The area's tourism industry underwent rapid growth during the 1980s, made possible by enthusiastic foreign investment. Large hotels began to flourish - offering complete services and amenities, abounding in luxury and exclusivity. This also applied to shopping centers, which started incorporating some of the finest boutiques, jewelers and restaurants. These factors boosted the area's status. Already considered a paradise of sun and sea for the color of its waters, the delicate beauty of its powdered sand beaches and the exuberant vegetation of its ecological reserves, Cancún was still improving its reputation.
Cancún can be divided into three main areas: The Hotel District, the Town and the Ecological Reserve, blessed with incredible lakes and mangrove swamps.
The Hotel District is comprised of the so-called gran turismo hotels (four-and five-star luxury hotels). Hotels and shopping centers are distributed along the main Boulevard Kuculkán, which runs the length of the 21-kilometer (13-mile) island. This district undoubtedly generates the greatest revenue and has the greatest economic impact on the nation, as compared to the rest of the state. This area is where the trendiest, most popular discos, the finest international restaurants and the largest entertainment venues are situated.
Town of Cancún
The Town of Cancún changes the scenery, albeit not too drastically. Peaceful provincial life here is more picturesque, folkloric and the simplicity of some of the shops provides a stark contrast to the million-dollar hotel chains. Restaurants in this district serve typical local food and snacks, providing a real opportunity to taste some genuine homemade Mexican dishes. There are also a lot of shopping opportunities in town. For additional entertainment, theaters and cinemas are located on the main streets.
Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
Last, but certainly not least, the third district is in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve , where nature still reigns supreme in the history of this area. Occupying hundreds of kilometers, it constitutes Mexico's largest genuine ecosystem, home to a diverse number of plant and animal species. The government and non-profit organizations do their best to preserve this area as a wildlife refuge containing many species in danger of extinction.
Archaeological sites can be found in the vicinity, extending towards the four cardinal points. Structures tell the history of the settlements of the Mayan people on this peninsula, and just about every rock reveals traces of the historical and cultural legacy which these inhabitants left behind.
Cancún combines the elegance and gamut of entertainment choices in its Hotel District, the traditions and serenity of its pueblo, and the natural beauty of its ecological reserve, coral reef and history of its peoples. From a city brimming with all of this, what else could you ask for?
Nestled in the heart of the Mexican Caribbean, this natural paradise is referred to by many as a Garden of Eden. No doubt, the first explorers to arrive found a splendid and beautiful land of promise that included fine powdered sand and sapphire waters and emerald-green vegetation all bathed by a brilliant sun in the celestial sky.
Today's Cancún was born in the 1970s as a popular tourist destination, boosted by massive foreign investment in the hotel industry. The city has continued to grow into a perfect combination of natural beauty and man-made facilities. It is an ideal place for visitors to come, year after year, later returning home with unforgettable memories and experiences. Cancún exists today as a mixture of its a pre-Hispanic past, a vanguard culture, unlimited entertainment, and enclaves of unspoiled nature.
For fun and satisfaction, there is an unlimited variety of bars and restaurants in the city catering to a visitor's every whim. It is impossible to leave here without visiting at least one of the popular spots that the island's nightlife has to offer.
Italian cuisine can be enjoyed on the island at Gustino Italian Grill , Casa Rolandi , Aioli , La Dolce Vita which has been in Cancún for years, the upscale Cenacolo , and the moderately-priced Fantino among many others.
For children and adolescents, there is nothing more entertaining than the theme restaurants Planet Hollywood Cancún , Rainforest Cafe , and Hard Rock Cafe Cancún .
Among other popular eateries is the restaurant El Cambalache , which specializes in Argentinean cuisine. Seafood lovers should go to Lorenzillo's , Sushi Itto and the Crab House . For those seeking a cut of prime rib can turn to Ruth's Chris Steak House Cancún and La Capilla Argentina Steakhouse . There are also many restaurants offering a wide range of international dishes such as Señor Frog's , Harry's and Puerto Madero .
When the daytime fun has ended, it is time to venture out into the nightlife, in this city that never sleeps. The "in" crowd gathers at Bulldog , Daddy'O and Daddy Rock . For a real crazy time, you can go to one of the most popular clubs in South America called Coco Bongo .
Spots that definitely should be included in any after-hour itinerary include, Señor Frog's , where the atmosphere gets hotter as the night transpires, and Carlos & Charlie's , where people party until dawn. Bar Roots is a famous place where you can listen to all types of music and has a sports bar feel. Some places have open-air dance floors overlooking the ocean, all of which have a bilingual staff.
Outside of the hotel zone there are other establishments that have the same excitement and interest as the hotel zone, although there are less of them. Japanese food can be splendid at Yamamoto . For a little bit of international cuisine, there is Casa Rolandi , which serves up moderately-priced Italian food. Tacolote is popular with locals, where the dishes combine homemade goodness and great flavor. Romantic dining can be found at Habichuela , where romance takes center stage upon the cozy, delightful patio. For a more enlivened scene, check out Roots Jazz Club to hear music until dawn and enjoy a light meal or strong drinks. This splendid island city not only preserves its natural beauty, but also offers an array of activities to enhance a visitor's stay. Don't forget to bag up a slice of the Mexican Caribbean to take back home.