Cancun Facts: An Intro To This Coastal Mexican Town

Cancun has long been a popular spring break destination for American’s and European’s alike. This coastal Mexican city lies on the Yucatan Peninsula and borders the Caribbean Sea. Offering visitors about 14 MILES of sandy beaches to bask in the sun on. Guests can enjoy a plethora of fun things to do, activities on the crystal clear water that mimics the Caribbean, enjoy time with their family both on the beach and in the resorts, take a cooking class, learn to dance, visit an ice bar, and the list goes on.

No matter what you decide to do in Cancun, you are going to have a good time. Just remember to get some tequila! Before you pack your bags and head to some of the best beaches, nightlife and dining in the country, check out these Cancun facts.

cancun facts

Cancun Facts: An Introduction to one of the MOST Visited Cities in Mexico

There is an underwater museum in Cancun! MUSA came into existence in 2009 and is a monumental underwater museum of contemporary art, boasting over 500 life size sculptures to enjoy. One of the fun Cancun facts – MUSA is one of the largest artificial underwater museums in the world!

Cancun facts that will blow your mind – Cancun is the only city in Mexico that was chosen by a computer. In the 1960’s the government was looking to up tourism and took into account best weather, beaches, etc and Cancun was born. Now today there are over 32,000 hotel rooms in Cancun from budget to high end luxury and can cater to all needs.

The second largest coral reef in the world, Great Maya Barrier Reef, is located in Cancun and people from all over the world come to visit and dive. The only coral reef bigger is located in Australia and is the Great Barrier Reef.

The hotel zone in Cancun is a 15 miles long sandbar and Kukulkan Boulevard is the only road on this stretch. This is the heart of Cancun’s tourism and is easy to navigate since it is mostly one straight shot in both directions. The hotel zone is lined with hotels, beaches, restaurants, clubs, bars, and shopping.

In 1999, MTV hosted its very first Spring Break in Cancun where Eminem, Britney Spears and N’SYNC performed for those in attendance. In 2019, MTV brought Spring Break back to Cancun and it is still one of the most storied events in the world, drawing in over half a million.

There are Mayan Ruins in the hotel zone of Cancun, and you can find them next to the Hilton Cancun. Which means you don’t even have to leave the area to experience some of the incredible history that took place in this area of the world. Go out and take an adventure.

The official language spoken in Cancun is Spanish. However, since it is a tourist area, you will find many locals speak English and can assist you. Even 10 years ago English was widely spoken in Cancun, certainly that trend has continued.

Cancun has thousands of turtles that show up from May thru September and the city does everything it can to protect them. If you visit during this time frame, be on the look out for the barricades on the beaches that help protect them and please do no harm.

WiFi is readily available in hotels during your stay in Cancun. If you don’t have a service plan on your cell phone that covers international destinations, Skyroam can keep you covered. Just purchase the device, pay for your day passes and turn it on when you arrive in Cancun and it uses the local cell towers to keep you powered. Bonus: you can connect up to 5 devices!

One of the most widely known Cancun facts is that you should not drink the water. Stick with bottled water, even when brushing your teeth. Having a water that your body is not used to can make your stomach upset. When you shower, be careful not to let the water in your mouth as it is the same water in all of Cancun. The caveat to this is, if you are eating something like pasta that is first boiled in water, you should be fine because of the high temperature of the heat.

While you are sure to find a bevvy of sensational dishes, one of the Cancun facts you might not know is that the city is popular for fresh pulpos (aka octopus) and enchiladas! One simply doesn’t visit Cancun and not try an enchilada.

Cancun is a perfect beach destination year round because in the lowest month of weather, January, it is still in the 70’s, making it the perfect weather to frolic on the stunning beaches. Additionally, over 240 days per year are sunny in this coastal Mexican town.

If you need to make a call in Cancun, the area code is 998.

Hurricane season in Cancun runs the same as the Caribbean time frame. June 1st-November 30th.

The legal drinking age in Cancun (and all of Mexico) is 18. If you are thinking of heading to Cancun for a vacation and you aren’t 21, they will serve you as long as you provide a proper identification card.

Cancun is one of the top destinations that American’s visit. This is due to its geographical location, prices, wide variety of accommodations and dining options, having a lower drinking age than 21, and offering a beautiful and easy place to escape to.

If you are looking to up your wedding game and bring your friends and family to Mexico, then Cancun is a great choice. One of the surprising Cancun facts is that this city holds about 46,000 weddings per year in the greater area! Hotels are really easy to work with to plan your wedding and often offer pre-made packages to help you take all the stress and guess work out of the equation.

Shopping is very popular along the hotel zone and you can find a lot of fun stuff to bring home from your trip. One thing that you will see a lot of is that stores leave out shots of tequila with salt for guests coming in. This is just a gesture of kindness and as they say “When in Cancun!”

