Warm white sand beaches, crystal indigo seas, romantic Caribbean nights, world-class hotels, restaurants and nightlife; does all of this sound too good to be true? This is Cancun!
World-renowned fishing, diving and snorkeling, archeological sites dating back thousands of years, a balmy tropical climate and water sports galore…this is Cancun!
A very complete resort where you could keep busy 24 hours a day just participating in the many activities and tours available, and yet Cancun remains a tranquil retreat where you can relax to your hearts content along the peaceful shore of the Caribbean …this is the real purpose of Cancun!
In Cancun you can literally choose a pace and lifestyle to suit any frame of mind, from ultra chic to funky laidback beach bum. Cancun is a resort for everybody, from college students on a strict budget to the rich and famous from all over the world.
Cancun caters to all who visit and everyone should experience Cancun at least once.
Cancun is definitely Mexico’s showcase resort. The original developers and the Mexican government can be proud of what they have accomplished here. Built in a location that was named by Mayan people, long ago, for the large number of snakes in the area, Cancun has been carefully groomed into one of the most polished resorts anywhere. Long gone are the snakes and most of the mosquitoes that might have enjoyed the numerous lagoons. Few resorts in the world have the infrastructure and amenities that were built into Cancun from the beginning. Everything just seems to flow together effortlessly in Cancun. This is one of the reasons that Cancun is Mexico’s most popular resort, the other reason being… Location, Location, Location.
Hotels range from all inclusive resorts like ME Cancun, Dreams and RIU resorts, to small bed and breakfasts to luxury hotels like the Ritz Carlton. You will enjoy your stay with great Cancun hotels to choose from, as well as find accommodations of every type and size in Cancun.
Cancun offers a plethora of activities so much so that it is impossible to do everything in one vacation. Just one of many things to do it to take a trip to Rio Secreto, a secret underground river that, until now, has remained unexplored for thousands of years.
The Tourist Zone
The “Zona Hotelera” or Tourist Zone, a narrow island 14 miles long, is the area of Cancun where it all comes together for most visitors. Hotels and beachfront condominiums line the beaches and serve as the nearly uninterrupted backdrop along this stretch of incredible Caribbean coastline. Kukulacán Blvd is the main thoroughfare that dissects the island and is a name that you will become familiar with in your travels around Cancun. On the inland side of Cancun Island is Laguna Nichupté, a vast lagoon that serves as home to numerous marinas, water front restaurants, shopping malls, a couple of golf courses, a few islands and inlets and some fantastic sunsets. Laguna Nichupté is fed by fresh underground water and is connected to the sea in two places which in turn provide an outlet for numerous water related activities and tours. In Cancun one is never very far from the water so naturally much of your time is going to be spent in, on, or very close to the water. There is an area near the center of all this which is known as the “Party Zone” which is home to many of the areas nightclubs and discos. The very same area is also home to some of Cancun’s better restaurants and one of the nicer shopping malls. Do not rule this area out of your itinerary just because you are not a party animal.
Restaurants and nightclubs in the tourist zone, of which there are many, come in endless varieties with something that is just right for everyone. From trendy “Brand Name” night clubs to simple taco stands, do a little hands on research and you’re sure to find a favorite that will beckon you to return.
The tourist zone has some minor archeological sites, the best example of which is Ruinas El Rey located on Kukulacán Blvd at Km. 17 across from the Hilton Cancun Beach & Golf Resort (formerly Caesar Park). A visit to El Rey is well worth the modest entry fee. The ruins are well preserved and the sheer number of resident Iguanas make for a pleasant diversion. Bilingual tour guides are available for the more inquisitive types. There are other very minor ruins along the beach, well marked on most maps.
Cancun is a destination of different faces. The most famous, a face recognized by much of the world, is the above-mentioned tourist zone.
But Cancun has a population of over 450,000 and there is another Cancun, a lesser-known face to many. This is the heartbeat of the entire area; this is Cancun City or simply Centro. This is an area that is not heavily promoted, but should definitely be included as part of your Cancun vacation if you are spending more than just a long weekend. When the beach and hotel scene get to be a bit overwhelming take a short drive and see where the locals live and spend much of their time. “Centro” is a pleasant city with some great restaurants, modern shopping facilities and is a semi-peaceful diversion to all of glitz and hype that surrounds the tourist zone. Your wallet will appreciate your visit to Centro, as the money contained therein will certainly go farther, as prices for almost everything are more reasonable in the city.
