Mexico is a prosperous country with modern technology and a wealth of mineral resources. Mexico lost about one third of its territory to the United States in the treaty that ended the Mexican–American War (1846–48), but in modern times the relationship between the two countries has been excellent. Many Americans retire in Mexico taking advantage of the warmer weather and lower cost of living. Americans flock to vacation resorts such as Cancun, Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta to enjoy outdoor activities like swimming, boating and fishing.
Travel Advice: You will need your passport to exchange U.S. dollars into Mexican Pesos. Most large stores accept credit cards. Notify your bank of your travel plans before you go so that your card will not be denied when you try to use it.
Cancun is located in the tip of the Yucatan peninsula that separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea. Many tourists come here just to relax by the beach and enjoy nature.
The hotel resorts in Cancun are located on a narrow strip of land that has the Nichupte Lagoon on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. There are beaches on both sides of the strip of land, but the lagoon side has warning signs about crocodiles, so tourists don't swim there. The center of the city is located inland from the lagoon.
Many hotels include a breakfast buffet in the price of the room. You can watch the seashore while you eat breakfast in an open-air thatched roof dining room. The buffet offers some Mexican specialties, such as refried beans, and international dishes such as omelettes, crepes, pastries, cereals and fresh tropical fruits like pineapple and papaya. Some birds have learned to steal food from the tables between the time that the guests leave and the time when the waiters come to clean the tables.
The view is spectacular at sunset. The pink of the setting sun combines with the blue color of the sky to produce a beautiful gradation of purple and gray hues. Passing ships are outlined against the water and sky as the light fades. Late at night, the sky is really dark and the stars seem a lot brighter than in the big cities.
Cancun has an active night life. There are plenty of restaurants and bars where you can enjoy good music and good food.
La Parrilla Restaurant features good Mexican food and a live mariachi band. Some flaming dishes are prepared near the restaurant patrons with much fanfare. Playing with fire is always dangerous even though it provides a good show.
There is good transportation around the hotel area. Buses come every ten minutes and the ride costs about one dollar. A cab ride into the city can cost from 10 to 20 dollars.
The markets in Cancun offer a wide variety of textile, ceramic and wooden souvenirs at very reasonable prices. If you don't like the price, you can always bargain to try to get a lower price, particularly if you buy several items at one time.
Ceramic souvenirs are interesting and colorful. You can get anything from a spoon rest to a painted skull. The skulls are used to celebrate the day of the dead (día de los muertos), which is a holiday on November 1 to honor the deceased. Special pastries are baked for this feast.
Adjacent to Market 28 is an extension called Plaza Bonita. These markets have several restaurants to help restore your energy so that you can continue shopping.
In addition to the artisanal markets, Cancun also has shopping malls similar to the ones found in the United States. You will find many American and European multinational clothing stores, as well as MacDonald's and Starbucks.
There is always something to do in Cancun. You are never bored.