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Sun, sand, surf and hedonism — all at a nice price, compared to other Caribbean destinations — are Cancún's niche. This combination is what makes the peninsula-cum-island so popular as a cruise port and why the beaches are lined with resorts. Cancún's proximity to the USA (it's a 3-hour flight from New York), lax drinking laws, and negligible foreignness — you can land in Cancún and not utter a word of Spanish your entire stay — is also what makes it a hot spot for vacationing college students, especially during Spring Break, many of whom misbehave. Once a modest fishing village, Cancún now boasts tens of ...

Sun, sand, surf and hedonism — all at a nice price, compared to other Caribbean destinations — are Cancún's niche. This combination is what makes the peninsula-cum-island so popular as a cruise port and why the beaches are lined with resorts. Cancún's proximity to the USA (it's a 3-hour flight from New York), lax drinking laws, and negligible foreignness — you can land in Cancún and not utter a word of Spanish your entire stay — is also what makes it a hot spot for vacationing college students, especially during Spring Break, many of whom misbehave. Once a modest fishing village, Cancún now boasts tens of thousands of hotel rooms stretched along an 8-mile-long wisp of land, which on the map looks like it could detach itself and float out to sea. Indeed, it's the electric blue Caribbean where Cancún's delights lie and a vacation here means swimming and floating, paddling a kayak, sailing, and other water fun. Scuba and snorkeling, however, are not Cancún's strong suits; to get up close to coral and fish requires a considerable boat trip out to the reef or day jaunt to points farther south. Check out Isla Mujeres if the all-inclusive scene is not for you, but you still want amenities and water sports. Even more low-key is Isla Holbox on the northernmost tip of the Yucatán Peninsula.

Conner Gorry
About the Expert

Conner Gorry is a contributor to more than a dozen Lonely Planet guidebooks and is the lead writer for Lonely Planet's Yucatan, Belize, and Guatemala guides.

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Conner Gorry for Triporati

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Now Happening in Cancún

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located on the northeast coast of Quintana Roo in southern Mexico on the Mexican Carribean.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Mexican Peso
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Off season, from mid-March (except Easter week) to November