Cancun is situated on the Caribbean Sea, which offers clear, turquoise water and the white, sandy beaches that make images of the island so wonderfully enticing. Its 14-mile length includes a total area of about 764 square miles, and just offshore is a vast portion of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, which is the second-longest coral reef on the planet.
This makes Cancun an excellent base for diving excursions, with numerous scuba hotspots including the MUSA underwater museum, which is home to more than 470 underwater statues.
Cancun History: A Quick Trip Through Time
Thousands of years before it became a popular tourist destination, this amazing island was home to pre-Columbian Maya people, who called it Nizuc, which roughly translates to “point of grass” or “promontory.” The Mayan El Rey archeological site is situated in the Hotel Zone, providing a look into the island’s past and offering intriguing contrast with its contemporary structures.
After the decline of Mayan civilization, the island was mostly uninhabited. In fact, by the time the first resort was placed under development in 1970, there were only three coconut plantation caretakers living full-time on the island, enjoying the Cancun Mexico weather that makes it such a popular destination today.
Since no one could guess whether the concept of Cancun Mexico hotels and resorts would be well-accepted or if people would be willing to travel to Cancun, investors were reluctant to dip their toes in the water. Mexico’s federal government took the plunge and financed the first nine hotels as part of the FONATUR (Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo) program.
Growth has continued since then, and these days, Cancun is recognized by the World Tourism Organization as one of the planet’s best vacation destinations.