Built almost from scratch in the 70's with the aim of competing with Acapulco as a world-class resort, Cancun has certainly succeeded. In fact, Cancun has surpassed it's aims and now brings in quite literally millions of visitors per year. It’s glossy, arguably cultureless depending, of course, on your perspective on the kind of shipped-in culture resorts attract, and utterly overbears the tiny fishing village you’d have found here had you turned up a few decades ago.
Of course, if what you’re after is a pampering, the chance to lie on the beach, and plenty of cocktails in your expansive hotel pool, then you might well have picked the perfect spot. Sun is all but guaranteed, the beaches really are phenomenal, and Cancun is a great place to do very little on a fairly substantial budget or a tiny one, if you don’t mind hanging in hotels full of American spring break style binge drinkers.
If you do have enough of the beachside luxury, there are more and more other options cropping up around Cancun. The Selvatica Canopy Adventure, for example, gives you the chance to swim in a sinkhole and fly through the jungle on a zip line. Offshore, numerous companies will take you diving into the depths, to explore wrecks or splash around with whale sharks, and PADI qualifying courses are up for grabs too. For those who can’t quite handle the deep blue, you can always stare down at the glittering colors from the surface with a snorkel, or absorb yourself in an easy access multitude of water sports.
Head into the jungle on an off road vehicle, watch gymnasts and cirque de soleil performances, or explore one of the few ancient cultural options Cancun can boast, the mangrove engulfed El Ray Ruins, that date backs to the 10th century and contains numerous buildings, glyphs and fading paintings, not to mention plenty of resident iguanas and peacocks.
Not all beaches, but what Cancun really boils down to is condensed, sunny luxury. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that, but this purpose built beach city is unlikely to satisfy the culture vulture style traveler.
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