Cancun Mexico Travel Information
Cancun Mexico Travel
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Bring light ponchos for rain gear. These can be purchased from most camping stores. Many stadiums also carry a light poncho to sell to fans of local football teams. These work great as well. They are small and light and easy to carry anywhere you go as a rain cloud can come in no time and dump a monsoon on your head.


Experience the Tortuga Liberation!
Every year hundreds of baby Green Sea Turtles emerge from the sandy beaches of the Mayan Riviera and head into the vast ocean.

Mexico peso (Mex$) = 100 centavos

In 1998 there were 9.6 million telephones main lines in use.

There are 31,048 km of railways in Mexico.

Females are allowed to volunteer for military service.

In 1997 Mexico had 31 million radios in use.

Mexico's exports partners: US 89.3%, Canada 1.7%, Spain 0.6%, Japan 0.5%, Venezuela 0.3%, Chile 0.3%, Brazil 0.3%.

Mexico produced 176.055 billion kWh of electricity in 1998.

The main industries are: food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum, mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, tourism.

The Mexican name for the Atlantic coastal region of the Yucatan Peninsula is Riviera Maya. The English use is either Maya Riviera or Mayan Riviera. It is used all three ways in this web site.

Click here for
Mayan Riviera
Snorkeling Locations
Tips and Info

Buckle Up!

Mexico now has
a seat-belt law.

YUCATAN PENINSULA BEACHES

Mayan Riviera BeachesCANCUN
Cancun has miles and miles of beaches. In the Cancun Hotel Zone the hotels are all lined up, one after the other, along the coast, bordering the beach.

There are the north side beaches and east side beaches. The east side beaches are the most popular. Even during high season the beaches are not really crowded, due to the amount of beach footage.
For more info see: Cancun Beaches

Mayan Riviera BeachesISLA MUJERES
Isla Mujeres is a small island located a short ferry ride northeast of Cancun. The beaches here are beautiful. Lots of people visiting Cancun go to the beaches on Isla Mujeres for the day. Soon as you get off the ferry in Isla Mujeres the beaches are a short walk away. There are hotels also located near the beaches for those wanting to stay on the island.
For more info see: Isla Mujeres Beaches

Mayan Riviera BeachesISLA HOLBOX
Isla Holbox is a seven mile long island located approximately 40 miles northwest of Cancun. The gulf side of the island is pretty well one long beach with deserted sections allowing one complete privacy. All major hotels here are located on the beach, smaller hotels located inland are never anymore than a few extra minutes to walk to the beach.
For more info see: Isla Holbox

Mayan Riviera BeachesMAYAN RIVIERA
The Mayan Riviera has the kind of beaches you dream about. There are lots of beaches to choose from. In Playa del Carmen you find crowded beaches lined with cafes, hotels and services. In Akumal you'll find a lush tropical setting, a beautiful beach and excellent snorkeling. Further south you hit the spectacular Tulum Ruins Beach located right at ancient Mayan ruins.
For more info see: Mayan Riviera Beaches

Mayan Riviera BeachesPLAYA DEL CARMEN
Playa del Carmen is the areas largest city, growing as a result of it popularity amongst vacationers. Playa means beach in Spanish and that pretty well is what Playa del Carmen is all about. The Playa del Carmen beach runs for miles and miles being most crowded along the length that borders the 5th ave. Pedestrian Walkway. The further north you go the less crowded until its just you and the beach.
For more info see: Playa del Carmen Beaches

Mayan Riviera BeachesCOZUMEL
Cozumel has some great beaches on the leeward side of the island making the waters calm even on rough days.
For more info see: Cozumel Beaches

Mayan Riviera BeachesPROGRESO/MERIDA
The western tip of the Yucatan Peninsula isn't generally known for its beaches. The water at certain times in the Gulf can be a murky brown and not to appealing to swim in [something to do with the sea-bed] but most of the time it is clear. There is a beach near Progreso City on the coast.

The coastline east of Progreso is pretty desolate except for fishing huts and docks.

If you're dreaming about lush tropical vegetation and beautiful beaches then this coastline is not the one your looking for.

NOTE: We receive e-mail from time to time from somebody complaining that our depiction of the Progreso beach and Gulf water is not accurate. We state at times the water can be murky and not appealing to swim in as anyone who lives there can attest too.

Merida is not close to any beaches. The best beach near is Progreso.

Mayan Riviera BeachesCAMPECHE
There are no beaches close to Campeche City. In fact there are only two hotels there with swimming pools.

To get to the beach, take a taxi or bus and head southwest on Av Ruiz Cortines for about 30 km. There you will find a quaint beach called Payucan. Snorkeling is not any good here.

There is an island off the coast called Ciudad del Carmen that has a number of beaches that come highly recommended. We have never visited the island. Apparently there is diving and good snorkeling there.

Mayan Riviera BeachesCOSTA MAYA
We have flown along the coast from Playa del Carmen to Belize and what you notice most about the Costa Maya are the cenotes. What is fascinating about the cenotes is wherever you see one, you also see the outlines of the villages that once flourished around them.

Cenotes are big holes in the ground that usually collect water. Small villages once grew up around them. The outlines of these villages still exist.

By and large most of the Costa Maya coastline is rugged pristine landscape with absolutely no habitats. There is the odd fishing camp but that is about it.

