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 enjoy being seeing the local flaura and fauna? You can choose from a couple of hiking trails and some nature preserves in and around Cancun.

Punta Nizuc National Park is a popular nature preserve located within Cancun. Punta Nizuc is located at the southern tip of the Hotel District in Cancun. Not only will you find it easy to get there, but most dive groups in the area will include it as part of a package.

Vacationers looking to find a another great natural attraction will enjoy exploring opportunities like Garrafon Reef Park. This water park is filled with fish and coral, perfect for snorkeling and even offers snorkeling equipment, as well as guided tours of the park to help guests see as much as they can. They have several docks to enter the water from, and ropes throughout the water to help you find your way.

Take some time to look through this table for more information.

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 people visiting the area are attracted 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 found within Isla Mujeres, Northeast of Cancun.


Visitors can also spend some time in several parks in and around Cancun.

Parque De Las Palapas is situated in downtown Cancun. Parque de las Palapas is a favorite amongst local Cancun residents, a fact that is evident especially on Friday nights around 7:30 when live jazz and salsa is played and the dancing begins. On Sunday afternoon, you can listen to the lovely music of the Cancun Municipal Orchestra.

The parks worth considering are summarized directly below.

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 concept of spending some time with interesting animals tickles your fancy, consider visiting Crococun Zoo. This attractions is located just under 20 miles away from Cancun in the Maya Riviera. Take the MYAB bus line from the Cancun or Playa del Carmen bus stations for a direct ride to the zoo.

A second related venue is Interactive Aquarium Cancun. Learn all that you can about marine life in the Mexican Caribbean when you visit the Interactive Aquarium. Many guests even go so far as to sign up for programs that allow them to swim with dolphins and feed the sharks.

View the table just below for more information about what's available.

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 fun idea is to visit some of the more interesting naturally occurring land formations. Fully natural attractions like these in Cancun are provided here:

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

Luckily, Cancun has additional attraction types. For more in-depth coverage of other attractions, navigate to this page.


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