Cancun is definitely the mainstream destination for Americans and one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. You could say Cancun is another small state of the US, and you would be probably right: it is safe, clean, full of luxury shops, lovely bars, and restaurants; and, it is not cheap. Americans love Cancun as they do not like to risk and travel far away, plus they are pretty cautious and love to feel at home no matter where they go to. This place gives them everything they are used to in Florida, plus it has way better water and beaches, and it is apparently cheaper than the States.
As for beaches, it is true that not many destinations in the world can beat Caribbean blue waters and white sands. They say there is no sea in the Caribbean as bright as the Cancun sea. Plus it is clean, if you go to overly expensive California or Florida, you will hardly find a decent beach with no cigarette butts and cans all over it. Cancun, on the other hand, is attractive and promising as an artificial Christmas tree; it looks much better than a real one, but the needles odor and charm are gone. If you go there, you will have a good time, quality food and drinks, you will feel safe, but you will experience ''fake Mexico'' — unfortunately (or fortunately), what you will see will not be authentic.
Cancun has two seasons: dry (high) and humid (low). Dry in winter time, wet in summer. I would personally call these periods also ''White'' one and "Latino'' one. In winter most of the tourists are Americans and Europeans. In summer, as you may guess, most tourists come from other parts of Mexico, Brazil, Colombia. I have asked a lot of guys who flew from Brazil, Colombia, and Peru why they came to Cancun for a holiday. For them, even in summer it is rather expensive and is not easy to get here, either. Plus, they have beautiful resorts back home. I received the same short reply from everyone — look at the water; we do not have it back home.
Isla Mujeres: boats, shows, ruins
From Cancun, it is easy to get to another tourist destination- Isla Mujeres. You can visit this beautiful island by taking a ferry from Cancun or just buying one of the multiple boat excursions. It is a pretty big island, and if you arrive there, you will need to drive away from the harbor spot to find your ''paradise'' beach.
Almost everyone who comes to Cancun visits two most famous attractions - The famous Coco Bongo show and, of course, the Chichen-Itza Mayan Ruins. Coco Bongo nightclub provides a great show, but you should be careful when you buy tickets as your VIP seats may not be what you’d imagined being VIP at all. Prices for drinks are very high, so if you plan to drink a lot, it makes sense to buy an all-inclusive ticket. I had an all-inclusive pass, but I still did not have a seat; I did manage to lean on a table eventually, though. I've heard the same complaint from many other VIP ticket owners, who had to leave early as they did not want to stand.
Chichen-Itza: the good, the bad, the heat
As for Chichen-Itza, it is an iconic place, but because of the time it takes to get there and the extreme heat on the spot, many people come back exhausted and disappointed. My advice, go there if you love history and culture. Otherwise, it is probably not worth the trouble. It is for sure a spectacular and mystical place to visit, especially if you have a vivid imagination and can imagine how it did look centuries ago. Chichen Itza is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and, due to its fame, it is crowded with tourists trying to snap a picture of it. Unfortunately, you can not enter the Mayan buildings anymore; neither can you climb up the stairs. To do so, you will have to drive or fly to the other, less popular among tourists, Mayan Ruins. And that would be Tulum.
Tulum: destination ruin #2
Tulum is as boiling hot as Chichen Itza, but it is located on a stunning ocean shore, which helps. I would recommend taking a full day tour and, what is even more important, arrive early before the crowds. The Ruins themselves will take two hours max to look around, but you can spend a great day on a beautiful beach and cool off just beneath the main Tulum temple. Tulum buildings themselves are well preserved but are not as impressive as some other Mayan Ruins. The view from the top is breathtaking, though, which makes the trip truly unforgettable. Make sure to take a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent!
Cancun can be a place you either want to come back every year or just a one-vacation-stand, depending on what your preferences are. As every place with its pros and cons, Cancun pretty much offers entertainment options for everyone, no matter what your age or likes are. Nevertheless, if you would rather experience the authentic Mayan culture and have a bite of real Mexico, you may consider going elsewhere.