Cancun is Mexico’s answer to many of the world’s famous tropical resort cities. Brimming with cosmopolitan thrills and natural wonders, Cancun is the godfather. Miami on the other hand has already thrived way before Cancun did. Now with a mix of different cultures and dynamic, jam-packed unlike any other, Miami is king.
When you think of an epic, jam-packed Mexican vacation, you’d automatically go for tickets to Cancun. Thanks to its epic highs, Cancun is perhaps the epitome of a resort city in the Caribbean. From its blend of historical and natural wonders to its cosmopolitan features, Cancun is a show on its own.
With nearby ancient ruins, epic nightlife, and great beaches, it’s not hard to miss where Cancun has succeeded. The famous city practically has everything every sun-loving vacationer could ever want. Plus, its Yucatan address makes it even more exciting.
What Makes Cancun Unique?
The Biggest Nightlife Scene in the Caribbean
As soon as the Caribbean sun goes down, things get a bit hotter at night in Cancun. A different kind of magic and thrill seeps through the streets making the entire city a large nightclub. Cancun is one of the biggest players when it comes to nightlife and parties.
Speckled by big nightclubs, and quirky concept bars, Cancun best defines what fun is at night. Party animals from all over flock to its lit streets, and revel in many of these nightlife spots across town. You can expect to have all kinds of clubs and bars here. From internationally known to homegrown, Cancun’s nightlife is the best in all of the Caribbean.
With a seemingly endless roster, here are some of the most recommended entries:
A proud Mexican nightclub chain, Coco Bongo is one of the best places to hit at night in Cancun. The nightclub is one of the largest and most famous places in the nightlife streets of the city, hosting epic parties and different events.
Unlike most clubs, Coco Bongo features quirky cabaret shows. Every night in the club is reminiscent of Las Vegas, offering a different take on your nightlife experience in the city. You can expect to see grand displays of musicals, with acrobatics and trapeze exhibitions.
Apart from its trademark cabaret shows, Coco Bongo also organizes international shows and events. International artists and DJs often perform in many of these shows throughout different seasons of the year. Whenever you visit Cancun, make sure to check out the club’s website for their upcoming events.
Mandala Beach Club
Another quirky nightclub entry, Mandala has a unique theme that has helped it make its mark in Cancun. The famous club is a Native Indian-themed club, that has a pool and is located on a beach. Its appeal lies in the beach vibe you get from its location and open-air setting. Its famous quirks and highlights make it one of the most crowded clubs in all of Cancun.
Thanks to its Cancun Beach address, the club is one of the most well-recommended spots in the city. It is especially perfect after a trip to the beach, where you can end your day with a bang. The Mandala isn’t only big on parties, good music, and drinks, it also serves good gastronomic masterpieces.
Boasting a maximum capacity of 3,000 people, The City does right by its name. The biggest club in Cancun, large events, such as raves and concerts are often held here. It hosts a slew of events that headline big-named industry personalities.
The City is one of those clubs that often holds events that could last until sunrise. The club boasts its perfect conditions and state-of-the-art entertainment technology. Every event hosted in The City is certainly epic with up-to-date lights and sounds offering a wide range of experiences.
Ancient Ruins Galore
Thanks to Mexico’s rich and varied history, it has left us curious about remnants of its ancient past. One of these ancient gems even garnered a spot on coveted global lists. With Cancun’s location, these ruins are just hours, and some are even minutes away.
Most of these spots are found hidden deep within forests, and some even sit right next to cities and towns. Currently, many of them are still in excavation and study, most are open to the public. You can easily find tours around Cancun that could take you around these ancient ruins.
Among these ancient gems, Chichen Itza has to be the most famous. The iconic city is home to the legendary El Castillo, a wonder of the New World. Chichen Itza’s constant presence in travel articles and Instagram posts has already given away too much about it.
Here are some of the most recommended places to check out other than Chichen Itza:
Perhaps the most accessible ancient ruins in all of Cancun, El Rey lies just within the city limits. The small ancient ruin is located in the heart of the Hotel Zone, making it easily one of the most visited ancient ruins in Cancun.
The ancient ruin itself provides a rather interesting variety to an otherwise modern resort city. El Rey’s old-world charm is a stark contrast to the Hotel Zone’s concrete jungle giving an even more varied scene in Cancun.
El Rey’s location in the Hotel Zone tells a lot about its history and ancient function. The ancient ruin used to be a major port back in the ancient days. Built around 200 AD, El Rey had its fair share of glory thanks to its function as a major trading hub in all of the ancient Mayan cities of the Yucatan.
