CANCUN - MEXICO - OVERVIEW
For many decades, vacationers heading
towards Mexico's well known beaches and hideaways had to look no further than to a string
of "Sunny Resorts" along this country's West coastline.
From Mazatlan to Acapulco, the Mexican
Riviera was the only region with a fairly and acceptable tourist attractions and
In the late 60's the Mexican Government
authorities focused their interest in a remote and untouched sandbar on the Eastern
coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula. This sandbar was inhabited by as few as eight family
members, making a living as fishermen.
The Mexican Tourist Development Agency
(FONATUR) and other political groups decided to
all of Mexico. It took a very short time
before a decision was made to create a quiet and exclusive resort. Cancun (KAN-KUHN)
transformed not only the southmost region of Mexico, but also its identity as a
"Pacific Coast" destination for tourists and adventurers.
Cancun's infrastructure development
started in 1973. The top priorities then...a new resort in Mexico offering the best of the
best of all worlds. Cancun dwelled into the 80's as a relatively small and undiscovered
resort with a little over a dozen or so hotels. Big and fast changes came about during the
building boom in the mid 80's. Cancun was now in the global tourism arena as
"THE" resort of the 90's.
"rich and famous". Cancun has everything for everybody and every budget. A sweet
blend of archaeological sites and
man-made attractions is what Cancun has
developed to be. Cancun is technically an Island.
Cancun's resort area is a 14 mile long and slim strip of sand, naturally shaped as a
number "seven", or the letter "L".
Stunning beaches and breathtaking views are to be seen, before you can
appreciate the natural beauty that this resort has to offer. Miles and miles of silky
smooth sugar powder beaches, softly washed by the turquoise waves of the emerald waters of
the Caribbean Sea.
Cancun's infrastructure and planning has
separated its support, services and tourist areas in three very interesting areas. Cancun
City (extended its popularity for its dining experiences, shopping and budget
accommodations) has also turned out to be a paradise for those who decided to look for a
change of pace in their lives.
As part of Cancun's three phases Master
Plan, the Mexican Government has set aside an Ecological Reserve (astonishing lagoons and
mangroves), as an example to avoid a door-to-door development that could disturb the
natural beauties of the unexplored surroundings. Cancun, nowadays has almost completed its
Phase Two development. Its Third Phase starts at the International Airport, and towards
Phase Two. Two mega-projects have started breaking grounds, as well as a new deluxe
multiple slips marina. Very soon you will hear about Puerto Cancun, a 210 acre residential
middle-income development in the southeast side of the city.
The area's history is enriched by the Mayan Culture. The Mayans have periodically
occupied the whole peninsula for hundreds of years. New temples, uncovered during the
construction of this resort, date back to the 12th. Century. Further inland, the
magnificent ancient cities and ceremonial centers. Over 200 archaeological sites, some of
them wonderfully restored, and others still shrouded with tangled jungle vegetation, are
still to be discovered only a few hours drive from Cancun. The region's fascinating and
friendly Mayan culture has survived, despite the swift growth and encroachment of tourism.
Cancun offers to all its visitors an
exotic tropical island setting, buoyed by modern comforts and conveniences. A well planned
layout and infrastructure give this tourism destination a polished (though somewhat
Non-Mexican) appearance. Cancun has now 18,000 hotel rooms and some 200 restaurants.
For those adventure seekers, Cancun and
the Yucatan are abundant in sight-seeing treasures. Stretching 300 miles South, along the
Yucatan's East side, is the Tulum Corridor region. Known as Costa Turquesa, this scenic
and unspoiled coastline is emerging as one of Mexico's newest resort areas. An important
number of "all-inclusive" hotels have recently opened to the public.
There is still plenty of
"off-the-beaten-path" exploring to do. Dozens of remote coves and deserted
stretches of jungle-line white sand beaches are easy to reach. Dozens of archaeological
sites standing as a witnesses of a magnificent culture that disappeared for no apparent
and logical reason, that will allow you to come to your own conclusions.
