The world has become well-acquainted with Cancun as a vacation hotspot over the past several decades,propelling this tropical destination on Mexico’s Caribbean coast into the spotlight for its fabulous amenities,gorgeous white sand beaches and wide variety of outdoor activities. In addition,Cancun is located close to some of the most impressive ancient Mayan ruins in existence,giving it a traditional cultural flair that simply can’t be matched.
Cancun was “discovered” by the modern world in the 1970s,when it began to evolve from a tiny fishing village into a popular tourist destination. Today,Cancun is home to a modern international airport and truly offers something for everyone – from young singles interested in a thriving nightlife,to retired expats who have opted to settle down and enjoy retirement in close proximity to the region’s trademark shimmering turquoise waters.
The Hotel Zone of Cancun is easily recognized by its long row of shining hi-rise hotels and condos,which bears some resemblance to Miami,Florida. And the downtown district – known as El Centro – is a bustling city of more than half a million people. There are currently more than 150 hotels for visitors to choose from,including villas,self-catering condos and five-star resorts,many of which offer a private balcony overlooking the sea.
Ever since American servicemen discovered the diving and snorkeling opportunities here during the Second World War,the area has attracted attention for its water sports and other outdoor activities. In fact,Jacques Cousteau visited the nearby island of Cozumel,which lies just off the coast,in 1959,dubbing it a ‘diver’s dream.’ This attention,coupled with the 1968 Olympics being held in Mexico City,prompted the government to invest in making Cancun a favorite vacation destination for travelers from around the world.
These efforts have definitely paid off,with modern Cancun offering countless adventures,luxury,shopping,fine dining and relaxation for all. From parasailing,to diving,snorkeling,golf,tennis and deep-sea fishing,there are plenty of ways to enjoy the sun and surf. In addition,the world’s largest natural aquarium is located nearby,as are a variety of ancient Mayan archaeological sites,while there is a wide variety of other forms of entertainment as well,including piano bars,cantinas,high-end boutiques,locally produced crafts and traditional artwork.
The diversity of cuisine available in Cancun is legendary,with more than 500 restaurants serving everything from fine French cuisine to local Yucatan fare and everything in between. Families will find a variety of buffets and casual dining options,while local establishments offer fresh fish and other marinated meats,infused with the flavor of limes,oranges and traditional spices. Many entrees are available for less than $10,but an authentic five star experience is also easy to find.
The city of Tulum lies just south of Cancun and is home to one of the most unique ancient Maya archaeological sites in the world. Here,visitors will thrill to see the only pyramid built on the sea,which lies in the heart of an ancient walled city. Also of note,a second airport for the region is currently being planned for Tulum. This development will undoubtedly make Tulum real estate prices skyrocket,as it will be easier than ever to access all that this magnificent region has to offer.
Amazingly,the impressive ruins of Chichen-Itza,which are characterized by giant stone structures that were at one time almost entirely engulfed by the surrounding jungle,are also located nearby. A scenic three-hour bus ride will get visitors up close and personal with this ancient city deep in Mexico’s tropical rainforest,taking you through the colorful colonial towns of Merida and Valladolid along the way.