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CANCúN (/kænˈkuːn/ or /kɑːn-/ ; Spanish pronunciation: ) is a city in southeastern Mexico
Mexico
on the northeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo . It is an important tourist destination in Mexico, and the seat of the municipality of Benito Juárez . The city is on the Caribbean Sea , and is one of Mexico's easternmost points.

Cancún
Cancún
is just north of Mexico's Caribbean coast resort band known as the Riviera Maya . In older English-language documents, the city’s name is sometimes spelled "Cancoon," an attempt to convey the sound of the name.

CONTENTS

* 1 Place names and shield

* 1.1 Place names * 1.2 Shield

* 2 History * 3 City layout * 4 Cancun Airport\'s old Control Tower Memorial * 5 Maya archaeological sites * 6 Transportation

* 7 Climate

* 7.1 Hurricane Gilbert
Hurricane Gilbert
* 7.2 Hurricane Wilma * 7.3 Hurricane Dean
Hurricane Dean

* 8 Education * 9 Sport * 10 See also * 11 References * 12 External links

PLACE NAMES AND SHIELD

A fountain allusive to Benito Juárez's coat of arms, Cobá and Náder Av.

PLACE NAMES

There are two possible translations of Cancún, based on the Mayan pronunciation kaan kun. The first translation is "nest of snakes". The second version and less accepted is "place of the gold snake".

SHIELD

The shield of the municipality of Benito Juárez, which represents the city of Cancún, was designed by the Californian Mexican American artist Joe Vera
Joe Vera
. It is divided into three parts: the color blue symbolizes the Caribbean Sea, the yellow of the sand, and the red of the sun with its rays.

HISTORY

HISTORICAL POPULATION

YEAR POP. ±%

1990 167,730 —

1995 297,183 +77.2%

2000 397,191 +33.7%

2005 526,701 +32.6%

2010 628,306 +19.3%

sources:

As documented in the earliest colonial sources, the island of Cancún was originally known to its Maya inhabitants as Nizuc ( Yucatec Maya
Yucatec Maya
) meaning either "promontory" or "point of grass". In the years after the Conquest, much of the Maya population died off or left as a result of disease, warfare, piracy, and famines, leaving only small settlements on Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres
and Cozumel Island.

The name Cancún, Cancum or Cankun first appears on 18th-century maps. The meaning of Cancún
Cancún
is unknown, and it is also unknown whether the name is of Maya origin. If it is of Maya origin, possible translations include "Place/Seat/Throne of the Snake" or "Enchanted Snake". Snake iconography was prevalent at the pre-Columbian site of Nizuc. Cancun Island aerial view, from the top of the Escénica Tower adding 80 meters of height. May 2008 Crowded beach at Cancun Island La Isla Shopping Village

When development of the area as a resort was started on January 23, 1970, Isla Cancún
Cancún
had only three residents, caretakers of the coconut plantation of Don José de Jesús Lima Gutiérrez, who lived on Isla Mujeres . Some 117 people lived in nearby Puerto Juarez, a fishing village and military base.

Due to the reluctance of investors to gamble on an unknown area, the Mexican federal government had to finance the first nine hotels. The first financed hotel was a Hyatt, Cancún
Cancún
Caribe, but the first hotel built was the Playa Blanca, which later became a Blue Bay hotel. It is now named Temptation Resort. At the time it was an elite destination, famous for its virgin white sand beaches.

The city began as a tourism project in 1974 as an Integrally Planned Center, a pioneer of FONATUR (Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo, National Fund for Tourism Development), formerly known as INFRATUR. Since then, it has undergone a comprehensive transformation from being a fisherman's island surrounded by virgin forest and undiscovered shores to being one of the two most well-known Mexican resorts, along with Acapulco
Acapulco
. The World Tourism Organization (WTO), through its foundation UNWTO-Themis, awarded the Best of the Best award "for excellence and good governance" to the Trust for Tourism Promotion of Cancun on February 3, 2007. This award ensured Cancún
Cancún
the ongoing support of the Department of Education and Knowledge Management of the WTO.

Most 'Cancunenses' are from Yucatán and other Mexican states. A growing number are from the rest of the Americas
Americas
and Europe
Europe
. The municipal authorities have struggled to provide public services for the constant influx of people, as well as limiting squatters and irregular developments, which now occupy an estimated ten to fifteen percent of the mainland area on the fringes of the city.

