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A Little Cancun History

The rumors are true.  In 1974 (before you or I were born), the Mexican government got together a team of computer analysts to write a program designed to pick the best place to create a new tourist destination.  The result of that early computer program: Cancun, a 16 mile sliver of uninhabited island in the Yucatan peninsula.  Thirty years later: you have the number one spring break destination in the world. 

Now the area is divided into two main sections- the commercial zone, on the mainland, and the hotel zone, on the island.  The island is a long stretch of white sandy beaches covered by hotels, resorts, and time share condo complexes.  Cancun's hottest bars and clubs are found amongst these hotel properties, more towards the north end of the island.

Cancun history, as it relates to spring break, is more recent.  Young Americans and their college compatriots did not begin going "South of the border" in droves until the early 1990s.  By this time, the Florida beaches had become crowded and people longed for a new hot spot, with warm waters and good beaches.

Cancun, meanwhile, had continued to build the hotel infrastructure to support a booming tourist industry and the word began to leak out.  Combine a low legal drinking age (18) and lots of all-inclusive resorts, and watch them come.  It was a match made in heaven!

The final punch that confirmed Cancun as the top Spring Break destination came from television- specifically, MTV.  As the network that caters to young people began live coverage of Spring Break, its first broadcast from Cancun in the mid 1990s sent out the call heard 'round college campuses everywhere:  Cancun has arrived, and the party does not stop!

Cancun History Now

Today Cancun remains a premier Spring Break destination.  MTV continues to cover and host many of its shows from Cancun, which brings in several of the hottest actors and musical stars idolized by the younger crowd.  This drives in even larger crowds, which continues the cycle that makes Cancun a Spring Break perennial favorite.

The history of Cancun will continue for the foreseeable future as young people continue to gather in masses to celebrate the arrival of Spring and desire escape from the rigors of the classroom and the office.

Spring Breaker Reports

Do you know more about the history of Cancun as it relates to Spring Break? We're always looking for input from our fellow Spring Breakers.  If you have something to add, please submit more about Cancun History here.