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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)



Cancun Holidays

Sitting in the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun holidays are bathed by the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. Miles of powdery-white sand and palm-tree-fringed beaches are the biggest draws, but there's a lot more going on in this Mexican resort city. Explore life under the ocean wave, discover ancient Mayan ruins, visit family attractions and party hard in some outrageous nightclubs.

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Miles of beaches

Cancun has approximately 24 kilometres of beaches, strung along an S-shaped strip of land. The sand here has a unique property – no matter how hot the temperature, it's always cool on your feet, to the extent locals joke that it is air-conditioned.

Swim, relax and take part in watersports at Playa Las Perlas, Playa Langosta, Playa Tortugas and other beaches on the northern side of the peninsula. Among the popular beaches on the eastern side are Playa Ballenas, Chac Mool and Playa Delfines. Playa Delfines is also a good beach for surfing.

Cancun's waters are warm enough for swimming throughout the year, even in January and February. During late August and early September you'll feel like you're slipping into a warm bath.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Currency used is the Mexican Peso although the American Dollar is widely used
  • Spanish
  • Approx 630,000
  • GMT - 6

Shopping trips

Holidays to Cancun have something to fulfill the heart's desire of every kind of shopper, from bargain finds in flea markets to expensive designer gear in luxury shops. Browse the chic designer stores and elegant boutiques of Cancun's glitzy malls, including Plaza Las Americas and Plaza Kukulca.

Inside La Isla Shopping Village, find more than 150 stores set amid Venetian-style canals. This major shopping hub also features an interactive aquarium where you can swim with sharks and dolphins.

Search for Mexican souvenirs at the Coral Negro Flea Market and at Market 28 in downtown Cancun. Stock up on food and fresh produce at Mercado 23.

Captivating history

Once a sleepy fishing village, there are now stunning sea-view apartments and glamorous All Inclusive hotels in Cancun surrounded by a wealth of attractions, making this destination a truly exciting holiday spot.

Cancun holidays are all about rest and relaxation, but thousands of years ago it was home to the ancient Maya civilization. Many of the temples and buildings they left behind are within easy reach of the city. While you're here, take advantage of Cancun's scenic and historical charms by enjoying a jungle trek and visiting Mayan temple buildings.

Wander around Chichen-Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the NewWonders of the World. The ruins are spread across four square kilometres and include platforms, temples and El Castillo – the Pyramid of Kukulkan. Another must-see Mayan archaeological site is Tulum, an ancient fortress city that overlooks the ocean. See the cliff-top Castillo, the Temple of the Descending God and other old structures.

Thrilling nightlife

Cancun's reputation as a party destination is well deserved. Live bands and international DJs pump out the sounds at full volume in nightclubs and music venues until the sun comes up. Before you hit the dance floors, start your evening off with a cocktail in a downtown or beachside bar. Then dine on sizzling fajitas and fresh Caribbean seafood in one of the resort's many restaurants. Dining options range from casual to upmarket.

Afterwards, let the spirit of the night take over your body at Coco Bongo nightclub, famous for its acrobat shows and themed nights. Other popular nightspots that draw in the crowds include Dady'O and Mandala.

Family fun

Cancun doesn't scrimp when it comes to family attractions. In addition to the glorious beaches, there's a host of activities that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, and especially children.

Snorkel, cycle and take on the rope swings and zip lines at Xel-Ha, an ecological park. Thrill to a 4x4 tour through the jungle environs south of Cancun. Walk among crocodiles, and pet and feed local wildlife on a guided tour of Crococun Zoo. Or study Mayan artefacts at the Maya Museum.

Underwater adventures

Beneath the waves is a world of great beauty and diversity. Beginners and experienced divers can see a wealth of tropical fish and coral reefs. Dive sites also include the wrecks of Barrera and Anaya, two navy minesweepers.

Snorkel or scuba dive at MUSA – the Underwater Museum of Art – where more than 500 life-size sculptures are fixed to the sea floor. All the works of art are made of special materials designed to promote the growth of coral life. You can also view the pieces from above thanks to a ride on a glass-bottomed boat.