Cancun



°C

Weather provided by APIXU

Suitability
Cancun
One of the main ingredients for a satisfying holiday is being able to return home with some worthwhile souvenirs. Shoppers can rejoice in Cancun, with a choice of seemingly endless shopping facilities, from ultra-modern malls with chic boutiques to street vendors, open-air markets and department stores. The Plaza la Fiesta is a favourite shopping venue in the Hotel Zone, and there is also a popular handicraft bazaar called El Zocalo, opposite the Convention Centre. Numerous malls line the main drag of Paseo Kukulkan that runs down the eight-mile (13km) hotel strip. It is well nigh impossible to go hungry in Cancun. Food outlets abound, from high-class restaurants to familiar franchises, taco stands and fast-food joints. Those who wish to go native can be assured that Yucatan cuisine is regarded as the finest in all Mexico, combining Mayan and Spanish influences. Local dishes worth sampling include cochinita pibil (suckling pig baked in banana leaves with annatto sauce) and panuchos (tortillas with fried black beans, chicken and pickled onions). Seafood is also plentiful. A popular romantic option is to book for one of the numerous dinner cruises offered. For a true taste of Mexico visitors can pay a visit to one of the many cantinas, traditional bar-restaurants, which are situated mainly around the downtown bullring. The atmosphere at the cantinas is particularly lively on Wednesday afternoons after the weekly bullfights, but the food and drink remains good quality every day of the week. Tourists should pack their dancing shoes when visiting Cancun, as there are a huge supply of nightclubs, discos and bars to suit every mood, from romantic to raunchy, funky to frenetic, rock to reggae and salsa to techno. After dark the city, particularly the Hotel Zone, comes alive, most clubs opening around 10pm and pumping out the music until sunrise, or later, the next morning. Most clubs and pubs offer a continual variety of promotional or theme evenings, with foam parties, mini-skirt and bikini contests being hot favourites. Most offer ladies nights with free drinks for women. Those seeking some more cultural entertainment should not miss the internationally renowned Ballet Folklorico, which holds performances in various venues around Cancun, featuring lavish costumes and traditional dances. The main reason for visiting Cancun is to take advantage of the legendary beaches with their powdery, incredibly white sand washed by the warm, turquoise waters of the Caribbean. A wide variety of beach-based activities are offered on every beach in the tourist zone: volleyball, parasailing, snorkelling, jet skiing and so on. Alternatively just relax in a hammock. People-watching is also a major activity all over the many miles of beaches. Diving and snorkelling are the most sought-after water pursuits of the energetic, with some of the world's most famous coral reefs on the doorstep. All equipment can be rented and dive operators are in evidence everywhere. Cancun also offers some excellent deep-sea fishing; charters can be arranged at hotels or one of the many marinas. Thrills and spills can be had at the modern water park near Punta Nizuc.
Out of the water it is impossible to be bored. There are local Mayan ruins and archaeological sites to explore such as the famous Chichen Itza ruins. There is an alligator farm, botany park, fun fairs and other attractions. There are two championship 18-hole golf courses and numerous other sports facilities, including well-maintained cycling routes.