The ancient ruin of Coba may not be as famous as Chichen Itza, but it is home to the tallest ancient structure in the Yucatan. Coba’s main pyramid also called “El Castillo”, can dwarf Chichen Itza’s counterpart.
Coba’s main pyramid of El Castillo towers at about 138 feet or 42 meters is arguably the star of the show. It has a set of stairs on its front side with around 120 steps, where climbing is allowed. Coba sees lesser foot traffic than Chichen Itza, so you can easily get the chance to climb up its legendary stairs.
Ek Balam is one of the most famous ancient ruins that are just near Cancun. Thanks to its proximity, there is an abundance of Ek Balam tours all over the city, some are even included in hotel packages. But it has its appeal that can even topple Chichen Itza.
The ruins of Ek Balam offer adventures and exploration because of their location deep within a dense forest. Many of its structures have well-preserved intricate exterior designs and ceremonial features. The complex is full of various other structures in different areas, and you can explore them using the available trails around.
Ek Balam is also one of the most recent discoveries in the Yucatan, in fact, it is still being studied and under conservation work. You can’t see as many visitors here as well, so you can easily roam around and experience as much of the ancient world allows.
A Buffet of Natural Wonders
The fabled city is nestled between the gifted slice of Southeastern Mexico and the Caribbean. Expect Cancun to be filled with an overwhelming number of natural features, from beaches to sinkholes. When you visit Cancun, you have every opportunity to experience the very best of mother nature.
One of the longest continuous white-sand beaches in Mexico, Cancun’s beach is the best draw the city has. The smooth, white-sand coast stretches a 14-mile (22.5 km) distance and encompasses several hotels and resorts.
The city also sits adjacent to a portion of the great Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Also known as the Belize Barrier Reef, it extends from Belize up to the Caribbean waters of southeastern Mexico. Thanks to the proximity of the reef, you can easily visit spots filled with corals and marine life from Cancun.
However, Cancun’s most unique features aren’t around its coast and sea, they sit further inland. Cenotes are speckled throughout the Yucatan and many can be found close to Cancun. These are natural sinkholes filled with fresh water that was formed millions of years ago.
These unique curiosities usually have crystal clear blue waters in them, surrounded by plants. Many are also found near ancient ruins, alluding to the mystery surrounding them. However, today many cenotes are attractions in themselves.
Cancun’s Hotel Zone is the city’s most daring project and boldest draw to date. Lining the extensive Cancun Beach, 140 hotels stand imposing indicating the city’s tourism powerhouse. Right in this very stretch, you can find the best top-rated resorts and hotels, it also accommodates the majority of the tourists in the city.
Thanks to its rich roster of different hotels and resorts, you can also find a plethora of other establishments. The Hotel Zone also offers great shopping, bars, restaurants, and even nightclubs.
Booking a hotel or resort may be challenging here because of how many there are. Here are some of the top-rated places to narrow down your choices:
Opulence and luxury define Ritz-Carlton Cancun, perfect for the moneyed vacationers. Dripping with style and quality, the hotel is often the standard when it comes to an ideal stay in the Hotel Zone. With over 300 plush suites coupled with great service, Ritz-Carlton has your every need covered. Expect quality delivery, just like the rest of its international branches.
Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun
If you’re looking for a truly relaxing and perhaps even rejuvenating stay, Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun is the place to be. The resort embodies a combination of elegance and relaxation, you can expect your every need to be well-catered to.
The spa resort offers quite an arrangement of services for its guests. You can be pampered at their spas, work out with their fitness programs, and many more. Le Blanc also boasts the best views of the Caribbean, easily giving you the best Cancun experience.
Hard Rock Hotel Cancun
One of Cancun’s grandest megaresorts, the Hard Rock Hotel is the epitome of an extravagant resort experience. It has amenities and services that cater to every kind of vacationer coming to the fabled city. With great views and even greater facilities, the Hard Rock Hotel is the perfect brand to set up shop in Cancun.
From movies, travel articles, to even RPGs, Miami’s name has been around for quite some time. Thanks to its myriad of allures and curiosities, Miami is considered to be one of the ultimate holiday vacation destinations. Expect to be met with high-caliber features from culture, entertainment, and beaches.
Miami is one of the US’ best places to travel, especially with its constant sun and warmth. The entire region can even beat out many other famous destinations, even Hawaii and Cancun itself. Especially with all its different cities.
