Only 40 years ago, Cancun Mexico was a brand new tourist destination. In the 1970s the former Mexican president Echeverilla started an ambitious project to build up a tourist destination to outshine Acapulco which at that time was the millionaire´s playground. This brand new, world-class resort was planned to be built on the Yucatan Peninsula in Cancun.
The only large town or city in the Yucatan peninsula at that time was Merida. When they discovered Cancun on the east coast of the peninsula they decided to build the resort right there on Caribbean coast. At the time it was just a deserted sand spit somewhere offshore near a little fishing village called Puerto Juarez. The name of the uninhabited place was Snake’s Nest, which in Mayan is Cancun.
It is hard to imagine how everything started. There was absolutely nothing here except jungle and mosquitoes at that time. Even a road had to be build though the jungle to be able to reach the eastern part of the Yucatan peninsula. Vast sums were sunk into landscaping and infrastructure, yielding straight, well-paved roads, potable tap water and great swaths of sandy beach. Cancun was the first ever large project this part of the country had ever seen.
Cancun has one of the largest reef systems worldwide and cenotes so it is a mecca for scuba divers and this has attracted divers from all over the world.
Today, four decades later, Cancun, once a forgotten jungle village, has grown into one of the world’s greatest and most visited vacation resorts. Especially during the first two decades, the Mexican government backed the project by investing itself vast amounts of money into the infrastructure of the area.