Table of Contents
- 1 Find the Mural Art in Downtown Cancun
- 2 Enjoy the Local Cultural Fairs in Parque Las Palapas
- 3 Explore Isla Mujeres
- 4 Visit the Local Market, Mercado 28 (Market 28)
- 5 Enjoy Kabah Urban Park
- 6 Discover the Beautiful Cenote Ik Kil
- 7 Explore the Incredible Archeological Sites
- 8 Snorkel and Swim Among Sea Turtles
- 9 Take A Walk Along the Hotel Strip and Enjoy the City
- 10 Hit the Beach
When you think of Cancun, you may assume that it will be costly and that any activity you want to try, will be expensive, but in reality, there are many excellent, very cheap, or free activities in Cancun that you can do without breaking the bank.
There are many things you can do in Cancun with your partner, family, or friends that will be incredible experiences and will not leave you broke. But you have to make a plan and prepare so that you have an unforgettable vacation.
Before we start with the best free activities in Cancun to do, here’s a quick list of budget travel tips, so you can maximize your trip:
- Make a plan for when you want to go on a trip, write a list of the things you want to do.
- Create a budget where you know how much you should save per month to do everything you want.
- Join a traveler’s group on Facebook and find members you can travel with or who live in the city you want to go to.
Below are our top suggestions for the best cheap or free activities in Cancun:
Find the Mural Art in Downtown Cancun
Cancun features spectacular street art that pays tribute to its Mayan heritage. You just need to go for a walk to see colorful murals. The murals have different meanings. Some are inspired by global maritime problems, showing dolphins swimming inside a gumball machine, alluding to the ocean’s exacerbated pollution, while others relate to local culture. One of the most renowned works of art is the mural “Niño, Jaguar y Águila,” located just 1 km south of Playa El Niño.
Enjoy the Local Cultural Fairs in Parque Las Palapas
Cancun is much more than fancy hotels and beautiful beaches. It has a vibrant performing arts community where national and international musicians come to perform. Parque Las Palapas is a vast park in downtown Cancun with a giant central stage that hosts concerts, events, cultural fairs, and even plays (on weekends). The park is usually full of people and life, with runners and cyclists and locals and tourists looking to enjoy outdoor games, meals or picnics, and just enjoy the day.
Explore Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres is a small island less than 10 miles off the coast of Cancun. Once you cross the small strip of turquoise water, you can have an excursion full of incredible landscapes such as impressive cliffs, vast expanses of giant palm trees, an island full of vibrant colors, and one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Avenida Hidalgo is famous for its four-block stretch of restaurants and shops. As you walk, you will pass brightly painted shops selling souvenirs such as embroidered blouses, Mexican skull ornaments, quirky animal figures and alebrijes, and the island’s famous seashells.
Visit the Local Market, Mercado 28 (Market 28)
If you want to taste authentic Mexican food like the cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork), the Yucatecan panuchos (tostadas with refried beans), or the papadzules (Mayan-style enchiladas), Mercado 28 is the place to go. It’s a vast market where you can admire –and buy– beautiful handicrafts made of leather, silk, glass, or even silver or gold. You will also be able to get a henna tattoo or braid your hair at a very affordable price.
Enjoy Kabah Urban Park
Kabah Urban Park is an incredible place to enjoy jogging, doing some exercise, or just walking. You will find it in downtown Cancun; it is an amazing place to walk and uncover more about the local history, flora and fauna. You will see some quirky animals like coatis, macaws, parrots, and South American alligators. It has exercise facilities, walking trails, and a museum.
Entrance to the Kabah Urban Park is free throughout the year. Its lush jungles are popular with tourists looking to escape the crowded beaches of Cancun.
Discover the Beautiful Cenote Ik Kil
Cenote Ik Kil is not in Cancun, but it is an experience that you will not want to miss! This great cenote has a depth of 40 meters. You can jump in from any of three jumping points and enjoy various restaurants, private lockers, and there are public restrooms that you can use.
It is sacred for the Mayans, since they made human sacrifices to their rain god at this cenote in ancient times.
Explore the Incredible Archeological Sites
Discover incredible archaeological sites like El Rey and explore more than 45 impressive stone structures, including the main temple or the burial site of the important figure. Or El Meco also has many stone structures built between the 13th and 16th centuries; its main structure is El Castillo, one of the tallest Mayan pyramids in Cancun.
Snorkel and Swim Among Sea Turtles
What could be better than snorkeling in the beautiful sea and even swimming with sea turtles? Cancun has many beaches or places where you can snorkel. Snorkel equipment rentals are very affordable, costing less than $10, and many beachfront resorts, such as Garza Blanca Cancun, will loan you the necessary equipment as part of your stay to explore the underwater landscape. Or you can bring your own equipment.
Take A Walk Along the Hotel Strip and Enjoy the City
Cancun has an excellent hotel strip, full of places to explore including restaurants, shops, clubs, and more. At night, the strip comes to life. Most of the resorts are located in this area and some public beaches such as Playa Ballenas, Playa Chac Mool, and Playa Delfines.
Hit the Beach
Do you know what could be better than exploring the beautiful sea and swimming with sea turtles? Going to the beach! And Cancun offers many incredible beaches for all tastes and budgets.
Playa Tortugas is a relatively small, free beach. You can enjoy this beautiful beach all year round, and it is perfect for children and adults since its shores are shallow enough for them to swim. Don’t forget to visit the pier, where you can enjoy bungee jumping from the top of a 25-meter-high tower.
If you are looking for something more exciting, Playa Delfines is a quiet stretch of beach, but it has big waves that attract surfers as the waves here are more challenging than most beaches in Cancun. Both are south of the hotel zone.
Enjoy doing yoga on the beach, exercising, meditating, swimming, or sipping your favorite margarita while relaxing on one of the best beaches the world has to offer!
Cancun is much more than incredible activities or luxury resorts. It is a city full of life. You will find many cheap or free activities in Cancun, whether you visit archaeological sites to learn more about the unique culture, go jogging in a park where you can reconnect with nature, practice yoga on the beach, or snorkel and swim alongside sea turtles, you are guaranteed to have a great time!