What Makes Miami Unique?
If you love beaches and the sun, chances are you might have heard of Miami and its many famous beaches. With a dramatic stretch of white-sand coasts, you can expect to find beaches that will suit your liking. Miami can certainly offer something for everyone. It has beaches lined with bars and restaurants and stretches of high-end residences.
Here are some of the most visited:
One of Miami’s defining beaches, North Beach is famous for families and friend groups looking for a laid-back time under the sun. It is noticeably quieter and has lesser people compared to the famous rowdy South Beach.
If you want to escape the noise and energy of South Beach or the concrete jungles of the city, North Beach is a perfect refuge. It also has the North Shore Oceanside Park where you can take an easy stroll after a long day under the sun.
Bal Harbour is the luxury address in all of Miami and Miami Beach. The neighborhood is lined with posh residences and luxury stays. You can catch many high-rolling personalities here and one of the best cosmopolitan areas in all of Miami.
Apart from its well-heeled scenes, the beach is also famous for being one of the best beaches in the region. It has a smooth white-sand stretch, with views of the Atlantic and the adjacent Haulover Inlet and beach.
The most famous beach in all of the US, South Beach offers everything you need to experience in all of Miami. Though it’s not the end-all, be-all of Miami, it certainly offers culture, history, entertainment, and the beach.
Miami’s best-known spots are all cramped up in this neighborhood south of Miami Beach. You can easily have the best food and nightlife here, not to mention art galleries and museums. South Beach is the most crowded and packed beach in all of Florida.
The Nightlife Scene
To get your Miami experience in a full circle, you need to get a taste of its legendary nightlife even just once. Packed with bars, lounges, and dance clubs, Miami becomes more interesting at night. You will certainly witness a plethora of interesting scenes as the night goes on.
Head to Downtown Miami, Calle Ocho, and the famous South Beach for the most epic nightlife experience. You’ll find cool concept bars, eccentric lounges, and large nightclubs around these areas. Expect to find an incredible night of debauchery making Miami feel hotter at night.
If you’re a true raver and party animal, you would most probably know what the Ultra Music Festival is. One of the biggest music festivals in the world, Ultra takes place every March each year. The festival features international DJs for a three-day event playing the best EDM music.
Known for its diverse denizens, Miami also features a great variety of international cooking. Thanks to its amazing mix of cultures, it also houses many restaurants serving a plethora of gastronomic masterpieces. You can easily sample great food from different parts of the world, from Europe to Latin America.
Miami’s gastronomy scene isn’t only concentrated on a specific district or neighborhood. The great thing about them is that they are speckled everywhere. Some areas feature the same culinary styles and influences, some are even as diverse as Miami itself.
Here are some of the areas that you should visit:
A millennial haven, Wynwood serves pop culture and art trends together with its best-selling pastries and coffees. You can also enjoy reveling in its graffiti walls showcasing the creativity of its patrons.
Apart from its art, fashion, coffee, and pastries, the area is also seeing a rise in Asian restaurants here. These places serve authentic dishes from Japan, Korea, China, and many more. So if you like sushi bars, Chinese tea shops, and pop-up Asian fusion restaurants, you’ll most likely love Wynwood.
Offering an amazing burst of different flavors, Sunset Harbor is Miami’s center for culinary diversity. The iconic drive offers everything from Asian specialties, to European staples. Plus, it also houses many great breakfast joints. From its name, you can also enjoy epic sunset views as you eat in any of its oceanfront restaurants.
Little Havana’s name already tells it all. The famous neighborhood is home to many family-owned Cuban restaurants. These places serve the best staples and classic dishes. You can sample the famous Cuban sandwich here along with a strong Cuban coffee.
Little Havana isn’t only a great place to sample good food, it’s also a piece of history in itself. Many of the locals here come from the many Cubans and other Latinos who migrated to the US back in the 50s. In a way, you’ll be experiencing a piece of history when you visit.
The Capital of Latin America
With a slew of migrants from Latin America since the 50s, Miami is home to an incredible mix of Hispanic cultures. This phenomenon has given the region an incredibly diverse and colorful display of cultures and social scenes. Many of these cultures come from Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia.
The majority of Miami’s population descended from the many migrants in the past decades. This amazing ensemble of Hispanic cultures has influenced most of Miami’s vibrant culture and dynamic energy. If it weren’t for the great migration, Miami wouldn’t be the Miami you know today.
