Cancun is known as the premier beach resort in the North American country of Mexico, the perfect azure Caribbean lapping gently against the shore along the 12 mile stretch of perfect beaches that the resort is famed for; lively and vibrant Cancun is the destination that guarantees fun and festivities along with some of the best sand and sun in the world.

Cancun resort may be filled with new purpose built hotels but once out of the resort the area abounds with many attractions, downtown Cancun is lively and is bursting with restaurants and bars filled with the vibrancy that Mexico is famed for – once you leave the resort the location as the Mayan gateway is apparent, monuments and temples are everywhere, jungle covering many of them, adding to the beguiling mystique of this exotic and fertile land.

The purpose built all inclusive resorts that line the beaches are perfect for those that want a relaxing break, they are usually booked as part of a complete package holiday and as such have all the conveniences associated with package holidays such as meal plans, airport transfers and room arrangements – you can even pre-book your hotel view.

This may not be for everyone though and for the independent traveller Cancun still offers plenty of hotels and hostels to suit any budget; head towards downtown Cancun for the best value hostels and if possible find one that encourages social activities such as dining together, this is the best way to find out where the current hip places in the city are to be found. There are some reasonably priced hotels too, often far more affordable than the hotels along the coastline.

Everybody knows and loves Mexican food but there is far more to it than the usual suspects, the Yucatan Peninsular has a unique blend of Mexican and European cooking styles and whilst always incredibly tasty is not always filled with heat; the grilled meats are amazing and when served with the various sauces are nothing short of an explosion of flavours. The Caribbean location gives the local cuisine a taste of the sea and nobody should leave Cancun without trying ceviche – finely chopped seafood with coriander, onion and tomato, all marinaded in fresh lemon juice.

For an authentic dining experience head to downtown Cancun, although the large hotels serve some great food they do not have the same feel and rawness of the small restaurants filled with locals and tourists all having a great time.

For those that want sporting activities Cancun has some great opportunities, there are some of the best dive sites in the world and the dive schools are filled with English speaking highly skilled professionals; the real attraction for scuba divers are the glorious corals that the region is known for and the shoals of brightly coloured fish that dart amongst them. Golf is also popular with tourists and Cancun boats several championship courses that combine the beauty of the region with well managed greens.

You cannot come to Cancun and not make the effort to see some of the local wildlife living amongst the well protected ecology of the area, whether you want to see monkeys, colourful birds or even the possibility of a jaguar or leopard the area surrounding Cancun has the natural habitat of them all; those that like their animals a little less unpredictable can take the opportunity to try the popular activity of swimming with dolphins – a once in a lifetime experience.

Cancun has a decidedly tropical climate with a peak season that runs throughout the British winter months until April, this makes this an expensive time of year to visit but with the guarantee of a sunshine holiday escape from the UK winter blues it is not surprising that the resort is popular.

Price do drop during the summer and autumn (and remain low until November) the weather remains hot and humid with pleasantly warm seas however these months are also prime hurricane season – particularly during the late summer, and do have their own risks.

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