The area's tourism industry underwent rapid growth during the 1980s, made possible by enthusiastic foreign investment. Large hotels began to flourish - offering complete services and amenities, abounding in luxury and exclusivity. This also applied to shopping centers, which started incorporating some of the finest boutiques, jewelers and restaurants. These factors boosted the area's status. Already considered a paradise of sun and sea for the color of its waters, the delicate beauty of its powdered sand beaches and the exuberant vegetation of its ecological reserves, Cancún was still improving its reputation.
Cancún can be divided into three main areas: The Hotel District, the Town and the Ecological Reserve, blessed with incredible lakes and mangrove swamps.
The Hotel District is comprised of the so-called gran turismo hotels (four-and five-star luxury hotels). Hotels and shopping centers are distributed along the main Boulevard Kuculkán, which runs the length of the 21-kilometer (13-mile) island. This district undoubtedly generates the greatest revenue and has the greatest economic impact on the nation, as compared to the rest of the state. This area is where the trendiest, most popular discos, the finest international restaurants and the largest entertainment venues are situated.
Town of Cancún
The Town of Cancún changes the scenery, albeit not too drastically. Peaceful provincial life here is more picturesque, folkloric and the simplicity of some of the shops provides a stark contrast to the million-dollar hotel chains. Restaurants in this district serve typical local food and snacks, providing a real opportunity to taste some genuine homemade Mexican dishes. There are also a lot of shopping opportunities in town. For additional entertainment, theaters and cinemas are located on the main streets.
Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
Last, but certainly not least, the third district is in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, where nature still reigns supreme in the history of this area. Occupying hundreds of kilometers, it constitutes Mexico's largest genuine ecosystem, home to a diverse number of plant and animal species. The government and non-profit organizations do their best to preserve this area as a wildlife refuge containing many species in danger of extinction.
Archaeological sites can be found in the vicinity, extending towards the four cardinal points. Structures tell the history of the settlements of the Mayan people on this peninsula, and just about every rock reveals traces of the historical and cultural legacy which these inhabitants left behind.
Cancún combines the elegance and gamut of entertainment choices in its Hotel District, the traditions and serenity of its pueblo, and the natural beauty of its ecological reserve, coral reef and history of its peoples. From a city brimming with all of this, what else could you ask for?