It’s not just the weather and nightlife which earned Cancun its global reputation, the crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches complete its paradise appeal. The purpose-built resort boasts 14 miles of picture-perfect beaches, though their beauty is not their only appeal. The beaches are formed by white coral sand and as such they do not heat up under the tropical sun, meaning your feet won’t be burned the moment you slip off your flip flops.
Mexico is a country rich in culture and tradition and although Cancun has only been developed for around 50 years, and a road created through the jungle to reach it, the location features Mayan archaeology that dates back to the 6th century. You my even overhear the ancient local Maya dialect being spoken in the city, in addition to the ubiquitous Spanish and English. The Mayan Museum of Cancun is home to one of the most important collections of Maya artefacts in the Yucatan. The 55,000 square foot site includes the San Miguelito archaeological site, which features dozens of Maya structures including a 20-foot-tall pyramid.
Cancun is world-renowned for its party atmosphere and the city’s Party Zone is blessed with an array of nightlife, which electrifies the air with the hum and vibrations of music and laughter until dawn. The most famous venue – and therefore the one with the longest queue to get in, so perhaps go early – is Coco Bongo.
With such a fantastic climate, Cancun tempts you to get out and about, whether that’s exploring the sights or enjoying a new activity. There are some great diving and snorkelling sites along the coast that you can enjoy, even if you’re a novice, and it’s a great way to see some of the beauty that’s hidden beneath the sea. As well as shoals of fish and coral systems, you may even see the famous underwater sculpture museum.
A few miles off the coast north of Cancun and at the point where Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico converge, picturesque Isla Contoy is considered the most important nesting place for seabirds in the region. Protected by the Mexican Government since 1961, the uninhabited island’s white sands and palm groves are home to more than 150 species of migratory and resident birds and is also an important nesting place for sea turtles.
While the city is known far more for its nightlife and climate, the Mayan Museum of Cancun is home to one of the most important collections of Maya artefacts in the Yucatan. The multi-million-pound project, which covers an incredible 55,000 square feet was completed in 2012 and also includes the San Miguelito archaeological site, which features dozens of Maya structures including a 20-foot-tall pyramid.
While it may not be as spectacular as some of the other Mayan sites on the Yucatan Peninsula, the ruins of San Miguelito are a cultural oasis away from the bustle of the resort. Part of the Maya Museum of Cancun, the site is believed to date back more than 900 years and was a thriving community and an important part of the coastal trade network until midway through the 15th century. You can wander among the ruins to see former palaces, homes and even a small pyramid.
Translating to ‘Dolphin Beach,’ Playa Delfines is a wide, sandy expanse in Cancun’s Hotel Zone boasting stunning scenery which make for incredible photographs. Several raised viewing platforms along the beach allow visitors to capture the colour gradient of the sea water from azure through to dark blue. The beach is also free from development meaning there’s sure to be a relaxing spot from which to enjoy the weather.
Visit Mexico between December and April, the country’s dry season, and you can avoid the rain. If you prefer slightly cooler temperatures, December and February averages about 28ºC.
You do not need a visa to visit Mexico, but you will need to complete an immigration form. For the latest information on travel regulations visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mexico/entry-requirements.
The currency is the Mexican Peso (MXN).
The main language in Cancun is Spanish.