In the 21st century, Cancún
Cancún
had largely avoided the bloodshed associated with the trade of illegal drugs, but is known for its retail drug sales to tourists as well as for being a center of money laundering . The links with Cancún
Cancún
date from the 1990s and early 2000s, when the area was controlled by the Juárez and Gulf drug cartels. In recent years Los Zetas , a group that broke away from the Gulf Cartel
Gulf Cartel
, has taken control of many smuggling routes through the Yucatán, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration .

The 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference
2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference
was held in Cancún from November 29 to December 10 of that year.

*

El Meco archaeological site *

Yamil Lu'um (Temple of the Scorpion) *

Aerial view from El Castillo of the archaeological site El Meco *

Master plan of INFRATUR

CITY LAYOUT

Town Hall Town Square

Apart from the island tourist zone (part of the world's second-longest coral reef), the Mexican residential section of the city, the downtown part of which is known as "El Centro," follows a master plan that consists of "supermanzanas" (superblocks), giant trapezoids with a central, open, non-residential area cut in by u-shaped residential streets. These open centers usually have walkways and 'sidewalks' around a central garden park, or football fields, or a library, etc. which make the mainland "Mexican" Cancún bicycle-friendly. The residential roads of central or 'Mainland' Cancún, U-shaped and culs-de-sacs, insulate housing from the noise and congestion of the main flow of traffic. Mainland Cancún
Cancún
has a central market that resembles an outlet mall, colorful buildings on a pedestrian city block.

Ave. Tulum
Tulum
is the main north-south artery, connecting downtown to the airport , which is some 30 km (19 mi) south of downtown. Tulum
Tulum
is bisected by Ave. Cobá. East of Ave. Tulum, Cobá
Cobá
becomes Ave. Kukulcan which serves as the primary road through the 7-shaped hotel zone. Ave. Tulum
Tulum
ends on the north side at Ave. Paseo José López Portillo which connects to the main highway west to Chichén Itzá and Mérida . Another major north-south road is Ave. Bonampak which runs roughly parallel to Ave. Tulum. The main ferry to Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres
is located in Puerto Juarez
Puerto Juarez
, on Ave. Paseo José López Portillo.

To save on the cost of installing sewer systems and other public services, the design of much of the rest of the city reverted to the grid plan after Hurricane Gilbert
Hurricane Gilbert
in 1988. The newest upper-middle-class residential areas reflect the original plan, but are much less intimate. Less expensive developments are composed almost entirely of identical one- or two-story small row-houses, sometimes built around interior plazas or 4 story apartment blocks.Until recently, most mainland buildings were four stories or shorter; since 2005, there has been an influx of condominium and luxury retail and office space concentrated along Ave. Bonampak.

Cancún's Mainland or Downtown area has diverged from the original plan; development is scattered around the city. The remaining undeveloped beach and lagoon front areas outside the hotel zone are now under varying stages of development, in Punta Sam and Puerto Juarez to the north, continuing along Bonampak and south toward the airport along Boulevard Donaldo Colosio. One development abutting the hotel zone is Puerto Cancún, also Malecon Cancún
Cancún
is another large development.

CANCUN AIRPORT\'S OLD CONTROL TOWER MEMORIAL

Despite being a young city, Cancun has a memorial monument of its foundation on a replica of the old Airport Control Tower that resembles to its own date of foundation. The original Control Tower was a provisional wooden structure to satisfy the operative needs of the recently created airport. Some documents of the city mention that on that time there were no other formal buildings constructed in the city, being possibly the first built structure of Cancun's recent history.

The old airport was located on the same part of the city that today corresponds to the Kabah Avenue. The tower is 15 meters tall, has a staircase of 45 steps, and has a base dimension of 5 x 5 meters. The memorial was first built in 2002, with the donations of Aerocaribe, a local airline, but the structure was damaged after Hurricane Wilma in 2005. After the claims of the local people asking to rebuild the tower memorial, a new version was built on 2010, which was later abandoned without proper maintenance until Woox Pinturas, another local wood maintenance company, made a donation to restore the structure to its original appearance.

