Interesting & Fun Facts About Cancun, Mexico
Our family has been living in the Riviera Maya for the past 15 years, and we still learn something new and fun every day. We’ve compiled this list of all the most interesting & fun facts about Cancun, Mexico, and things to know before visiting the area.
Embarking on a journey to Cancun unravels a tapestry of wonder—a world drenched in history, natural splendor, and a fusion of modern allure and ancient Mayan legacy. We’ve curated a collection of riveting facts about Cancun, Mexico, essential for anyone seeking to explore this haven. Should you yearn to delve deeper into this piece of paradise, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re delighted to guide you into the heart of Cancun’s beauty.
- Is Cancun Safe for Travelers?
- What does Cancun mean?
- What is Cancun known for?
- Coco Bongo
- What is Mexico's Tourism Revenue?
- When is Hurricane Season in Cancun?
- Top Tourist Attractions
- Cancun's Three Districts
- Second Busiest International Airport
- White Crushed Coral Sand
- Flavorful Gastronomic Traditions
- The Most Photographed Spot in Cancun
- How old is Cancun?
- Is it really Americanized?
- Festivals and Cultural Celebrations
- A Monumental Sand Addition
- Turtle Season in Cancun
- Blue Flag Certification
- Cave Fact: Longest Underwater Systems
Is Cancun Safe for Travelers?
Cancun, Mexico is generally safe for travelers, boasting a thriving tourism industry and a range of security measures in place to ensure the well-being of visitors. Despite some misconceptions in the media, the tourist areas of Cancun remain safe. Like any popular tourist destination, it’s important to exercise typical precautions such as staying aware of your surroundings, avoiding isolated areas at night, and safeguarding your belongings. Overall, with prudent behavior and awareness, visiting Cancun can be a fantastic and safe travel destination.
What does Cancun mean?
Before it became “Cancun,” the city bore the name “Ekab,” which translates to “Black Earth.” Interestingly, “Cancun” itself is derived from the Mayan language, signifying a “nest of serpents,” reflecting the city’s rich Mayan heritage.
What is Cancun known for?
Cancun is renowned for its turquoise waters, immersive Mayan culture, and opulent hotels, making it a recurring destination for travelers. With near-perfect weather almost year-round and a plethora of tours and activities, Cancun offers an unforgettable experience.
In 1994, the movie “The Mask” showcased a vibrant club named Coco Bongo, seemingly situated in Cancun, but the club was merely a fictional creation. Surprisingly, drawing inspiration from the film’s concept, a real-life Coco Bongo emerged in Cancun, but not until the year 1997. The on-screen fantasy of the club turned into a tangible reality, capturing the essence of entertainment and nightlife in the bustling city.
Far from the conventional, Coco Bongo presents an electrifying spectacle featuring acrobats, conga lines, live bands, and spot-on musician impersonators, creating an atmosphere where every moment is a celebration. The club’s nonstop fusion of projected videos, balloons, and confetti ensures an immersive nightlife experience like no other. While some may mention ticket prices and lines, the unanimous sentiment among visitors is that Coco Bongo delivers an unforgettable night out. Whether dancing the night away on the expansive dance floor or witnessing dynamic stage performances, the club’s ambiance and energy make it a standout choice for anyone seeking an extraordinary and memorable night in Cancún. Discover the magic of Coco Bongo and immerse yourself in a world where every visit becomes a celebration of life.
What is Mexico’s Tourism Revenue?
It’s astonishing to note that Cancun alone contributes one-third of Mexico’s total tourism revenue. In 2018, the country’s tourism revenue reached a staggering $22.51 billion USD, with Cancun playing a pivotal role in this economic success.
When is Hurricane Season in Cancun?
Cancun’s climate has a rainy season from May to October and a dry season from November to April. With an average annual temperature of 80 degrees and over 240 sunny days, Cancun’s weather is ideal for a beach getaway.
