Cancun is a world-renowned holiday destination located on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. It is famous for its beautiful beaches, turquoise waters, and warm climate, making it an ideal destination for anyone looking to escape the cold winter months or enjoy a summer vacation. It also offers a wide range of activities for visitors, from relaxing on the beach and soaking up the sun to exploring ancient Mayan ruins and swimming with whale sharks. The city is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with plenty of bars and nightclubs to choose from.

The hotel zone in Cancun is where most visitors stay, and it is home to a variety of luxury resorts, restaurants, and shopping centres. There are also many smaller hotels and guesthouses in the city centre, catering to different budgets. The beaches in Cancun are some of the best in the world, with soft white sand and crystal clear waters. Visitors can enjoy water sports like jet skiing, parasailing, and snorkelling or take a relaxing catamaran cruise around the coast. Cancun is also a great base for exploring other attractions in the Yucatan Peninsula, such as the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and Tulum or the natural wonders of Xcaret and Xel-Ha parks.

Cancun is a popular vacation destination due to its numerous attractions and lively party scene, which draws in tourists from all over the world. However, if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, there are plenty of alternative destinations within reach of Cancun Airport. Here are seven Cancun alternatives that offer a more laid-back vibe:


To reach the picturesque island of Holbox, you need to take a 2.5-hour drive from Cancun Airport to Chiquila and then board a 20-minute ferry ride that costs approximately $7 USD. Although Holbox shares the same turquoise waters and stunning white sand beaches as Cancun, it has distinctive qualities that set it apart.

Cancun Alternatives

Travellers flock to Holbox for various reasons, including experiencing the enchanting bioluminescent water during nightfall, wandering around its charming streets adorned with vibrant street art, savouring authentic Mexican cuisine, and basking in the sun on its idyllic beaches.

Isla Mujeres

If you’re looking for an alternative to Cancun that’s easy to get to, Isla Mujeres is a great option. It’s just off the coast of Cancun, and you can catch a ferry to the island from multiple ports. The roundtrip ferry ride takes only 15 minutes and costs $16. Once on the island, you can enjoy beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters ideal for snorkelling, and stunning coral reefs.

One of the island’s unique attractions is the Underwater Museum of Art, where you can admire various art pieces submerged underwater, making it a one-of-a-kind experience.


Getting to Cozumel island requires transportation from the airport to Playa del Carmen, which is a short journey of under an hour. Once you arrive in Playa del Carmen, you can catch the ferry for a 30-40 minute ride to the island. The roundtrip fare for the ferry is $25.

Cancun Alternatives

Cozumel has always been a well-liked holiday spot in the Mexican Caribbean, famous for its exceptional diving and snorkelling opportunities. It is home to a part of the world’s second-largest reef system, offering an unforgettable underwater experience.

Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos is a refreshing alternative to the bustling Cancun, and it is easily accessible within a short 20-minute drive from the airport. Despite its growth in recent years, it has maintained its fishing village charm, and visitors can indulge in delicious seafood at local restaurants.

Puerto Morelos is a popular destination for those seeking relaxation, nature, and adventure. It boasts serene beaches, diverse wildlife, and access to mesmerizing cenotes, making it an excellent spot for snorkelling and diving. Whether it’s lounging on the beach or exploring the natural wonders of the area, Puerto Morelos is a great choice for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy a more laid-back vacation.


Akumal may not be as well-known as other destinations on this list, but it is just as deserving of a visit. It is conveniently located about an hour away from Cancun International Airport. Akumal is a haven for adventure seekers and beach lovers, with turquoise waters teeming with marine life.

Cancun Alternatives

In addition to swimming and snorkelling in the Caribbean Sea, visitors can also explore the area’s natural wonders, including cenotes, underground rivers, and caves. Akumal’s stunning beaches and lush jungles offer a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover this hidden gem on your next trip to Mexico.

Playa Del Carmen

Playa del Carmen, located just 45 minutes away from Cancun, is a well-known vacation spot that still manages to exude a relaxed atmosphere. While the town does have lively nightlife, there are also many opportunities for unwinding.

Playa del Carmen boasts beautiful beaches, as well as an area full of restaurants and shops where visitors can indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine and find unique souvenirs.


Cancun Alternatives

Tulum’s popularity has grown in recent years, but it has managed to maintain its unique allure. Although it takes about an hour and a half to drive from Cancun Airport, it’s the perfect destination for a laid-back vacation with access to plenty of activities. The gorgeous beaches provide relaxation while exploring Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes, and dining at some fantastic restaurants are just some of the things you can do in Tulum.