Cancun comprises 14 miles of beautiful beaches, turquoise waters, Mayan archeological wonders, wonderful underwater scenery and world-class resorts. Planned as a tourist city by the Mexico government, Cancun is now one of the most sought after holiday getaways in the world.
Cancun is a coastal city, located on the Yucatan Peninsula, in the Quintana Roo State. It’s also known as the Mexican Caribbean while the northern section is known as the Mexican Riviera.
How to get to Cancun
Cancun International Airport (CUN) is the second biggest airport in Mexico. It’s located at about 10 km / 6miles from the hotel strip and offers connections to the Americas and Europe. There are 2 licensed companies which offer transfer from the airport to the hotels.
Renting a car is considered un-safe but it doesn’t pose a real danger. It’s better though to know some Spanish before you start exploring the region at your own pace. If you decide to drive, make sure to get insurance. Driving is hectic and accidents are pretty common.
Cancun is blessed with a tropical weather, offering warm weather cooled by the breezes. Average maximum temperatures range between 26C / 78.8 F and 33 C / 91.4F during the day and 18 C / 64.4 F and 25 C / 77 F during the night. Humidity is high all year round, while temperatures are their highest between April and September.
Peak season is between December and April, when prices are at their highest. Late June is very hot while hurricanes can pose a threat in late summer and early fall (May to December).
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Cancun was built on a site specially selected by the Mexican government as an ideal spot for a beach resort. The state of Quintana Roo, where now Cancun is located, had few inhabitants before the project started. The project to build the resort started in 1970 and over the years, the city grew rapidly and now has 600,000 inhabitants and comprises the former island and the near-by mainland.
What to do
The Cancun hotel zone is built entirely around the tourist industry. Prices are high and everything is crowded. But a short drive south along the coast ensures less crowded beaches, lower prices but doesn’t lack beautiful spots to dive either. Places such as Puerto Morelos or Tulum are very close and offer slightly lower prices.
Close to Cancun, at just 1 h 20 min drive from the airport, you can find the adults only all inclusive resort Hidden Beach Resort – Au Naturel Club. It is an incredible experience for anyone who is not afraid to experience this kind of a vacation.
Obviously the number one “activity” here is soaking in the sun. If you are an advanced swimmer, don’t miss swimming in the ocean. Otherwise, go to one of the resorts. The water is clear and warm while the sand is white. Scuba diving and snorkeling are very popular as well (in the reef region).
However, there are also other things to do. If you want to swim with dolphins, head to the Interactive Aquarium, right in the middle of the hotel zone. You can also pet the animals.
There’s also the possibility to watch bullfights in Plaza de Toros.
If you want to do some shopping and experience the local culture, the open air markets are your best bet.
If you are the romantic kind and want to impress your significant other, take a lobster dinner cruise. Enjoy a beautiful night out on a boat sailing in the lagoon while tasting some of the wonderful seafood.
Another good idea for lovers is going for a day trip on Isla Mujeres, which is located right off the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. There are fine beaches to enjoy and lovely ruins to discover. Some Spanish will come in handy here.
There are some Mayan vestiges located right in the hotels are or close by. Ruinas El Rey are located right in the hotel zone, while El Meco —a bigger site- is located right outside the city. Very close to the Mexican Riviera there are several impressive sites such as Coba, Kinichna and Dzibanche.
If you want to visit the neighbor state Yucatan, don’t miss a trip to the Chichen Itza, a marvelous Mayan site which has been designated UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988 and recently been voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
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