Grand Mambocafé Popular downtown nightclub with bands playing Cuban salsa and other danceable tropical styles.

Amarula con Acento Tropical Stylish cocktail bar featuring DJs spinning house, jazz and cumbia tunes.

H Roof Nightclub Fun dance parties without the large crowds and excessively loud sound systems.

11:11 The fiesta rages until the wee hours of the morning at this fun gay club.

Coco Bongo A Cancún institution where dancing is interspersed with acrobatic shows.


Fish and seafood restaurants in the downtown area tend to be kinder on the wallet than those in the Zona Hotelera.

Crab House Specializes in stone crab and the extensive menu also includes excellent shrimp dishes.

Harry's Steakhouse & Raw Bar Ultra-fresh fish served on a deck with a lovely lagoon view.

The Bears Den The Canadian chef here prepares an exquisite seared tuna with mango-jalapeño chutney.

Puerto Santo Hidden oceanfront restaurant known for its wood-fired whole fish and chili-sautéed octopus.

Lorenzillo's Lagoonside sunset restaurant offering more than 20 choices of lobster presentations.

El Fish Fritanga One of the Zona Hotelera's most affordable options for quality seafood.


For modern malls head to the Zona Hotelera; Cancún Centro offers several traditional markets.

La Isla Shopping Village Open-air center with a boutique stores section and an aquarium.

La Europea One of the best places in Cancún to stock up on top-shelf mezcal and tequila.

Puerto Cancún Marina Town Center Breezy mall affording great city views and has an IMAX theater to boot.

Mercado 23 Old-school downtown market where the locals do their shopping.

Mercado Municipal Ki-Huic Market with stalls selling a wide variety of handicrafts.

Regional Cuisine

If you've never tried Yucatecan food you're in for a real treat but watch out for that fiery habanero salsa!

Lonchería El Pocito Regional comfort food at its best with classics like diced-egg enchiladas and Yucatecan snacks.

La Habichuela Menu items include Yucatecan tamales and tikin-xic lobster (a pre-Hispanic recipe).

La Playita Caribbean-inspired dishes such as camarones al coco (coconut shrimp) stand out here.

La Barbacoa de la Tulum A 24/7 taco joint specializing in cochinita pibil (slow-cooked Yucatán-style pork).

Maya Culture

Museo Maya de Cancún Fascinating Maya museum with hundreds of artifacts found in and around the peninsula.

San Miguelito Ruins of an ancient Maya maritime community, including an 8m-high pyramid.

Zona Arqueológica El Rey The small structures here won't wow you like Chichén Itzá, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Yamil Lu’um The weathered 'Scorpion's Temple' sits atop a pretty beachside knoll, providing a sweet ocean view.

Outdoor Activities

Museo Subacuático de Arte Underwater museum where you can dive or snorkel among hundreds of life-sized sculptures.

Parque Nacional Isla Contoy Boat tours to an uninhabited island provide great snorkeling and birdwatching opportunities.

Parque de las Palapas Downtown open-air concert that stages free shows at night.

Isla Blanca Secluded beach north of downtown with good hiking spots along a shallow lagoon.

Local Bars

Centro is your best option if you want to knock 'em back with the locals.

Mora Mora Cool underground bar scene with live hip-hop and indie rock acts.

Plaza de Toros Numerous bars are built into a former bullring; draws a predominantly local crowd.

Marakame Café A popular hangout spot for its live music and good cocktails.

Route 666 Bikers Bar Caters to die-hard classic rockers and middle-class bikers. Black Sabbath, anyone?

La Taberna de los Amigos Bar and grill with pool tables, a sports book and friendly locals.

Family-Friendly Actvities

Captain Hook Pirate ship tour that's sure to bring out the swashbuckler in you and the kids.

Aquaworld Runs glass-bottom boat tours through mangroves and to an underwater museum.

All Ritmo Water park near downtown with fun slides, miniature golf and shuffleboard.

Playa Langosta A very shallow and swimmable beach that makes for safe swimming and snorkeling.


Cancún Centro has an ample offering of hostels, many of which are quite comfortable.

Mayan Monkey Spiffy clean, two free meals a day and a cool rooftop bar and pool.

Mezcal Hostel Just off Avenida Náder, so you're smack in the middle of the trendy bar/restaurant zone.

Hostel Natura That rare Zona Hotelera hostel that leaves you within stumbling distance of the nightclubs.

Hostel Ka'beh Fine place to meet other travelers and it's near downtown's buzzing Palapas square.