2 days in Cancun: The perfect itinerary for a weekend + Tips


Weekend in Cancun: The Best Itinerary for 2 days + Where to Stay

You’re planning to spend 2 days in Cancun and you’re looking for the best things to do?

You’re at the right place!

This vibrant city on the Caribbean coast of Mexico offers stunning beaches, amazing underwater wonders, thrilling activities, and fascinating cultural sites. Whether you want to relax, explore, or party, Cancun has something for everyone.

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you this 2-day itinerary in Cancun.

During your trip, you will discover some of the best things to do in Cancun such as the Underwater Museum, the best beaches, Chichen Itza and a Cenote.

In addition to the best places to visit and activities for each stage of your itinerary, I will also give you all my best tips and accommodation suggestions depending on your budget.

So what are the best things to do in Cancun in 2 days? Where to stay?

Let’s plan your trip!

Day 1: Underwater Museum and Beach Fun

Start your day with a visit to the Cancun Underwater Museum (MUSA), where you can see more than 500 sculptures submerged in the sea!

These sculptures were created by local artists to promote coral reef conservation and create an artificial habitat for marine life.

You will be amazed by the variety of fish and corals that you will encounter, as well as the artistic and ecological value of the sculptures.

Some of the most famous sculptures include The Silent Evolution (a group of 450 human figures), The Banker (a man sitting at a desk with a briefcase), and The Dream Collector (a man with a collection of bottles containing messages).

The MUSA is divided into two galleries: Salon Manchones (8 meters deep) and Salon Nizuc (4 meters deep).

My tip
Depending on your level of experience and preference, you can either snorkel (book it here!) or scuba dive (book scuba diving excursion here) to explore this unique attraction.
diving isla mujeres manchones
One of the underwater sculptures at Manchones. Work by Karina Salinas Martínez. Photo by MUSA.

For lunch, you can enjoy fresh seafood such as ceviche, fish tacos, and lobster at one of the many restaurants along the beach.

You can also try some of the local specialties such as cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork), sopa de lima (lime soup), and panuchos (fried tortillas stuffed with beans).

You can find plenty of restaurants in Cancun, but my recommendation is:

  • Sirenas Raw Bar: A seafood restaurant located on the dock of El Embarcadero, with a tropical setting and a view of the Caribbean sea. Try the lobster, fish tacos and the shrimp tacos with cheese.
  • El Fish Fritanga: A casual and colorful restaurant with a beachfront terrace, spectacular view on laguna Nichupté and live music. Try the ceviche and the pescadillas.
shrimp tacos cancun
Shrimp tacos

To continue your 2-day itinerary in Cancun, head to one of the best beaches where you can relax on the soft white sand, swim in the turquoise water, or do various activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, flyboarding, or driving a speedboat:

  • Playa Delfines is one of the largest and most popular beaches in Cancun, where you can also see the colorful Cancun sign and take a picture with it
  • Playa Tortugas is a family-friendly beach with calm water and a pier where you can catch a ferry to Isla Mujeres or go bungee jumping
  • Playa Chac Mool is a lively beach with many bars and restaurants nearby, where you can also rent a sunbed or an umbrella for a small fee.

My tip
You can also take a ferry to Isla Mujeres (book your round trip ticket here) a beautiful island just off the coast of Cancun, where you can visit the Garrafon Park, a natural park where you can zip-line, kayak, bike, swim with dolphins, and relax in a hammock.

You can also explore Punta Sur, the southern tip of the island, where you can see the ruins of a Mayan temple dedicated to Ixchel, a sculpture garden, and a lighthouse. Or you can simply relax on Playa Norte, one of the best beaches in the world, with soft white sand and calm turquoise water.

To make the most of Isla Mujeres and have a blast, book this Full-Day Sail in a 45-foot Catamaran. It includes transportation from Cancun, open bar, the snorkeling gear, swimming in Playa Norte and the buffet lunch at a beach club. 😉

playa delfines cancun
Playa Delfines Cancun

In the evening, you can enjoy drinks on a terrace overlooking the ocean, such as La Isla Shopping Village or Plaza Forum. Then, get ready to party at one of the many nightclubs in Cancun’s Hotel Zone.

You can choose from different themes and styles of music, such as Coco Bongo (a Las Vegas-style show), The City (the largest nightclub in Latin America), or Mandala (an open-air club with Asian decor).

Buy your tickets to Coco Bongo here:

coco bongo cancun
Coco Bongo Cancun

Day 2: Chichen Itza and Cenotes

Start your day early with a visit to Chichen Itza, one of the most famous and impressive Mayan ruins in Mexico.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once a powerful city that dominated the region from the 9th to the 13th century.

You can admire the majestic pyramid of Kukulkan, the Temple of the Warriors, the Observatory, the Ball Court, and other ancient structures that showcase the advanced architecture and astronomy of the Maya civilization.

