Back in the Seventies, Cancun was just a small fishing town on the northeast coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Today, it’s a huge resort that comes in two parts. There’s the downtown area with its markets and local cantinas, and then you’ve got the Hotel Zone that comes with restaurants, shopping malls and nightclubs – and an extra-long strip of beach.
The white sands that spool along the Hotel Zone go on and on – you’ve got 22 kilometres at your disposal here. And you have a choice of beach territory, too. The north side comes with tranquil water, as it’s protected from the open ocean by a small island. Over to the east, meanwhile, you’re facing the Caribbean – that means beautiful turquoise water and livelier waves. Cancun nights can be whatever you want them to be.
Mexico is rich with Mayan history and one of its best-preserved coastal sites is a 90-minute drive away at Tulum. Perched above 40-foot cliffs, here you’ll find the ruins of a once-thriving civilisation. There’s a lot to see, but don’t miss the pyramid-shaped El Castillo, the Temple of the Descending God and the Temple of the Frescoes – this one comes with a first-class collection of murals.