Mayan Riviera BeachesMAJAHUAL
There are beaches along the coast at Majahual although hotels/resorts are not that plentiful. These beaches although secluded and beautiful are all natural beaches and not that suitable for small children unless supervised closely. A lot of garbage from cruise-ships and boats in general washes up along the coast here. The locals try to pick the stuff up but they are fighting a loosing battle. Unless something is done about this the whole coastline is going to be one big garbage dump someday.

According to the labels on much of what floats ashore the main polluter is Brazil. They do not appear to have any misgivings about throwing their garbage into the ocean.

Mayan Riviera BeachesCHETUMAL
We have been told there are beaches near Chetumal however we have never visited them nor have we ever been able to obtain any information regarding the beaches.

STATES
Yucatan
Campeche
Quintana Roo

COASTAL REGIONS
Mayan Riviera
Costa Maya

The Mexican name for the Atlantic coastal region of the Yucatan Peninsula is "Riviera Maya". The English use is either Mayan Riviera or Maya Riviera. It is used all three ways in this web site.



FLAGS FLAGS

Cancun Beach Flag Depending on the weather, wave and tide conditions, each section of a beach is marked with a flag indicating whether it is safe to swim there:

Cancun Black Beach Flag Black Flag
Don't swim, too dangerous.
Cancun Red Beach Flag Red Flag
Use caution, dangerous.
Cancun Yellow Beach Flag Yellow Flag
Use caution.
Cancun Green Beach Flag Green Flag
Water conditions okay, safe to swim.



SAND SAND

Cancun Beach Cleaner Cancun beaches used to have white powder sand, pre-Wilma. Because new sand had to be dredged in to rebuild the beaches, gone is the fine white powder beach. It is now a combination of powder and coarse.

We prefer coarse sand to powder sand because it is easier to get off you. Powder sand sticks to you like glue.

The Mayan Riviera and Cozumel are predominately coarse sand beaches.



WATER TEMPERATURE WATER TEMPERATURE

The ocean water temperature reaches its highest point in late August early September. Then some days it can be like swimming in a warm bathtub. Even during the coolest times of the year the water is still okay to swim in. It is always hot outside!



SAFETY

Cancun Beach Lifeguard Most Cancun beaches have lifeguards. Around the main beaches in Playa del Carmen and Akumal there are also lifeguards on duty and warning flags posted. Resorts have lifeguards who double as dive instructors etc.

Beaches in Cancun and around Playa del Carmen are also patrolled by the Mexican Navy who walk up and down the beaches in their uniforms with submachine guns. How these guys handle the heat we will never know. We assume as soon as they get out of visual range they jump in the water to cool off!

The local police also patrol the beaches driving up and down on 4-wheelers.

The Northern beaches in Cancun are the most swim friendly. The ocean waves and winds are buffered by the small island of Isla Mujeres which lies off the coast.



NUDITY

Some women go topless on the beaches in Cancun, however this is more prevalent on the beaches in Playa del Carmen and the Mayan Riviera. Thongs are very popular as well.

There are no nude beaches in Cancun and the Mayan Riviera. These beaches are by and large family orientated. There is however a very hedonist beach located in Tulum, [far south of the ruin's beach] that has a very open minded policy.

We understand that some parents are concerned with the topless issue but you may be surprised to find it not as prevalent as one might presume.



BEACH FASHION

Cancun and the Maya Riviera are international destinations and there are many fashion conscious Europeans. You will see the latest trends in beach-wear on the beaches and there are also countless stores to purchase designer beach-wear and gear.

It is interesting because you can tell where people are from by what they wear on the beach. Canadian and American men wear shorts, sunglasses and hats while Europeans wear speedos, jewelry and sunglasses. The Mexican men wear shorts, usually no hats or sunglasses.

European women have the most stylish bathing suits, especially the Italian women.



BEACH CULTURE BEACH CULTURE

There is of course a "beach culture". It is made up of a cross section of tourists on that one vacation a year trip, party animals who can't get enough, locals, and a small group of beach-bums who fly in from all points of the globe. Cancun Beach Turtles Many earn their living by performing some unusual but entertaining feat. Many are bilingual and find jobs as well. They are a colorful crowd and can be found from Cancun to San Cristobal in Chiapas.

The beaches in Mexico surprisingly are not as entertaining as beaches in Cuba. This will all change after Fidel dies and the Cubans are allowed to travel. This will mean a dramatic export of musicians and general freaks to Mexican beaches, Playa del Carmen in general. Until then, beaches along Cancun and the Maya Riviera remain by and large very family orientated.

The greatest concentration of beach-subculture can be found in Tulum - Playa del Carmen. To find it in Playa del Carmen walk along the beach at night and look for the bongo-players or fire jugglers!

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The Tale of
the Ever Never

Once there was a He of the night. Shadow of shadows, solitar step, He walked many nights to find Her.

Once there was a She of the day. Twinkle of wheat, dance of light, She walked many days to find Him.

They were always looking for each other, He and She. The night was always pursuing the day. They both new, She and He, the quest for what can never be found. It seemed as if it would never happen; it seenmed impossible; it seemed never ever...

And then the dawn came for Him and for Her. Always, forever...

In Mexico they speak: Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages.

90% of Mexicans age 15 and over can read and write.

Mexico Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Mexico has a population of: 100,349,766 (July 2000 est.)

There is 61,000 sq km of irrigated land. (1993 est.)

Mexico's natural resources are: petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber.

There is 9,330 km of coastline.

The life expectancy is: male 68.47 years, female 74.66 years. (2000 est.)

The geographic coordinates are: 23 00 N, 102 00 W

Mexico had 38.6 million people in the labor force in 1999.

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