Imagine a place where the weather is gorgeous, the sand is soft and warm, the water is the perfect shade of turquoise and there are a plethora of people around to make you feel relaxed and appreciated… Is this a real place on Earth? It sure is! It is Cancun, Mexico.
Yes, the water is really that colour!
The Yucatan Peninsula has been occupied by Pre-Mayan cultures since about 3000 B.C. By the 10th Century, a Mayan group called the Itzaces migrated there and built the cities of Coba, Xcaret, Xel Ha and Tulum, which still stand in ruins today. In 1502, the first Spaniards arrived in the Quintana Roo territory and by the 1540’s they settled. Cancun was a small fishing village until the 1970’s when it was selected to be an international vacation spot due to its unique geography. The “Hotel Zone” is the heart of the party and includes a strip of beaches between the Mexican Caribbean and the Nichupte Bay.
- Beaches – White sand beaches and turquoise waters are prominent in Cancun. Playa Delfin, Playa Tortugas, Playa Gaviota Azul and Isla Blanca, are some of my favourites.
- Mayan Culture – Check out El Rey, Rio Secreto, Museo Maya de Cancun and San Miguelito Archaeological Site to learn about the ancient Mayan culture that once flourished throughout Central and South America.
Here’s a Pro-Tip: Cancun is surrounded by historical sites and adventure opportunities. I recommend you see the impressive Mayan ruins such as Tulum and Chichen Itza or spend a day in Xelha.
Chichen Itza means “mouth of the wells”
- Wildlife – Flamingos, monkeys and dolphins, oh my! Between the beaches, cenotes and nearby uninhabited islands you can observe a variety of wildlife with guided tours.
- Scuba Diving or Snorkelling – Whether you choose to dive in the freshwater cenotes (with their incredible stalactites) or in the sea with its colourful flora and fauna, you’ll find serenity and beauty.
- Isla Mujeres –A great place for a day trip to see coral reefs, take a yoga class on the beach or go fishing. While here, try the islands delicious tikin xic fish dish!
Cenotes were a primary Mayan water source
When travelling from Cancun International Airport to your hotel, there are three options. The first option is to take a taxi. The ride is about 30 minutes, depending on where you are staying. The second option is to take the ADO bus. This bus will take you to downtown Cancun first where, if your destination is the Hotel Zone, you will need to transfer to a second bus or into a taxi to take you the rest of the way. The third option is to rent a car. I highly recommend this option, especially if you plan to visit nearby cities.
The Hotel Zone in Cancun is the most common place to stay while visiting. This area includes malls, restaurants and, of course, hotels! Some resorts such as Melody Maker Cancun, Secrets The Vine Cancun, and La Blanc Spa Resort offer adults only luxury experiences, so make sure to double check before booking if you are traveling with children. Some of my favourite family-friendly hotels are Live Aqua Cancun, The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort or the lively Hard Rock Hotel Cancun. Airbnb is always a fabulous option, especially if you prefer to stay in the local downtown area across the bay from the Hotel Zone.
Taco Tuesday? I prefer taco ‘Today’!
Drumroll, please…Cancun nightlife! For all-night dancing, performances and friendly faces Coco Bongo, The City and Sky Garden are the places to be. The colourful Senor Frogs is a famously fun time as well, conga lines and all! For a more softly-lit experience, Rose Bar and El Rincon del Vino are always a marvellous time. To make the most of Cancun’s renowned nightlife, I recommend bar hopping as most bars and clubs are walking distance of each other.
The nightlife will put you in a ‘Purple Haze’!
If you are in the mood for shopping, there are plenty of malls within the hotel zone. The open-air mall, La Isla, has everything from a Ferris wheel to incredible sunset views. The Coral Negro Flea Market is open to haggling and sells anything made in Mexico, including tequila!
If you haven’t seen Cancun, the fun is awaiting your visit! As you will see, the adventurous lifestyle is alluring for all walks of life.