Paradise Rewind: Cancun in the 1970s

6 Jun

As I sit here in the office with our main system down and torrential rain outside (we haven’t had rain in months, and we’re so excited!), I decided it would be a good time to share some photos of Cancun’s Hotel Zone… from the 1970s.

I’ll do my best to post before and after shots, where possible. (Sorry I don’t have good sources for these photos. Most were send to me via e-mail.)


Cancun’s Party Center (looking south from Punta Cancun)


Calinda Bridge



Punta Cancun (where you’ll find Dreams, the Hyatt, Fiesta Americana and the Convention Center)



Playa Chac Mool (right behind Coco Bongo) looking north

1975 (that's the Camino Real in the background... today it's Dreams!)


Playa Chac Mool (right behind Coco Bongo) looking south

Punta Nizuc (southern end of the Hotel Zone)



 Not sure where in the Hotel Zone this is, but it looks lovely:

21 Responses to “Paradise Rewind: Cancun in the 1970s”

  1. ashlie June 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    Great photo blog Laura! Calinda’s old bridge sure looks scary! It’s amazing how much Cancun has changed through the years. Even in my 16 years here I have seen the landscape and skyline change so much

  2. Ang June 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    Holy Crap!!! That is unbelievable!

    Thanks for sharing, that was super neat!

  3. Leah June 6, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    Often wish I had lived in the 70s – seems less hectic. Imagine where we’ll be in another 30 years!

  4. DM June 6, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    WOW, that’s amazing all the way around..the landscape changes, the ocean changes, even the photography changes. What a great look at past and present!

    ~The Drama Mama

  5. Holyoke Home June 6, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    Whoa. These are AMAZING!

  6. KfromMichigan June 6, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    I have seen so many changes in my 28 years of going to Cancun. Actually, I liked it better back then! 🙂 No traffic, not so built up and prices of everything, well cheap is the word. The last photo could be the hotel zone .. I remember nothing was built past the Sheraton hotel. The beach was untouched and dolphins were out swimming .. it was beautiful!

  7. daddy June 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    Well, we were in Cancun in the late-mid 80’s. Your Mom was pregnant with our youngest daughter – you…

  8. Leslie Limon June 7, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    Wow! What a difference 30 years make! 😛 I think I would have liked “Old Cancun”. 🙂

  9. lisa n javi June 7, 2011 at 2:07 am #

    This is so cool. Great idea for a post. It is amazing how much everything has changed.

  10. Nikki June 7, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    That is crazy! And a little sad. Love when your Dad comments, he’s adorable.

  11. Krysten June 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Wow I can’t believe how much its changed!

  12. Kristi S June 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    Such development over the years! I am glad though, I love visiting Cancun

  13. Laurencancun June 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    I love it Laura!!!!

    What a great idea, and so interesting to see the changes!!

    When I lived here 9 years ago and today, things are totally different!!! It’s insane!!!

  14. Kathryn June 8, 2011 at 2:20 am #

    Very cool! I love to see what things were like in the past and how they have changed. The very first two photos are so dramatically different! Don’t you sometimes wish you lived in those simpler times?

  15. (FL) Girl with a New Life June 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Wow, what a difference. I love old photos.

  16. Ceri June 11, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Holy wow!! What a difference 30 years makes. I actually prefer the older photos – I swear I was born in the wrong decade. Anything pre 1965 fascinates me. 🙂

  17. Julie M. June 14, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Those photos are fabulous Laura! It’s amazing how much they built it up in such a short time!

  18. GRRRL TRAVELER June 16, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    It’s so sad that development is inevitable anywhere you go these days. Fortunately Cancun is still somewhat tropical and not completely overrun with hotels and buildings. Hawaii then vs now is radically different. Not a paradise anymore.

  19. Terrah Rominger June 20, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Thoroughly enjoyed this post!!! 🙂

  20. Mexican Artwork June 27, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    Oh wow! Soooo interesting. I would love to know where you got these photos. Regardless of the transformation, the images are beautiful. The grainy picture of the bus crossing the bridge is great! I hope you dont’ mind but I have re-blogged these on my website. Thanks for posting!


  21. Uluapa Sr September 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Hi!, good selection. Only one thing, about first photo, really isn´t Party Center (Punta Cancun with Coco Bongo, Dady’o, etc) km. 8 of Boulevard Kukulcan. We can see in this photo the zone where is, now, Grand Caribe Real Hotel, Flamingo Hotel (left) and Plaza Flamingo (right) on km. 11. Congratulations, excellent blog.

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