Cancún, a Mexican city on the Yucatán Peninsula bordering the Caribbean Sea, is known for its beaches, numerous resorts and energetic nightlife. It’s composed of 2 distinct areas: the more traditional downtown area, El Centro, and Zona Hotelera, a long, beachfront strip of high-rise hotels, nightclubs, shops and restaurants. Cancun is also a famed destination for students during college’s spring break period. As documented in the earliest colonial sources, the island of Cancún was originally known to its Maya inhabitants as Nizuc meaning either "promontory" or "point of grass". In the years after the Conquest, much of the Maya population died off or left as a result of disease, warfare, piracy, and famines, leaving only small settlements on Isla Mujeres and Cozumel Island. When development of the area as a resort was started on January 23, 1970, Isla Cancún had only three residents, due to the reluctance of investors to gamble on an unknown area, the Mexican government had to finance the first nine hotels. There are some small Mayan vestiges of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization in Cancún. Cancún has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate, with few temperature differences between seasons, but pronounced rainy seasons.