Cancun

Cancun also known as the Vegas of Mexico is your passport to an unforgettable holiday. A vibrant, energetic fun-filled destination with enchanting sunsets, infinite beaches, historical civilisations and a buzzing nightlife.

Cancun is located in the Southern part of Mexico in the state of Quintana Roo. It is bordered by the Caribbean Sea and is famous for its  all inclusive resorts and wild nightlife. With a stretch of 14 miles of shimmering white sands which is actually made up of crushed corals and keep your feet cool despite the hot weather is the perfect place to enjoy sun sea and sand.

Best Time to Go

Cancun enjoys great weather all year round but January is a great time to visit with temperatures averaging between 23ºC and 27ºC it is the prefect place for that winter sun. Depending on what you prefer the ideal time means traveling slightly out of season to avoid the crowds and get cheaper deals. The cheapest time of year is September and October, which is the rainy season and you can get hotels cheaper and beaches less crowded. Only downside is you don’t want to end up visiting during a hurricane. If you are looking for a party holiday then the spring break in March is when you get the best nightlife. However the perfect time to visit Cancun is between November and April but this is also the most popular time so be prepared to pay a premium price.

 

Getting There & Around.

Cancun International Airport is Mexico’s second largest airport and is located in Quintana Roo on the the Yucatan Peninsula. The airport was officially opened in 1974 and is well connected to most parts of America and a choice of flights from Paris, New York, London and the rest of the world. You can get some really cheap flights from America and that is how we did it. We flew in from New York with an average flight time of just over 4 hours and was ready to start our Mexican beach holiday.

 

The only down side is the taxi fare getting out of the airport which is exorbitant and could cost you as much as $60 for a 20 minute ride into town. Some sort of crazy mafia taxi union which you can avoid if you get a pick up from your hotel. However getting back to the airport is quite cheap and would cost you half this.

Once you are in the city there is plenty of public buses wizzing around and can take you anywhere for less than $1. There are also a few luxurious shuttle buses but these are specific to certain tourist destinations. Another good way to see the island is to hire a car specially if you want to do day trips and discover beyond the city.

 

 

Cancun is well connected by public transport and you don’t have to rent a car or rely on taxis to get around. There is a good network system of buses all throughout the Hotel Zone and Avenida Tulum. They are a convenient yet pocket friendly to travel within the city with a flat rate of under $1 a ride.

 

Where to Stay

Depending on your budget and the kind of holiday you are looking for Cancun offers you two completely different options. The more relaxed beach holiday in the Hotel Zone with their large all inclusive resorts or the more electric one with parties in the central downtown area. If it is going to be a more relaxed or family oriented holiday with the kids then opt for the Hotel Zone with an all-inclusive resorts like we did. Most of the large resorts come with a child club and offer plenty of activities to keep the kids happy and the beach at your footstep. If you are looking for a more wild holiday then downtown it is.

 

 

Most hotels in the Hotel Zone area have their own private access to the beach and are a great way to relax and spend a few days in the sun. The hotel zone is nearly 10 miles of hotels and you can access the beach through your hotel.

 

 

Parsdisus Cancun  – For our first trip we went with the Paradisus Cancun Hotel part of the Melia Group and one which I would highly recommend.

 

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The hotel is perfectly situated in the middle of the hotel Zone with an exclusive beach and provides the perfect accommodations for your vacation getaway.  It is a luxury resort on par with the highest standards of excellence and awarded Four Diamond honours since 2006 by AAA.The hotel has elegantly decorated rooms and is a short 15 minutes drive from the airport.  The hotel has four lagoon-inspired pools, and nine on-site restaurants to indulge yourself and makes this one of the best hotels you can find on the island.

 

The Paradisus offers plenty of activities that include Tennis, a golf course, Kids Club, Spa and a Family Concierge which give you plenty to do and ways to explore during your perfect Cancun vacation.

 

Things to Do.

Cancun is famous for its white sand beaches and some of the most gorgeous ocean views and sunsets so relax and enjoy this. However when the sun goes down and the beaches get empty the nightlife takes over with plenty of places to visit for a wild night out.

 

 

Nightlife

Cancun is a popular party destination as well and attracts thousands of students during the spring break. Cancun is Mexico’s party capital and a hotspot to see the famous “Cirque de Soleil” acts in clubs like the  Coco Bongo and  Pallazo. Palazzo Cancun is glamorous and decorated with chandeliers and lights, which provide a very chic and elegant backdrop to a great night out.

