Travel & Places Mexico

Information on Cancun Vacations

    History

    • Starting around 300 A.D., the Mayan Indians inhabited this land. They made tremendous progress in architecture, astronomy and the arts before Mayan society disappeared. In the 1500s, explorer Hernan Cortes began his expedition into Mexico along the Yucatan Peninsula, finding it to be rich in flora and fauna. Visitors will find the area still rich with architectural ruins and history.

      By the mid-1970's, Cancun was a small town with not much to offer tourists. Then, developers stepped in to create one of the most successful tourism ventures in Mexico. The small community was expanded to include the zona hotelera, or hotel zone.

    How to Get There

    • Most major airlines in the U.S. offer direct or nonstop flights to Cancun, especially during the high season of November through April. Quintana Roo has two international airports, in Cancun and its nearby neighbor Cozumel. If you are in the southern part of the United States, many flights are less than two hours, making Cancun a fantastic weekend getaway.

      Cruise ships have also discovered Quintana Roo. Most ships are required to anchor offshore near Cozumel and Playa Del Carmen to the south, but excursions are common and exploring the area is easy.

    When to Go

    • Cancun is on the northern tip of Quintana Roo, but it's still part of the tropics. The wet season is from May to October. This might entail a short shower or thunderstorm in the afternoon or a major hurricane. Plan accordingly. You can find some terrific deals during this time as long as you keep an eye on the weather. The dry season, which is also the high season, lasts from November to April. Expect higher costs and bigger crowds.

      Cancun is a popular destination for conventioneers, so be sure to check the official website at cancun.travel/en for large groups that might interfere with your leisure plans.

      Don't forget that spring break and Easter holidays attract huge crowds.

    Where to Stay

    • Cancun has more than 25,000 hotel rooms, so there's a room for every budget. Luxury seekers can enjoy the Ritz Carlton or JW Marriott resort. All-inclusive resorts, which allow you to pay one price for room, meals and amenities, are growing in popularity. Some of the more popular all-inclusive resorts are Club Med, Le Blanc Spa and Resort, and the Gran Caribe Real Resort and Spa. Smaller bed and breakfast inns and condo rentals are also readily available.

    Activities

    • If you love the sun and sea, you'll love Cancun. In addition to the variety of watersports, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing and sailing, you'll find windsurfing, parasailing, kayaking and waterskiing. The water is beautiful, but it can be dangerous. Watch for undertows and strong currents, and don't swim out too far if you are not accustomed to it.

      For land-based activities, Cancun offers two 18-hole golf courses in the hotel zone. An additional five courses, many designed by former and current Professional Golf Association players, are located along the coast.

      If you are more interested in culture and history, rent a car to drive along Highway 307, which runs further south into Quintana Roo, passing several smaller resort towns. Or take a tour of Tulum, the ancient Mayan ruins south of Cancun.

    Safety Tips

    • Vacationing in Cancun is as safe as traveling to any big U.S. city. In your hotel, make sure your door is locked, and keep valuables, including your passport and extra money, in a safe area. Don't lose control or do anything that might put yourself in harm's way, such as overindulging in alcohol. Above all, be respectful of the people who live there. This is their home.



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