The Segmental Info System
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.
If you're interested in visiting some of the Nature Preserves in the Mexican Caribbean, use the following chart to guide you.
|Chinchorro Bank Biosphere Reserve||39.3 mi. (63.3 km) Northeast of Xcalak|
|Cozumel Reef National Park||1.2 mi. (2.0 km) Northwest of Cozumel|
|Garrafon Reef Park||2.1 mi. (3.4 km) South-Southeast of Isla Mujeres|
|Isla Contoy National Park||20.1 mi. (32.3 km) North of Isla Mujeres|
|Jungle Place||Western part of The Riviera Maya|
|Ocean Research Facility||2.1 mi. (3.3 km) Northeast of Puerto Morelos|
|Pez Maya Research Center||14.5 mi. (23.3 km) South of Tulum|
|Punta Laguna Spider Monkey Reserve||27.1 mi. (43.6 km) Northwest of Akumal|
|Punta Nizuc National Park||4.3 mi. (6.9 km) South-Southwest of Cancun Beach Hotel Zone|
|Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve||27.7 mi. (44.6 km) South-Southwest of Tulum|
|Taninah Jungle Retreat||5.9 mi. (9.5 km) North-Northeast of Akumal|
The following chart might just help you to determine which trails you'll visit during your time in the Mexican Caribbean.
|Bluffs Trail||1.4 mi. (2.3 km) Southeast of Isla Mujeres|
|Hiking Trails||0.7 mi. (1.2 km) Northwest of Isla Mujeres|
Situated in Isla Mujeres, the Garrafon Reef Park is accessible from Cancun by a quick boat ride, and promises to delight visitors with a natural spectacle of vegetation, wildlife and thrilling activities. Take a stroll through the artistic Sculpture Garden, or tour one of the multiple genuine Mayan temple ruins located on the park’s grounds. Those seeking a shot of adrenaline should consider partaking in either Garrafon’s scenic zip line ride or their skyscraping climbing tower.
...amphibious vehicle drives, underground rafting...
This unique underground park invites guests to gain a new perspective on Cancun’s nature by exploring the caverns and rock formations that have shaped the region’s landscape. Centrally located in Riviera Maya, this exciting park features activities like amphibious vehicle drives, underground rafting, zip lines and more. Equipped with the latest equipment and a qualified staff, Xplor guarantees to give travelers an unexpected and unforgettable glimpse at Cancun’s underground wonderland.
Cancun is home to a variety of protected land areas that are dedicated to offshore landscapes. Vacationers can pick from a wide selection of areas that illustrate the natural underwater beauty of Mexico. Belonging to the Mesoamerican Reef System, the Punta Nizuc National Park showcases ancient coral formations of many different varieties. Known as the birthplace of the Mesoamerican Reef System, the Isla Contoy National Park houses coral reefs within a protected inlet. At the Cozumel Reef National Park, visitors will find themselves immersed amongst 85% of the area’s top diving destinations. The Chinchorro Bank Biosphere Reserve is an interesting destination, which is home to the largest commercial populations of pink conch and Caribbean lobster, as well as being a popular sea turtle nesting ground.
One of the great things about the Mexican Caribbean is the abundance of attractions to keep visitors entertained. This includes those that promote nature and wild life. The following list alone indicates the importance of the outdoors in this region, with over a dozen parks, zoos, and botanical gardens readily available.