How to get to Chichen Itza from Cancun:

  • Rent a car and drive to Chichen Itza (2h30). Parking costs 80 pesos.
  • Take an ADO bus from Cancun’s Bus Terminal – however, be aware that there is only one bus daily: departure 8am and return 4.30pm
  • Join a guided tour (the most convenient option): it includes round-trip transportation, a guided visit, the beautiful cenote Ik Kil, a buffet lunch and a stop in Valladolid. Book it here:

Also, check out Chichén Itzá: the definitive guide + My tips!

The famous site of Chichen Itza in the state of Yucatan

After exploring Chichen Itza, I suggest going to one of the many cenotes near Cancun, where you can swim, snorkel, or dive in the crystal-clear water of these natural sinkholes.

Cenotes are formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. They are considered sacred by the Maya people, who believed they were portals to the underworld.

Ik Kil is the nearest cenote to Chichen Itza, but you have other options too, such as Cenote Suytun (the most photogenic one!), Cenote Verde Lucero, Cenote Azul, Cenote Dos Ojos, Cenote Samula and many others.

Suytun cenote Valladolid
The Suytun cenote

End your two days in Cancun with an evening cruise on a catamaran or the Jolly Roger pirate ship, where you can enjoy music, drinks, and entertainment.

Another great option is going to Joya Cancun, a Cirque du Soleil show that combines culinary and performing arts in an intimate theater, where you can enjoy a story of adventure and discovery inspired by Mexico’s history and heritage.

Get your tickets here:

joya cirque du soleil
JOYÀ by Cirque du Soleil

2 days in Cancun: where to stay?

  • Mayan Monkey Cancun: hostel with a festive atmosphere in Cancun’s hotel zone, very close to the beach and bars. Terrace, outdoor pool, bar with happy hour, air conditioning, ping-pong, good wifi. Private rooms and dorms, from only 24$usd!
  • Bed and Breakfast Pecari: if you are looking for more comfort, I recommend without hesitation this establishment. It is a beautiful Bed and Breakfast located in a quiet street near the city center and the ADO bus station, with a relaxation area by the pool, spacious rooms, and a good breakfast, starting at 50$usd per night!
  • Beachscape Kin Ha Villas & Suites: rooms, suites, and villas for 2 to 12 people with direct access to the beach. Outdoor pool, children’s pool, gym, restaurant, beach bar. Breakfast included, starting at 218$usd per night.
  • The Royal Sands Resort & Spa: spacious rooms and suites with ocean views, in the heart of Cancun’s hotel zone. Large outdoor pool, gym, spa, fine restaurants, sports bar and many activities. All inclusive, starting at 485 $usd per night

My tip
To find the best hotel for your 48h stay in Cancun, you can read my dedicated article: Where to stay in Cancun?  
Mayan Monkey Cancun

So, is 2 days enough to visit Cancun?

To learn more about Cancun, don’t miss my other guides:

The Cancun Hotel Zone

Tips for a perfect 2-Day Trip in Cancun

Cancun is the perfect destination for a 2-day trip because it offers a variety of attractions and activities that suit different tastes and budgets. You can experience the beauty and diversity of nature, culture, and nightlife in Cancun without spending too much time or money.

Here are some tips on how to save money, avoid crowds, and stay safe in Cancun:

– Book your flights and hotels in advance to get the best deals.
– Travel during low season (May to November) to avoid crowds and enjoy lower prices.
– Buy souvenirs at local markets (ex: Mercado 28 and Mercado 23) instead of tourist shops.
– Drink bottled water and avoid ice from street vendors.
– Be careful with your belongings and avoid walking alone at night.

hotel zone cancun
Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera), Cancun

Rent a car in Cancun

Renting a car is for sure the best way to explore Cancun and make the most of your stay!

While it’s not super useful to visit the city, having a car is a must to discover the rest of the country.

To rent a car, personally, I always use Rentalcars.com, for a few reasons:

  • You can easily compare the rental cars prices between all the agencies: for sure the easiest way to find the best rate!
  • Cancellation is often offered free of charge: no need to worry if you change your mind
  • Rentalcars offers full insurance coverage at a lower price than the rental companies, so it’s an instant saving with no effort

Simply click on the green button to find your rental car at the best price:

Rent a car in Cancun

How to find a cheap flight to Cancun

Cancun International Airport a large airport that receives many flights from Europe and North America, with the major known companies (Air Transat, Air Canada, Iberia, Aeromexico, Interjet, KLM, etc.). It will be very easy to find tickets at the date that suits you.

To find a cheap flight to Cancun as well as the best domestic flights in Mexico, you should use our flight comparison tool in partnership with Skyscanner. It is guaranteed to get you the best price!

You have several options to go from the Cancun airport to your hotel:

ado bus cancun airport
Ado bus in Cancun airport
Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling in Mexico? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Mexico: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Mexico are listed there.

You’re using Pinterest? Here is the picture to pin!

best places to visit in Cancun in 2 days
best places to visit in Cancun in 2 days

I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to plan your next trip to Mexico, regardless of your budget. I share detailed itineraries, advice about places to visit as well as recommendations for transportation, hotels and restaurants. I hope I will also help you to discover amazing off the beaten path destinations in Mexico!

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