As far back as 1800 BC, the Mayans lived on the Yucatan Peninsula. The first tribe to discover the area was the Itzae, meaning “initiated wise people” or “water wizards.” Still today, some of their settlements can be explored.
The most notable ruin close to NIZUC is El Rey, which dates back to 1250-1630 AD. The ocean-facing site still has the perimeters of the original buildings and plazas. Walking through the site, it’s hard not to imagine what they would’ve been like in their prime—bustling with people and animals.
In modern times, coconut farmers populated this area. Then, in the 1970s, President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz drew up plans to transform this area of Cancun into the awe-inspiring, world-renowned resort destination it is today.
NIZUC, located at the southern tip of Cancun, was the site of the Presidential Retreat. The area is extremely secluded. Standing on the shore, looking out to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, you’ll feel as though you’re completely alone.
Adding to this feeling of a personal escape are the surrounding mangroves—a protected ecosystem. An array of animals—from toucans and iguanas to turtles and countless species of fish—call this dynamic environment their home. The result is a totally unforgettable experience, one that is not only singular to the Caribbean, but to the Peninsula itself.