Paradise Rewind: Cancun in the 1970s

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)



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

24 thoughts on “Paradise Rewind: Cancun in the 1970s

  1. 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. 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

  3. I have seen so many changes in my 28 years of going to Cancun. Actually, I liked it better back then! πŸ™‚ 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!

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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?

  6. 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. πŸ™‚

  7. 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.

  8. 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!


  9. Hi!, good selection. Only one thing, about first photo, really isnΒ΄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.

  10. I spent a week in Cancun in 1978. I literally fell in love with the place…and my wife!
    She was a “Local” girl from Chetumal.
    I met her on the last night of my holiday and we kept in touch.
    We have recently celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary, so yes, this article has certainly brought back a lot of memories.
    I think that Cancun today is a completely different place to what it was like then.

  11. Does anyone remember a band called Los Irlandes playing in Cancun around 1974/75 or 76. I was called Sherry Summers and our band was the first irish band to perform there. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the hotel we played at. It was a very big event, think it was the opening.

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