Cancun Culture, Coast and Cuisine CheapOair Staff May 3, 2013 general Soak up the Cancun Culture! If Cinco de Mayo celebrations this weekend seem understated in Cancun, and elsewhere around Mexico, don’t be surprised. Marking the 5th of May is a bigger deal in the United States because Mexican-American communities in the West and Southwest regions of America wanted to commemorate freedom and their heritage. Only the state of Puebla in Mexico holds Cinco de Mayo festivities. Mexico’s true Independence Day celebrations take place on September 16th, something to remember if you’re looking to book flights to Cancun this fall. If you’re looking to take in genuine Mexican heritage this Cinco de Mayo, or any day, Cancun offers plenty in culture, coast, and cuisine, where beach lovers, history buffs, and foodies can appreciate some of Mexico’s best museums, restaurants, shopping and landscape. Museums and Shopping Take siesta indoors when the sun gets too hot during the middle of the day and learn about Mayan history and enjoy luxury shopping. Cancun’s newest addition is the Maya Museum, a $15 million investment, featuring 350 Mayan artifacts, some said to have never been publicly displayed before, and 14,000-year-old skeletal remains discovered in nearby Tulum, which is in and of itself a worthy day trip. With three 4,400-square-foot exhibition halls, there are also tools and artifacts once used by the Mayans during daily life, murals, sculpture and a 26-foot-tall Great Pyramid. Downtown Cancun’s La Isla shopping center also has a new addition: a new wing dubbed Fashion Harbour where visitors can find the best in luxury goods, including Louis Vuitton and other high-end designers. Surf, Sea and Sun When the sun isn’t so intense, usually in mornings and beginning in late afternoons, soak up some rays along Cancun’s prized coastline, home to about 100 coral species, 164 species of reef-dwelling fish, graceful manatees, the hawksbill sea turtle, lemon sharks, and seahorses. Many resorts offer a variety of water sports activities and excursions for snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing. Visit one of the more than two dozen water sports centers throughout Cancun with expert guides who can advise on environmentally-appropriate gear and how to make the most of your experiences on the water. However, Mexico’s laws prohibit beachgoers from collecting natural objects from the beach, including rocks, sand, seashells, or from touching or interfering with the area’s animals and coral reefs. Cancun wants everyone to enjoy its natural beauty, but also make an effort in preserving it. Watching the sun set is a popular pastime in Cancun, and there’s no better time to observe a sunset than over dinner and drinks. The restaurant, La Habicheula Sunset on Kukulcan Boulevard, has been catering to sunset gazers since 1977. With a Mayan-themed dining room (and Mayan dancing on certain nights of the week), diners can enjoy fresh seafood ceviche and a margarita with a postcard perfect view of sky and sea, capping another beautiful day in Cancun. For more information about traveling to Cancun, visit the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau at http://cancun.travel/en/. Don’t forget to ‘Like us’ on Facebook for exclusive travel deals!