The Perfect 3 Day Itinerary For Your Trip to Cancun, Mexico

Table of Contents

Relaxing on the Beach in Cancun, Mexico.

Looking for a Cancun itinerary for your trip to Mexico?

Wondering what to do in Cancun for three days?

Don’t worry!

Cancun is an excellent place for a quick 3 day trip!

If you’re from Dallas, like me, or another southern state in the US, a weekend in Cancun is a breeze! 

The flights are easy and the Caribbean is beckoning.

Three days in Cancun isn’t a lot, but it’s enough to explore and have an adventure.

This itinerary is based on a stay at an all-inclusive resort in the Zona Hotelera, so it will involve a lot of downtime at the beach and meals at the resort.

You can book your stay in this area below right here on my site!

Without further ado, here is your Cancun itinerary!

chilling in a hammock in Cancun, Mexico
jumping for joy at a resort in Cancun, Mexico

Cancun Itinerary Day 1- Exploring Cenotes

You’ve arrived!

At this point you’ve landed, checked into your hotel, and are looking for cool things to do in Cancun.

To make the most of your three days, book an early flight or fly in the night before.

Once you’re at your hotel, you can start off your first day with adventure!

You can book a cenote tour through your hotel or online beforehand.

Cenotes are gems that you’ll find in the Yucatan Peninsula where you can swim in a natural pool, oftentimes in a cave or underground setting!

ziplining into a cenote in Cancun, Mexico
That’s me ziplining into a natural pool in a cenote!

Although Harrison and I enjoyed our ziplining and cenote excursion, we felt like it could have been better and more professional.

This cenote excursion is one of the highest-rated on Viator, and if I were going to Cancun again, I would choose this cenote experience.

Day 1 Itinerary

8am– breakfast

9am– pool time

11am– get picked up by tour

12am-5pm– cenote tour (here’s an example of what we did)

6pm– back at resort

7pm– dinner

8:30pm– hot tubbing/relaxation

swimming in a cenote in Cancun, Mexico
relaxing by the pool at a resort in Cancun, Mexico

Cancun Itinerary Day 2- Swim with Dolphins on Isla Mujeres

For Day 2 of my itinerary in Cancun, you’re going to spend a lot of time on the island of Isla Mujeres!

Just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Isla Mujeres is a wonderful island to explore and swim with dolphins!

You’ll need to take a ferry to this island.

You can book this ferry ride through Viator, but I can’t personally vouch for it since we didn’t book through that link.

We booked our entire Isla Mujeres experience locally.

swimming with dolphins on the Isla de Mujeres off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula near Cancun, Mexico
exploring the Isla de Mujeres

What I can vouch for is our swim with dolphins experience, and I 100% recommend it to anyone visiting Isla Mujeres!

This experience was the highlight of our entire trip!

You get to spend time with dolphins and a trainer.

The trainer will instruct the dolphin to swim by you so you can pet it, rise up out of the water to give you a kiss, and even push your feet with its nose to launch you on a boogie board!

The trainers seem to really love and care for the dolphins, giving them plenty of space to swim, good food, and lots of free time without performing for visitors.

Day 3 – Itinerary

7:30am– breakfast

8:15am– get picked up by tour (alternatively, take the R-2 bus to the Isla Mujeres port in Cancun)

9am– board ferry to Isla Mujeres

10am– reach Isla Mujeres, make sure you know when your dolphin lesson is

**depending on what time your dolphin lesson is… take a taxi or rent a golf cart to drive around the island. Assuming your dolphin lesson is at 1:30pm, here is a potential breakdown of the day:

10:30am– hop in taxi (read more about things to do on Isla Mujeres here)

10:40-11:15am– tour the sea turtle discovery center, feed sea turtles

11:20-12– explore the ruins at the top of the island

12pm– return to Dolphin Discovery center

12:30pm– eat a light lunch (all-inclusive) at Dolphin Discovery

1:20pm– meet your group at your designated area

1:30-2:15– swim with your dolphin! (Read more about what to expect here!)

