A huge hit
Cancun is a huge personality on the northeast coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, taking 4 million visitors comfortably in its stride. The place is packed out with bars, restaurants and mega-clubs, but it’s not just a magnet for the 24-hour party crowd. Wrapped all the way round the Hotel Zone, you’ve got a whopping 22-kilometre stretch of sand.
In Cancun, you’re never going to run out of white, sandy beach. The long stretch is a bit of a 2-sided affair – northwards is where you’ll get the calm, paddle-friendly places while over on the east side watersports fans cruise the choppier waves. Whichever direction you’re heading in, you’ll find plenty of waterfront bars, restaurants and snack joints.
Big nights out
Cancun really cranks up a gear at night. The first-rate restaurants get things going, then it’s a free-for-all depending on what you fancy. Downtown, it’s show time with flamenco dancing and cabaret while over at Boulevard Kukulcan in the Hotel Zone the super-clubs pick up the pace. Either way, an early night seems pretty unlikely.
Easy day trips
A 15-minute ferry ride from the Hotel Zone’s Gran Puerto gets you to Isla Mujeres. The coral reefs around here are prime snorkelling territory – and you’ve got a sort of underwater museum to see, too. Or if you don’t want to miss out on Mayan ruins, head for the cliff-top city of Tulum with its Temple of Frescoes and impressive pyramid. You can be there in about 90 minutes.