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Mexico now has
a seat-belt law.
Cancun is Mexico's most visited tourist destination and boasts over twenty-five thousand hotel rooms. There's golf, tennis, lots of shopping facilities and a remarkable biodiversity. There are four hundred seventy-five bird species, over a hundred different mammals and twelve hundred plant species.
Cancun has lots of beach and the hotels are magnificent. Some people actually never even leave the hotel grounds their entire vacation. This speaks volumes for some of these resorts situated on the edge of ocean beaches.
The beautiful ocean is home to over two thousand five hundred marine species with five hundred different tropical fish.
Cancun is located in the State of Quintana Roo at the most southern tip of the peninsula. It is divided into two sections: the Hotel Zone [Zona Hotelera] which is a 22 km sandy strip of land between a lagoon and seaside hotels located on Cancun Island and Cancun City/Downtown [El Centro] which is home to the many Mexicans who live in the district. Downtown is located on the mainland.
CANCUN HOTELSFor current Cancun hotel and resort information including rates, availability and secure on-line reservations please see:
Cancun Hotels & Resorts
Cancun Airport to Hotel Shuttle see:
THE CANCUN HOTEL ZONE
The hotel zone is an island shaped like a 7. It is joined to the mainland on the southern tip by the Punta Nizuc Bridge and the Playa Linda Bridge at the northern end. This 22 km strip of sandy beach is bisected by a long main street named Kukulcan Boulevard.
On the north and south side of the island is the Caribbean Sea while an enormous lagoon named Laguna Nichupte is formed by the inside of the "7" on the islands southwest side.
Cancun is similar to Miami or Myrtle Beach but with a more international flare. In some places you would be hard-pressed to notice the difference. You can however go on guided excursions from Cancun to almost anywhere in the Yucatan.
To see full-size hotel map see: Cancun Hotel Map
CANCUN CITY/DOWNTOWNThe city begins where Kukulcan Boulevard meets Bonampak Avenue at the most northern tip. In Cancun streets are named after Mayan cities. Today over 450,000 people live in this growing community.
The heart of the city is known as "Downtown" [El Centro] which is where the main vendor markets are located on Tulum Avenue.
There are also numerous restaurants and boutiques offering everything from cigars to exotic perfumes.
NOTE: We have purchased expensive perfumes in Cancun at 1/3 the cost of the perfume in the US and Canada.
HOTELS OFF THE BEACH STRIP
There are many hotels off the beach strip and these hotels drop in price dramatically. Many are within a short drive or bus ride to the beach. The rule is that the closer to the beach you are the more expensive. You can also find some pretty expensive 5 Star resorts way off the beach that cater to people who don't necessarily feel the need to be near the sea.
If you are backpacking and traveling by bus there are a number of cheap accommodations near the bus station. If you just stand there with your backpack/luggage somebody will approach you and suggest a hotel. These guys are the hotel reps and get a commission for bringing in customers.
HOTELS ON THE BEACH STRIPEvery time you blink it seems there is a new hotel. We have spoken to many people who have had marvelous stays in more than one hotel in the beach zone or at the all inclusive resorts. Quite often we talk to people who have been going here for over a dozen years and have never had a negative experience with any of the hotels.
If you are planning on going there, the following articles written by Jules Seigel are recommended reading. Jules has lived in the area for over 20 years. See "Recommended Readings" located at the bottom of this page.
GETTING AROUND CANCUN
Getting around Cancun is relatively easy using the bus system, taxis, hotel shuttles and walking.
Many vacationers are content to stay at the hotel the entire week with maybe a couple tours, making it easy since you are picked up more or less at your front door and returned there after your tours. Airport transfers deliver you and pick you up with no problems.
For those vacationer who wish to get out of the hotel zone, visit various attractions, sight-see and shop, see Getting Around Cancun for more information.
CANCUN BEACH UPDATECancun Beaches Have Been Rebuilt - Feb. 2010
Within days of Hurricane Wilma in 2005 a team from Belgium-based Jan De Nul Group arrived to survey the damage. Shortly after, a crew of 220 people began working on restoring Cancun's beautiful beaches. However, Mother Nature had her own plan in mind and almost immediately Cancun's beautiful beaches began to erode again.
Without notice, in September 2009 the Beach Recovery Trust began on a $71 million beach restoration project to rebuild beaches along the coastline of Cancun and the Mayan Riviera.
5.2 million cubic meters (178.5 million cubic feet) of sand have been shifted to restore Mexico's Caribbean beaches.
The Beach Recovery Project is aimed at returning the beaches to their original width, which in some cases was up to 65 meters (yards) wide in some spots.
The Beach Recovery Trust is also establishing a monitoring and maintenance program in an effort to prevent the coastlines from eroding again. It is hoped that over time the white sand will settle naturally and firmly into place, making many of the beaches between 30 - 40 meters wide.
For more info see: Cancun Beach Restoration Project 2010
THINGS TO KNOWCancun is an international tourist destination and thus there is foreign money and experience here. Many of the hotels are co-owned by foreign investors who also supply experienced management. There are countless Americans, Germans, Italians, Swiss, and Canadians working here.
This is the tourist mecca of Mexico and the Mexican government provides a safe environment for this to flourish. Crime is taken very seriously here. You are indeed safe.
For vactioners, many of your questions could probably be answered if you read these pages:
BREIF CANCUN HISTORYDuring WW2 American servicemen stationed on Cozumel discovered what an amazing place this little island was for diving. In fact it was Americans who built the first air-field on the island. Cozumel is located a little south-west of Cancun.
After the war word spread about the great diving at Isla Murejes and Cozumel and Mexico's Carribean tourism industry began, albeit small. In 1959, Jacques Cousteau discovered the extent and beauty of Palancar, the coral reefs at the south of Cozumel and publicized it as one of the best places in the world to go diving.
During this period Mexico began ramping up for the 1968 Olympic games, which were to be held in Mexico City. Realizing the enormous amount of international attention that would be garnished on the country during and after the games, Mexico's government wisely turned an eye to tourism, on a grand scale.
By 1969 The Bank of Mexico had begun developing the concept of Cancun as one of five new tourist destinations that would be created. Plans were made to convert this uninhabited jungle area into a tropical tourist mecca as well as open up new tourism possibilities by developing the infrastructure throughout the entire Yucatan region.
In 1974 Quintana Roo [the Mexican state where Cancun exists] officially gained statehood, Cancun International Airport opened its runways and the first hotel opened.
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