Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is one of the busiest resort towns of its kind in the world.
It does not just offer holidays for those looking for the buzz and bustle of big towns because it also has splendid beaches, abundant wildlife and a rich and engaging sense of culture and history.
Travelling to this fascinating region is easy as flights arrive at Cancun International Airport (CUN), which is an important travel hub for the area. Flights to Cancun from the UK take between nine and ten hours but you will arrive at the very centre of this vibrant holiday destination. Many visitors choose to stay in Cancun itself as it is renowned for its liveliness and numerous tourist attractions.
One of the biggest draws of Cancun for visitors is the 14-mile stretch of white sandy beach, which was what first brought tourists to the region in the 1970s. Cancun further benefits from the warm blue waters of the Caribbean, which lap at its shores and are perfect for swimming and many other water sports. At the northern end of the resort the sea is calmer and better suited to casual bathers and families. The sea is a bit rougher at the southern end. And it's not just the beach that attracts visitors as the city comes to life at night and has a great party atmosphere.
Outside Cancun there are plenty of other towns and destinations that are well worth a visit. Playa del Carmen, which was until recently a small fishing town, is now renowned for its scuba-diving opportunities, made all the more attractive by the vast diversity of marine life that can be spotted beneath the waves. Another great diving location nearby is Xcalak, with its remarkably unspoiled beach and proximity to the world's second-largest barrier reef. Nature lovers will be further enticed by Xcaret, which is a specially designated eco-area based around an archaeological site of the ancient Mayan civilisation.
Another place worth exploring is the Isla Mujeres, which roughly translated from Spanish means 'Island of Women'. It has its own airport but transport on the island is largely limited to small taxis, golf buggies and mopeds, reflecting the fairly relaxed atmosphere. The skyline of Cancun can be seen from the Isla Mujeres, which is particularly impressive at night, but the real focus here is on natural beauty and the key attractions include the Garrafon Natural Park and the sea turtle breeding centre.
For those arriving on Cancun flights seeking a more exclusive holiday experience, the Playacar resort in Playa del Carmen is ideal. It has many private beaches and charming villas to stay in, as well as an impressive golf course for visitors' use.
Anyone interested in history will find that the site of the ruins of a Mayan city at Chichen Itza is remarkable. Visitors looking for more excitement in the form of kiteboarding or whale-shark viewing will not find a better spot than Isla Holbox.
You can find cheap flights to Cancun by using TravelSupermarket's price-comparison tool.