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Cancun to promote itself as more than a sun, sea and sand destination

With 14 miles of beaches and sparkling turquoise ocean waters, Cancun has been a popular tourist destination for many years, particularly with American "Spring-breakers" but there is more to this area of Mexico than sun, sea and sand and as such the region wants to further promote its other less famous attractions such as its eco parks, underwater museums, theme parks, and ancient Mayan ruins.

Cancun to promote itself as more than a sun, sea and sand destination

Until 1970, Cancun was an uninhabited strip of Caribbean coastline on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula that was full of unexplored beaches and mangroves, but in 1970 the region began to be developed into a tourist resort.

Over recent years, Cancun has become a popular destination for “spring breaks” and though it gained a reputation as a party town, the region’s tourism board has been busy turning that around by highlighting its gourmet festivals, museums, and natural wonders.

The area has 14 miles of beautiful sandy beaches that are fringed with sparkling azure ocean waters and it is in these waters here that visitors will find an array of diverse marine creatures and a unique underwater museum that was created by English artist Jason deCaires Taylor.

Located in the National Marine Park of Isla Mujeres, the Museum of Underwater Modern Art is home to 400 life-sized sculptures that reflect Mayan people and symbolise the relationship between humans and nature. The museum is one of the largest artificial reef attractions in the world and since its opening in 2009 the site has attracted thousands of scuba divers and snorkellers.

Another museum, this time on land, is the Maya Museum, which opened in November 2012 on Boulevard Kukulkan in Cancun’s popular hotel zone.

Tourists can discover a collection of 3,500 pieces that span the archaeology of the state of Quintana Roo and the history of Mayan culture in two of the three exhibit halls. The third hall is used for temporary exhibitions.

The region’s ancient Mayan sites are a popular attraction for holidaymakers and the ruins and temples in Tulum and Chichen Itza, near Cancun, are a fantastic way to discover the region’s history and heritage.

Cancun is also a great destination for adventure lovers and Maya Jungle Adventure Park is a new eco-park opened in February this year. The attraction offers activity programmes including rappelling down ancient cenotes, snorkelling in underground river systems, tours in off-road vehicles, zip-lining, and kayaking.

The Experiencias Xcaret, is an archaeological-themed park that honours the famous Xochimilco borough of Mexico City which dates back to the pre-Hispanic period.

With a wide range of interconnecting canals, holidaymakers can cruise along on colourful, gondola-style boats called trajineras while enjoying live mariachi music and local Mexican dishes.

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