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.
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.
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 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.
- 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.