In a matter of just a few decades, Cancun has become one of the world's top tourist and vacation destination. People from all over flock to Cancun to enjoy the city's plethora of luxurious oceanfront hotels, excellent tours and activities, beautiful beaches, and bumping nightlife. There is no place on earth quite like Cancun. But just a few decades ago, the area that is now Cancun was nothing more than a sleepy fishing village.
It was in the 1960's that the Mexican government announced its plans to build a resort destination on the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. In just a few years, the international airport was built and investors started constructing the resorts that were to become part of the Zona Hotelera (the Hotel Zone). Today, the Hotel Zone, located between the Nichupte Lagoon and the Caribbean Sea, is packed with Cancun's best resorts and luxury hotels. The majority of these are right on the water with stretches of white sand beaches and great clear waters for swimming and snorkeling. Many of the Cancun tours and activities, including scuba diving, depart from the Hotel Zone. Scuba diving in Cancun is done between Cancun and the neighboring island of Isla Mujeres. The diving destinations off the coast of Cancun feature excellent reef ecosystems, a few shipwreck sites, and flooded caves known as cenotes.
The other main area of Cancun is the Downtown area. This is the part of Cancun that looks more like an actual Mexican city more so than a resort town. Most locals live in or just outside of Downtown. This is also where you will find some of the best nightlife, offering visitors a wide range of options for clubs, bars, lounges, and venues. The restaurants in downtown offer you an eclectic mixture of local and international cuisine. Downtown also has its share of great and comfortable accommodations. Many people prefer to stay in Downtown over the Hotel Zone due to its proximity to nightlife. Staying in the Hotel Zone, on the other hand, offers you easy access to beaches and water activities.