Cancun was built just for you,
the North American and European tourist, so you could
come and enjoy Mexico's own bit of paradise. Less than
40 years ago, Cancun was basically uninhabited, miles
from civilization. Today, world-class hotels, restaurants
and glitzy nightclubs abound.
Cancun is a narrow 23-kilometer-long
(14-mile) island section (Cancun Island) lined with
modern beach front hotels surrounded by the Bahia de
Mujeres (Bay of Women), the Caribbean Sea, and the Nichupte
and Bojorquez lagoons. The island is a "seven"
with each end connected to the mainland by bridges,
the southernmost connecting to the airport and the highway
south. To the north, the bridge connects the Hotel Zone
with Cancun's downtown, the "Centro" on the
mainland. "El Centro" has colorful shops,
restaurants and smaller hotels catering more to European
and national tourism.
Cancun's incredible beaches are
its main attraction, with brilliant white sands and
turquoise waters. Discover abundant and colorful underwater
life at the snorkeling reserves of Xcaret and Xel-Ha
in the Riviera Maya or at Isla Mujeres, where Palancar
Reef begins - the second largest barrier reef in the
Cancun offers more modern luxury
and less "old world culture" than other popular
Mexican resort areas. Still, it is within easy reach
of the fabulous Mayan history found within the ruins
of Tulum, Chichen Itza and Coba.
In the evening, Cancun turns
up the heat with nightclubs that rock until dawn!
Cancun is located off the northeast
point of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, directly south
of New Orleans, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
There are nonstop flights to
Cancun from over 20 US cities - plus daily nationwide
sand and turquoise sea...that's Cancun. (Photo
taken from beach in front of Riu Cancun looking
towards the Fiesta Americana Coral Beach and
The drive from the Cancun airport
to your resort hotel depends on where your hotel is
located. Most are along the long stretch of beach that
makes up the Hotel Zone. The resorts closest to the
airport are those at the southern end of the Zone, and
typically are only a few minutes' drive away. Depending
on traffic, resorts at the northern end of the Zone
may be a 30 minute drive or more. A few hotels are also
in "Downtown" Cancun, but they are not particularly
attractive to the typical Cancun vacationer who is looking
for beaches and warm tropical seas. For that atmosphere,
you want a resort in the Hotel Zone.
Time to Visit
If you want to pick the best
month for going to Cancun, it is likely to be November.
The weather is at its best and the prices are "low
season" because there are fewer tourists going
The best weather for visiting
Cancun is November through February. Temperatures tend
to be in the low to mid 80s, and the humidity is not
too bad. It is the "dry season" for this part
of Mexico, with rain only falling on 6-12 days of each
month and then maybe only an inch of rain per month.
Precisely because those are the best weather months,
they are also the months with some of the biggest crowds
of northerners escaping the cold weather of the US and
Canada and higher prices.
The worse months for going to
Cancun are March through May when the discomfort from
heat and humidity is extreme. The average daily temperature
is in the low 90s, and temperatures of 106° F are
not unknown. It only begins to cool off a bit as the
rains start in May (expect rain on 10 days that month
for a total of more than 3 inches in the month). Despite
the weather, those months are also some of the most
crowded as "spring breakers" descend on Cancun
for major party time.
In the "summer months"
of June through October, the discomfort level is not
quite as bad although the heat and humidity are high
and it will be rainy quite often. Expect significant
rain on 20 or so days in each of those months. And those
are the months when hurricanes may strike in the Western
Caribbean and put a real "dampener" on a beach
See tips for dressing.
- Cancun is in the Central Time
- Electricity is 110v, just
like in the US and Canada.
- English is widely spoken.
- US dollars are accepted in
most places. But if you want pesos, you can get them
from ATMs and banks. Banks are open Monday to Friday
from 9 am to 3 pm, some until 5 pm. A few open on
Saturdays from 10 am to 1:30 pm.
- Tipping is expected for excellent
service; in restaurants and bars, 15% is typical.
Tipping hotel maids is a very nice thing to do as
they work very hard for low wages, and your tips will
be very much appreciated. A couple of dollars per
day can make a difference in their lives and will
hardly break your bank. Tipping of taxi-drivers is
a few bucks along to use as tips to the driver, guide,
etc. If you tip with pesos, remember that one peso
is worth only about a dime. Youd feel badly
if you gave someone a nice five peso tip
and then realize later that you gave them only 50
cents rather than the $5 you had intended to give.
Tipping with dollar bills is perfectly acceptable.
