With its sandy beaches, crystal blue waters, historical sites, stunning hotels, authentic cuisine, and pumping nightlight scene, Cancun is an outright, all-inclusive vacation hotspot in Mexico. Renowned as the gateway to the Yucatan Peninsula, it is often the first tourist destination travelers visit in Mexico. If you are planning to experience this magnificent, here are some valuable tips to keep your trip an enjoyable one.
Bring U.S. Money or Pesos
Cancun accepts both Mexican Peso and U.S. Dollars though it is advisable to exchange money before arriving in the city. Through that, you can head on to your holiday trip without having to look around for bank or exchange kiosks, which may entail costly rates. Hotels and restaurants aren’t the best places to convert currencies either because of relatively lowered rates. Preparing converted cash is your best bet to skip the hassle and extra costs.
Don’t Use Electronic or Credits Cards
Most restaurants, hotels, and tourist venues accept electronic and credit cards. However, bringing cash is still your best option. Using your card may charge you hefty transaction fees, with some ATMs incurring up to $20 even for small withdrawals. That will hurt a lot if you’re following a budget. So, it’s worth getting exchanged cash before the trip, and you also save yourself from chances of getting scammed when using your card.
Take the bus
A common fear among many travelers is the safety and cost of public transportation. Well, Cancun is an exception. Here, most buses are generally safe, clean, and prompt, as they are allotted their lanes to make the trips quick. The cost is also incredibly cheap, with a one-way short bus ride at only 8.5 pesos or a dollar. Though private, taxis are pretty expensive, costing you five-times the amount. If you’re planning to save money, bus transportation is the smarter choice.
Stay in downtown Cancun
Cancun’s main strip is surely enticing with its fancy 5-star hotels and resorts facing the white sand beaches. However, those are also the most expensive places to stay. You can easily save money by staying in Cancun’s downtown area instead. Located just 15 minutes from the main strip, the town center is brimmed with great souvenir shops, market, bars and restaurants. You can easily take a bus ride for a relaxing outing at the beach and take another one back to your hotel for the culmination of your day.
Don’t miss the Beaches
One of the biggest reasons why Cancun is famous is its magnificent beaches where you can experience soft, white sand, crystal blue waters, and cool sea breeze. You can also do lots of activities, from playing volleyball, swimming, watersports, or splurge on the line of restaurants and bars along the coast. At the end of the day, you can simply relax, sip your favorite drink, while relishing Cancun’s innate beauty.
Leaving tips is a common courtesy in many parts of the world. In Cancun, many workers rely on tips to make extra money. Be generous as it can quickly make their day. You can also see service improve drastically by giving the staff, room cleanup crew, or waiter after leaving a few bucks. If you have extra money, share it, and it will be appreciated.
Don’t drink the tap water in Cancun
Never drink tap water in Cancun as it is deemed unsafe for drinking and rife with harmful bacteria and parasites that can make you sick and ruin your trip. Take only filtered bottled waters, which is available on most resorts. Though it is tempting to drink a glass of water with ice, it is best to skip them as you don’t know if they have been filtered. Even for teeth brushing, bottled water is your best ally towards a mishap-free visit.
Visit Mercado 28
To get a close feel of the Mexican culture, spend a day visiting Mercado 28, downtown’s colorful market. It is open every day and an ideal place to encounter tourist items, such as ponchos, handmade goods, decorations, musical instruments. Haggle with the local shop owners and meet somewhere in the middle. After getting great bargains, visit as many food stalls as you can and enjoy brilliant food along the way.
Explore Bars, Clubs and Restaurants
Though staying at the hotel or resort is a fun way to rejuvenate yourself, Cancun is brimmed with bars, clubs, and restaurants to give you that much-needed pump. If you like high-end restaurants, the Yucatan hotspot won’t disappoint with its array of classy diners. Want some good time instead? Cancun has an outrageous nightlife scene where you can booze and party until the sun comes up.
Be cautious at the beach
If you decide to take a dip in the ocean on a hot day, don’t forget to bring extra caution. While Cancun indeed has breathtaking beaches, they can be tricky due to the rough surf and strong undertow. Thankfully, Mexico implements a warning system to inform swimming about the conditions. Black implies that swimming is prohibited and red means dangerous. Meanwhile, yellow signifies use caution, while green means it is safe for swimming. Before you take that dive, take note of this flag system to prevent any accident.
Book at a quality, all-inclusive resort
If you have extra money to spend and want to get a genuine “get away from it all” experience, Cancun has lots of quality, all-inclusive resorts to give that respite. Many resorts offer a peaceful ambiance and access to on-site pools, spas, private rooms, lounge, bars, and VIP areas. Through that, you can achieve utmost relaxation with yourself or partner, sans the squealing kids or the active crowd.
Book excursions at the hotel or resort
Joining tours and excursions often makes a visit to Cancun go from good to great. Regardless of which activity you join, from sailing to snorkeling, riding an ATV, or ziplining, all will surely leave lasting memories. To ensure that you get an enjoyable one, book your excursions at the hotel or resort. They have agents that can help you find a suitable quality excursion at excellent rates. Though locals may offer cheaper rates, there are many instances where travelers booked through them but never showed up on the meeting time. With that, it is advisable to talk to your hotel or representative instead to avoid any scam.
Buy food at the local stands or supermarket
Dining at the bars and restaurants on the main strip will quickly eat up your budget. You can opt to get ready-to-eat meals and raw ingredients from the local supermarket or stands that are rampant in Cancun. You get to save your money from draining plus you get to relish authentic Mexican cuisine. From guacamole to fish tacos and Mayan-inspired dishes, they taste better in Cancun.
See the other side of Cancun
Dubbed as the Las Vegas of Mexico, it’s easy to assume that Cancun is all about beaches and partying. Yet, Cancun also serves as a gateway to various historical landmarks in Mexico. While you’re in the city, make sure to take a trip at the Mayan Ruins of Chichen Itza, Tulum, and the El Meco Archaeological Site. Within the hotel zone, Museo Maya de Cancun also lies, which houses 3,500 pieces of Mayan sculpture, jewelry, and pottery, allowing you to travel back in time and witness the rich Mayan art and culture.