Chilling at the hotel pool is not the only thing Cancun is about. Looking for exciting adventures to make the best memories of your vacation? Then you’ve got to try these Cancun water sports, water activities and tours that are sure to make the most out of your stay in this tropical paradise.
Read on to find out the best Cancun water sports, some of which you probably didn’t know were practiced here!
Water sports in Cancun
A summer classic everywhere else, jet ski riding is a staple Cancun water sport year-round. Whether on the ocean side or on the lagoon, lots of people enjoy waverunner rentals during their vacations in Cancun, and it’s no wonder! This is a fun activity that will pump you full of adrenaline, not matter if you’re an experienced or newbie rider. Jet ski hire in Cancun is available for 30 minutes or one full hour.
One of the newest and most exciting water sports in Cancun, flyboarding is not for the faint of heart. Imagine flying 30 ft over the water! With these water-propelled boots, you can finally fly Iron Man style, although it may take you a couple of tries to get the hang of it. Flyboard in Cancun is located at the Nichupte Lagoon and is available for 15 and 30-minute rentals (equipment and instructor included).
The hoverboard is pretty similar to the flyboard in that they both are forms of hydroflying (water propulsion through jet nozzles). However, due to the design of the hoverboard, people with previous experience snowboarding, skateboarding or surfing may find it easier to manage. There are several other technical and practical differences between the flyboard and hoverboard, but one thing they do share is that both are extremely fun and exciting to do.
You won’t find many places that offer hoverboard in Cancun, but if you get the chance, you should definitely give this Cancun water sport a try. Aquaworld offers this activity for 15 or 30-minute rentals.
The Flowrider is an extremely popular water sport that resembles surfing, but even the most experienced surfer may fall a couple of times! Finding your balance is a bit challenging, but trust me, it’s the process of getting there that makes this activity all the more fun. Also, this is one of the best things to do in Cancun when it’s raining, since it is done on an artificial wave generator and the weather inclemency doesn’t affect it.
Back in 2017 Aquaworld hosted the World Flowboarding Championships, so of course, this is THE place to practice Flowboarding in Cancun. You can purchase your Flowrider session by the hour, full day or a 4-day package. Be advised that this is a shared activity, meaning you won’t have the Flowrider all to yourself and in the holiday season you may have to take turns; the good news is this one of the most affordable activities in Cancun, so you can book long sessions for a modest price.
Non-motorized water sports in Cancun
Snorkeling is the ultimate non-motorized water sport, at least in my book. Its easy, most ages can do it, and it IS a workout for sure, albeit a really fun one! Plus, you get to enjoy the beauty of the underwater world (the “aqua-world” if you will). It should come as no surprise then that our friends at Aquaworld, who are true water fun experts, offer many of the best snorkeling tours in Cancun.
The snorkel tour in MUSA takes you to the famous Cancun underwater museum, specifically to the Manchones gallery (located between Cancun and Isla Mujeres). This 3-hour tour provides you with a 45-minute snorkel experience where you’ll get to admire the life-size statues, followed by another 20-minute session at El Farito snorkeling site.
Nizuc reef is a hidden gem off the coast of Cancun. You’ll get to explore this beautiful spot for an unlimited amount of time with Aquaworld’s snorkel tour at Punta Nizuc. The best part is that they have a very convenient floating platform where you’ll be able to leave your stuff and take some rest, without having to swim lengths to the coast; also, beverages are included. All you need is some snacks and a trusty reef-safe sunscreen and you’re good for the day. Whenever you’re ready to head back, just wait for the next boat and hop on.
Cozumel is famous amongst divers and snorkelers from all around the world, thanks to its coral reefs of vibrant colors and exuberant life. This snorkel tour in Cozumel takes you to 3 different reefs, for a 30-minute approx snorkel session in each. Water, soda, beer, and snacks are provided along the way to help keep up your energy.
There’s also an option, available only in select locations, to go snorkeling in the Riviera Maya; this is particularly relevant if you’re staying in one of these hotels and can’t make the trip to Cancun.
Scuba diving is another iconic water sport to practice while in Cancun. Aquaworld offers different options for different levels, and each experience is unique and unforgettable. For those who are not certified and do not have the time or money to do so, there’s the Discover Scuba program, that allows you to learn the basics and dive in just one day. You can also get certified with PADI, SDI, and SSI; specialty courses are also available. Scuba diving tours to numerous dive sites like reefs, shipwrecks, the underwater museum, cenote cavern diving (Tajma Ha and Dos Ojos), night diving, scuba diving in Cozumel and bull shark diving (for a short season).
This may not be a sport per se, but the amount of fun and exercise you will get at the Aquabounce inflatable obstacle course rivals any water sport in Cancun. Let’s be honest, it’s not easy finding inflatable water slides for adults, but that’s just the thing about the Aquabounce: anyone can enjoy it! Well, almost anyone; the minimum height for smaller kids is 1 meter and bear in mind that life jackets are obligatory for your safety.
The Aquabounce is a great activity to enjoy with kids or friends. You’ll laugh your hat off watching everybody tumbling and splashing about on the lagoon water. Yes, this attraction is located on the side of the lagoon, in an underwater-fenced area so the Aquaworld team can keep an eye on everyone.
Other water activities in Cancun
Sports and intense activity are not really your thing? No worries! Aquaworld has the best water activities in Cancun fit for any age and fitness levels, that will enable you to discover and enjoy the beautiful underwater world of the Mexican Caribbean.
