Cancun Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- Don't stop to chit-chat Cancún is crawling with timeshare representatives. They'll try to grab your attention in the airport, the hotel lobbies, and around the shopping areas. If you're not interested, give a polite but firm, "No, thank you" and keep moving.
- Siestas are important There's a reason Cancún can party well into the night—the workers here take a little disco nap every afternoon. Expect activity to halt from about 1 to 4 p.m.
- Take your time Cars are about the only thing that move quickly here. Residents of Cancún move at a relaxed pace. Take a cue from them and slow down.
Cancún is nothing if not resilient. Consider the debilitating effects Hurricane Wilma had on the region in 2005—drowned shores, felled storefronts, and capsized boats. But less than 10 years later, this skinny "7"-shaped barrier island in southeastern Mexico is once again a go-to spot for beaches, golfing, and nightlife. Cancún also remains one of the most affordable vacations in the Western Hemisphere—you could pay less than $600 per person for an all-inclusive vacation along these Yucatán sands, even during the self-indulgent Spring Break season.
So what's there to do here? We're glad you asked. Cancún's beaches are indeed spectacular spots to try some jet-skiing and parasailing. And there's also a host of after-hours activities; we'd particularly recommend you take in the acrobatic dance performances at the Coco Bongo Cancún. But this area is also close to one of the most recognizable sites of Mexico—don't miss out the chance to behold Chichén Itzá, a large Mayan archaeological site that is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
How To Save Money in Cancun
- Don't buy a phrasebook It's a great idea to learn a foreign language, but purchasing a Spanish phrasebook just for your trip to Cancún would be a waste of money. Nearly everyone speaks and understands English here.
- Use the buses They're reliable and abundant, and they cost less than $.50 USD to ride. 'Nuff said.
- Go all-inclusive Cancún overflows with all-inclusive resorts. Some of the best packages include all your meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, gym access, and even tip.
Cancun Culture & Customs
Cancún's popularity with college-age travelers lends to a more casual dress code, even in restaurants. You should cover up your swimsuit when away from the pool or beach, but you will find many people walking along the Boulevard Kukulcán in beach-type attire. Unlike other destinations, Cancún's night-time establishments welcome a more relaxed atmosphere—and appearance.
The official language here is Spanish, but because Cancún is such a popular tourism spot for Americans, you should have no trouble finding someone who speaks English, especially within the tourism and hospitality industries.
Cancún has almost as many restaurants as it does hotels, so travelers should have no problem finding suitable cuisine. The area specializes in regional Mexican food and fresh seafood dishes, but North American and European restaurants are also very popular. If you're seeking the classic Mexican food and drink, travelers recommend Calypso's. For more elegant fare, the moderately priced Labná serves authentic Yucateco dishes in huge portions, and comes highly recommended by travelers and the New York Times.