Diversity, multiculturalism, and biculturalism are Miami’s most defining characteristics. A plethora of Miami’s local culture was influenced by the many nationalities that have made the region their home. You can easily sense the Latino heat by the locals’ general feisty and fun-loving attitude. Spanish is also well-spoken here.
With Miami’s size packed with highs and fun, you can expect to have every kind of activity to do here. You can have a variety of local scenes to enjoy, on top of the many natural attractions and quirky historical bits. Miami clearly has everything for everyone.
Here are some activities you can do apart from the beach and the nightlife:
If you’re up for some retail therapy, you can find everything in Miami. Whether you’re going for high-end shopping or a simple thrift-shop run, expect Miami to easily cater to your needs. Places like the Bayside Marketplace have everything to a tee. Whether you want unique finds or high-street wear, you can find them here.
Lincoln Road is a Miami staple and an icon in itself. One of the best shopping districts in all of Miami, it has a pedestrian mall that has the best clothing stores. From designer collections to homegrown local brands, you can find nothing but the best here.
If you happen to be in the city and would like to encounter a bit of the wildlife, head to the famous Zoo Miami. The center is perfect for families and curious individuals who don’t want to go out to nature just yet. It features different kinds of animals, housing over 3,000 species and 30 endangered ones as well.
Zoo Miami’s unique take is that the animals aren’t kept in cages. They are put in enclosures that simulate their natural habitats. Many species are also kept in the same enclosures, making them interact the same way they would in the wild.
Everglades National Park
One of the US’ largest natural parks, the 1.5 million-acre (607,028.46-hectare) expanse is mostly swampland that connects to the sea. The park is the habitat of several species of animals such as crocodiles and alligators, birds, and snakes.
Tours in the Everglades are guided and ensure safety. You can find a plethora of walking routes around the park as well, however, it’s best to take the Anhinga Trail as it has faster access to animals.
What Is Better – Cancun or Miami?
If you’re looking for a destination that practically has everything, on top of an even more diverse set of experiences, Miami is the best option. Cancun is Mexico’s best tourism success story, but Miami has it going even way before Cancun became, well, Cancun. Miami is brimming with all sorts of things that can make a holiday even more interesting.
While Cancun can be amazing too, as it has every ingredient perfectly blended to make an ideal summer getaway. Miami sits in perhaps the most jam-packed area of the entire United States. The city itself is a mishmash of different cultures, history, and neverending excitement.
Is Miami Cheaper or More Expensive Than Cancun?
In comparison, though both are some of the biggest names in tourism, Miami is without a doubt the more expansive option. Travelers who have been to both have reported that Miami can be twice expensive as Cancun.
Cancun vs. Miami Weather
Miami compared to Cancun is the hotter, and wetter destination in general. The average highs in Miami hit around 89 F or 32 C, while Cancun plays around 78 F or 26 C . Miami can also be rainier than Cancun, with an average of 59 rainy days versus Cancun’s 49.
However, when it comes to comfort index, which is the temperature and the relative humidity, Miami can feel better at a 6.4 index, compared to Cancun’s 6.2
Cancun vs. Miami for Spring Break
Both Miami and Cancun are party capitals of the tropics especially as they are both coastal cities with the right kind of fun and amenities. No matter where you’re from in the US, both destinations deliver the most epic party scenes in the world.
Is Cancun Near Miami?
In terms of both road and nautical distances, they’re both far from each other. Cancun sits on the eastern seaboard of Mexico, facing the Caribbean Sea. Miami is in the southern US, fronting the Atlantic Ocean.
Is Cancun the Same Time as Miami?
Both Miami and Cancun are within Eastern Standard Time. However, Miami changes to Eastern Daylight Time from March to November, advancing one hour to Cancun.
Can You Travel From Cancun to Miami?
As both are popular tourist destinations, traveling to and from them is accessible. You can get to Miami from Cancun via car or plane. However, braving interstate and intercountry roads poses a slew of unnecessary challenges. The best way to get to Miami from Cancun is to fly via the Cancun International Airport and Miami International Airport.
How Far Is It From Cancun to Miami?
Miami is approximately 528 miles (849 km) from Cancun, directly. Should you brave the long road in between, the distance is around 2,957 miles (4,759 km).
How Long Is the Flight From Miami to Cancun?
Flying from airport to airport between Miami and Cancun can take around an hour and a half.
Is There a Ferry From Cancun to Miami?
While it is possible, however, there are no current carriers and services to take you in between via ferries and other boat charters. However, cruise lines are offering an exploration including both Miami and Cancun.