Cancun is naturally a haven for water sports of all kinds. Just about every kind of water sport is available here. Almost every beach has vendors that offer parasailing, banana rides, jet skis and other varieties of small watercraft. Parasailing is offered in different forms for one or two flyers, one of the variations offered here resembles a small flying boat that is perfect for the less adventurous. Jet skis, waverunners and parasailing are available on the Caribbean and on the usually calm surface of Laguna Nichupté, which also offers near perfect conditions for water skiing. World class scuba diving is available at many nearby locations, most notably, the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. A wide variety of packages are available, most of which include transportation. Snorkeling is practiced everywhere but the best locations are generally away from Cancun proper. A modern water park with a wave making machine, rivers, slides, a free fall thrill ride and restaurants, is located near Punta Nizúc. Check out our activities page and our travel & tours page for more information on the overwhelming number of options that await you.
Cancun and the surrounding area offer some excellent sportfishing, deep sea fishing in the outer Caribbean for sailfish, marlin, dorado, wahoo, grouper and bluefin tuna. The many nearby inlets, flats and lagoons give anglers a chance to try their luck at catching tarpon, snook, permit and some hard fighting bonefish.
Charters can be arranged through the activity desk at your hotel or at one of the many marinas along Laguna Nichupté. Nearby, Isla Cozumel also has a small, though well equipped marina and a reputable sportfishing fleet. If you happen to be spending a few days on Cozumel the fishing grounds are a little closer to the island and therefore you get more real fishing time for your money.
If diving or snorkeling is on your agenda you have certainly come to the right place. The waters of the Caribbean are noted for their clarity. Some of the worlds most famous reefs are just a short distance from your hotel. There are underwater national parks and many, many dive sites that are easily accessible from many of the nearby beaches or islands.
World-class dive operations are everywhere, just waiting to take you on what may turn out to be your best dive ever. All equipment can be rented, saving all but expert divers, the hassle of lugging your gear along with you.
Cancun is not a place where you will get bored, unless of course, that is the purpose of your visit. In Cancun even relaxing is never boring. The hammock and a book set will have to put their books down occasionally for a bit of world class people watching. There is plenty to keep everyone occupied when they want to get away from the beach for a while. Explore some of Cancun’s local Mayan ruins. Go shopping, ride a bike on some of Mexico’s most well groomed bike paths. Take in a bull fight (Wednesday afternoons), go ride an ultra fast go kart or experience The Rocket, if you are really brave. You can rent a motorcycle or buggy and go exploring in the jungle, or visit the alligator farm or the nearby botany park. The local malls and restaurants could keep you busy for an entire vacation.
Golf and Tennis
If you a golfer or a tennis player, you will not be disappointed with Cancun. Two championship 18 hole golf courses are located in Cancun proper. There are also two 3 par executive courses and a miniature golf course for the kids (and grownups). There are three more 18 hole courses less than an hours drive away. The first is located just 15 minutes west of the hotel zone at the new Moon Palace resort. Another is at Playacar, next to Playa del Carmen, and still another is located at Puerto Aventuras a little farther down the coast.
Tennis can be enjoyed at most of Cancun’s hotels. Many will allow non guests to play, also, sometimes for a small fee. Pok-Ta-Pok Golf Club has two tennis courts that are open to the public. They also have a club house with a waterfront restaurant that is a very pleasant location, away from the crowds.
Shoppers rejoice! Cancun has it all! The varied aspects of Cancun’s shopping facilities are seemingly endless. From ultra modern malls with chic boutiques and shops to street vendors and open-air markets, it is all here. You could forget the beach if you wanted to, but that was probably one of the main reasons you came here. Everything from Cuban cigars (enjoy them in Cancun if you are a U.S. citizen) to expensive jewelry and everything in between, is just a short distance away in Cancun. Truly, a shoppers delight.
You should not go hungry in Cancun. Great restaurants are everywhere and they serve up some incredible meals. Steak lovers to vegetarians, everyone has a great choice of meals. Everywhere you go there are waterfront restaurants and taco stands, food courts to fast food. Have it delivered to your hotel or dress up and go out, the choice is yours. Some of the fancier restaurants have a dress code; you may want to inquire ahead of time. Do sample some of the local Yucatecan dishes that are a regional treat.
You’ve been at the beach all day; you’ve had your siesta and now your ready to dance the night away! This is the place! Cancun has large numbers of nightclubs, discos and bars. The discos go all night, the bars range from fancy to downright funky. Live music and Karaoke, to ultra loud disco music, it just depends on your mood. Mini skirt and bikini contests, along with other promotions, are numerous. There are “Ladies Nights” where women drink for free and even some Chippendale type shows. Everyone should easily find a place to call their favorite while on vacation in Cancun. Ask around among other tourists and some locals and you will probably be able to find out “where it’s at” currently.