The sun rises early in Cancún, bringing an orange hue to the luxury buildings in Zona Hotelera, where hundreds of hotels compete for the 14 miles [22.5 km] of sand stretches at beaches like Delfine and Ballenas. It doesn’t take long for people to start laying out their beach mats, setting up their beach chairs, or crowding the bars facing the sea. At Playa Forum and Playa Caracol, loud music sets the Spring Break mood all year round.
La Isla Shopping Village: Blvd. Kukulcan km 12.5, La Isla
12 p.m. • Luxury around the corner
Since the beaches are the heart of Zona Hotelera, its main artery is Boulevard Kukulcan. That’s where legendary city clubs like Coco Bongo and La Vaquita are located, along with an assortment of entertainment and dining options. At La Isla, an open-air shopping center, restaurants line up the banks of Laguna Nichupté. Luxury Avenue is home to both high-end and fast fashion brands.
Up until its planned development in the 1970s, Cancún had few residents, but archaeological discoveries revealed that the region had already had inhabitants for centuries. Nowadays, ruins of buildings and even a Mayan pyramid are open to the public at San Miguelito. Right next to it, the Museo Maya makes a big impression with both sacred and ordinary objects from ancient communities.
7 p.m. • Dance like a local
Non-guests can also visit many hotel bars and restaurants, like CHIC Cabaret, at the TRS Coral. For over three hours, dinner surprises your taste buds while, on the stage, dancers mesmerize you with covers of great musical performances. The audience also participates, enthusiastically clapping or even dancing along.
The luxury boat that sails to Isla Mujeres departs from Playa Tortugas and makes a quick stop for diving in the Caribbean Sea, revealing an infinity of other colors in the deep-blue waters. Back on board, cocktails and music anticipate the arrival at the island. There, a welcome lunch awaits passengers at Club Albatros, with tropical cocktails and beach BBQ.
When Spaniards arrived on the island in the 16th century, the many female images and even a temple in honor of Ixchel – the Mayan goddess of fertility and the moon – showed the place was undoubtedly dedicated to women. Nowadays, the ruins can be seen in Punta Sur after a short ride in a golf cart. Take advantage and walk to the southern end: that skyline is where the sun first rises in Mexico every morning.
9 p.m. • Time to eat
As there is never a bad time to eat, take some time to visit Tempo, Martin Berasategui’s restaurant at the Melià Paradisus Resort. The 10-Michelin-starred Basque chef reinvents his cuisine with contemporary techniques and the result comes in the shape of shrimp on a sea of anise and coral mayonnaise, or tomato-infused marrow salad.