Cancún in the Maya language means ‘snake pit’ although there are others who claim it means ‘golden snakes’ or ‘pot of snakes’. It is located in the Yucatán Peninsula which comprises of the states of Quintana Roo, Yucatán and Campeche.
Before the development of the resort, the place was little more than sand dunes, marshes, mangroves and some coconut trees on a thin barrier island separating Nichupté Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea. Then, in the mid 1970’s, the Mexican Tourism Board while identifying areas for tourist development to attract the much-needed foreign exchange, zoomed upon this isolated island with silky-soft, talcum-powder-like beach sand. It was soon to become the largest, most popular and most successful tourist destination in Mexico. Today, all the large international hotel chains have made their presence felt here in a big way. The unparalleled beauty of the turquoise-blue waters of the Caribbean Sea and the white-sand beaches along with first-rate water sports and activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, parachuting and unlimited opportunities for archaeological explorations are major attractions.
The cheapest way of travelling around the zona hotelera is by bus. Halting at all the popular locations in the zone, buses, some AC, ply 24 hours a day, making it easy for the people to travel in comfort.
The main avenue, Avenida Kukulkan is flanked on one side by an endless row of high rise hotels facing the lovely blue Caribbean while most of the theme restaurants, bars, night clubs, water sports and entertainment centres flank the other side, facing the Nichupté Lagoon. The distance between the Caribbean and the lagoon is less than one kilometre. There are no street stalls here, just mesmerizing swish surroundings full of international tourists. All this is a complete contrast to the city centre which is more like a typical Mexican town.
A walk down the Avenida Kukulkan is the most enjoyable and refreshing experience. The zone spans more than 30 km and is shaped like a ‘7’ with bridges on each end connecting to the mainland. The beaches on the vertical or long side of the ‘7’ are rougher while those on the horizontal or short end of the ‘7’ tend to have more gentle surf because the waves here are blocked by the island of Isla Mujeres which lies just off shore. This zone has everything from villas and five-star hotels to exclusive resorts and spas, modern shopping malls, more than 500 restaurants offering the best in national and international cuisine, numerous bars and discos where the parties rage all night long. Also located in this zone is the Embarcadero, the embarkation and disembarkation point of the boat cruises and other boats leaving for the nearby islands, like the Isla Mujeres.
One of the restaurants along the wide tree-lined avenue, Avenida Kukulkan was a location spot for the famous Hollywood hit movie ‘Cocktail’, starring Tom Cruise. This piece of information is prominently displayed outside the restaurant entrance.
The Maya ruins of El Rey (‘The King’) lie well ahead in the zona hotelera, adjacent to the golf course of the Hilton Hotel. This fabulous hotel zone offers vast opportunities for leisure and relaxation. Many luxury hotels have private golf courses.
The nightlife of Cancún is one of its major attractions. As the sun sets and the evening draws in, people begin to prepare for a thrilling night. Almost all the bars and discos are located in the hotel zone.
You can read more on the beautiful destination of Cancún and the amazing Riviera Maya as well as my travel experiences at these fantastic places in my ebook “Discovering Mexico“. Well, the book also covers many other beautiful destinations in México, lindo y querido.
Click here to read the book synopsis and sample chapters and to know how you can buy a copy of my ebook.
I leave you with this popular Mexican song from Daddy Yankee : Limbo Enjoy 🙂
Discover Mexico… hasta luego 😉