Cancun, Mexico – People And Nature In The City Beyond The Tourist Zone

Cancun, Mexico is far more than beaches and hotels, there's an immense amount of life, culture, and nature all around the main city area.

Cancun, Mexico is far more than beaches and hotels, there’s an immense amount of life, culture, and nature all around the main city area.

A beach in Cancun

While I lived in Cancun for several years my interest in photography really took root and began to flourish. I would go on long walks around the city to capture everything I saw. During my time there I took hundreds of photos. Unfortunately, I had several CDs of photos stolen from me a month before I came back to the US. I ended up losing the majority of those photos except for some of my favorites which I had uploaded to Flickr.

Beaches and Sea Animals

I loved going to beaches while living there, I easily went to them over a hundred times during my 4 years there.

One evening I got see a massive sea turtle come ashore and lay eggs.

A huge sea turtle coming on shore to lay eggs

Several weeks later I helped release baby turtles into the sea at night to increase their risk of survival to avoid the birds that pick them off during the daylight.

A recently hatched baby turtle
Me helping release a bunch of baby turtles

During certain times of the year crabs would be everywhere. It was so cute. I loved them, I would even pick them up and let them crawl on my shoulders.

A mama crab protecting her eggs.


Because of the tropical environment, there were beautiful blooming flowers everywhere almost all year long. I really enjoyed the colorful and lively atmosphere of it all.

They skies were very intense sometimes. This photo was of a sunset that made the clouds look like actual fire.

Clouds like fire

Downtown Cancun

I lived in downtown Cancun. The photos below are of the street I lived off of, at night and during the day. The street was the main party and fun street for locals called Avenida Yaxchilan.

Avenida Yaxchilan in Cancun, Mexico
An abandoned art museum in Cancun

One time while I was walking around I came upon firefighters putting out a fire.

An abandoned police car in Cancun, Mexico

The Hotels

I worked in the hotels. Some of them were absolutely incredible with wild animals walking around and full trees and flowers.

Hotel Zone in Cancun, Mexico

Published by
Matthew T Rader