Aerial view of paradise

It's hard to imagine, but there are still many people who haven't experienced what a fantastic resort town Cancun is. Part of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, Cancun is rich in cultural influence and ripe with tropical nature.

Cancun before Cancun
Before Cancun became a tourist town and before the Spanish occupation, the Yucatan Peninsula was inhabited and dominated by Mayan civilizations until most of the local sites were abandoned by the15th century. For centuries, this region was mostly wetlands, mangroves, jungles, and virgin beaches. The Maya originally called the area “Kan Kun” meaning den of snakes, golden serpent, and abundant low-lying areas, which later evolved into “Can Cun” by the Spanish.

Cancun − Tourist Resort Town
It wasn't until 1968 when the Mexican government recognized the potential of this strip of land or peninsula − known as Cancun island − between Nichupte Lagoon and the Caribbean Sea to grow into a popular tourist destination. Development began immediately, establishing a connection between Cancun island and the Cancun mainland.
The beginning of CancunThe Cancun resort project began on April 20, 1970, with the construction of many hotels and tourist establishments that would extend across 150 kilometers (93 miles) along the turquoise-blue Caribbean Sea, through Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and beyond. The wider region included lush tropical rainforests, cenotes, underground cave systems, white sand beaches, and archaeological sites of ancient Mayan ruins.

Cancun Centro (Downtown Cancun)
Downtown Cancun Cancun was designed in two sections: Cancun city or El Centro (downtown) to the west and the hotel zone or tourist area to the east. Cancun Centro is the part of the city where most residents live and consists of the normal institutions of daily life, such as banks, schools, churches, hospitals, markets, restaurants, foreign consulates, and homes.

Cancun Island (the Hotel Zone)
Enjoy the unique beaches of CancunThe tourist area or hotel zone is east of Cancun Centro on a peninsula that runs between the Caribbean Sea and Nichupte Lagoon. This area consists of tours, attractions, and water activities, handicraft shops, classy shopping malls, gourmet restaurants, trendy cafes, fun bars, and popular nightclubs, such as Coco Bongo, among others.
Cancun was first introduced in 1974, the same year that Quintana Roo became an official Mexican state, and welcomed travelers from all over the world. Known as the Mexico Caribbean, Cancun has become one of the most popular tourist destinations with thousands of visitors arriving from the USA, UK, Europe, Canada, and of course, Mexico.

Writter Bio

Yucatan Holidays


2 Responses to “The History Behind Paradise: How Cancun was Born”

  1. Kirsten

    I really enjoyed this! A bit of history and a bit of fun trivia. As I love Cancun, and Mexico I always appreciate learning more!

  2. Christina F.

    Many thanks, Kirsten. While doing some research about Cancun, I discovered these fascinating facts and decided it warranted an entire article. So glad you found it interesting!

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