5 Things You Didn’t Know About Cancun


Cancun is known around the world as a tourist destination with stunning beaches and luxurious hotels. Depending upon your personal taste, you might know it as the gateway to ancient Maya ruins, a city with a wild nightlife or a popular vacation spot for families. Obviously Cancun has much to offer, but we bet you didn’t know about these five things!


1. Cancun is the home of the second largest barrier reef in the world


We all know that the Caribbean is known for its crystalline waters and wonderful scuba and snorkeling opportunities, but did you know that the Great Maya Reef is second to only the Australian Great Barrier Reef? The Great Maya Reef stretches for over 600 miles and is home to more than 500 species of marine creatures and over 65 varieties of coral.


2. Cancun is a relatively new tourist destination

Were you aware that as recently as 1970, Cancun was relatively forgotten island with only 3 inhabitants besides the stunning flora and fauna native to the land? Considering today’s popularity, it seems difficult to imagine that the “Glistening City” was a tiny undeveloped jungle island that investors were hesitant to get involved with just over 45 years ago!


3. Cancun is now a popular tourist destination thanks to a computer


In the 1960s the Mexican government funded a two-year project that had researchers traveling around the country and logging data about water quality, ecological concerns, beach quality and insect populations among other things. When the government decided to build at tourist district in 1969 (now known as Cancun’s Hotel Zone), they used a computer program to search the database of that information, and Cancun was the first of two locations to be chosen by the computer as ideal locations for resorts. Clearly, the computer chose well!


4. Cancun has far more history than just Chichen Itza


When people think of Cancun and ancient ruins, the most well-known is Chichen Itza. It’s true that Cancun is the home of some incredible ancient historical sites, but you don’t have to travel 3 hours to see them- you can visit them in Cancun’s own Archaeological District. Sites include San Miguelito, Yamil Lu’um, Koxolnax, El Conchero, the temple of Pok Ta Pok, El Meco and El Rey, which is also known for its immense iguana population.


5. Cancun is the home of your “bucket list” items 


Pinterest has become a popular site for sharing travel ideas, and many people have created boards for the “bucket list” items. It turns out that by visiting Cancun, you can cross several items off that list in one trip! Cancun and the area surrounding it is home to some of the most-shared images: the underwater museum, swimming with whale sharks and visiting the cenotes, or natural sinkholes that connect to underground bodies of water.


This list could extend much longer, but we feel like Cancun is one of those destinations you must see to believe. Go experience it for yourself!



Vacation Express, one of the largest tour operators in the southeast United States, has been in business for over 25 years. Air/land and hotel-only packages are offered to nearly twenty popular tropical destinations offering flight options on all U.S. and other major airline partners. Today Vacation Express is a member of family-owned and operated, Toronto-based Sunwing Travel Group Inc., Canada's leading vertically integrated leisure travel company.

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