Cancun's average temperature is 80 degrees (Fahrenheit) and over 240 days of wonderful
A quarter mile wide island, surrounded by
the Caribbean Sea to the North and East, and a very calm and multicolored lagoon on the
South and West sides. This side of Cancun is known as the Hotel Zone or Hotel Strip. This
area is connected to Downtown Cancun by two bridges. The Hotel Strip is home to the most
magnificent and elegant hotels.
Cancun is just a few minutes away from the Hotel Strip. It's population ranges in
approximately 400,000 and steadily growing. Downtown offers all kinds of services, and of
course; a significant number of local restaurants.
This is the gateway to many adventures in the Yucatan, including the Mayan Ruins of Chichen-Itza, a 125 miles drive
westbound, and to
Playa del Carmen
and Tulum newest highway.
All the major hotels in the
"strip", as well as in the Downtown area will make arrangements for you to visit
two islands across Cancun's Bay,
Mujeres and Contoy. Contoy Island,
a wildlife reserve offers magnificent clear waters to snorkel and maybe even play a little
"Robinson Crusoe". Isla
Mujeres has been famous for many years, for its legacy to Mexico, where the Spanish
Pirates started a new ethnic group in the Americas.
Cancun has something for everyone, from a
relaxing sunbathing experience in one of the many beaches, to all water sports you can
imagine. Marinas offers Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Super Jet Skis, Wave
Runners, Deep Sea Fishing, Water Skiing, Windsurfing, Sailing; others are Golf, Tennis, Horseback Riding and tours
to the nearby lagoon. Cancun is a combination of fun and knowledge. Visit the nearby ruins
like Chichen-Itza or "Chicken-Pizza" as known by some rednecks, or
walled city with an oceanview.
in Cancun is at your leisure, if you still feel like you could party. Cancun comes to
a new life and personality. All options are available; from a romantic piano bar and
Mexican Trovadors, to big time night clubs and
discos, Mexican fiestas at the major resort hotels with the most spectacular laser and
sound shows you could have imagined before, and listening to reggae, jazz and afro-Cuban
Numerous dinner shows are also at your fingertips, featuring Caribbean music
(cha-cha, mambo, and more) to Spanish and Native Mexican dances and music. Every evening,
several cruisers depart for romantic lobster dinners, and for those with a young heart
crazy fun boat parties are also ready to be enjoyed. Your dining options in Cancun are
numerous. Every imaginable fast food chains are here, along with gourmet seafood, Asian,
American and Mexican specialties are ready to be served in your table with a candlelight
and a bottle of Mexican wine.
Shopping is like no other, over a dozen American-Style Shopping Malls
are here for you to visit and bargain.
Driving a car in Cancun is not that
complicated, nevertheless you need to familiarize yourself with the main streets and
avenues that will take you straight to your final destination. Kukulcan Boulevard is the
name of the Hotel Strip, Av. Tulum is the main street, and Av. Portillo is your main
thoroughfare towards the ancient city of Chichen-Itza. There are no street numbers for
hotels in the Strip. The hotels are known to be at a kilometer marking. Check your nearest
Hotel kilometer marking, and use it as a reference when you drive.
Somehow afraid of driving? Don't blame
yourself, it is obvious. Unlike New York, Dallas, Los Angeles or Chicago, Cancun is fairly
safe. The only difference is that the traffic signs are not as observed as in other
countries. We recommend using the taxi service, normally parked outside your Hotel lobby,
simply hop-in and tell them where you want to go. Feeling more like Indiana Jones? Hop in
a bus (preferably not during rush hours, they run packed to the seams). The buses run
until late at night and one single bus will take you through the Hotel Strip into Downtown
and back. No transfers, no hassles. One word of advise, have the correct change, to avoid
Many travel agents
around the city and hotels will offer their services to
book you in a tour to Tulum or Chichen-Itza. The buses are clean, air conditioned and
restroom facilities. Have you made new acquaintances in Cancun, why not pitch-in and hire
a private tourist guide in a van that may sit up to eight people, and travel like a
All in all, Cancun has everything you
expected and more...When visiting Cancun be ready to enjoy a real experience in your life.