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5 Must-See Cancun Neighborhoods and How to Visit


Cancun Neighborhood Guide
Hi, I'm Juniper!

Juniper is a freelance journalist, white-water rafting guide, former newspaper reporter, and lifelong outdoor adventure seeker.

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Hi, I'm Juniper!

Juniper is a freelance journalist, white-water rafting guide, former newspaper reporter, and lifelong outdoor adventure seeker.

see more

With white-sand beaches, all-inclusive resorts, and great nightlife, Cancun is a top vacation destination in Mexico. Set on the vibrant Caribbean coast, visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, and partying along the shore. Or, head into the city center to experience the area’s rich culture, food, and history. To make the most of your trip, keep reading for our Cancun neighborhood guide.

Hotel Zone

A favorite Cancun neighborhood for a reason.

Stretching the length of the peninsula that juts off the coast of Cancun, the Hotel Zone is the resort hub of the region. Isolated from the rest of the city and designed exclusively for tourists, the strip is lined with all-inclusive resorts, private beach clubs, upscale restaurants, and nightclubs. 

Cancun's Hotel Zone is a perennial favorite for good reason. Photo: Frederick Millett / Shutterstock

Party Zone

The ideal place to party the night away.

Home to Cancun’s top nightclubs—such as the Vegas-style CoCo Bongo and The City, the largest nightclub in Latin America—the Party Zone is alive 24/7 and usually packed with raucous crowds and loud music. Easily accessible for those staying in the Hotel Zone, the Party Zone also includes souvenir shops, shopping malls, and upscale bars. 

Downtown (El Centro)

Get an insight into local life.

Those looking for a more authentic Mexico experience should head to downtown Cancun. There, you can find flea-market-style shopping centers, street food stands, traditional Mexican restaurants, cooking classes, and bars frequented by locals. 

Beautiful Isla Mujeres is a great day trip destination from nearby Cancun. Photo: Aleksandar Todorovic / Shutterstock

Puerto Juárez

Escape the hustle and bustle of the center.

Set just north of the city along a quieter portion of the coastline, Puerto Juárez provides a tranquil alternative to Cancun’s bustling downtown and popping Hotel and Party zones. You can find laidback beaches, dinner cruises, and seafood restaurants with stunning views. Plus, the neighborhood is the hub for ferries and sailing excursions departing for Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres

An island getaway just a stone's throw from Cancun.

A short ferry ride off the coast of Cancun, Isla Mujeres is an island paradise that makes for a peaceful vacation base or a great day trip from Cancun. You can take a catamaran tour to the island, snorkel in the surrounding pristine waters, or explore the narrow streets on a golf cart. While not technically a Cancun neighborhood, it's well worth a visit.

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Where to Find the Best Views in Cancun
Where to Find the Best Views in Cancun