2:30– post dolphin snack

3:30– head back to Cancun

4:15pm– reach Cancun, take public bus or tour bus back to hotel

5-6:30pm– relax by beach

7:30pm– dinner

Feeding the sea turtles on Isla de Mujeres

Cancun Itinerary Day 3- Mercado 28 & Beach Time

It’s your last day, and since you’ve come for a vacation, today you’re going to RELAX.

And shop for souvenirs.

But, mostly, relax.

fun in the sun at our all-inclusive resort on Isla de Mujeres
walking on the beach in Cancun, Mexico

Day 3 – Itinerary

8am– breakfast at resort

10am– get on the R-2 bus to Market 28 (here’s all you need to know about Market 28)

10:30-1pm– explore Market 28 (there is SO much to see!). Stop for some local food at Market 28.

1pm– bus back to resort (the R-2 again, going the opposite way)

1:30pm– lunch if you have room

2:30pm– pool time/beach time

5:30pm– shower/get ready for dinner

6:30pm– dinner

mercado 28 cancun pink stairs girl
eating pizza at the resort in Cancun, Mexico

This is how Harrison and I spent each of our three days on the island and we felt like it was a perfect balance of activities and relaxation.

Note: We had rain on our first day, so actually did Mercado 28 and relaxation time on that day instead, and then did the Cenote day and then Isla Mujeres.

However, if you have sunny skies, I think this order is a more ideal pace.

And remember, you’re on tropical time, so don’t get flustered if things don’t go as planned.

No matter what your excursions are, make the most of them!

Safe travels,


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9 Responses

  1. Hi Jasmine,
    Thanks for providing great information and details for planning a trip to Cancun.
    I am planning to travel to Cancun from Pittsburgh around mid of Mar 2020 for 3 days with my wife and 2 kids (6yrs & 20months old). I have prepared an itinerary going though your blog. Kindly suggest whether it looks fine, relaxing and enjoyable with kids.
    Day 1 – Cenote Verde Lucero, Tulum Ruins, Cancun Sign, El Rey Maya Ruins
    Day 2 – Chichen Itza, Ik Kil Cenote, Beach
    Day 3 – Isla Mujeres where I am planning to do sea turtle discovery center, feed sea turtles, explore the ruins at the top of the island and Dolphin Discovery center.
    I’ll be staying in Cancun and will be renting the car. For Isla Mujeres is there any particular tour or ferry company from where I should book the ferry and for activities out there should I pre-book the tickets beforehand online or should take it from there.
    Also we are vegetarians so are there any options for veg food around the area. Kindly suggest.

    1. Hi Vikrant,

      That looks like a great itinerary- the only concern is you might not have too much time for relaxing on the first day, but you’ll be able to see a lot of cool places!

      We actually booked all of our excursions while we were on the island, but if you want to play it safe, you can book the ferry and experiences ahead of time.

      In terms of vegetarian options, I’m sure you’ll be able to find some good options but unfortunately I don’t know much about the veg food in the area.

      Enjoy your time there!!

      – Jasmine

      1. Thanks Jasmine. Is it better to book excursions for Cenote/ Isla Mujeres through some tours or we can directly go there and book the tickets. Also are cenote safe for Kids as I’ll be having 1 less than 2yrs.
        Also will going to one Cenote will be a good option or should I try to visit both of them. Which Cenote will be the be good option to visit with kids if in case I plan to only visit one of them.

    1. Hi Eva! I’d recommend packing bathing suits and cover ups for the daytime by the pool and beach. Bring something you don’t mind getting dirty if you are ziplining. Other than that, I’d say some casual outfits and a couple of nicer outfits for dinner! For shoes, I’d bring flip flops, sandals, a pair of wedges if you want to for dinner, and sneakers for any adventuring! I hope that helps!

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Hi, I’m Jasmine! I’m a nature-obsessed, beauty-finding, Jesus-loving dreamer with a serious case of wanderlust. I’ve quit my 9-5 to become a travel blogger, and my goal is to show others how they can too! And if you love your full time job, stick around for travel tips and inspiration! Thanks for following along on my adventures!

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