With its 14 miles of pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and the second largest barrier reef in the world, Cancun is the quintessential tropical paradise. However, Cancun has much more to offer than balmy nights sipping a margarita: delve under the surface of this centre of 21st-Century-Mexico and discover Mexican culture, world-famous ruins and the real heart of Cancun.
Until the 1960s, Cancun was a little-known island of deserted beaches, mangroves and marshes situated on the north-east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Quintana Roo. However, in 1967 Cancun was identified as a perfect location for development to bolster tourism. And so, the Cancun of today came into existence – this forgotten part of ancient Mayan civilisation became a tourist hotspot and a crucial part of Mexico’s economy. Whether you are looking for a little culture, want to while away your days on a tropical beach sipping cocktails, or you prefer a little more action, Cancun has something to suit all tastes. One thing is certain: your trip to Cancun will fulfil all of your desires – and more.
Direct flights to Cancun will bring you to Cancun International Airport (CUN), about half an hour’s drive from the city centre.
Cancun enjoys warm weather for most of the year although summer, with its tropical storms, can be uncomfortably hot and humid for some, with temperatures reaching well over 30°C. Hurricane season runs from June to November – storms can range from tropical storms to raging hurricanes, which can last days. Tourists flock to Cancun all year round, but February – April sees a huge influx of college students, coming to Cancun for their Spring Break. For cheap flights to Cancun outside of hurricane season, plan your trip in November – early December, when the stormy season is coming to an end, or late April - May, after the Spring Break.
The tourist industry may have transformed the face of Cancun, but Mayan culture still holds the key to its origins. Spanning over 3 millennia, Mayan culture was one of the first cultures of the New World. The Mayans were based in the Yucatan Peninsula and are known for incredible architecture and art, as well as their advanced astronomical and mathematical discoveries. On your trip to Cancun, you will be able to explore remains of this incredible society – Chichén Itzá, one of the New Wonders of the World and a UNESCO world heritage site, is about 2 ½ hours away from Cancun, and well worth a visit. If you are more interested in Cancun’s beaches and nightlife but want to get a brief insight into Mayan culture, there are several smaller archaeological sites situated in and around Cancun, including El Meco, just 3 miles from the city centre. For a whistle-stop tour of Cancun’s Mayan heritage, visit El Rey, easily accessible in the centre of Cancun’s Hotel Zone. The ruins are inhabited today by hundreds of iguanas, who bask in the remains of the former Mayan town; the small scale of the remains make them easy to explore in a relatively short period of time, leaving you plenty of time to relax on the beach.
ancun’s exquisite beaches are the main focus for most tourists and there are plenty to choose from! The Hotel Zone is lined with iconic white-sand beaches, complete with cocktails, parasols and plenty of beach and sea-based activities - many hotels have their own private beach, which guests are able to access for free. If, however, you want something a little different on your trip to Cancun, head slightly out of town to Playa Delfines, one of the most beautiful points of Cancun. The beach is less crowded than those in the Hotel Zone and provides a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas. Beware of strong current and riptides; Playa Delfines is better suited to paddling and sunbathing than swimming. For tranquil, azure waters, head to Playa Tortugas, a favourite beach for locals and holidaymakers about 3 ½ miles outside of the Hotel Zone. Lined with fantastic outside restaurants, Playa Tortugas has a relaxed atmosphere day and night. Spend your day swimming, snorkelling, or floating on the crystalline waters, grabbing a snack from your choice of cafes when you get peckish. If you are looking for complete isolation and an escape from the madding crowd, head to Isla Mujeres (the Island of Women), 8 miles from the Yucatan peninsula. Aside from pristine beaches and tranquil waters, at Isla Mujeres you can visit the turtle farm, dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles, and experience the eerie charm of Hacienda Mundaca, a mansion which fell into ruin after its owner, a 19th-century slave trader, mysteriously died.
Cancun is renowned for its nightlife and whether you have come to explore Mayan culture or relax on its stunning beaches, at least one night out is essential on your trip to Cancun! If you only go to one place, go all out and visit Coco Bongo: a nightclub – Cancun-style. Frenetic, vibrant and colourful, every evening Coco Bongo fills with revellers who come to enjoy a non-stop entertainment programme featuring conga lines, acrobatics, tribute acts and live bands. Add to the mix video projections, confetti, bubbles and balloons and you have the recipe for a perfect (if slightly bemusing) evening of fun. If you have two left feet, don’t worry – Coco Bongo doesn’t have a designated dance floor so you can sip a cocktail and take in the myriad entertainment with both feet firmly planted on the ground. As you may expect from a city developed specifically to entice tourists, the food in the Hotel Zone is a toned-down version of traditional fare. Many hotels and restaurants offer buffet-style breakfasts and lunches, featuring a range of different traditional and international dishes. If you want to experience more authentic dining, head out of the Hotel Zone, where you will find exceptional seafood restaurants and fantastic tacos. There are, however, a few places in the Hotel Zone where you can get authentic tacos and ceviche – the trick is, as always, to look for the locals and follow suit. Cancun is the perfect combination of Caribbean paradise, culture and action. A veritable pick-and mix of activities and cuisines; in Cancun, you can create your own dream holiday. If you want to make your Caribbean dreams come true, let Travangelo help you to find cheap flights to Cancun.