 

 

There are other places like Senor Frog, Mandala and Dady’O which are less pricy compared to Pallazo and are located close to the Plaza Forum open every night to make your vacations to Cancun one to remember.

 

Museo Maya de Cancun

A very different side of Cancun away from the partying and sunbathing would be a visit to the Museo Maya de Cancun. This is where you can learn about the Mayan civilisation that reigned in the Yucatan and Mexico until the Spanish arrived in the 16th century.

 

 

Day trip to Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is one of the modern Marvels of the World and a place filled with mysticism and legends that the Mayans built. It is filled with archeological richness and a very popular tourist destination. The Yucatan Peninsula has a lot of history as it was home to the ancient Mayan civilisation with ancient cities to discover and the most important one being Chichen Itza.

An impressive pyramid 30 meters tall surrounded by other smaller buildings is dedicated to the god Kukulcan and a place that you must visit. Chichen Itza is the most visited ruins in all of Mexico and one of the largest Mayan Ruins probably built.

 

Snorkelling & Scuba Diving

Cancun is also known for its snorkelling and diving opportunities, with some great reefs to discover but what is more sensational are the Cenotes. The Cenotes are miles of underground caves filled with freshwater. Ox Bel Ha, which is roughly 134 miles is the longest underwater cave in the world.

Cancun also boasts of the world’s second largest coral reef barrier and a vast variety of submarine life filled with fishes and corals of different shapes and colours. You can enjoy these reefs either by Snorkelling or Scuba Diving.

 

Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is half an hour away from Cancun, and the only way to get there is by sea. You can hop on to a ferry that depart form all major ports throughout Cancun’s Hotel Zone. The ferries take you to Puerto Juarez, which is the nearest port to the island. Isla Mujeres is a great place to spend a day enjoying the beach doing some snorkelling or just relaxing and enjoying the sunset on your way back to Cancun.

 

Mexican Food and Shopping.

If you are a fan of Mexican food like I am then there is no better place than Cancun to treat yourself. But if you are not, don’t worry as there is a variety of restaurants serving cuisines from around the world and some great American Fast Food.

There are plenty of Mexican restaurants in the city centre and most hotels serve a Mexican treat but try and go outside the tourist areas to some local restaurants that serve more authentic Mexican food and will be much cheaper as well.

 

The city centre has some great shopping, from a mall to small boutique shops where you can pick up some unique hand crafted souvenirs. Another great place to shop is Mercado 28. This is a popular place with tourists and you can find your perfect Mexican souvenir here. They have a great collection of Ponchos, Ceramics, Sombreros and synonymous with Mexico, Tequila. The sunscreen in shops and hotels are pretty expensive so try and carry a few bottles from home as you will definitely need more then one with that strong  Mexican sun.

Must Do’s.

  • Pay a visit to the ancient Mayan temples at Chichen Itza.
  • Party the night away at the Coco Bongo.
  • Learn about the history of the Mayans at the Museo Maya de Cancun.
  • Pack plenty of sun screen.
  • Enjoy the white sand beaches and realx.
  • Take a walk along the Cancun Hotel Zone and admire at the different hotels.
  • Explore the largest underground rivers of Cenotes.
  • Marvel at the reefs as you go Snorkelling.
  • Get a Picture With The Cancun sign.
  • Enjoy the sunset on the Ferry to Isla Mujeres.
  • Have a shot of Tequila.
  • Dig into a big meal at the at Senor Frogs.

 

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41 thoughts on “Cancun

  1. What a great post! It brought me back amazing memories of Mexico! I had so much fun in Cancun and being at the pyramid of Chichen Itza was an unforgettable experience! Your photos are absolutely beautiful!

  2. I would LOVE to go to Cancun, and haven’t been to Mexico in general for quite some time. I agree with needing to wander outside of the touristy areas to get some REAL Mexican food and it most certainly is cheaper! Also, I always forget to pack sunscreen and it kicks me in the butt when I realize how much it’s going to cost me…

    • Well Cancun certainly tops the sun screen cost. So pack some. How you can make it soonnnnn

  3. I had no idea that Cancun was know as the Vegas of Mexico, but it does have the right ring to it! January totally sounds like the perfect time to visit – the weather temperature is just amazing. Pair that with the white sandy beach… just perfect. I do also love the sounds of authentic Mexican food – that’s totally where I’m at!