Top Tourist Attractions
While Cancun offers numerous exciting activities, some of the most popular attractions include:
Large Mayan archaeological site and one of the most notable and recognized landmarks on the Yucatán. The site itself was originally the main hub of Mayan civilization and has since been named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Great Maya Barrier Reef
Scuba diving enthusiasts flock to the Great Maya Barrier Reef for the opportunity to explore the world’s second-largest coral reef after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
This sleepy but vibrant little island has become quite popular in the past few years. A great thing to know is that it is only a 20-minute ferry ride from Cancun, so it makes for a great day trip!
Cancun’s Three Districts
Cancun is divided into three distinct districts:
- Downtown Cancun: An excellent place to connect with locals and shop at affordable flea markets.
- The Ecological Reserve: Home to Mexico’s largest genuine ecosystem, this area offers numerous exploration opportunities.
- The Hotel Zone: A bustling tourist hub boasting shopping and pristine beaches.
Second Busiest International Airport
Cancun’s international airport stands as the second busiest in Mexico, with the highest international traffic in all of Latin America. Ensuring your luggage is properly labeled is a wise travel tip.
White Crushed Coral Sand
Cancun’s stunning white sand is composed of crushed coral, offering a cool and comfortable surface for barefoot walks on the beach. A beach bag is a handy accessory for storing towels, sandals, and refreshments.
Flavorful Gastronomic Traditions
There is a strong Mayan influence in the whole Yucatan peninsula, so the most traditional and popular dishes you’ll see in the area are Cochinita Pibil (a marinated pork dish), Marquesitas (crispy Mexican crepes), and banana leaf tamales.
The Most Photographed Spot in Cancun
Sick of the Hotel Zone crowds? Playa Delfines is an amazing spot to spend the afternoon, but make sure to bring your own drinks and snacks since there isn’t too much available. This is the best beach to catch the breathtaking sunsets, and the colorful Cancun sign is also here, which makes it a great spot for beach photoshoots as well.
This Cancun landmark is the most photographed spot in town, and you shouldn’t leave without getting this iconic photo. Most Cancun photoshoots happen at this beach here since many hotels do not allow local photographers onsite. Check out our list of the top 5 Cancun photographers to hire to capture your precious vacation memories, and use our discount code to get $10 off your Cancun photoshoot:
Promo Code: CANCUN10
How old is Cancun?
Cancun has come a long way since its development in 1970 when it had just three residents. Today, the city is home to over half a million people, offering a lifestyle that revolves around the breathtaking beaches.
Is it really Americanized?
Cancun is infamous for being “Americanized”, but it is really just another face of Mexico. Don’t let people tell you that it is “not the real Mexico”, because it’s just as real as any other part of the country. Mexico is a proud and very diverse country, which is what makes it a must-visit on our list.
Festivals and Cultural Celebrations
Cancun has many festivals throughout the year such as the Cancun Jazz Festival, Equinox celebrations, film festivals, and more. Check out which festivals are happening during your travel time to enjoy this unique aspect of Cancun. I’ve been to the Cancun Cinco de Mayo party and it is definitely worth checking out.
A Monumental Sand Addition
Another fun fact: Between 2009 and 2010, Cancun underwent an ambitious beach restoration project that expanded the coast by seven miles, spanning 40-70 yards in width. This undertaking, costing approximately $70 million, added a staggering 1.3 billion gallons of sand, ensuring ample space for you and your friends to relax.
Turtle Season in Cancun
With around 140 hotels offering over 24,000 rooms and more than 350 restaurants, Cancun has lodging and dining options to suit every traveler. Each May, thousands of sea turtles return to the heart of the Hotel Zone to lay their eggs, a remarkable natural spectacle. Many hotels actively participate in protecting these precious creatures, allowing you to join in baby turtle releases during your visit.
Blue Flag Certification
Cancun boasts nine beautiful beaches, with three—Las Perlas, Chac Mool, and Playa Delfines—holding the coveted Blue Flag Certification, a testament to the quality of their waters.
Cave Fact: Longest Underwater Systems
The Riviera Maya is home to three of the world’s longest underwater cave systems, including Ox Bel Ha (146.7 kilometers), Nohock Na Choch (61 kilometers), and Dos Ojos (57.7 kilometers), offering unique opportunities for adventure and exploration.