It may be famous for American spring break visitors, and have more flights to the states and Canada than some places on the main continent should have, but these visitors do not come without reason. The beach is absolutely spectacular. It goes on and on, is wide and flat, with beautiful white sand and rolling waves with a delicious turquoise ocean with just the right sized waves -- the perfect temperature in Spring. Mega hotels may have sprung up in their hundreds, the nightclubs offering free drinks all night long may lead to offensive behavior, and there may be just a few too many tourist stalls, but where there are tourists there are jobs, money, better standards of living and other benefits to share.
The 15 km strip likes on a the outer banks of a lagoon that separates the main city (where the majority of Mexicans live and the backpackers stay) from the high flying golf courses and five star palaces. The Yucatan peninsula where it sits is porous limestone offering fabulous day trips to cenotes (sinkholes), and of course the magic Mayan ruins such as Chichen Itza (#875). Off the coast lies the more laid-back Isla Mujeres and even whale sharks (#915).