Cancun is the most important gateway to the Mayan world, where you people find beautiful and legendary archaeological cities and scenic and beautiful beaches. Cancun comes from the Mayan Kaan Kun, which means “nest of snakes”. Is located in the northeast of the Yucatan Peninsula and from its coast is possible to clearly see the Isla Mujeres.
During the classical period and the post-classic Mesoamerican period, the Mayans had a business network from the Laguna de Términos to Honduras, for this activity they established shipping routes for travel touring the entire coast of the now state of Quintana Roo, for this, they made constructions by the sea for trade, as well as to monitor and assist navigation. Today people can find the vestiges of their greatness as the extraordinary strength of Tulum, Coba and City Kohunlich, among others. There are remains of many famous sites, but most of them unexplored. According to studies, the sites of “El Meco, Yamil Lu’um” and “The King” were points inhabited until the sixteenth century.
The area now includes Cancun and Isla Mujeres was discovered by Francisco Hernandez de Cordova in 1517.
In 1967, tourism grew more rapidly comparing to the exports, a major engine of the national economy. Towards the end of 1968, technicians of the Bank of Mexico selected six points to host new ideal destinations. One was a tract of land shaped like a 7 that it was technically an island, because two narrow channels separate it from the mainland, staying in the hollow interior of the 7 a series of lagoons, fed both by sea and by an uncountable number of cenotes. The island was called Kaankún. The quality of its beaches and sand was extraordinary. The water temperature was warm and tended to be stable. The first settlement was Puerto Juarez, with few inhabitants. In the city of Mexico, the project was approved in 1969 and Cancun is today the most important destinations worldwide.
Cancun is currently divided into five major areas
The first and most important is the Isla Cancun or the Hotel Zone, where tourists can find most of the beaches and activities that made of this destination one of the most attractive worldwide. It has an extension of 23 km and hosts most of the hotels and beaches, as well as residential areas. It is connected to the mainland by three bridges: the bridge Calinda, Bridge Nizuc and the Bridge of Club Med. The Hotel Zone surrounds the Nichupte lagoon system, consisting of seven bodies of water: Laguna Bojórquez, North Basin, Central Basin, South River, English River, Del Amor, Lagoon and the Mediterranean.
The second area is the center of town. Here are located most of the political, educational, cultural and city services.
In the third zone, Puerto Juarez, there are two main piers to get to Isla Mujeres, located just 7 km opposite the port, which is mostly devoted to fishing. In this area there are the ruins of “El Meco”, and “El Niño” beach, one of the 10 public beaches in Cancun.
The fourth area, are mostly lands, which are being recently regularized by the government due to the increase population.
The fifth area is a population that was originally settlers originating from the north of the country, with the mission of contributing to the demographic increase in Quintana Roo for the category of free and sovereign state in 1974.
Activities in Cancun
The ecological park Kabha is an urban park created with the intention of protecting the endemic species of Cancun, to give them a home, and preserve a large green area. It is one of the main attractions of this destination, with 39 ha where people can observe varied species of plants and wildlife, some endangered. Offers guided tours, ecological activities. The park has various attractions such as Mayan house, first built in Cancun. This house has been converted into a historic museum. The park also has recreational areas, surrounded by vegetation and tranquility where people jog, bicycle, or simply to escape city life for a while, admiring the flora and fauna.
In The Archaeological Zone ”El Meco” is located a square of ceremonial and political role of pre-Hispanic times, within this square is The Castle, a quadrangular basement floor and four bodies, topped by a temple entrance showing the typical East Coast manufacturing style.
The archaeological site “El Rey” or the King is one of the most important archaeological settlement in Cancun, includes 47 structures, which correspond to a religious and administrative area. In some of the structures that can be visited today there are preserved fragments of wall paintings that refer to gods, and elements related to the Mayan religious life. The original name of the site is unknown, and was baptized with the name “The King” because in this site was discovered a portion of a sculpture representing a human face that certainly portrays a personage of high rank. Today, the sculpture is sheltered and exposed in the Archaeological Museum of Cancun.
The Mirador or Dolphin Beach is one of the places where tourists can find one of the most impressive sights of the Caribbean Sea in Cancun, both day and night.
X-caret is an eco-archaeological park which was one of the Mayan ports and one of the most important ceremonial centers of the peninsula where is possible to visit the remains of the archaeological sites. This park has an underground river, coral reef aquariums, exhibit areas or turtles, Sharks and dolphins, bat caves and an island of jaguars, deer and monkeys. It is an ideal place for tourists looking for an interesting place to practice diving.
Isla Mujeres is one of the most popular and beautiful islands in Mexico. Daily are organized tours to visit it, that includes activities such as visiting the reef “El Farito” where is possible to practice diving. Also it has beaches where people can camp.
Xel-Ha is a natural aquarium where tourists can perform activities such as scuba diving, camping, biking and swimming with dolphins. The word Xel-ha comes from the Mayan and means “where water is born”. It has a turquoise lagoon, cenotes and caves waterfowl, a tranquil river, and a jungle.
Chichen Itza is the ancient capital of the Mayan Empire, is the most important archaeological zone of the area, with an area of 15 km. The castle is a pyramid dedicated to the god Kukulkan with 4 walls, and where are the equinoxes of March and September, showing the phenomenon of light and shade where is possible to see the descent of the serpent. Tourists can also see the fields of the Ball Game (very common in prehispanic times), the Temple of the Warriors, the Observatory and the Sacred Cenote.
Chichen Itza was named one of the 7 new wonders of the world in 2007.