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20 Fascinating Facts About Cancun

  • March 16, 2024
  • 3 min read
20 Fascinating Facts About Cancun

Welcome to the sun-kissed shores and azure waters of Cancun, a paradise that’s much more than just a premier vacation destination. Beyond its world-renowned beaches and pulsating nightlife, Cancun is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural wonders waiting to be explored.

Did you know this vibrant city was actually a planned development, or that it’s home to an underwater museum? Buckle up as we dive into 20 fascinating facts about Cancun that reveal the depth and vibrancy of this beloved Mexican Caribbean gem. From its ancient Mayan roots to its modern-day wonders, get ready to see Cancun in a whole new light!


1. Cancun’s Creation:

Unlike most cities, Cancun was a planned city, developed in 1970 by the Mexican government to boost tourism.

2. Name Origin:

The name ‘Cancun’ is derived from the Mayan words ‘Kan Kun’, which means ‘nest of snakes’ or ‘place of the golden snake’.

3. Underwater Museum:

Cancun is home to MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte), an underwater museum featuring over 500 life-sized sculptures.

4. Beach Restoration:

In 2010, Cancun underwent a massive beach restoration project, importing sand to counteract erosion, at the cost of about $70 million USD.

5. World’s Second Largest Barrier Reef:

The Great Mesoamerican Reef, off the coast of Cancun, is the second-largest coral reef system in the world.

6. Time Zone Change:

In 2015, Cancun moved from the Central Time Zone to Eastern Standard Time to allow for an extra hour of daylight in the evenings, benefiting tourists.

7. Ancient Mayan Presence:

Before becoming a tourist haven, the area where Cancun now lies was a part of the ancient Mayan civilization, and relics and ruins can still be explored today.

8. No Billboards:

To preserve its natural beauty, Cancun has a ban on billboards throughout the city and hotel zone.

9. Bird Species:

Cancun and the surrounding areas are home to over 150 species of birds, making it a haven for bird watchers.

10. Cenotes:

The Yucatan Peninsula, where Cancun is located, has around 6,000 cenotes (natural sinkholes), sacred to the Mayans as sources of freshwater.

11. Isla Mujeres:

The nearby island, Isla Mujeres, was considered sacred to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of childbirth and medicine.

12. Holbox Island:

Just a few hours from Cancun, Holbox Island is a car-free sanctuary known for its bioluminescent waters and whale shark sightings.

13. Hotel Zone:

The main resort area of Cancun, known as the Hotel Zone, is shaped like the number “7”.

14. Sustainable Tourism:

Cancun is actively working on sustainable tourism practices to preserve its natural and cultural heritage.

15. Largest Spring Break Destination:

Cancun is considered one of the largest spring break destinations in the world.

16. Sunshine:

Cancun enjoys an average of 240 to 253 days of sunshine per year.

17. Mayan Language:

Despite being a modern city, the Mayan language is still spoken in some parts of Cancun and the surrounding areas.

18. Nichupte Lagoon:

The Nichupte Lagoon in Cancun is a natural network of lagoons that host a diverse ecosystem, including crocodiles.

19. Chichen Itza:

One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza, is just a few hours away from Cancun.

20. Tropical Climate:

Cancun has a tropical climate, with distinct wet and dry seasons, and is warm year-round, making it a perfect getaway destination.

About Author


GreetingsfromAbroad.com is a travel blog founded by keen traveler, writer and experienced digital nomad, Kojo Enoch. Currently Kojo lives on the beautiful, sunny island of Malta. This website is run by a solid team of expert digital nomads,  avid travelers, photographers and writers from all over the world.

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