Let me get straight to the point: this is THE best option for you if you want to learn about and admire the vast coral and fish species that live in the Caribbean, but don’t want to get wet. This 30-minute guided semi-submarine ride (the vessel doesn’t submerge entirely) is a great activity for little kids and elders and everyone in-between.
Watching the beautiful marine life in its natural habitat is worth it on its own, but the cherry on top of this experience is having it narrated by Aquaworld’s bilingual staff, who will make sure you don’t miss a thing of interest. It’s a really cool experience to share with the little ones of the family, although be advised to take seasickness medication if you are prone to dizziness, as some people have reported feeling a bit nauseous due to the angle of the glass bottom. This activity is available in Cancun and Cozumel.
The BOB Adventure (known in other parts as BOSS underwater adventure) is one of those rides you REALLY can’t miss when you’re in Cancun. Ever wondered what it feels like to ride an underwater scooter through a turtle populated reef? Well, if you book this water activity in Cancun you’ll find out!
The clear bubble-like helmet of the BOB allows you to look in all directions, so if you can’t do the Discover Scuba program we mentioned earlier this is the second-best option to explore the underwater world. In many ways, this experience is like scuba but easier! In fact, you don’t even need to be a great swimmer to do this, since you’ll actually just be sitting and driving for the 30 minutes of this ride. With over 30 years of experience in the business, choosing Aquaworld to do this activity is a no-brainer.
Parasailing is a beach-time classic in most destinations around the world. There’s really nothing like the thrill and subsequent chill of floating in the air while taking in the fantastic turquoise view. Ahh, can you picture it? If you’ve done this before, you know what I’m talking about…and you’ll also know that the downside to traditional parasailing gear is that it’s quite uncomfortable. Dangling about with your feet in the air while the harness straps cut you in is not a cute look.
Thankfully, Aquaworld has bypassed this with their Skyrider parasail. Instead of just hanging in the air, you’ll be comfortably lifted in the innovative reclined seat, seen before only in Disney. It is very possible that you will get wet on the jet ski ride to the Skyrider platform boat or on your way down from the flight, so bear that in mind. This activity lasts 10 minutes from the moment you get lifted to your landing, but the memories (and pictures) you’ll get out of this are completely worth it.
If you’re just after the thrills and not at all the chill, the Aquatwister is an awesome way to spend 30 minutes full of water, speed and loud music that will get your heart pumping. The extreme power brake stops and 270º spins are sure to be an adrenaline junkie’s delight. Of course, the use of life jackets is mandatory. The Aquatwister is only available at Aquaworld Cancun.
Water tours in Cancun
There may be a lot of places offering it now, but back in 1986 when Cancun was slowly becoming the international beach destination it is today, Aquaworld was the first (and only) company offering the innovative Jungle Tour. This speed boat ride through the mangrove canals of the lagoon has remained the most iconic tour in Cancun for over 3 decades.
Of course, Aquaworld is still the foremost expert on the matter. In case the super fun speed boat driving wasn’t enough, the tour closes on a high note with a short snorkeling session at Nizuc reef, home to lots of fiches, corals and even some sculptures from the Underwater Museum. If you visited Cancun but you didn’t get to do the Jungle Tour, did you really experience Cancun? The answer is no. This activity is available to people from 5 to 65 years old.
Isla Mujeres day trip
Another iconic water activity in Cancun, visiting Isla Mujeres during your stay is mandatory if you’re into gorgeous beaches, great snorkeling and that sort of thing. (Aren’t we all?) The little “pueblo mágico” of Isla Mujeres is a true haven for anyone seeking relaxation in a tropical paradise. Sure, you can book an Isla Mujeres ferry ticket and enjoy the island at your own pace…or if you’re like me and just want to chill without having to worry about the logistics, you can book Aquaworld’s day trip to Isla Mujeres. SPOILER ALERT: It’s all-inclusive!
This tour takes you on a full day (from 9 am to 5 pm) of enjoyment to Isla Mujeres, where you’ll stay at a beach club, eat a buffet lunch and drink as much as you can. They’ll also take you to downtown Isla Mujeres to explore around for about an hour, a great opportunity to rent a golf cart and look around or do a little shopping. There’s an option to do this tour with a small snorkel session included, which is of course what I would recommend. The beauty of Manchones reef really puts the mind at ease and you may even get to see some of the sculptures from the Cancun Underwater Museum, though from afar since they are about 10 m deep.
Swim with Whale Shark
If you’ve gotten to this point you’ve probably noticed that “unforgettable” and “must-do” are terms I’ve used a lot. Oops. It’s not really my fault, Aquaworld does offer some amazing Cancun water sports and activities! But if there is one experience in this list that undoubtedly deserves to be described as unforgettable, it’s swimming with whale sharks.
Not gonna lie, it’s a bit daunting at first. The moment when you’re about to jump into the water and you see this enormous mass the size of the boat just swimming about might make you ask yourself “why am I doing this”? But trust me when I say that leap of faith is SO worth it. Being able to interact with a creature that size is a very humbling experience and at the same time, it is so unlike anything else we get to do on our day to day life that it’s sure to stay engraved in your memory forever. It is truly and deeply beautiful. The only downside to this is that unlike other water activities in Cancun, this one is only available for a short season, from the beginning of June until mid-September.
So there you go! There are lots of Cancun water sports (motorized and non-motorized) that you definitely have to include in this year’s to-do list. Seas the day and fill your calendar with incredible experiences and memories to last you a lifetime.