Cancun is on the south east coast of Mexico, stretching out towards Cuba on the Yucatan Peninsula. Its name has become synonymous with partying and the high life, but this part of Mexico is also privy to some ancient ruins, beautiful beaches and relaxing luxury resorts.
Data obtained from Merida weather station
The Yucatan Peninsula separates the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, giving it beautifully warm waters for those interested in the life aquatic. Sea temperatures here can reach 28 degrees in the summer months, making diving excursions and water sports a very popular pastime here. Cancun also has an Interactive Aquarium and a renowned Dolphinarium.
Playa Delfines and Forum Beach are probably the most famous of all the beautiful beaches in Cancun, but Playa Tortugas, Playa Caracol, Playa Marlin and Playa Las Perlas all have individual qualities. The main differences come in whether you are going to the beach to sunbathe, swim and read a book, or if you are going to party until the early hours; the Forum Beach and Playa Tortugas are popular with revellers, while stretches such as Playa Linda have a more tranquil charm.
Cancun is often divided into two main zones: the mainland (downtown/hotel zone), and the island. It is on the mainland hotel zone where you will find renowned attractions such as the Avenue Kukulcan - named after the Mayan snake deity - a haven for shopping, eating and nightlife.
The Mayan El Rey ruins are incredibly nestled in amongst the Hotel Zone, but for a more satisfying glimpse of Mayan ruins, you may wish to look to El Meco or even Tulum which is not too far away. A huge amount of iguanas run wild around El Rey; some visitors will find this enthralling whereas others may be unnerved.
September and October represent the rainy season in Cancun, although the resort tends to experience mild high temperatures throughout the year. Hurricanes have proved to be a real peril since Hurricane Gilbert struck in 1988; since then, hurricanes Wilma and Dean wreaked havoc in 2005 and 2007.
Cancun is on the appropriately named Riviera Maya which provides an abundance of high-class resorts and hotels. Cancun is both a trendy and exotic name in the European tourist industry and, as much as Americans make up the brunt of the visitors, Cancun also hosts many sightseers from across the Atlantic.
Last updated: 14 March 2014