Cancun is famously known as a spring break and beach vacation getaway destination, as the region boasts 14 miles of beaches with white sand, clear blue waters, and a rich nightlife scene. Built for tourism with hotels from the leading international hotel chains such as the Ritz-Carlton and Best Western, Cancun manages to offer both untouched natural beauty and North American convenience in one neat package. The area is located in the northeast corner of the Yucatan Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo, and Cancun historically has been considered the gateway to the Mayan world.
Popular attractions for the resort getaway crowd include the beaches and numerous spas and golf courses. As Lonely
Planet describes it, Cancun is really two experiences in one: the luxurious and party-ready hotel zone and the city itself, with its quieter beaches and a taste of everyday Mexico’s local flavor. Food, of course, is seafood-focused, but in the hotel zone you can find international cuisine of all stripes to suite your tastes. For Mexican food beloved by tourists and locals alike, La Destileria in the hotel zone hits the sweet spot of proximity to the main tourist route and culinary authenticity.
Within a day’s travel of the city, the Isla Contoy national park displays some of Mexico’s most lush and breathtaking flora and fauna. In Isla Holbox, swim with whale sharks, admire beautiful birds on neighboring Isla Pajaros, and swim in calm, untouched waters suited for children and adults alike. If you’re itching for some outdoorsy fun closer to the city, visit the Mayan ruins of El Rey (closer to the hotel zone) or El Mecco (outside the city).
In terms of safety, Cancun is among one of the safest places to travel in Mexico. Petty thievery is an issue, as is common in large, well-known tourist areas, but Cancun and the rest of the Mexican Caribbean are largely not subject to any drug cartel-related violence and crimes. Avoid airport hawkers and make sure to keep your belongings close and on your person at all times. Other hazards are common to all beach and nightlife destinations.
Swimmers should exercise caution and pay attention to surf warnings and roped-off boundaries. With nightlife, watch your drinks (both literally and in number!) and remain aware of your surroundings.
Cancun International Airport is the closest airport to Cancun, located about 9 miles from downtown and 6 miles from the hotel zone. Once in Cancun, the best way to get around is by bus or taxi, though the latter is more expensive. No matter what kind of vacation you decide to take, make sure you stop by at least one of Cancun’s famous white sand beaches.