punta nizuc reefs

Punta Nizuc: The Most Beautiful Reefs in Cancun

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Punta Nizuc is the closest place to Cancun, where you can enjoy the dreamlike beauty of the underwater world of the Great Mayan Reef.

More precisely, it is a land ledge located at the southern tip of Cancun and the point that marks the end of the exclusive Hotel Zone on the Caribbean side, in the prestigious tourist pole of Quintana Roo.

It is also the beginning of the impressive and beautiful barrier reef that runs parallel to the coast of Quintana Roo, hosting one of the largest, most varied, and most beautiful aquatic habitats on the planet.

How to get to Punta Nizuc

  • Bus routes 1 and 2 that run through Cancun’s Hotel Zone reach Punta Nizuc
  • Playa del Carmen is about 60 km south of Punta Nizuc on Federal Highway 307

How far is Cancun airport from Punta Nizuc?

Cancun International Airport is 11 km west of Punta Nizuc, a drive that can be done in approximately 12 minutes.

What are the best things to do in Punta Nizuc?

punta nizuc cancun
Aerial shot of Punta Nizuc – Source: Lucy Nieto / flickr.com

Beach, snorkeling, and diving are three not-to-be-missed things to do in Punta Nizuc’s fantastic surroundings.

Dive the reef

The Great Mesoamerican Reef is a paradise for snorkeling and deep diving, with some of the world’s most beautiful and diverse aquatic flora and fauna.

More than 500 fish species live in this extensive ecosystem, including 350 different mollusks and 60 coral species.

On your excursion, you can admire turtles, conches, manatees, black corals, elkhorn corals, and fish of all colors and sizes.

Operators like Altus Tours, Wake Dogz, and Tierras Mayas take you from Cancun and Playa del Carmen to the beautiful underwater world of the Mayan reef in front of Punta Nizuc.

Enjoy the beach at Punta Nizuc with your pet

This beach is located 3 km from Punta Nizuc, at km 25 of Kukulkan Boulevard, near the intersection of the Cancun International Airport.

It offers a quiet atmosphere, away from the hustle and bustle of the most frequented beaches in the Hotel Zone of Cancun.

It is a cozy beach, calm, shallow, and shaded by coconut trees.

Pets are allowed between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m., an advantage for your pet that you won’t enjoy on the beaches in the busier part of the Hotel Zone.

In the parking lot of Playa Nizuc is Chac Mool, the mysterious pre-Hispanic sculpture of a reclining person found in several Mesoamerican archaeological sites and has been linked to some pre-Columbian cultures, although its precise origin is unknown.

Take a walking tour of Punta Nizuc

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The Nichupte Lagoon and the ocean – Source: Javier Ruiz / flickr.com

The Punta Nizuc land ledge juts out from the coastline on the right side.

While strolling, you can admire gray herons, pelicans, other seabirds, lizards, iguanas, and the flora typical of these predominantly rocky formations.

You will also enjoy the postcard view of the mighty sea crashing against the coastline cliffs.

The areas near the point are popular for snorkeling tours because they hide a small reef where turtles, corals, rays, and other fish can be seen.

Admire underwater art

punta nizuc
Underwater Museum of Cancun – Source: ET Fishing / flickr.com

The underwater space between Cancun, Punta Nizuc, and Isla Mujeres was converted into an Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA) and is one of the most original underwater attractions in the world.

Almost 500 submerged works of art are made with ecological materials, constituting an aesthetic attraction and serving as artificial reefs that help regenerate the natural ones.

Among the most famous works are Anthropocene (renowned figure of a Volkswagen beetle), The Last Supper, Bankers, The Silent Evolution, and The Collector’s Dream.

The works are visible from the glass-bottomed boats, although an optimal appreciation is achieved by diving.

The closest work to Punta Nizuc is The Gardener of Hope, depicting a young man lying in a coral garden.

Visit the Mayan Museum of Cancun and the San Miguelito Archaeological Zone

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San Miguelito Archaeological Zone – Source: mabucka / flickr.com

Another activity you can do here is to visit the Mayan Museum of Cancun and the San Miguelito Archaeological Zone.

The museum operates in a modern building located at km 16.5 of Kukulkan Boulevard, 7 km from Punta Nizuc, and is next to the archaeological site of San Miguelito.

The exhibition houses works of the Mayan culture rescued from major archeological sites, such as Chichen Itza, Palenque, and Comalcalco.

In San Miguelito, the ruins of a temple, public buildings, and community residential complexes are preserved.

TOP 4 hotels in Punta Nizuc, Cancun

best hotels in cancun mexico
Nizuc Resort and SPA – Source: Booking.com/nizucresortandspa

Nizuc Resort and Spa is Punta Nizuc’s most famous hotel, with a private beach and pier, outdoor pool, luxurious spa, and six restaurants.

The Westin Resort & Spa is another luxury hotel located at the quiet end of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, with superb views of the Caribbean Sea and Nichupte Lagoon.

Sun Palace Couples is a 5-star all-inclusive hotel exclusively for couples, with three large swimming pools, five restaurants, and a golf course.

The Moon Palace Nizuc is another top-level 5-star all-inclusive in the Hotel Zone.

What are the best restaurants in Punta Nizuc?

As I mentioned earlier, Punta Nizuc is a stretch of Cancun’s Hotel Zone occupied predominantly by hotels with superb restaurants.

Among the best independent restaurants is Indochine, which specializes in sushi and Thai food. Its lamb curry is the subject of the highest praise.

Terra Nostra is another superb restaurant in Punta Nizuc, with a menu of Italian, Mediterranean, and European dishes.

On Sundays, they offer a brunch that attracts many people.

Is Punta Nizuc expensive?

Prices here are similar to those in Cancun’s Hotel Zone, which are generally higher than in the city.

In downtown Cancun, you can find cheaper hotels and places to eat, and you will be close to Punta Nizuc and other areas of interest.

If you use public transportation to get from Cancun to the beaches and other attractions located along Kukulkan Boulevard and the Hotel Zone, your budget will be maximized.

Summary

The Great Mayan Reef that begins at Punta Nizuc contains impressive biodiversity, including more than 630 species of algae and fish you are unlikely to see elsewhere.

The amazing Mesoamerican coral reef is the second largest on the planet after the one found in Oceania, in the Coral Sea, off the Australian coast.

Between Cancun, Punta Nizuc, and Isla Mujeres is the MUSA, an underwater museum that is a world curiosity for its almost 500 peculiar sculptures.

If you haven’t been to Punta Nizuc, get your scuba gear ready, and enjoy the most beautiful underwater world in Mexico.

Get your friends excited about a trip to Cancun, Punta Nizuc, and the Riviera Maya, and share this article to let them know about some of the wonders that await in Quintana Roo’s dazzling Caribbean Sea.

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