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10 Things You Didn’t Know about Cancun

by Carla Fiorito on January 21, 2011

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Ever since I began to travel, I have loved to learn about a culture by becoming a part of it.

I venture into the city to learn something new about my surroundings.

Cancun is one of my favorite vacation hotspots, and through my travels I have learned a bit about it.

Here are 10 facts you can impress your friends with next time you visit Cancun:

1. Before the city became known as “Cancun,” it was called “Ekab,” meaning “Black Earth.” Cancun is actually also a Mayan word that means “nest of serpents.”

2. When Cancun was first developing in 1970, there were only three residents living there. Now there are over half a million people who call Cancun home. Can you imagine waking up to that beach every day?

3. Cancun alone generates 1/3 of Mexico’s tourism revenue Millions of people travel to Cancun each year to enjoy the amazing city. I will probably be joining them this year, too.

4. Between 2009 and 2010, Cancun underwent a major beach restoration project that added 7 miles of coast between 40-70 yards wide. This project cost about $70 million dollars. This means there is plenty of beach for you and your friends to relax on!

5. Cancun is divided into three districts: Downtown Cancun, the Ecological Reserve, and the Hotel Zone. Downtown Cancun is a great place to learn about the locals and a less expensive place to shop with several flea markets. The Ecological Reserve is home to Mexico’s largest genuine ecosystem – and there are many tours that explore the area. Cancun’s Hotel Zone is the popular tourist area with shopping and beaches.

6. The second busiest airport in Mexico is Cancun’s international airport – with the most international traffic in the Latin American area. Make sure you mark your luggage appropriately in case of a mix up.

7. Cancun’s white sand is made from crushed coral and cool to the touch, so you don’t need your sandals while walking on the beach.  Remember to always bring a beach bag to store towels, sandals, and water just in case.

8. Cancun is home to the second largest coral reef in the world – the Great Mayan Barrier Reef. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the only one that is larger.  Take advantage of this by scuba diving or snorkeling while visiting Cancun.

9. Cancun has many festivals throughout the year such as the Cancun Jazz Festival, Equinox celebrations, film festivals, and more. Check out which festivals are happening during your travel time to enjoy this unique aspect of Cancun. I’ve been to the Cancun Cinco de Mayo party and it is definitely worth checking out.

10.  There are around 140 hotels with over 24,000 hotel rooms and over 350 restaurants in Cancun – so there is always a place for you to stay. Cancun awaits you!

I hope you enjoyed learning about Cancun! Are there any fun facts you would like to share?

Carla is currently an intern at All About Mexico. She is studying Hotel & Restaurant Management at University of Houston. She loves writing, traveling, and tourism.
Carla Fiorito
View all posts by Carla Fiorito
  • http://www.vallarta.com/Transfers/ Transfers in Vallarta

    Great info! And yes, the coral formation is breathtaking. And the water is just CRAZY! One of the things about Cancun that I liked the most was the color of the water. Crystal clear. I can’t explain it, you have to see it for yourself. I had a great time there, and hopefully will return this year to practice some surfing. The waves are quite big and riding them is a lot of fun!
    Madison Compton – Packages Mexico

  • http://allaboutcabo.com Laurie Gourley

    Great information. I’m a history buff and this blog has great history stuff.

  • Missbehaviour

    Interesting info, however #5 isn’t right. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve south of Tulum is far bigger than any eco-areas in Cancun. Definitely worth a check out if your in the area.

  • julie

    cancun is an amazing place

  • steve

    i know right!

  • Ariel Castro

    With over 300 sunny days a year it’s no wonder so many people travel here for vacation! If you are looking to book your escape to sunny Cancun then check out http://www.cancungreatvacations.com

  • billie

    that’s awesome I never been to cancun before

  • kayla

    This is so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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