Oh, the many ways you can have fun in the beautiful waters around Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean. Snorkeling, swimming, diving and plunging into cenotes are extremely popular activities and are an incredibly fun way to experience this region.
Kayaking and canoeing? Yup, you can do that, too. When you pull out the paddles and venture out on the water under your own power, you get in a good workout and have the flexibility to experience even more.
Here are our five top places to go kayaking in Cancun and the surrounding area in the Yucatan Peninsula. Have fun!
Garrafon Natural Reef Park -- The park in located on the southern tip of Isla Mujeres, which is a 30-minute ferry ride from the Hotel Zone in Cancun (take the Playa Tortuga ferry).
The park offers packages that include such activities as snorkeling, kayaking, dolphin swims, ziplining, open bar and lunch buffet. This place might be a good option for a family that wants a lot of activities to choose from for one price and no hassle with planning an adventure. There is a sculpture park, Mayan temples and walking paths.
The best part of this park is its proximity to the gorgeous cliffs of Punta Sur. You can kayak around the park boundaries and jump in for a swim or snorkel at your leisure for a full day of refreshing water action.
Cancun Lagoon -- The quickest and easiest way to kayak when staying in the main Hotel Zone of Cancun is to find an outfitter that provides kayaks or guided tours in the lagoon. Many resorts also will offer kayaking activities and other water sports options for you do experience with nearby outfitters -- such as flyboarding (those jetpacks that send you airborne above the water), parasailing and jetskiing in Cancun.
In the lagoon, which is just across the narrow isthmus from the Caribbean Sea on the opposite side of the strip, you can hop into a sea kayak to explore the coves and coastline. Do not jump in for a swim, though. You're sharing the waters with crocodiles here.
Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka'an -- Situated about two hours south of Cancun near the town of Tulum, the biosphere is the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean. The UNESCO World Heritage site is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna, and you can explore the reserve coastal wetlands, dense mangroves and quiet lagoons by kayak. Try a guided kayak tour for the best experience. Look for outfitters such as Yucatan Outdoors that can offer trips.
Reserva Natural Tres Rios -- Another top spot for eco-tourists who want to commune with Mexico's natural beauty and serenity, Reserva is located about 35 minutes south of the airport in Cancun. This is an ecological park that features rivers, jungles, estuaries and beaches to explore.
Activities in this lush subtropical jungle playground include jetskiing, canoeing and kayaking in the mangrove swamps. You can also walk, ride a horse or bike along the trails amid a place that is home to more than 100 animal species.
Holbox Island -- Perhaps the most unique gem in the Cancun region, Holbox is a lightly populated and largely unspoiled territory reachable by public ferry from Chiquila (about two hours from Cancun).
Holbox Island is within the Yum Balam ecological reserve, a wildlife-protection area in the state of Quintana Roo. The island features long stretches of pristine beach and dense, lush mangroves. The habitat is ideal for the resident flamingos and playful dolphins you are likely to see. Outfitters like Holbox Adventure offer incredible guided birdwatching tours through the mangroves.
Travel fit! Travel happy! Travel often!