Area: Sq. km
In the 1970s Mexico's ambitious tourism planners decided to outdo Acapulco with a brand new, world-class resort in the YucatÃ¡n Peninsula. The place they chose was a deserted sand spit offshore from the little fishing village of Puerto JuÃ¡rez. Its name was CancÃºn.
In the last two decades CancÃºn has grown from a tiny jungle village into one of the world's best-known holiday resorts. The Mexican government sunk vast sums into landscaping and infrastructure, yielding straight, well-paved roads, drinkable tap water and great swathes of sandy beach.