The Caribbean resort town on Mexico’s southeast coast is a magnet for divers, fishermen, history buffs and pleasure-seekers. A popular destination since the tourism boom of the 1980s, Cancun’s charms extend far beyond its raucous “Spring Break’ reputation. A wide range of aquatic activities, and centuries of Mayan, Mexican and Caribbean history and culture make Cancun a destination for all kinds of travelers.
Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. Just offshore runs a huge coral reef, providing Cancun visitors with some of the best diving spots in Mexico. Snorkel straight from the shore at Playa Tortugas to discover colorful species of local fish and marine plant life. Team up with one of Cancun’s many dive charter companies for a scuba experience or to swim with dolphins at Playa Delfines. The Gulf is an angler’s paradise, and charter fishing trips are easily booked from Aquaworld, right on the foreshore.
The area surrounding Cancun is of great significance to the Mayans, the traditional owners of the land. You’ll find a number of historic archaeological sites in the area, including the El Rey Ruins in the heart of Cancun’s hotel precinct. Visit the state-of-the-art Maya Cancun Museum to learn about the region’s rich cultural history, and to discover why the Mayans believed the world would end in 2012.
From a downtown beach, hop on a ferry to nearby Isla Mujeres, an island getaway that remains less touched by modern tourism than Cancun. Here, you can climb through the jungle at Garrafon Natural Reef Park or relax on one of the island’s tranquil beaches.
Cancun’s location means it remains warm throughout the winter months, and is most popular from December through to April. The summer months can be incredibly hot, and early autumn sees the start of the wet season, making it a less-than-ideal time to visit. Cancun features efficient public transport, English is spoken widely and the city is considered one of the safest parts of Mexico for tourists to visit. Serviced by its own international airport, Cancun is easily accessible by long-distance bus and ferry services.
For more details on interesting local attractions and activities, check out our things to do in Cancun page.