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In 1967, the Mexican government commissioned a study to pinpoint the ideal place for an international Caribbean resort. The computer chose Cancún, and a Cinderella-like transformation began. More vacationers come here than to any other part of Mexico, and many come again and again for the white-sand beaches, crystalline turquoise waters, sizzling nightlife, numerous restaurants, and the proximity of Maya ruins throughout the Yucatán peninsula.

It's clear as you fly into Cancún that this resort was carved out of the jungle. When development began here in the early 1970s the beaches were deserted except for birds and iguanas. Now luxury hotels, shopping malls, and restaurants line the oceanfront

But there is more to Cancún than plopping yourself down under a palapa (thatched roof). Downtown offers a more authentic glimpse into the sights and sounds of Mexico. For diving and snorkeling, the reefs off Cancún and nearby Cozumel, Puerto Morelos, and Isla Mujeres are among the best in the world. Cancún also makes a relaxing base for venturing to the stupendous ruins of Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and Cobá, remnants of the area's rich Maya heritage.

The Maya people settled the area during the Pre-Classic era, around AD 200, and remained until the 14th or 15th century. But little is known about them. Other explorers seem to have overlooked the barrier island -- it doesn't appear on early navigators' maps. It was never heavily populated, perhaps because its terrain of mangroves and marshes (and resulting swarms of mosquitoes) discouraged settlement. Some minor Maya ruins were discovered in the mid-19th century, but archaeologists didn't get around to studying them until the 1950s.

Cancún has followed the typical course of any tourist resort area, first attracting the jet set and gradually welcoming less affluent tourists. Nowadays there are large numbers of package-tourists and college students, particularly during spring break when hordes of flawless, tanned young bodies fill the beaches and restaurants.  Overview Copyright by Fodors LLC

I could not tell the difference between Cancun and America. Cancun was full of 5 star hotels. Pretty hot & humid though. We had Mexican food like in the US. The workers were Mexican just like the US. Hardly any difference.


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This page was last updated on Sunday January 27, 2008