Cancún consists of two very distinct areas: Cancún Centro (downtown) and Zona Hotelera (Isla Cancún).

The Zona Hotelera is what most people think of when they say ‘Cancún’: the sandy spit that encloses a scenic lagoon on one side and has the Caribbean’s azure-blues on the other. Its main road, Blvd Kukulcán, is a four-lane, divided avenue that leaves Cancún Centro and heads eastward for 9km, passing condominium developments, hotels and shopping complexes, to Punta Cancún (Cancún Point) and the Centro de Convenciones (Convention Center).

From Punta Cancún, the boulevard heads south for about 15km to Punta Nizuc, flanked on both sides for much of the way by huge hotels, shopping centers, dance clubs and many restaurants and bars. Here it turns westward and then rejoins the mainland, cutting through light tropical forest for several more kilometers to its southern terminus near Cancún’s international airport.

Addresses in the Zona Hotelera are refreshingly simple: instead of a street name (usually Blvd Kukulcán anyway) a kilometer distance from the ‘Km 0’ roadside marker at the boulevard’s northern terminus in Cancún Centro is given. Each kilometer is similarly marked. Most bus drivers will know the location you’re heading but, if in doubt, you can just ask to be dropped off at the appropriate kilometer marker.