Now for something different, a Mexican Yucatán anomaly. There’s the fascinating pre-Columbian history & ruins. There’s the beautiful colonial legacy of the Spanish. A then there’s Cancun. You won’t find much history here – modern-day Cancun was only built in the 70s as a rival to Mexico’s other beach resort on the western Pacific Coast, Acapulco. But what you will find is a reprieve from the sweaty ruins of the rest of the Yucatán, a party (never too far away) & some pretty nice beaches. Damn nice beaches with damn nice turquoise water.
Relaxing by the turquoise Caribbean Sea on Playa Chac-Mool, Cancun (), Yucatan, Mexico. May 5th 2013.
Resting on the northeast corner of the Mexican Caribbean in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Cancun was built in the 70s on a site selected as the ideal spot for a new tourist development by the Mexican government. It has two distinct areas, which are about 8 kilometres apart – Zona Hotelera, with its custom built high-end resorts & shiny air-conditioned shopping malls, & downtown Cancun, Ciudad Cancun, where the bus station, cheaper lodgings & the likes of me are to be found. Ciudad Cancun is by far the more Mexican part of town, but still very unlike the Mexico I’ve seen thus far.
Playa Chac-Mool, Zona Hotelera Zona, Cancun. The Zona Hotelera comprises some 22 kilometres of pristine white beaches lined with world-class all-inclusive resorts. It’s quite spread out and thus doesn’t feel too crowded, but does feel a million miles removed from the rest of the Yucatan. That said, among all this sun, sea & sand you will, if you want, find Mayan ruins – Cancun is still considered the gateway to the Mayan World, El Mundo Maya, and the majority of visitors to Chichen Itza are day trippers from Cancun, taking some time away from the beach. Yucatan, Mexico. May 5th 2013.
Reading in a beach side pool of the adult-only Live Aqua Cancún Hotel, one of the many 5-star, all-inclusive resort hotels found in the Zona Hotelera. I walked through this resort to get to the beach, attracted to this particular hotel by the two Rolls Royce cars parked out front. I clearly didn’t belong in the polished, minimalist interior and expected to be asked to leave. But I eventually made out to the pool area and onto the beach (beaches in Mexico are all public amenities, regardless of what multi-million dollar resort may front it), snapping this picture as I went. Cancun, Live Aqua Cancún, Cancun, Yucatan, Mexico. May 5th 2013.
Capturing the action at Punta Cancun, Cancun, Yucatan, Mexico. May 5th 2013.
After walking some distance up the beach I pulled up a stool and had some Sunday Funday Coronas. After all, it is May 5th, Cinco de Mayo. Corona bubbles & lime on Gaviota Azul, Cancun, Yucatan, Mexico. May 5th 2013. (iPod)