Each year, millions of people visit Cancun. There are a multitude of reasons why Cancun is such a popular destination for tourists from around the globe but, in case you still need convincing, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 reasons why you should vacation in Cancun.
1. Approximately 14 miles of white-sand beaches. Cancun’s hotel zone has nearly 14 miles of beautiful beaches and, in several areas, you can literally walk for miles. (Some areas of the northern part of the hotel zone have rock outcroppings or beach erosion that prevent you from walking in those spots.)
2. Turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Cancun’s hotel zone is shaped like the number 7 and the portion of the hotel zone that is on the long part of the 7 faces the amazingly beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea.
3. Over 100 hotels and condominiums to choose from, in Cancun’s hotel zone. The hotel zone has lodging options in every price range, from budget properties to ultra-luxurious resorts, and in a variety of locations (on the Caribbean side of the hotel zone, on the lagoon, overlooking the golf course, and on the northern part of the hotel zone, which faces the Bay of Mujeres).
4. World-famous nightlife. Cancun has long been known for its incredible nightlife and it’s no secret that the town’s nightclubs really know how to throw great parties. There are 8 major clubs in Cancun and, of those, Coco Bongo, Dady’O, and Senor Frog’s are probably the most famous. Cancun also has several upscale lounges and countless small bars, in its hotel zone.
5. Incredible food. Cancun’s hotel zone has hundreds of restaurants, from fast-food joints to fine establishments that serve gourmet cuisine. Diners in Cancun will find restaurants that serve amazing Mexican cuisine, as well as places that specialize in seafood, steak or other types of food. Many restaurants are located next to the Nichupte Lagoon and have lovely views of the water. Aside from the delicious food, restaurants on the lagoon are also great places to go to watch the sunset over the water.
6. Tequila! Tequila is known as the drink of Mexico and you’ll find it flowing freely in every bar in Cancun. Many people believe that the only way to consume tequila is by drinking it really fast from a shot glass and then following it up by sucking on a lime wedge. The truth is that fine tequila is meant to be savored slowly, like a good cognac. Visit the Tequila Herradura Museo Sensorial (tequila museum) to learn the history of tequila and to taste several different types of the beverage.
7. Whale Sharks and Sea Turtles. Each Summer, whale sharks migrate to the waters north of Cancun. This species of shark is not a threat to humans so people can safely swim alongside the giant creatures. Tours to swim with whale sharks, in their natural habitat, are very popular. Sea turtles also spend their Summers in Cancun. The turtles mate in the water and then come ashore to lay their eggs on the beaches of Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Visitors to the area can often see the turtles digging a hole in the sand, where they will lay their eggs. Later in the season, when the turtle eggs hatch, tourists can witness, and sometimes assist, the turtles making the long walk from their nest to the ocean.
8. Mayan Ruins. Archaeological sites of ancient Mayan ruins can be found throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. The most famous site in the area is Chichen Itza, but the ruins of Tulum and Coba are also quite popular. Day trips to see each of these Mayan ruins sites are available from Cancun and the Riviera Maya.
9. Excellent scuba diving and snorkeling. The Great Mayan Barrier Reef, the world’s second-largest coral reef is located off the coast of Cancun and it runs the entire length of the Yucatan Peninsula. Scuba divers flock to the area to dive the reef. Cozumel is the preferred spot for divers, but other locations near Cancun (like Isla Mujeres) are great for snorkeling and diving as well. The Cancun Underwater Museum opened a few months ago and, there, snorkelers and divers can view hundreds of underwater sculptures.
10. It’s SAFE!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…Cancun is SAFE! Sure there is crime and violence, but there are nearly 1 million residents in Cancun and some crime has to be expected in a city of that size. The major violence that people see on the news is taking place in towns along the Mexico-US border, which are roughly 1,500 miles from Cancun. Downtown Cancun, where most “locals” live, is safe but the hotel zone and areas frequented by tourists are incredibly safe. No tourists in Cancun have been killed by drug cartels and it’s highly unlikely that it will change anytime soon. And, to put things in perspective, the cities of Dallas and Chicago each had just over 160 homicides in 2010, whereas the state of Quintana Roo (where Cancun and Riviera Maya are located) had far fewer murders than that in 2010. The number of cartel-related deaths in the entire state of Quintana Roo was 64 for all of 2010. People don’t think twice about vacationing in, or living in, Dallas or Chicago just as you shouldn’t be concerned about vacationing in Cancun.