The History of Cancun

Cancun is one of the most visited destinations in the world, but do you know about its past?

Chichen Itza Mayan Temple in Cancun.

Cancun is globally renowned as the perfect spot for a beach vacation. However, you may not know that the area around Cancun has a rich history that spans hundreds of years, and that the city as we know it today didn’t exist until five decades ago. At Cancun Adventures, we love showing people everything that Cancun has to offer, from its luxurious beaches to its ancient roots and incredible wildlife.

Cancun’s Ancient Past

Tulum ruins in Cancun.

Hundreds of years before Cancun would become an international tourist hub, it was home to the ancient Maya civilization. Their history and culture can be seen through the many beautiful ruins they left behind, from the famous pyramid Chichen Itza to the ancient walled city of Tulum (both within a day trip of Cancun).

In the heart of Cancun, the El Rey Archaeological Zone—home to dozens of ancient Maya stone structures—can be found within the Hotel Zone. The Museo Maya, located just down the street, gives visitors a portal to the past with its 80 hectares of ruins, including the remains of homes, a temple, and even a palace and small pyramid.

Becoming a Global Destination

Aerial view of Cancun’s shoreline filled with resorts and highrises.

After the Spanish occupation in the mid-sixteenth century, Cancun was abandoned by its Mayan residents and then largely forgotten until relatively recently. In 1970, the Cancun Project was approved by the Mexican government, and construction began to create the tourism zone, residential areas, and international airport. It transformed Cancun from a deserted peninsula to the thriving metropolis that stands today.

Cancun Today: A Bustling Tourist Mecca

Woman standing in front of the turquoise waters of Cancun.

Today, Cancun is one of the most visited destinations in the world, and it’s easy to see why: its pristine beaches, ideal weather, and ample jungle make it the perfect place to relax, explore, and discover. Cancun is a popular destination when you’re looking for a day of lounging on the beach and a night of drinking and dancing.

However, even if you’re not the partying type, there’s plenty for you to enjoy in the form of fascinating historical tours, snorkeling with majestic marine wildlife, and luxury sailing. For the adventurers among us, experience ziplining, rappelling, and ATV off-roading, all in an amazing natural setting that will take your breath away. These are just a few of the excursions that await you with Cancun Adventures.

Reserve Your Slice of Cancun’s History with Cancun Adventures

Cancun’s storied history shows us that history can exist in the present as well as the past. Each person participates in it, adding a small piece of what eventually becomes the fabric of a place; a culture; a people. Your own piece of Cancun history is waiting for you, and Cancun Adventures is eager to plan your next adventure in tropical paradise with our many fantastic tours that offer both fun and something more: the chance to connect to something larger than yourself. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you book the trip of a lifetime.

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