Focus On: Cancún
One of Quintana Roo’s most visited destinations, Cancún is a mecca for beach lovers, attracting sun-seeking tourists in droves. The beaches that stretch out on either side of the resort are lapped by stunning aquamarine waters – travel north of the city centre to Isla Blanca for the least developed stretch of coastline.
Cancún is rightfully renowned for being a party resort – it has one of the best nightlife scenes in Latin America. The City, a nightlife complex of 8,000 square feet, has nine bars spread over three floors. It is known for its fantastic sound and lighting rig, as well as its roster of top international DJs and performers. Coco Bongo has a nightly fiesta, which kicks off with acrobats and tribute bands, and ends with a three hour DJ session. Oh, and there’s a free bar.
If you aren’t a party animal there are lots of other night time options available. Head out for a delicious Mexican meal, washed down with a cold margarita. You can also take an evening boat tour around the hotel zone and the Nichupte Lagoon, enjoying the city lights from a distance. It is also possible to visit the adventure-filled Xplor Cancun Park during the evenings – go ziplining or kayaking by the light of the stars and fiery torches.
Cancún also has a quieter, more cultural side. Once you tire of the beaches and the nightclubs, this is a great place to find out more about the ancient Mayans that once lived in the area. The Museo Maya de Cancún displays some 400 Maya artifacts on display, while the adjacent San Miguelito archaeological site is also worth visiting. Just south of the city you’ll find El Rey, which has a small temple and a couple of ceremonial platforms.
Being located on the coast, there are an array of outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy, from kayaking to kiteboarding. There are some great diving and snorkelling sites, including a unique underwater sculpture museum. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy taking a day trip to nearby Isla Contoy – this uninhabited island offers decent hiking, birdwatching and snorkelling opportunities.