Cancún was created as a vacation playground, a place where you can indulge in a myriad of activities, all planned around having fun. Beginning as a sleepy fishing village, it has developed into a world-class resort with millions of visitors annually. After a computerized search picked the idyllic barrier island in 1967 as a promising spot for tourism, construction began in 1970, and the first hotel opened two years later.
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Action centers upon Paseo Kukulcán, a fourteen-mile landscaped boulevard that winds its way down the middle of the Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone). At the northern end stands La Ciudad de Cancún (Cancún City), a city of over 450,000 simply known as Centro. At the other, the beginning of Highway 307 and the beaches of the Riviera Maya. Laguna Nichupté (Nichupté Lagoon) hugs the shore of the inland side of the island, which is shaped like the number 7. Marinas, golf courses, and waterfront restaurants along its shore vie for your attention. The highest concentration of restaurants, shopping malls, and discos exists at the convergence of the arms of the 7, known as Punta Cancún. Here, also, stands the Convention Center.
Best Time to Go
The dry winter months from December through April are the best time to visit Cancún. Spring Breakers arrive from mid-March to mid-April, so you should plan your visit accordingly, unless you want to be disturbed by wild parties and boisterous behavior. Hurricane season, running from August through October, is another risky time, especially in September. Temperatures hover around 80ºF year round, but the humidity can be oppressive during the summer rainy season.
Yucatecan food is spicy and flavorful. Though you'll find just about every cuisine known to man in Cancún, it's the regional specialities that stand out. Mayan anchiote paste is a favorite ingredient in grilled foods prepared “a la Yucateca,” such as Tikin-xic, fresh fish cooked with anchiote and limes. Cooks bake
Cautions and Safety Concerns
Be cautious of the waters on the sea side of Cancún. The beauty of the water hides the strong current lurking underneath, and large swells are common in summer. Only the largest hotels employ lifeguards, so it's safest to swim with someone. Trying to get a fast tan in Cancún can also be dangerous. Be sure to use sunscreen with a high SPF, especially on your children.
Though crime is low, it pays to take precautions with your valuables.