Cancun airport had over 25 MILLION people come through the airport in 2018 and continues to grow each year with visitors from all over the world. The Cancun Airport is the second largest in the country of Mexico and the fourth largest in all of Latin America. Additionally, the airport offers its guests two runways AND they can both be used at the same time. The control tower at Cancun Airport is the 18th highest in the world and the highest in all of Latin America.

Maybe one of the most wow factor Cancun facts – the city started with just THREE residents! When they city was built up for tourism, it gained over 628,000+ people to support the load of tourism that came to the city.

While Cancun sounds like a fun name, the Mayan word means “nest of serpents” or even more fun, “snake pit.”

While spring break is one of the busiest times to visit, Day of the Dead in Cancun is one of the BEST!

In Cancun the official currency is the Mexican Peso.

One of the Cancun facts that may surprise you is that while Mexico has a many beautiful resort towns, Cancun brings in over one third of the revenue from tourism.

cancun facts

$71 MILLION dollars helped to restore the beaches damage in Cancun after Hurricane Wilma left destruction in her path. Worth the investment for Mexico since Cancun brings in so much revenue.

Even though it would appear that Mexico thrives wholly off of tourism, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The GDP of Mexico says only 8.5% comes from tourism! Fun fact: vehicle export is actually the largest part of the GDP coming in at about 25%.

Zona Hotelera, AKA hotel zone in Spanish, is shaped like the number seven and where almost all the hotels in Cancun reside.

Cancun is more than just the hotel zone. The city has two other places: Downtown Cancun and the Ecological Reserve also make up the city. If you head downtown, you will find cheaper hotels and better pricing on shopping. Even though Cancun is relatively cheap both for hotels and shopping alike, you can find even better deals in downtown Cancun.

Here is one of the Cancun facts that will send you packing your bags: you will not burn your feet on the sand!! And why? Because the sand is actually made from crushed coral and it is cool to touch it.

Cancun is host to about 140 hotels, making it the perfect place for all types of travelers to enjoy the Yucatan Peninsula.

Cancun is famous for having all-inclusive hotels. You pay one rate and can eat and drink to your hearts content. This makes for a popular destination among younger travelers because they can drink all day at swim up bars or on the beach.

One of the fun Cancun facts is that there is a larger than life Mexican flag flying in the hotel zone. In fact, it weighs a staggering 507 pounds and it 4,628.48 square feet in size!! Guess how many soldiers to took to raise this flag? 40! And it had to be raised up the 244 foot flag pole to the top.

With the 14 miles of glorious beaches along the hotel zone, they are all public. Hotels are free to put out loungers, tables, etc for their guests, but the beaches remain open to the public. So use as the beaches as you wish. Just don’t disturb the guests who are staying at private properties.

The religion in Cancun is overwhelmingly Catholic, coming in at at whopping 89%. In fact, you will find at least seven catholic places of worship in the hotel zone.

Nightlife in Cancun is very popular, with bars and nightclubs closing later (if ever) than most places in America. Most bars that serve alcohol in America close on or before 2:00am. In Cancun you can find clubs, raves, bars, and even foam parties that stay open until the wee hours of the morning. Feeling like doing a bit of drinking? Some places sell an all-inclusive entry ticket for one price and you can drink until you leave.

Due to uncertainty, some of the first few hotels in the hotel zone were actually funded by the government to garner the attention of tourists and brand alike. Clever move for the Mexican government. Now Cancun is one of the largest travel destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

While Mexican Pesos reign supreme as the currency in Cancun, you can still find some people who will tale US dollars and credit cards. The best thing you can do is to get money out at an ATM when you arrive and just get what you need, paying one fee at that moment in time. Otherwise, and write this down, one of the most useful of the Cancun facts, when you go to shops and vendors, they have different prices in Mexican Pesos and US Dollars. When you do the exchange rate, it does not work out and you will always be on the losing end. So plan ahead. Also – do not go to the first currency exchange you see in the airport. That is where everyone goes in fear that they will not find another one and they pay a huge premium. Best case is to hit an ATM or come with Mexican Pesos already (you can order them from your bank at home).

Cancun is a very popular destination and your experience at the airport will be sure to showcase that. Over 450 flights per day are arriving into the city and the airport only has two runways. There will most likely be a line of sorts for immigration and customs .. it would be advised to make sure you have something to drink on you as you wait and make sure to use the bathroom before your plane lands. Wait times have been over three HOURS at times during the busiest times of the year.

Another one of the Cancun facts that is staggering is “The City” which is a massive club in the hotel zone, is the LARGEST in Latin America and can hold 5,000 people at one time. The City boasts three floors of entertaining nightlife. The club also plays host to some of the biggest recording artists in the world like Akon and 50 Cent. This is a must visiting when in Cancun if you love to go clubbing.

The most popular club in Cancun is Coco Bongo! On any night you can find special appearances by characters like Beetle Juice or Spider-man. Dance when you want when you are here. There is no official dance floor, its a “dance where you want” kind of place. So let the rhythm move you.


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