Cancun is a city in southeastern Mexico, located on the northeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. It is an important renowned tourist destination in Mexico, as well as being the seat of the municipality of Benito Juarez. The city is located on the Caribbean Sea, and is one of the easternmost points in Mexico. Cancun is located just north of Mexico's Caribbean coast resort band known as the Riviera Maya. In older English-language documents, the city's name is sometimes spelled "Cancoon".
There are two possible translations of Cancun, based on the Mayan pronunciation kaan kun. The first translation is "nest of snakes." The second version and less accepted is "place of the gold snake."
The shield of the municipality of Benito Juarez, who represents the city of Cancun, was designed by the Mexican American artist Joe Vera. It is divided into three parts: The color blue symbolizes the Caribbean Sea, the yellow the sand and the red the sun with its rays.
Apart from the island tourist zone (actually part of the world's second-longest coral reef), the Mexican residential section of the city, the downtown part of which is known as "El Centro," follows a master plan that consists of "supermanzanas"(superblocks), giant trapezoids with a central, open, non-residential area cut in by u-shaped residential streets. These open centers usually have walkways and 'sidewalks' around a central garden park, or soccer fields, or a library, etc. which make the mainland "Mexican" Cancun bicycle-friendly. The residential roads of central or 'Mainland' Cancun, U-shaped and culs-de-sacs, insulate housing from the noise and congestion of the main flow of traffic. Mainland Cancun has a central market that resembles an outlet mall, colorful buildings on a pedestrian city block.