Before Cancun had been discovered rumor had it that the Mexican tourism officials stuffed a room-sized computer full of tourism data in an effort to discover the perfect location for the ultimate Mexico travel destination. After pushing a few buttons on the computer (and after taking a few traditional shots of tequila!) the officials sat and watched as the computer spat out the location of Mexico's next tourist destination...Cancun.
Nobody knows if the birth of Cancun really started out that way, but since Carlos Fiesta always says "never let the truth get in the way of a good story" the computer story sounds pretty cool so we're stickin' to it.
In reality it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the beautiful deserted island just off of the northeast coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula was the perfect place to set up a vacation destination. It is located equal distance from the west coast, east coast and the midwest cities of the United States, at a time when airline vacation travel was just taking off (pun intended). Throw in some crystal clear warm water, great weather and a spectacular jungled setting and "Honey...I'm home!"
Located on the east coast of Mexico's tropical Yucatan Peninsula in the western Caribbean, only 30 years ago this spectacular 14 mile strand of powdery white sand and crystal clear water was occupied by nothing more than a few fish camps, a host of wild animals, and open space and jungles in all directions. Although some of the open terrain still exists in and around Cancun today, the natural wildlife has gradually been replaced by a modern tourist area to rival the best on Earth.
The Mexican government, under the FONATUR tourism department, established a major plan to wake up this sleepy Caribbean island...and it worked. Cancun, now almost fully developed with 24,000 hotel rooms and 2.8 million visitors a year, will never sleep again.
A 1,500 slip slip resort and marina and a 170 acre lagoon resort now on the drawing boards shows that Cancun's city fathers are not resting on their laurels as we head into the 21st century! Addiitonal growth south of Cancun along the 'Mayan Coast' will accomodate the next wave of developement.
Cancun today consists of the main tourist resort areas located on Cancun Island, and adjacent Cancun City located across a bridge north and west of the island. While most tourists stay and play on the island, most of the workers live and play in and around Cancun City.
If you've got one of those lists tucked away of places you want to visit just once before you die, Cancun should be on it. And don't stop there. The entire Mayan Coast south of Cancun awaits the traveler with a sense of adventure and a few pesos to enjoy the journey.