With a spectacular setting on Mexico's scenic Yucatán Peninsula and near-perfect weather all year round, it's not hard to see why Cancún has become such a popular destination. This sun-drenched resort centre has all the ingredients of a holiday paradise, with warm, turquoise waters flanked by white-sand beaches that are guaranteed to delight anyone in search of pure relaxation.
Many hotels in Cancún are located right on the coast, making it easy to while away your days sunbathing and paddling in the gentle waves. However, as appealing as that sounds, Cancún is much more than just sun, sand and surf. With a fascinating history, rich culture and several breath-taking natural attractions, there's no shortage of things to do during your stay in this lively resort city.
Snorkelling, scuba diving and other water sports are all popular activities, and it's well worth taking a dip beneath those sparkling waves to view the area's colourful coral reefs and teeming marine life. This is one of the best places in the world to swim with whale sharks and manta rays, and intrepid divers can even descend into one of the many cenotes – deep limestone caverns filled with water – that pepper the surrounding landscape.
Another unusual marine attraction is the Cancún Underwater Museum, a captivating stretch of seabed displaying around 500 diverse sculptures. You can also head out on a boat tour for some sport fishing, or simply a day out on the neighbouring islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, also known for their diving.
If you prefer to keep to dry land, there is still plenty to explore. Book a jeep tour to venture into the lush jungle surrounding the city, much of which is preserved in national parks and reserves, or plan a day trip to visit the ancient Mayan pyramids and ruins at archaeological sites such as Chichén Itzá, Tulum and Coba. There are a number of championship golf courses nearby, or, if you really want to unwind, book a hotel with a spa and indulge in some pampering.
It's worth noting that Cancún was developed specifically to cater to tourists, and as such boasts world-class amenities and outstanding service, which draw on the longstanding Mexican tradition of hospitality. Be sure to check out the city's fantastic range of restaurants, which offer everything from Mexican specialties to international cuisine, and enjoy a night on the tiles in its exciting selection of bars and clubs. Keen shoppers can also enjoy some varied retail therapy, browsing everywhere from ultra-modern shopping malls to bustling markets selling local crafts, jewellery, textiles and more.
Ready to book your own stay in the Cancún sun? Choose from a selection of hotels by Marriott and get set to explore this vibrant destination.