What, Where, When, and How on Your Cancún Vacation

Cancún, on the spit of sand between the Nichupté Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean, is a tropical vacation paradise in the Gulf of Mexico. Most tourists stay on the beach in the Hotel Zone, but it’s worth venturing into the authentic downtown area for shopping, inexpensive restaurants, and a taste of local Mexican culture.

Cancun Beach

Photo by Manuel Villanueva via Trover.com

Where to Stay in Cancún

Cancún’s 14-mile long crescent of sand is lined with modern Cancún hotels, from cozy air-conditioned rooms at the Hotel Sotavento & Yacht Club to all-inclusive luxury at the Riu Palace Peninsula. If you prefer an apartment, you’ll find plenty to choose from to suit all budgets, such as the mid-priced Brand New Luxury Beachfront Suite which sleeps four guests in a well-equipped suite overlooking the beach.

How to Get Around in Cancún

Buses frequently run the length of the Hotel Zone along the four-lane Boulevard Kukulcán. They connect the beaches with downtown Cancún, about 20 minutes away on the mainland.

What to Eat in Cancún

Fresh seafood and fish are cooked using traditional recipes to create some delicious, relatively inexpensive cuisine. Local restaurants create Mexican fare, such as tacos, quesadillas, and tamales, while more international cuisine is served at hotel buffets. American steaks, Thai, Chinese, Caribbean, and Italian cuisine are all widely available.

Where to Find the Best Beaches in Cancún.

Wherever you choose to stay in the Hotel Zone you will be within easy strolling distance of endless sand and the warm clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. Most of the best beaches in Cancún are located on the ocean side of Blvd Kukulcán. Many beaches can only be accessed by walking through the hotel lobby, although you have to be a hotel resident to use the sunbeds and facilities.

A breezy ferry trip away, there are yet more gorgeous sandy beaches around the car-free Isla Mujeres. It’s a great place for snorkeling right off the beach.

What to Do in Cancún

Wave runners, parasailing, sailing, fishing charters, snorkeling and diving trips, dolphin spotting cruises, and other water-based activities abound in Cancún. Garrafon Natural Reef Park is a popular attraction on the island of Isla Mujeres for snorkeling and scuba diving on the Great Maya Reef. This eco-park also offers dolphin encounters, hammocks, kayaking, cycle tours, and a thrilling zip-line.

Take a trip to the Mayan archeological site at Chichen Itza, or learn more about Mayan culture and history at the INAH Museum or the Zona Arqueologica El Rey.

The unusual Cancún Underwater Museum has 500 submerged contemporary sculptures which can be seen from a glass-bottom boat or by snorkeling and diving. The museum also has a “dry” exhibition of sculptures on Kukulcán Plaza in Cancún.

Underwater exhibits

Photo by Miriam Nolte via Trover.com

When to Visit Cancún

The peak tourist season is from December to April, as many people escape the cold northern winters. However, Cancún remains a warm and sunny destination all year round with lower prices after Easter. The hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, but it rarely affects Cancún.

With regular flights to Cancún from all over the world, it’s definitely a place to put on your bucket list.


About gillianbirch

Greetings from your international roving reporter! Based in beautiful Cornwall UK, I am a freelance travel writer and published author of several travel books. As the wife of a Master Mariner, I have travelled extensively and lived in exotic locations all over the world including the Far East, Europe, Australia and the Republic of Panama. I would describe myself as having “endless itchy feet and an insatiable wanderlust”, as I continue to explore Europe, Florida and further afield, writing about my experiences with humour and attention to detail. BTW, I have a Diploma from the British College of Journalism and am a member of the International Travel Writers’ Alliance and the Gulf Coast Writers’ Association.
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