Chichen Itza
Explore the Ruins
The Best White Sand Beach
Only in Cancun
Jet ski into the Sunset


You might think you know Cancun – 14 miles of pristine white beaches shaped like a number "7" crystalline waters and sultry nights sipping on the perfect margarita, right? Well, you're both right and wrong. If this is your idea of what Cancun is all about, read on. There's so much more.

The history of Cancun dates back to 1967 when the Mexican government, recognizing the importance of tourism to the country’s economic future, began a detailed search to pinpoint ideal sites for tourism development. Resting on the northeast corner of the Yucatan Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo (keen-tah-nah-ROW), Cancun was a part of the ancient Mayan civilization and is still considered the gateway to El Mundo Maya (the Mayan World).

Due to its near perfect weather, natural beauty and easy accessibility from North American gateways, Cancun emerged as the government’s top candidate. What was once a remote and tiny fishing village of just 12 families was cultivated into the ideal Mexican vacation spot. It capitalized on, without compromising, the region’s natural resources. You will find Cancun’s hospitality staff to be among the best-trained in the world at leading hotel brands represented here.

The landscape of Cancun encourages the growth of many exotic flowers, such as flamboyances (named for the dazzling orange-red splash they make lining sidewalks and plazas) and fascinating fauna, like the prehistoric-looking iguanas.

If you are a sports enthusiast, Cancun will not disappoint. It boasts five great golf courses, incredible coral reefs for snorkeling and scuba diving, sport-fishing and jungle tours. And if lying on a white-sand beach with the clear blue Caribbean lapping at your suntanned toes is what you long for, then Cancun delivers. Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are in and around Cancún making it Latin American’s most important leisure destination.

The mysticism of the Maya culture and its natural beauty make Cancun, Quintana Roo. You need not be an archaeologist to appreciate the Mayan world. Cancun is the gateway to its marvels and mysteries. The history of the northern region of the Yucatan Peninsula is a fascinating tale of both Mayan and Hispanic people. Cancun is recognized as the gateway to the Mundo Maya, an enormous geographic region that includes five Mexican states, and five countries. Historical evidence indicates the presence of a Mayan culture at least as far back as 1800 B.C., with the Mayans rising in prominence between 200 B.C. and A.D. 1000.

Mayan RuinsCancun Golf

Enjoy a day trip to Isla Mujeres where the pace is relaxed and the setting is pure magic. This eight-kilometer-long (5 miles) by one-half kilometer-wide (.3 miles) wisp of an island sits just 6 km off the coast to the northeast of Cancun. For those wanting a break from the glitz of Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a refreshing throwback to the days before Cancun even existed. Isla first gained international attention for its outstanding aquatic conditions. Clear, warm water, abundant marine life, reefs and caves attracted Jacques Cousteau who was guided by local dive legend Ramon Bravo. Snorkeling sites are abundant, though those frequented by Cancun party boats can be crowded at certain times of the day.

HolboxThe Holbox Island is a small piece of heaven on earth north from Quintana Roo, on the Yucatan Peninsula. This island is comprised of 36 kilometers of white and coral sand beach. It is considered one of the most important ecological regions of the world for being the home of a great diversity of ecosystems, apart from forming part of the Yum Balam Natural Reserve.

Mexico Tourism Board
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