  4. I always love places which are well connected with public transport. Really easy to navigate around. Thanks for sharing!!

  5. It’s great to read about Cancun. such an exotic place with beaches and and great landscapes. I would love to visit the Mayan museum . The pictures of snorkeling make me want to go for the adventure soon.

  6. You are the king! you discover all these nice places which are not so well known but are hidden gems. Cancun is one of them. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I still haven’t visited Mexico but would definitely love to go to Cancun. I always thought that it’s a very touristy place and honestly, that’s why I avoided it but I’m glad to see there are parts of it that aren’t so touristy. Great job of discovering nice places that aren’t so known among tourists 🙂 Thank you for sharing

  8. I’ve been to Cancun twice but it seems that there is always something new! Since it is so inexpensive and a short distance from the US, it is very popular with Americans. The hotels and beaches are gorgeous and there are so many all-inclusives. I haven’t taken a trip to Isla Mujeres but I need to go next time. And Chichen Itza is fabulous. But still my favorite thing to do in Cancun is what you suggest – lay on the beach just relaxing! We rented a car last time and you’re right, it wasn’t really necessary.

  9. I’ve been looking at going to Cancun as flights are sometimes a really good deal. The January temperatures sound perfect for a winter break from the UK, warm but not too hot. It’s great to know that public transport is good to get around. So many great hotels to choose from, I love the amazing lagoon pools at Paradisus, and of course, the sandy white beaches. I think I’d like to combine time in Cancun with at least a week exploring more of Mexico, including Chicen Itza.

  10. Cancun really looks a favorable destination for beach lovers. As Mexico is always on my wish list, I am adding Cancun to it is very beautiful and very colorful. I loved the sunset as I can see all the colors of pink and purple which is really very stunning. Paradise Cancun resort with 9 lagoon pools and 9 onsite restaurants is really wonderful to book for. Thanks for sharing all the tips and necessary information.

  11. I stayed at the Paradisus during my first trip to Cancun too! I was pretty young but had nothing but good memories there. The hotel zone is defintiely the place to stay when traveling with young ones or when looking for a beach holiday! Glad you had a good time!

  12. Cancun looks like the perfect beach destination during winter! I love the waters, so pretty. I really wish to make it to Mexico in the near future, all those beaches, the food, the vibe and the historical sites such as the Mayan Ruins are several reasons I want to go there. Thanks for recommending Parsdisus Cancun, it looks amazing!

  13. Oh to be on the sandy beaches of Cancun again! I’m so happy that you included the Museum of Mayan History on this list. It’s such an important museum that not many people visit. I love the Mayan ruins so I also recommend heading to Chichen Itza to see the ruins up close. Great post!

  14. I had some amazing times in Cancun. However, it did feel very touristy but I didn’t know about these parts of Cancun that aren’t so touristy. Great job of discovering nice places that aren’t so known among tourists.

  15. I have been to some other areas of Mexico but not Cancun. I didn’t realize that the snorkeling was so abundant; your photos are gorgeous. Paradisus Cancun looks like a great place to stay!

  16. I have never been to Cancun and in Mexico in general. I have always seen it in TV or read about the beauty of Cancun in the travel blogs. Seeing it again here makes me want to book a ticket going there next year! Great pics!

  17. That’s a great holiday destination. I am not missing Maya de Cancun museum – it looks so interesting. Day trip to Chichen Itza is also a great idea to fit in. It also has snorkeling and scuba diving options. You have nicely detailed all the information of Cancun. This is a very helpful post.

  18. The Paridisus resort looked marvelous, I’d be interested in staying in a place like that. I must see Chichen Itza!! Cancun is fairly cheap to travel to from where I live in Texas, not really sure why I haven’t paid them a visit yet.

  19. Such beautiful beaches and great weather! I’ll have to remember that tip about airport taxis when I go though.. And I never knew there was a museum about the Mayan civilisation – I always thought Cancun was just a party city, so it’s good to know it has more to offer.

  20. I stayed at Playa del Carmen when in Quintana Roo, and made a day trip to Cancun. Sadly, I didn’t get to do the things you mentioned, but I definitely made the trip to Chichen Itza, it’s so worth it! Paradisus looks like a great resort to stay at too, and it sounds like you had a great time staying there. I love Islas Mujeres, and would return to spend longer next time.

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