Cancún (känkŏn) [key], city (1990 pop. 167,730), Quintana Roo state, SE Mexico. An international resort, Cancún is known for its beaches, agreeable climate, and luxurious hotels and facilities. Built in the early 1970s at the site of a small Maya village, Cancún extends along a barrier island. Nearby are Isla Mujeres and the other "Riviera Maya" resorts as well as numerous ancient Maya sites. The resort suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Wilma in 2005 but has recovered.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.