The history of Cancun dates back to 1967 when the Mexican government, recognizing the importance of tourism to the country’s economic future, began a detailed search to pinpoint ideal sites for tourism development. Resting on the northeast corner of the Yucatan Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo (keen-tah-nah-ROW), Cancun, which was a remote sandbar for decades, was actually a part of the ancient Mayan civilization and is still considered the gateway to El Mundo Maya (the Mayan World). Since the 1970s, the Cancun area was gradually developed – hotel by hotel, resort by resort – to what it has become today – one of the major tourist destinations in the Caribbean Basin. For a variety of reasons, Americans and Canadians in particular have favored Cancún over other destinations in Mexico.
Cancun has the distinction of being the one Caribbean destination with the infrastructure, modern amenities (spruced up in 2006) and service philosophy to rival leisure destinations worldwide. Unlike many other parts of the Caribbean and Mexico, Cancun was built specifically for tourism, and continues to meet the needs of its over 3 million annual visitors. Cancun delivers to travelers the best of many worlds: the Caribbean and Mexico; modern and ancient; action-packed and laid back. Cancun is unequaled in its ability to offer cultural treasures, natural beauty, infinite activities and North American-style conveniences. Over 1,200 archaeological sites are scattered within a few hour’s drive from Cancún. Many sites have been wonderfully restored, while others are still shrouded by tangled jungle vegetation.
Due to its near perfect weather, natural beauty and easy accessibility from North American gateways, Cancun emerged as the government’s top candidate. What was once a remote and tiny fishing village of just 12 families was cultivated into the ideal Mexican vacation spot. It capitalized on, without compromising, the region’s natural resources. Cancun’s hospitality staff is found to be among the best-trained in the world at leading hotel brands represented in here—from the major names in affordable accommodations such as Best Western and Holiday Inn to the very best in luxury such as Ritz-Carlton to Hilton.