. This all-inclusive property features an on-site turtle farm that yields more than 25,000 sea turtle hatchlings each season. Each year from August through November, the eco-friendly, green-certified resort hosts beach clean-ups (that guests can take part in), nest building and ecology courses for employees. At the Camp Jack Kids Club, little ones can go on field trips to see the nests at the turtle farm.

Book a Room
Starting at $144 per person

There are very few places in the world where you can swim with gentle whale sharks. These docile giants grow to more than 40 feet in length, making them the largest fish species in our oceans. From mid-May to mid-September, these passive creatures swim off the unspoiled Yucatan Coast, making it an absolute must to book a snorkeling tour to get up close with these magnificent ocean dwellers. Keep your eyes open for manta rays, turtles and dolphins, too, as you swim along with an expert guide.

Book a Tour
Starting at $99 per person

Many of us love Mexican flavors and spices. In Cancun, you can learn to make traditional dishes and drinks, then bring home your new-found skills to wow friends and family. Sign up for a four-hour culinary experience that takes you from farm to table, starting at a well-known farmers market. Once you shop the market stands, take your hand-picked ingredients back to the kitchen for a hands-on cooking experience that includes salsas, tortillas and a main dish. Alternatively, some hotels, like Panama Jack Resorts Cancun, offer on-site classes to create authentic guacamole and mojitos.

Book a Class
Starting at $130 per person

The Yucatan Peninsula abounds with lush eco-adventures across dense jungles, along sublime natural waterways and into underground freshwater-filled caves (cenotes). On a day-long outdoor adventure, you'll experience 'Gram-worthy adventures in all three settings. Plan to snorkel, kayak, rappel and zipline, even float along the crystal-clear water on a relaxing tube ride. While in Cancun, it's a must to escape the Cancun Hotel Zone to immerse yourself in the Yucatan's immaculate natural surroundings. Don't worry, your tropical drink will be waiting when you return at the end of the day for a sunset lounge on the beach.

Book a Tour
Starting at $146 per night

For many years, Cancun has been a renowned tourist destination. As travelers return for sargassum-free beaches, they are welcomed by a slate of long-awaited hotel openings. The brand new all-inclusive Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun is slated to open in March 2020, featuring nearly 900 suites, a first-rate kids club, a spa and a trampoline park. Meanwhile, Now Emerald Cancun debuted in June, wowing guests with more than 400 bright and airy hotel rooms and suites. A short drive from the airport, this property boasts eight restaurants, three sparkling pools and plenty of lush views. There are also on-site clubs for kids and teens.

Book a Room at Emerald Cancun

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