By Expedia, on January 3, 2020

How to Spend a Weekend in Cancun

Known for its beaches, resorts, and nightlife, Cancun is one of the top destinations in Mexico and a great place for a weekend trip. If you only have a weekend in Cancun, take a look at this itinerary and ideas for spending 2 or 3 days in Cancun to see how you can make the most of your experience.

A curving road follows the shoreline of an inlet at Punta Sur and its crashing waves
Punta Sur

Friday Evening

Friday evening starts your 72 hours in Cancun. Begin with dinner at Marakame Café, a laid-back treehouse-style café with Mexican dishes such as quesadillas, barbacoa, and tacos. After dining, you can stick around for cocktails and live music. If you get in late, El Fish Fritanga is a great option. The seafood restaurant overlooks the lagoon and offers late-night dinner that includes seafood, ceviche, and tacos.

The best way to kick off your trip to Cancun is with a bar crawl in Cancun’s bar zone. You can start at Mandala and work your way through the popular bars in the area to experience the local nightlife and meet some people. If you’re looking for something livelier, head to Mambo Café to learn Latin dances like salsa and merengue with locals. This is a great way to meet new people and get a feel for the high energy of Cancun’s party scene.

Saturday Morning

On Saturday morning, you’ll have 48 hours to explore Cancun. Start with breakfast at Piña Colada, an excellent morning spot offering breakfast dishes that range from cinnamon French toast to classic meat and eggs. You could also try the Surfin’ Burrito, a 24-hour breakfast joint with alcoholic drinks, full breakfast meals, and snacks.

After eating, work off your meal with a trip to El Rey Archaeological Zone to explore a vast collection of ancient Mayan ruins. You could also peruse Mercado 28, a vibrant flea market with many unique vendors selling goods. If you want to relax, you can visit Playa Delfines to unwind on the serene sands and enjoy the sounds of the water.

For lunch, visit Captain’s Cove for unique and delicious Caribbean grill dishes, American continental, and Mexican traditional cuisine. You could get everything from chorizo and quesadillas to fresh seafood and grilled steak.

Saturday Afternoon and Evening

After lunch, take some time to see El Meco Archaeological Site, a unique Mayan ruin site with an abundance of native iguanas. If you have the kids with you, you can take them to the Interactive Aquarium Cancun, a large aquarium with a huge collection of sea life in beautiful displays. Kids will also like the Dolphin Discovery Isla Mujeres, a park with dolphin and manatee encounters.

Saturday night in Cancun is when the party starts. First, have dinner at Navios, a Mexican fusion restaurant that specializes in fresh seafood served in romantic cabanas near the water, or indulge with fresh lobster dishes at Lorenzillo’s.

After dinner, try a different kind of nightlife with a tour of the Mayan jungle. Several tour companies offer night tours of the jungle that include river swimming, paddling in underground rivers, driving through caves, and flying in a tirolesa.

A striped purple tropical fish with multiple fins swims at the Interactive Aquarium in Cancun
Interactive Aquarium in Cancun

Sunday Morning

On Sunday morning in Cancun, you’ll have 24 hours left to enjoy your vacation. If you have a sweet tooth, start with breakfast at the Belgian Waffle Boutique and sample some delicious crepes, waffles, pancakes, and juices on the outdoor patio. You could also try La Troje Cancun, a garden patio restaurant with Mexican flavors in fusion dishes.

After eating, head to Xcacel, a secluded beach with protected areas and an abundance of native sea turtles. This is not only a great spot for nature walks, but it’s also one of the best places in Cancun for snorkeling among vibrant sea life. You could also visit the Museo Maya de Cancún y Zona Arqueológica de San Miguelito, a fantastic museum with Mayan cultural artifacts and artwork.

For lunch, stop at Restaurante Natura for Mexican cuisine, salads, and fresh juices. Though the restaurant caters to vegetarians, you’ll find a rich mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes like chilaquiles with chicken, ceviche, chicken soup, and a wide range of pasta.

Sunday Afternoon and Evening

After lunch, spend some time unwinding at Cancun’s beautiful beaches. You can visit Playa Tortugas, a quiet beach with turtles and opportunities for bungee jumping, or Playa Langosta, a picturesque beach with soft sand and a serene backdrop of palms.

On Sunday night in Cancun, take it easy with a romantic sunset dinner at Thai Lounge, a popular, high-end restaurant that serves Thai classics beneath palapa-roof huts overlooking the lagoon. You could also try Irori, a Japanese restaurant with sushi and tempura prepared at teppanyaki tables.

Since you’re near the lagoon, there’s no better way to top off your trip than with a floating tour around the Nichupte Lagoon and hotel zone. On your tour, you can choose between New Orleans-style boats, romantic ships, barges, and more, and enjoy cocktails as the sun sets. If you’re looking for more excitement, you can visit a Cocobongo to experience the city’s disco with a high-energy show and late-night dancing with free drinks.

Bright white sands stretch into the distance and beachgoers enjoy crystal clear waters at Playa Langosta
Playa Langosta, Cancun

Ready for the perfect weekend getaway?

Cancun is a vibrant city with a little something for everyone, whether you’re planning a family trip, a singles vacation, or a couple’s retreat. If you’re planning your weekend trip, visit Expedia to check out Cancun vacations and get ready for an unbelievable few days in one of the top beach destinations in Mexico!