You might think you know Cancun – 14 miles of pristine white beaches shaped like a number “7” crystalline waters and sultry nights sipping on the perfect margarita, right? Well, you’re both right and wrong. If this is your idea of what Cancun is all about, read on. There’s so much more.
The history of Cancun dates back to 1967 when the Mexican government, recognizing the importance of tourism to the country’s economic future, began a detailed search to pinpoint ideal sites for tourism development. Resting on the northeast corner of the Yucatan Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo (keen-tah-nah-ROW), Cancun was a part of the ancient Mayan civilization and is still considered the gateway to El Mundo Maya (the Mayan World).
Before John Huston’s 1964 film, The Night of the Iguana, Puerto Vallarta was a just sleepy fishing village on the Pacific Coast where the states of Jalisco and Nayarit meet. But Liz Taylor came to keep an eye on her lover Richard Burton while he was filming with the voluptuous Ava Gardner. The publicity buzz about Burton and Liz’s torrid affair and the movie put Vallarta on the tourist map.
Guadalajara is Mexico’s second biggest city, and in many respects can be considered the quintessential Mexican destination. This is the birthplace of mariachi music and tequila, but also one of the country’s industrial and business centers, sometimes referred to as Mexico’s Silicon Valley. Unlike many colonial cities that maintain their original town plan, in the 1950s Guadalajara underwent a major project that changed the face of the city. Older buildings were razed to allow for wide avenues with new constructions, underground parking lots and shopping centers. Fortunately, the most beautiful older buildings were left intact.