Natural Attractions in Cancun

Explore the natural and outdoor wonderland of Cancun

Photo credit: © John Anderson |

Visitors flock to Cancun for a variety of reasons, from festivals and sporting events to authentic cuisine and Mexican culture. While you may plan you trip to Cancun based on one of those reasons, the natural beauty of this Caribbean destination will keep you coming back for more.

A small sampling of the many ways to explore nature includes zip lining, horseback riding, hiking, cave rafting and kayaking. Adventurers of all lifestyles and budgets will be able to hone in on their ideal method of connecting with Cancun’s natural wonders.

From government-protected sanctuaries to zip line, Cancun has collected a wide range of activities and attractions designed to showcase the wonders of nature. Whether you’re exploring the avian-filled ecosystems of the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve or riding horseback as your animal tour guide trots towards the beach, Cancun’s natural paradise is sure to leave you with a deeper appreciation for the outdoors. With such a large buffet of nature-based adventure at your fingertips, the hardest decision will be picking which activities to enjoy.

Nature Preserves and Hiking

Garrafon Reef Park

Do you like being out in the fresh air? You can choose from a pair of hiking trails and some nature preserves in and around the area.

Punta Nizuc National Park is a nature preserve found in Cancun. This who take the plunge at Punta Nizuc will be treated to a submerged wonderland of statues, corals, colorful algae, and hundreds of different kinds of wildlife, from tropical fish and starfish, to dolphins and sea-turtles. This well known and well traveled spot has stayed popular for a reason, and those diving here will easily see why.

Travelers looking to locate a another great natural attraction will be interested in seeing choices like Garrafon Reef Park. Garrafon Reef Park takes advantage of the natural reefs, cliffs, and ocean by creating a haven for those who love splashing around in the water. Offering a number of water activities, a restaurant, and a bar, this is a great place to spend a day.

Check the following table for a list of nature preserves and hiking spots.

Nature Preserves and Hiking In and Around Cancun
Name Type Location
Bluffs Trail Hiking Trail 3.6 mi. Southeast of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
Garrafon Reef Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 4.2 mi. South-Southeast of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
Hiking Trails Hiking Trail 1.5 mi. South of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
Punta Nizuc National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 4.4 mi. South of Central Cancun Beach Hotel Zone Mexico


Although most travelers are drawn by the beautiful coastline, those aren't the only way to experience the area's natural beauty. One such example is Caves And Arches. It is located on Isla Mujeres, Northeast of Cancun.


Vacationers can also experience several parks in and around Cancun.

Parque De Las Palapas is found within downtown Cancun. Considered the heart of Cancun, Parque de las Palapas is the place to go when you want to mingle with locals and have a great time doing it.

The parks worth considering can be seen here:

Parks In and Around Cancun
Name Type Location
Kids Park Benito Juarez Park Downtown Cancun
Parque De Las Palapas Park Downtown Cancun
Pirate Mundaca Park Park 3.1 mi. South-Southeast of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres

Zoos and Aquariums

Crococun Zoo

If the thought of spending part of a day at the zoo tickles your fancy, you should visit Crococun Zoo. For an up close experience of some of Mexico's native wildlife, Crococun is a great place to check out. This crocodile farm features a wide range of exhibits from large and fearsome crocodiles to babies that you can pet and hold.

Another similar attraction is Interactive Aquarium Cancun. Dolphin lovers will not want to miss this opportunity to get to know and swim with the magnificent animals. Luckily, even if you do not want to take the plunge with dolphins, Interactive Aquariums offers a "dry" program as well, called the "Educational Program".

Look through this table if you want more information.

Zoos and Aquariums In and Around Cancun
Name Type Location
Crococun Zoo Zoo 1.9 mi. South West of Central Riviera Cancun
Interactive Aquarium Cancun Aquarium 1.1 mi. North-Northeast of Central Cancun Beach Hotel Zone
Pepe's Tigres Zoo 6.1 mi. East-Southeast of Central Cancun

Land Formations

Another idea is to visit some of the more interesting area land formations. Other types of natural attractions in Cancun are shown right below.

Land Formations In Cancun
Name Type Location
Bahia de Mujeres Bay 5.9 mi. East of Central downtown Cancun Mexico
Cuevita Cove 1.1 mi. South of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
Laguna Makax Lagoon 2.1 mi. South-Southeast of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
Sac Bajo Reef Reef 1.4 mi. South of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
Sac Bajo Reef Reef 1.4 mi. South of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres

Keep in mind that you will find other types of attractions. To see our page about other attractions, go to this article.


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