Powdery white sand beaches, warm Caribbean water and year-round warm weather attract 5 million tourists to Cancún each year and thousands of expats who have chosen to make Cancún and its neighbors to the south their home.
Built as a playground for tourists, the beach resorts and cities along the Caribbean Sea offer expats so many things to do. If you are looking for after-dark activities, the nightlife of Cancún and Playa del Carmen includes piano bars, mariachi music bars, casinos, hotel shows and nightclubs that stay open until dawn. Evening can also bring somewhat quieter entertainment options like sunset cruises and beach bars.
Like Puerto Vallarta and other major international beach resorts in Mexico, Cancún has a wide choice of excellent restaurants to satisfy any foodie’s needs, from La Destileria, the city’s most famous Mexican restaurant to highly rated La Habichuela, which has been a fixture in Cancún for over 30 years.
Every region in Mexico has its own style of cuisine and the Yucatán is very distinct from other regions in Mexico. Look for the Sopa de Lima, which is a chicken soup with deep fried tortilla chips in chicken broth and lima, a less acidic citrus fruit that is popular in the region.
Kibis is another Yucatán specialty and can be found almost anywhere throughout the city. This dish is made from mashed wheat and ground beef or pork, with seasoned spearmint, garlic and onions, and then deep-fried.
To work off all of those delicious meals, head outdoors to enjoy the near-perfect weather, beautiful beaches and warm water. You can spend most of your day outdoors enjoying sailing, hiking, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, biking, kayaking, wave running, surfing, parasailing, horseback riding, golfing, playing tennis or just lying on your favorite beach.
The Yucatán Peninsula has a proud Maya heritage and is home to several important Maya historical sites, including Chichén Itzá, a center of the Maya culture before the Spanish arrived. It is several hours southwest of Cancún and one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico with over 1 million visitors each year. Other major Maya historical sites are south of Cancún in Tulum and Coba.
In Cancún, the modern Museo Maya de Cancún displays the Yucatán Peninsula’s most important collections of Maya artifacts and is well worth a day of exploring.
Shopping is also easy with a number of malls and mercados close by. You can part with your money at one of La Isla Shopping Village’s 150 shops, Kukulcan Plaza adjacent to the Hotel Zone, Plaza Caracol, Plaza Las Americas or Market 28, a huge flea market in downtown Cancún where you can buy Mexican handicrafts. Of course, all major U.S. stores like Costco, Wal-Mart and others are well represented.