|Cenote X-Canche||31.6 mi. (50.9 km) East-Northeast of Chichen Itza|
|Cenote Zaci||24.0 mi. (38.7 km) East of Chichen Itza|
|Dzitnup Cenote||21.0 mi. (33.9 km) East of Chichen Itza|
|Francisco Canton Park||23.7 mi. (38.2 km) East of Chichen Itza|
|Ik Kil Cenote||1.8 mi. (2.9 km) Southeast of Chichen Itza|
|Kantun Chi Eco Park||7.7 mi. (12.3 km) Northeast of Akumal|
|Kids Park Benito Juarez||2.2 mi. (3.6 km) East of Cancun|
|Manati Cenote||5.8 mi. (9.4 km) Northeast of Tulum|
|Parque De Las Palapas||2.1 mi. (3.4 km) East of Cancun|
|Pirate Mundaca Park||0.9 mi. (1.5 km) South-Southeast of Isla Mujeres|
|Plaza 28 De Julio Park||0.8 mi. (1.3 km) South West of Playa del Carmen|
|Punta Allen Park||0.0 mi. (0.0 km) East of Punta Allen|
|Sac Muukal Cenote||21.1 mi. (34.0 km) East of Chichen Itza|
|Selvaje Cenote||3.9 mi. (6.3 km) South of Tulum|
|Selvatica||11.7 mi. (18.9 km) West of Puerto Morelos|
|Tajmahal Cenote||6.7 mi. (10.7 km) North-Northeast of Akumal|
|Vaca Ha Tortugas Cenote||3.6 mi. (5.8 km) North of Tulum|
|Xunaan Ha Cenote||Western part of The Riviera Maya|
|Yaxmul Cenote||7.2 mi. (11.6 km) Northeast of Tulum|
|Crococun Zoo||Zoo||2.4 mi. (3.9 km) North of Puerto Morelos|
|Crocodile Visit||Zoo||26.3 mi. (42.3 km) Northwest of Tulum|
|Dolphin Discovery||Zoo||9.1 mi. (14.6 km) Northeast of Akumal|
|Interactive Aquarium Cancun||Aquarium||7.3 mi. (11.8 km) Southeast of Cancun|
|Pepe's Tigres||Zoo||6.1 mi. (9.8 km) East-Southeast of Cancun|
|X'Cacel Turtle Conservation Area||Zoo||4.7 mi. (7.6 km) South-Southwest of Akumal|
|Xaman-Ha Aviary||Zoo||1.6 mi. (2.5 km) South West of Playa del Carmen|
There is much about the history of the Mexican Caribbean that remains a mystery, and naturally made caves retain an undeniable air of mystery -- however, they also tell us a lot about the area's geography.
For those who have an interest in the mysterious caves of the region, consult the table below.
|Aktun Chen Cave System||6.2 mi. (9.9 km) Northwest of Akumal|
|Caves And Arches||1.4 mi. (2.2 km) North-Northwest of Isla Mujeres|
|Chac Tun Cave Tour/ Paintball City||Northern part of The Riviera Maya|
|Cristalino Maya Cenote||7.7 mi. (12.5 km) Northeast of Akumal|
|Hidden Worlds Cenotes||7.6 mi. (12.3 km) Northeast of Tulum|
|Jardin Del Eden Cenote||7.8 mi. (12.5 km) Northeast of Akumal|
For the serious adventurer, EcoColors offers multi-day trips jam-packed with outdoorsy activities and attractions. Packages can last for durations of anywhere between one day and over a week. Striving to connect nature-related education with fantastic experiences, EcoColors combines ancient cultural heritage with beautiful wildlife and native plants.
Selvatica is a self-proclaimed “adventure kingdom” located between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Sitting on more than 330 acres of wild Mexican jungle, this facility features a selection of unique activities to please visitors of all ages and lifestyles. Choose from ventures like high-rope circuits with bicycles, army truck tours to natural landmarks, horseback riding, exploring sinkholes and more.
Along with the standard attractions of kayaking and hiking, Puerta Verde offers visitors 23 different activities that can be enjoyed while soaking in Cancun’s stunning nature. Leisurely wander through the property’s butterfly sanctuary, or dare yourself to swim alongside whale sharks. Guests may stop by for one day, or book a multi-day getaway to experience everything that Puerta Verde has to offer.
It might just be more convenient to contact one of the following guides for your nature tour:
And still, there are many more natural attractions in the Mexican Caribbean just waiting to be explored. Use the following chart as a guide to help you decide what you want to do during your trip to the area.
|Chikin Ha Cenote||Pond||The vicinity of La Gloria|
|Crocodile Swamp||Swamp||Puerto Morelos|
|Laguna Makax||Lagoon||0.3 mi. (0.5 km) West-Southwest of Isla Mujeres|
|Muyil Lagoon||Lagoon||13.1 mi. (21.1 km) South West of Tulum|
|Yal-Ku Lagoon||Lagoon||1.1 mi. (1.8 km) Northeast of Akumal|
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.
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