Cancun Mexico

Cancun

Cancun is knowned to be the heart of the Mexican Caribbean and thousands of visitors visiting the Yucatan Peninsula end up right here! Discover Caribbean beaches, best things to do, tripadvisor tours to isla mujeres or Xcaret, hotels, and attractions as you plan your next vacation to the Riviera Maya. 

Table of Contents

Cancun Travel Advisory

Why Cancun is so popular?

Cancun, best beach destination of the Riviera Maya

Cancun is synonymous with luxury, partying, Spring Breaker, resorts, and beautiful beaches. But, you’ll also find a city with friendly people, character, and amazing food. You can visit many Mayan ruins nearby the city. Aside it’s endless parties, this caribbean Mexican city has  much more than that.. The gorgeous white sand beaches, great tropical weather, and amazingly clear and clean waters are huge pulls for many tourists and if you spend a few days in Cancun, you will see that it has much more to offer. It also has everything on hand to make your vacation delightful and memorable. It is the perfect place to experience luxury accommodation, nature, mayan civilisation of the Yucatan Peninsula and the Riviera Maya, delicious food, vibrant nightlife, tropical islands, breathtaking cenotes or spiritual retreats. You can visit the beautiful Isla Mujeres or Contoy, visit the subacquatic museum, discover mexican culture spending a day in Xcaret or learning salsa dancing.

When to visit Cancun?

Best time to visit Cancun

Cancun’s location gives it sunny, warm weather throughout most of the year.

  • May brings the beginning of the rainy season, with showers and thunderstorms in the evenings all the way through October. September to the middle of October is hurricane season and is not a good time to visit. But it is also when you will have to best prices.
  • December through April brings low humidity, cooler Caribbean waters and warm sunshine. This is a great time to go if you want to visit cultural sites as you won’t be dripping in sweat before you get to where you’re going. It is also the busiest season and Cancun is packed with travelers from all over North America and Europe. The hotel zone will be overflowing at times, so think about saying outside the zone.
  • If you want to avoid crowds, the best time to visit this city is April through June (as well as November) are good times to book a trip.
  • Stay away from late February through March as this is prime spring break season.

Cancun and Safety

Is Cancun safe?

Aside from being home to some of the best beaches in Mexico, it is also very safe. The Hotel Zone is guarded with patrol cars and surveillance cameras in public areas. It’s still wise to pay attention to your surroundings and not wander off into unfamiliar areas. Dangerous crimes against tourists is uncommon here, most of the conflicts in the area, when they occur, are between the authorities and Mexican drug cartels. Locals are friendly and helpful.

TIPS: Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID. Always carry the immigration visa they gave you where you enter the country. 

Is Cancun expensive?

Cancun travel budget

Cancun has prices for all type of traveller. Compared to other countries of South America, it is definatly more expensive but you will find many economic prices on accommodations, activities and food. In average, you should plan to spend around M$2,040 ($96) per day on your vacation, which is the average daily price.

Economic

If you’re travelling on a budget, you will spend at least 1,035 MXN ($53 USD) per day. This budget will get you a hostel dorm, street food or self-cooked meals, local transportation, and a few attractions each day. If you’re drinking a lot, I’d add another $10-20 USD per day depending on how much you want to party.

Mid-Range

Travelling on a mid-range budget, you will spend around  1,780 MXN ($90 USD) per day, for a budget hotel, eat at local restaurants, visit some touristic sites and do some  attractions, take public transportation but also a few taxis (There is NO Ubers in Cancun).

Luxury

A luxury budget will cost you at least 6,430 MXN ($325 USD) per day or more. You will stay at a four-star hotel or resort, eat out for all your meals, have plenty of drinks, take taxis everywhere, and do some guided or private trips and go shopping. 

Best Mexico travel Guide Blog - MExplor

Getting from & to Cancun airport

Cancun airport shuttle

When travelling from Cancun International airport (CUN) to the Hotel Zone, you have 3 different transfer options, taking a taxi or the bus. Choosing to take a taxi is easily the most convenient option. The total journey time is 30 minutes and the cost will be around 30$ (700 MXN). Taxis are fairly safe in Cancun, a bit dishonest but safe. 😁 The cheaper option is to take the ADO bus which costs 5$ (96 MXN) to the city downtown, where you will then need to take a taxi to the Hotel Zone or a second bus. The total journey time will be around 60 minutes depending on traffic. You can also book a trip with a reliable private driver, it will cost in general less than a taxi driver, around 30$ (650 MXN).

*prices from sept 2020

Best area to stay in Cancun

Where to stay in Cancun?

