Cancun, Mexico, is wrapped in crystal clear water and brilliant sunshine, so it's no wonder its shoreline gets top billing. Government developers, looking for a way to eradicate the poverty of the region, created this comfortable resort area on the Mexican Caribbean from the sand up to take advantage of the gorgeous aquamarine water and tropical temperate climate. Cancun is the top resort area in Mexico.
Travelers who enjoy the feel of Old Mexico will never find Cancun to be as traditional, colorful or as spontaneous. With more than 32,000 hotel rooms, it's not necessarily the place for isolated sun worship, either. But those hankering for a no-hassle beach vacation can fly in and soak up the sun without speaking a word of Spanish (or exchanging U.S. dollars). And those interested in learning about the ancient Maya civilization can visit several exceptional archaeological sites on day trips.
Also within reach is the island of Cozumel, a haven for divers and snorkelers. And Playa del Carmen—once an oasis of rustic, laid-back charm—is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, with a great variety of restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment. It is also the hub of a growing ecotourism movement. Isla Mujeres, the closest island to Cancun, is still famous for snorkeling and hasn't lost its friendly fishing-village allure. For a small-town experience on the mainland, Puerto Morelos, once just home to local fishermen, is just 20 minutes south of Cancun.
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