geographical name

City (pop., 2000: 397,191) and island resort, southeastern Mexico. The city, on the northeastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, is a service town for the resort on Cancún Island (13 mi [21 km] long), which is connected by a causeway to the city. Originally settled by Maya Indians, the area was first described by John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood in their Incidents of Travel in Yucatán (1843). Cancún remained a fishing village until 1970, when the area was selected as a suitable site for a resort. The plan proved hugely successful; today Cancún is one of Mexico's busiest resorts.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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