Cancún was a tourist project started in 1970 by the Mexican federal government in an inhabited, pristine area. Since then the city has grown to become one of the best-known beach resort destinations in the world. The Cancún hotel zone (all-inclusive resorts) is built on 21 kilometers of pristine white beaches shaped like a number "7". Downtown Cancún is where most residents live.
Six years ago I went directly from the international Cancún airport to Playa del Carmen. This time I wanted to see what the fuzz about Cancún was really about. Since accomodation in downtown Cancún is more reasonably priced, I booked a room in a hostel close to the ADO bus station. For lunch and diner, the Parque de las Palapas had numerous typical Mexican eateries. And in the evenings the park was filled with locals strolling around.
The downtown area has no beach access. But local busses leave every five minutes to the beaches. One day I spend on the Playa del Delfines, the beach with the "Cancún sign" that is not backed up by massive hotels. It is a beautiful white-sand beach. But the sea is rough. The other day I went to Playa Gaviota Azul and Playa Chac-Mool, both located near Punta Cancún where the famous nightlife of the city is.