Cancún and Cozumel Maps
Explore Cancún and Cozumel with these helpful travel maps from the twelfth edition of Moon Cancún & Cozumel.
Cancún has two parts: The Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone) has Cancún’s top resorts and nightclubs, plus miles of beautiful beaches. But if you don’t mind hopping a bus to the beach, downtown has cheaper food and lodging, plus some unexpectedly cool bars and cafés. Most travelers visit Isla Mujeres, a sliver of an island offshore from Cancún, as a day trip, but nice hotels and a mellow ambience make it a tempting place to stay. Isla Holbox is even smaller, with sand roads and virtually no cars. The beaches aren’t glorious, but the tranquility is sublime.
Cozumel’s pristine coral reefs and crystalline water attract divers the world over; fewer people realize the island also has a scenic national park, numerous beach clubs, a tournament golf course, even an important Maya ruin. Beat the cruise ship crowds by heading to the east side’s isolated beaches and dramatic surf. Most people arrive by ferry—it’s just a half-hour ride from Playa del Carmen—but there’s also an airport with international arrivals.
The Riviera Maya
Stretching 130 kilometers (81 miles) from Cancún to Tulum, the Riviera Maya has megaresorts and boutique bed-and-breakfasts, busy cities and quiet villages, great reef diving and amazing cenotes (freshwater sinkholes). Playa del Carmen has the area’s largest selection of hotels, food, nightlife, and services; try Puerto Morelos and Akumal for something a bit smaller, or isolated clusters of beachfront hotels like Tankah Tres and Soliman Bay for even more R&R.
Tulum and the Costa Maya
Tulum is justly famous for its stunning beaches, eco-chic bungalows, and namesake Maya ruin, with a dramatic view of the Caribbean. An hour from Tulum, Cobá boasts the second-tallest Maya pyramid and a lovely forest setting teeming with birds. Directly south of Tulum is the pristine Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and beyond that the isolated towns of the Costa Maya. There’s a lovely freshwater lagoon, Laguna Bacalar, a short distance from Chetumal, the busy state capital and gateway to Belize.
Several fascinating Maya ruins are within easy reach of Cancún and the Riviera Maya. Chichén Itzá is one of the most impressive and recognizable of all Maya ruins, and just two hours from Cancún. Even closer, Ek’ Balam is small but has a spectacular stucco frieze and relatively few visitors.
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