- Traveling with children? Mexico
is very strict about allowing minors in who are not
accompanied by both parents. Minors traveling
with only one parent or adults other than their parents
must have a notarized letter from the absent parent(s)
authorizing them to be taken out of the country. If
the parent is deceased, a copy of the death certificate
will be required for check-in at the airport. Don't
even think about going into Mexico without this documentation.
If in doubt, ask Carole
about it when you talk to her about arranging your
travel to Mexico.
There is a two day waiting period,
and couples must present a passport or driver's license
and original raised-seal birth certificate, certified
copies of both parents' birth certificates or valid
passports, four witnesses, and blood tests not older
than 15 days. Divorced people must meet other document
requirements as well.
Resorts that offer wedding packages
may have additional requirements and typically ask couples
to be at the resort at least three business days before
the day of the wedding (e.g., check in by Tuesday for
a Friday wedding). Be sure to ask Carole
for the specific requirements in your case.
At present, the Cancun Hotel
Zone offers two championship 18-hole golf courses, and
The Melia Cancun and Oasis Cancun each have short but
fun Par 3 courses open to play for both guests and non-guests.
Additionally, the nearby Riviera Maya offers an 18-hole
course in Playa del Carmen, and a 9-hole course in Puerto
artistically incorporates hundreds of meters of dramatic
shoreline and ancient Mayan ruins into a flat yet
challenging course that winds past Cancun's saltwater
lagoon and turquoise Caribbean waters. Robert Trent
Jones Jr. designed this scenic 18-hole course, which
is conveniently located in the heart of the Cancun
Hotel Zone. Visitors will delight in the authentic
Mayan temple situated next to one of its greens. Green
fees range from $65 to $100 US per person.
Hilton Cancun Beach & Golf Resort is
home to a Par 72, 18-hole championship course that
reaches a total of 6,767 yards. Constructed by the
Aoki Corp. (Japanese), the Hilton Course features
challenging sand traps, a driving range, a golf shop
with name brand equipment for both men and women,
electric carts, equipment rental, and resident golf
pros. (Tel. 1-800-228-3000).
There are a wide variety of resorts
in Cancun, from ultra luxury to pretty basic to you-would-have-to-be-desparate-to-go
there ones. Here is a selection to choose from, but
there are many others. Ask Carole
to help you pick the ones just right for you.
tba Fiesta Americana Grand Aqua
1 JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa
2 Le Meridien Cancun Resort and Spa
3 The Ritz-Carlton
4 Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa
5 Fiesta Americana Cancun
6 Fiesta Americana Condesa
7 Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach
8 Gran Melia Cancun Mexico
9 Hilton Cancun Beach and Golf Resort
10 Hyatt Cancun Caribe
11 Hyatt Regency Cancun
12 Marriott CasaMagna
13 Moon Palace Golf and
Spa Resort (All-inclusive)
14 Omni Cancun (All-inclusive available
15 Presidente Inter-Continental
16 Sheraton Resort and Towers
17 Sun Palace (All-inclusive)
18 The Westin Resort and Spa Cancun
19 Ambiance Villas and Club
tba GR Solaris
20 Gran Costa Real Resort & Spa
21 Melia Turquesa (All-inclusive)
22 Riu Caribe, Cancun
23 Riu Palace Las Americas (All-inclusive)
24 Beach Palace (All-inclusive)
25 Blue Bay Getaway and Spa Cancun (All-inclusive)
26 Cancun Palace (All-inclusive)
27 Crown Paradise Club (All-inclusive)
28 Golden Crown Paradise Spa
29 Grand Oasis (All-inclusive in 2005)
30 NH Krystal Cancun
31 Oasis Cancun (All-inclusive in 2005)
32 Oasis Playa (All-inclusive)
33 Oasis Viva Cancun (All-inclusive in 2005)
34 Royal Solaris (All-inclusive)
35 Blue Bay Club (All-inclusive)
36 Caribbean Village Cancun by Occidental (All-inclusive)
37 Calinda Oasis Beach
38 Caribe Real Resort and Spa
39 Flamingo Cancun Resort
40 Miramar Mision
41 TuCancun Beach Resort and Villas
42 Carrousel Cancun
43 Holiday Inn Express Club De Golf
Cancun offers an abundance of
fun in the sun activities and lots of nightlife, too.
If you stay at an all-inclusive resort, you will likely
find something to keep you active around-the-clock.
But even if your resort seems to have everything you
need for your vacation, you shouldn't miss Cancun's
nightclubs, bars, and restaurants, such as Pat O'Brien's,
Margaritaville, Planet Hollywood, and the Hard Rock
Cafe. There are also lots of tours and opportunities
for fun in the Riviera Maya and nearby Isla Mujeres.
See Cancun Activities
for some ideas of things to do while in Cancun.
here for information on vacation
dates and pricing.