Cancun Area Guide
Glittering Cancun is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Visitors travel from near and far to experience Cancun’s amazing white sand beaches, azure Caribbean Sea, and world class nightlife, shopping, and restaurants. In addition, Cancun offers visitors ancient Mayan history and activities that range from parasailing and scuba diving to cooking classes and tequila tastings.
Isla Mujeres (Island of the Women) is a tiny island located off the coast of Cancun. A 15 minute ferry ride is all it takes to arrive and enjoy ceviche on beautiful North Beach or shopping in the charming downtown area. Rent a golf cart and tour the island. Don’t miss the turtle farm and ancient Mayan monument to the goddess of fertility, which lies on the southernmost point of the island.
Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen lies south of Cancun on the Caribbean Sea. Playa, as it is affectionately called by locals, is a laid back cosmopolitan beach town with trendy visitors from all over the globe. Small boutique hotels and funky beach clubs lining Playa’s white sand beach are the norm here. On famed pedestrian street 5th Avenue, restaurants, cafes, bars, shopping, and street performers keep visitors entertained.
Tulum is the not so well kept secret that lies south of Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya. Tulum is made up of three areas; Tulum pueblo or town, the hotel zone, which primarily consists of small off-the-grid boutique and cabana hotels, and the ancient Mayan ruins site. Tulum is a genuine tropical paradise.
Cozumel (Island of the Swallows) is an island located off the coast of Playa del Carmen. It is a favorite stop for giant cruise ships, so it features great restaurants, bars, shopping and activities. Cozumel is known for its amazing reef diving because the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System is just a few hundred meters off shore. Visitors must remember never to touch or remove any marine life from the protected Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park.
Puerto Morelos is located just 20 minutes south of Cancun and is the gateway to the Riviera Maya. This is a small beach town was originally a fishing village. It is now home to various all-inclusive resorts but hasn’t lost its laid back feeling. Puerto Morelos’ white sand beaches and calm aqua blue waters are part of a protected marine park, so hire a guide or stop by the visitor’s center if you would like to snorkel or fish.