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All about Cancún in Mexico

Updated: April 6, 2024

Main Category: Day Trips


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Author: Tobias

Cancún is a major city on the Caribbean coast of Mexico and it is the center of the Riviera Maya resort area. Cancún is about 310km away from Mérida. The journey by car takes about 4h 25min from the city center of Mérida and the place is most of the time very busy.


Day Trips


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Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexiko







310km from Mérida

Travel Time:

4h 25min from Mérida


No entry fee

Price Level:



April 20, 1970

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Casa Loltún Vacation Rentals

Rent a wonderful restored 19th-century colonial house or a new apartment in the historic city center of Mérida. This is an amazing opportunity for anyone looking for a unique and beautiful place to stay!

Get ready to be blown away by a unique blend of colonial heritage and modern architecture and dive straight into the vibrant life of the city!

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Cancún is a major city on the Caribbean coast in the northeast of the state of Quintana Roo in the southeasternmost part of Mexico. Cancún is the center of the Riviera Maya resort area and has about 745,000 inhabitants.

Cancún is one of the most visited cities in the world, but this is not so much due to the city center "El Centro", but to the approximately 20 kilometer long hotel zone "Zona Hotelera" on the 3,000 hectare large offshore lagoon.

The city's round coat of arms by the way is meant to recall Cancún's roots, which lie in Mayan culture. The shape of the coat of arms is based on the ring that served as a gate in the Mayan game of pelota.

Shopping and entertainment

There are numerous shopping, leisure and entertainment facilities, restaurants (our favorite is the Argentinian Big Steak House at Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 12) and night clubs.

Especially the upscale segment is served by the shopping malls. Most visitors come from the US and Canada. Especially during Spring Break, many young American students come to party in Cancún.

The most popular beaches

On the fine sandy beach of the Caribbean coast there are hotels of all categories and sizes. And Cancún is best known for its beaches, which are among the most beautiful in the world.

The white sand and clear turquoise waters are characteristic of the region. The most famous and popular beaches include Playa Delfines, Playa Tortugas and Playa Chac Mool.

Caribbean coast at Cancun
Caribbean coast

In the surroundings

About 75km south of Cancún, just past Playa del Carmen and opposite the island of Cozumel, is the fantastic natural water park xcaret - not really a cheap treat, but a great experience. But Playa del Carmen, a popular beach resort on the east coast of Mexico, is of course also worth a visit.

13km northeast directly in front of Cancún lies Isla Mujeres. Since 2015 Isla Mujeres belongs to the Pueblo Mágicos. You can reach Isla Mujeres in about 20 minutes via a fast ferry, which starts e.g. in Puerto Juárez (which is the nearest ferry port). Compared to Cancún, it is more relaxed here and you can spend a great day at the beach.

The famous Mayan archaeological sites of Tulum (south of Cancún on the coast) and Chichen Itzá (east inland) are about 2 hours respectively 2.5 hours by car from Cancún.

In the vicinity of Cancún there are also several nature reserves and national parks, including, for example, the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve and the Isla Contoy Nature Reserve. Here you have the opportunity to discover the rich flora and fauna of the Yucuatan Peninsula.

How to get to Cancún from Mérida?

Cancún is connected to Mérida, Valladolid and Chichén Itzá via the Carretara 180 highway. Due to the international airport (IATA code: CUN) in the southwest of the city, Cancún is also the starting point for many travelers on the Yucantan Peninsula.

Image Source (main image): ©Safa in la, wiki commons, GFDL 1.2, Link

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Best Mérida Day Trips

If you would like to explore the Yucatan Peninsula and Mérida with a guided tour, there are wonderful experiences from Viator. We have selected the three best tours for you.

You save time and nerves, get all the insider tips you need from an expert tour guide and can join up with others if you wish. And it's also safer to travel in a group.

Chichen Itza, Private Cenote, Food Experience & the magic Izamal

My Top Recommendation (likely to sell out)

Chichen Itza, Private Cenote, Food Experience & the magic Izamal

The very best Chichén Itzá tour and free cancellation. It starts from US-$97

average rating is 5 out of 5
Best Mérida Day Trips

Another very special experience

Tour to Cenote of Santa Barbara and Acanceh area from Merida

This! Super beautiful cenotes! You have free cancellation. It starts from US-$114

average rating is 5 out of 5
Best Mérida Day Trips

Not either/or, but also!

Celestun Beach Mangrove Boat Ride from Merida

One more must-have. You also have free cancellation. It starts from US-$122

average rating is 4.5 out of 5
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Viator Travel Promotions

Our partner and market leader, Viator, offers a wide range of exciting Thing to do in Mérida and on the Yucatán Peninsula.


Take advantage of special offers, save up to 20% and enjoy maximum flexibility with free cancelations. The most popular tours are booked up quickly, so don't miss out.

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