As a popular holiday destination, Cancun has a lot of places to stay but decide on the best location can become overwhelming. Cancun is divided into three main districts, which are further divided into a series of neighborhoods. 

Zona Hotelera

Built exclusively around tourism, it is the most popular resort area and offers a wide variety of family-friendly hotels with all-inclusive packages, pools, fitness centers, restaurants, spas and live entertainment. A hub of activity all throughout the day, this is where you’ll find large resorts, all-incluvise hotels, vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches and plenty of restaurants and bars.

Punta Cancun

Punta Cancun is a small neighbourhood  is located at the north end of Zona Hotelera. It has golden sand beaches, impressive blue waters, and is where you can see spectacular views of the city, the islands and beyond. The ultimate destination for partiers and night owls, Punta Cancun is home to the regions most infamous bars and clubs. This is a neighbourhood that never sleeps and will be the best area to stay if you are looking for nightlife.

Cancun Downtown

This is the place to stay if you’re looking for a break from the throngs of tourists, or are keen for a glimpse into real Mexican life. More authentic than Zona Hotelera, El Centro is where most Cancun residents live. It’s noticeably cheaper than the resort region and is where you can enjoy amazing meals of tacos, burritos, and cochinita pibil.

Other ideas

  • About an hour from Cancun, the laid-back Playa del Carmen is another option with beautiful beaches, bars and restaurants on the 5th avenue and lots of activities.
  • Facing Puerto Juarez and only a 30 minute ferry ride away, Isla Mujeres provides an idyllic setting of crystal blue water, lush palm trees and quiet relaxation destination, especially for families or couples.
  • Puerto Morelos is our pick for the coolest neighbourhood. Located between the Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos is a village bursting with culture and charm. It has incredible white sand beaches, dazzling blue waters, and spectacular views. Puerto Morelos is where you can enjoy all the perks of paradise without the bustling crowds. It offers boutique hotels and local businesses in the charm of a Mexican fishing village.
  • Cozumel is one of the area’s most popular islands oof Playa del Carmen shore. It’s accessible by a 20-minute flight or a 45-minute ferry ride. Travelers who enjoy diving or authentic Mexican life style will love this island setting.
Catamaran Tour to Isla Mujeres Cancun MExplor

What to do in Cancun?

Things to do in Cancun

Cancun is an area that is biodiverse and extremely rich in culture and history. With mystical ruins that take you back in time and modern adventurous activities that get your adrenaline pumping, there truly is something for everyone. Here are the most popular things to do:

Mayan ruins Mexico

  1. Visit Chichen Itza – This ancient Mayan site ( one of the 7 wonders of the World) was one of the largest Mayan cities and was a major economic power in the region. 
  2. Visit Tulum ruin – Sitting on the cliff-side overlooking incredible beaches and perfect blue water, Tulum was one of the largest cities built by the Mayans. 
  3. Visit CobáCobá was an urban hub of many settlements that were joined by roads called sacbes, a very unique feature to this Mayan city.

Cancun day trip excursions

  1. Isla Mujeres – popular for its incredible beaches, fresh seafood, large sea turtle population and spectacular snorkelling and scuba diving.
  2. Whale sharks – Whale sharks are the largest known fish in existence, season from mid-June to early-September.
  3. Snorkeling Trip on catamaran – day trip to enjoy the sights, go open sea snorkelling or even bask in the sun with a cold adult beverage.

Activity

  1. Take a salsa or bachata class – get into the caribbean vibe by learning how to dance salsa or bachata as a local.
  2. Diving or snorkel in the undergroung museum – This Museo Subacuático de Arte features over 400 sculptures, which are platforms for coral growth to regenerate the damaged ecosystem. 
  3. Spend a day in Xcaret or Xel-Ha – the best water eco-archeological parks in the Riviera Maya to discover Mexico culture.
  4. Try a traditional Temazcal spa – ancient Mayan ceremony that is meant to be a source of energy and health.
Our favourite
The Best Tripadvisor tour in Cancun 2020 - MExplor

If you want to try something different while staying in Cancun or the Riviera Maya, we recommend this experience of learning Salsa and do Yoga on the beach in Puerto Morelos. You will spend 2 hours dancing and doing yoga in a paradise environment. 

Rent a Car in Cancun

While you should always be prepared and take precautions while driving in Mexico, there’s no need to be fearful: driving in Mexico and renting a car are safe activities for tourists. It is highly recommended to have more freedom to visit the country and no rely on public transports or taxis. You will find very reliable and economic vehicles to rent in Cancun. 

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