MAYA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES

El Rey archaeological site

There are some small Mayan vestiges of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization in Cancún. El Rey (Las Ruinas del Rey) is located in the Hotel Zone. El Meco, a more substantial site, is found on the mainland just outside the city limits on the road north to Punta Sam.

Close by in the Riviera Maya and the Grand Costa Maya, there are sites such as Cobá
Cobá
and Muyil
Muyil
(Riviera) the small Polé (now Xcaret
Xcaret
), and Kohunlich
Kohunlich
, Kinichná, Dzibanché, Oxtankah, Tulum
Tulum
, and Chacchoben
Chacchoben
, in the south of the state. Chichén Itzá is in the neighboring state of Yucatán .

TRANSPORTATION

Cancún
Cancún
is served by the Cancún International Airport
Cancún International Airport
with an added main runway that commenced operation as of October 2009. It has many flights to North America, Central America, South America, Asia, and Europe. It is located on the northeast of the Yucatán Peninsula serving an average of about fifteen million passengers per year. The airport is located around 20 km (12 mi) from the hotel zone, approximately a 20 minute trip by car. The island of Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres
is located off the coast and is accessible by ferry from Puerto Juárez .

CLIMATE

Cancún
Cancún
has a tropical climate , specifically a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen Am ), with few temperature differences between seasons, but pronounced rainy and dry seasons. The city is hot year-round, and moderated by onshore trade winds, with an annual mean temperature of 27.1 °C (80.8 °F). Unlike inland areas of the Yucatán Peninsula, sea breezes restrict high temperatures from reaching 35 °C (95 °F) on most afternoons. Annual rainfall is around 1,340 millimetres (52.8 in), falling on 115 days per year.

More temperate conditions occur from November to February with occasional refreshing northerly breezes, it is drier and becomes hotter in March and April. It is hottest from May to September, due to proximity to the Caribbean and Gulf humidity is high the year round, especially during hurricane season (averages close to 70% on rainfree days). The hotel zone juts into the Caribbean Sea, it is surrounded by ocean therefore daytime temperatures are around 1-2C less and windspeeds are higher than at the airport located some distance inland, which is the official meteorological station for Cancún, averages as shown below.

CLIMATE DATA FOR CANCúN

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

RECORD HIGH °C (°F) 33 (91) 38 (100) 39 (102) 38 (100) 39 (102) 39 (102) 39 (102) 41.5 (106.7) 38.5 (101.3) 38 (100) 37 (99) 33.5 (92.3) 41.5 (106.7)

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 28.3 (82.9) 29.4 (84.9) 30.7 (87.3) 32.2 (90) 33.5 (92.3) 33.7 (92.7) 34.3 (93.7) 34.8 (94.6) 33.7 (92.7) 31.6 (88.9) 29.8 (85.6) 28.6 (83.5) 31.7 (89.1)

DAILY MEAN °C (°F) 24.1 (75.4) 24.8 (76.6) 25.8 (78.4) 27.4 (81.3) 28.7 (83.7) 29.2 (84.6) 29.5 (85.1) 29.7 (85.5) 29 (84) 27.5 (81.5) 25.9 (78.6) 24.5 (76.1) 27.2 (81)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) 19.8 (67.6) 20.3 (68.5) 21.0 (69.8) 22.6 (72.7) 23.9 (75) 24.7 (76.5) 24.8 (76.6) 24.6 (76.3) 24.3 (75.7) 23.3 (73.9) 21.9 (71.4) 20.5 (68.9) 22.6 (72.7)

RECORD LOW °C (°F) 13 (55) 12 (54) 9.5 (49.1) 14 (57) 18 (64) 20.5 (68.9) 21 (70) 20 (68) 19 (66) 15 (59) 12 (54) 12 (54) 9.5 (49.1)

AVERAGE RAINFALL MM (INCHES) 104.6 (4.118) 49.5 (1.949) 44.1 (1.736) 41.2 (1.622) 86.9 (3.421) 138.3 (5.445) 77.9 (3.067) 87.5 (3.445) 181.9 (7.161) 271.9 (10.705) 130.3 (5.13) 86.1 (3.39) 1,300.2 (51.189)

