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Cancún is a great place to experience 21st-century Mexico. Over the past three decades it has turned into the Miami of the south, with international investors pouring money into property development. The main attractions for most travelers to Cancún lie along the Zona Hotelera—a 22½-km (14-mile) barrier island shaped roughly like the number 7. To the east is the Caribbean, and to the west you'll find a system of lagoons, the largest of which is Laguna Nichupté. Downtown Cancún—aka El Centro—is 4 km (2½ miles) west of the Zona Hotelera on the mainland.
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