Cancun is Mexico's most well known tourist destination and its Hotel Zone
is one of the few locations in the world that was developed exclusively for
tourism. The Cancun area is famous for its white sand beaches lapped by
turquoise-blue water with gentle surf. In addition, Cancun is known world-wide for the quality of its hotels, high- energy night-life and a
broad range of water sports that is hard to top (paragliding, waverunners,
snorkeling, scuba, sport fishing to name just a few).
Over 27,000 rooms are available in Cancun and other lodging can be found in Cozumel and along the Riviera Maya. Even with this large number of rooms, you may not find anything available at your preferred hotel in high season, so be sure to plan ahead. By the way, downtown Cancun (Ciudad, Cancun) is on the mainland and not where you want your hotel to be, at least not if you want to experience the best of Cancun.
is the Mesoamerican Reef, the world's second largest barrier reef, which
stretches from the northern tip of Quintana Roo (the Mexican state that
includes Cancun and the Riviera Maya) to Belize and, then, northern
Honduras. The reef is home to over 500 species fish and more than 50
species of Coral. Diving is a popular pastime with many
visitors to Cancun, although Cozumel is generally
regarded as the best
location for snorkeling and diving along Mexico's Caribbean coast.
Cancun's Hotel Zone is shaped like a 7 and molded around Boulevard Kulkulcan,
a highway that provides easy access to all hotels. The Hotel zone provides lodging that ranges from
the ultimate in luxury to hotels that are more affordable. The
gentlest surf can be found at the top of the "7" in the Hotel Zone, since this
section of the barrier island is
sheltered by the nearby Isla Mujeres (Island of Women), a few
miles off the coast.
By the way, Isla Mujeres is a popular, upscale destination with fine beaches
and an attraction in its own right. the island is known for its beauty, a small but interesting Mayan
temple, a sculpture park and opportunities for underwater exploration. It's
Garrafon Natural Reef Park offers a wide variety of activities sure to
please all family members.
Note also that over four-hundred life-sized
statues have been sunk in an artistic installation as part of the National
Marine Park of Cancun, Islas Mujeres and Punta Nizuc and this is a dive that
is growing in popularity. See the
MUSA website for more details (Google translator suggested as most of the site is in
Spanish). The island can be reached by a 25 minute
cruise from the Hotel Zone.
Three major Mayan ruins are within a days drive of Cancun and you can
arrange a tour to see one of more of these attractions. The Mayan
civilization left a strong imprint on this area, even though this
civilization reached its peak over a thousand years ago. Known for
their unique architecture and knowledge of astronomy, the Mayans were the
only civilization in the Americas to a developed a formal system of writing.
Chichén Itzá in the neighboring Yucatan (state) is one of the best-preserved
and most interesting of the Mayan sites. We describe it in detail
the name for the fabulous coastal, Mayan ruin about 80 miles south of Cancun
on the Riviera Maya. Finally,
a large, but relatively unexcavated Mayan city, is a modest distance to the northwest of Tulum.
We discuss a number of day-trips from Cancun in our guide to the
If you like Cancun, but are a little tired of the crowds, you might find a
trip to the Riviera Maya just the ticket for a great change of pace.
If you decide to wander outside of Cancun, you might be interested in
visiting Isla Cozumel, (reached by a short flight
or taking a ferry from Playa del Carmen). Cozumel is world renowned
for its diving and beautiful setting.
We think you will find Cancun an attractive
destination both for individuals and for families. While it does have an active nightlife,
Cancun is, in all
senses of the phrase, a family vacation destination - it even has a water
park to prove it.
Vacationing in Cancun can be expensive. While you can find some
great bargains on hotels, there are so many things to do that you
could easily break your budget before you run out of new things to try.
It's easy to get caught up in the lure of the Cancun's unique
attractions, but don't forget that the those beautiful, white sand
beaches are the best bargain in town.
Of course, if you haven't run out of money, there is plenty of
quality shopping in Cancun. If you need a quick shopping fix, you
might be interested in visiting Kulkulcan Plaza, the area's glamorous shopping mall. (By
the way, Kulkulcan is one of the most
prominent of the Mayan gods and the name translates as "feathered serpent".)
You might also be
interested in taking a look at the
official tourism website for Cancun , as it provides details on
attractions, hotels, restaurants and more.
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