AVERAGE RAINY DAYS (≥ 0.1 MM) 9.4 5.9 5.0 4.1 6.7 11.0 9.3 9.7 14.0 16.4 11.4 9.8 112.7

Source: Servicio Meteorologico Nacional (1951–2010)

Average Sea Temperature JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

79 °F

26 °C 79 °F

26 °C 79 °F

26 °C 81 °F

27 °C 82 °F

28 °C 84 °F

29 °C 84 °F

29 °C 84 °F

29 °C 84 °F

29 °C 84 °F

29 °C 82 °F

28 °C 81 °F

27 °C

Thanks to the Yucatán current continually bringing warm water from further south, the sea temperature is always very warm, with lows of 79 °F (26 °C) in winter and highs of 84 °F (29 °C) in summer.

The tropical storm season lasts from May to December, the rainy season extends into January with peak precipitation in October. February to early May tend to be drier with only occasional scattered showers. Cancún
Cancún
is located in one of the main Caribbean hurricane impact areas. Although large hurricanes are rare, they have struck near to Cancún
Cancún
in recent years, Hurricane Wilma in 2005 being the largest. Hurricane Gilbert
Hurricane Gilbert
made a devastating direct hit on Cancún
Cancún
in September 1988 and the tourist hotels needed to be rebuilt. In both cases, federal, state and municipal authorities were well prepared to deal with most of the effects on tourists and local residents. Hurricane Dean
Hurricane Dean
in 2007 also made its mark on the city of Cancún.

HURRICANE GILBERT

Main article: Hurricane Gilbert
Hurricane Gilbert

1988's Hurricane Gilbert
Hurricane Gilbert
was the second most intense hurricane ever observed in the Atlantic basin. It landed on the Yucatán peninsula after crossing over the island of Cozumel. In the Cancún
Cancún
region, a loss of $87 million (1989 USD ) due to a decline in tourism was estimated for the months October, November and December in 1988.

HURRICANE WILMA

Main article: Hurricane Wilma

On October 21, 2005, Hurricane Wilma made landfall on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula
Yucatán Peninsula
as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, with strong winds in excess of 150 mph (240 km/h). The hurricane's eye first passed over the island of Cozumel , and then made an official landfall near Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen
in the state of Quintana Roo at around midnight on October 22 EDT with winds near 140 mph (230 km/h). Portions of the island of Cozumel experienced the calm eye of Wilma for several hours with some blue skies and sunshine visible at times. The eye slowly drifted northward, with the center passing just to the west of Cancún, Quintana Roo.

HURRICANE DEAN

Main article: Hurricane Dean
Hurricane Dean

Two years later after Hurricane Wilma, in 2006, Hurricane Dean
Hurricane Dean
made landfall as a Category 5 storm in Majahual , 190 miles (310 km) to the south of Cancún. Fierce winds at the edge of Dean's impact cone stripped sand off 7.5 miles (12.1 km) of beaches from Punta Cancún (Camino Real Hotel de la puta) to Punta Nizuc (Club Med). The authorities asked tourism operators to suspend sending tourists to Cancún
Cancún
while Hurricane Dean
Hurricane Dean
was approaching, but did ask airlines to send empty planes, which were then used to evacuate tourists already there.

EDUCATION

THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (June 2014)

Although Cancún
Cancún
is better known as a travel and tourism destination, in recent years some colleges and universities have been offering higher education to both Mexican and foreign students.

Private schools in Cancún
Cancún
include:

* Centro Educativo Monteverde * International American School of Cancun * Instituto Césare

SPORT

The city has been home to Atlante F.C. , a traditional Mexico
Mexico
City football club, since 2007. Atlante F.C. was moved to Cancun's Andrés Quintana Roo Stadium when that stadium opened. Its games had low attendance at its previous stadium, Azteca Stadium
Azteca Stadium
, which it had been renting. The team currently plays in the Ascenso MX , the second level of the Mexican football pyramid.

The city is also home to the baseball team Tigres de Quintana Roo , who play in the Mexican League
Mexican League
(LMB). Andrés Quintana Roo Stadium , with a very slight increase in its capacity that intended, for Atlante F.C.

SEE ALSO

* Mexico
Mexico
portal

REFERENCES

* ^ 2010 census tables, MX: INEGI, archived from the original on May 2, 2013 * ^ "Cancún".