Cancún (/kɑːnˈkuːn/ or /kæn-/; Spanish pronunciation: [kaŋˈkun]) is a city in southeastern Mexico, located on the northeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, at a distance of about 370 km from the state capital of Quintana Roo -Chetumal- and 70 km from Playa del Carmen. The city is located on the Caribbean Sea, and is one of the easternmost points in Mexico. Cancún is also located just north of Mexico’s Caribbean coast resort band known as the Riviera Maya.
It has a metropolitan area of more than 676,000 inhabitants (according to a survey of 2010). Its geographical coordinates are 21 ° 09′ 38″N 86° 50′ 51″ W, and its altitude ranges from 1 to 8 meters. It is located.
Cancún has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate, with few temperature differences between seasons, but pronounced rainy seasons. The city is warm most of the year, and moderated by onshore trade winds, with an annual mean temperature of 27.1 °C (80.8 °F). Unlike inland areas of the Yucatán Peninsula, sea breezes restrict high temperatures from reaching 35 °C (95 °F) on most afternoons. Annual rainfall is around 1340 millimetres (52.8 in), falling on 115 days per year. More temperate conditions occur from November to February with occasional refreshing northerly breezes, it is drier and becomes hotter in March and April. It is hottest from May to September, due to proximity to the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Humidity is high the year round, especially so during hurricane season (averages close to 70% on rainfree days). The hotel zone juts into the Caribbean Sea, it is surrounded by ocean therefore daytime temperatures are around 1-2° C less and wind speed is higher than at the airport, which is the official meteorological station for Cancún.
Thanks to the Yucatán current continually bringing warm water from further south, the sea temperature is always very warm, with lows of 26 °C (79 °F) in winter and highs of 29 °C (84 °F) in summer.
Cancun is divided into five zones, Cancun Island is the first and most important hotel zone, where most of the beaches and tourist activities are concentrated, the Urban Area inhabited by the majority of the population, Puerto Juarez is the third area, there are two main docks to embark and cross over to Isla Mujeres, located just 7 km off the port, Franja Ejidal is an area of irregularly distributed settlements in the northern part of the city in the municipal boundaries of Isla Mujeres settlements and Alfredo Bonfil.
Apart from the island tourist zone (part of the world’s second-longest coral reef), the Mexican residential section of the city, the downtown part of which is known as “El Centro,” follows a master plan that consists of “supermanzanas” (superblocks), giant trapezoids with a central, open, non-residential area cut in by u-shaped residential streets. These open centers usually have walkways and ‘sidewalks’ around a central garden park, or soccer fields, or a library, etc. which make the mainland “Mexican” Cancún bicycle-friendly. The residential roads of central or ‘Mainland’ Cancún, U-shaped and culs-de-sacs, insulate housing from the noise and congestion of the main flow of traffic. Mainland Cancún has a central market that resembles an outlet mall, colorful buildings on a pedestrian city block.
Mayan archaeological sites in Cancún and near zones
Cancun Island was inhabited for over 2000 years by the Mayas, as evidenced by its archaeological remains.
There are some small Mayan vestiges of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization in Cancún. For example the archaeological area of “El Rey” is located in the Hotel Zone. El Meco, a more substantial site, is found on the mainland just outside the city limits on the road north to Punta Sam.
Close by in the Riviera Maya and the Grand Costa Maya, there are sites such as Cobá and Muyil (Riviera) the small Polé (now Xcaret), and Kohunlich, Kinichná, Dzibanché, Oxtankah, Tulum, and Chacchoben, in the south of the state, while Chichén Itzá is in the neighboring state of Yucatán.
For more information on archaeological sites please visit: