Cancun, Mexico is a Spring Breaker’s fantasy destination, but hey, if you’re not a college student (like me) and prefer to just chill by the beach in the Gulf of Mexico, then you have come to the right place! If you do want this type of experience – make sure you don’t go during Spring Break week! (Ideally, just skip March altogether). Here is a brief guide to what you can see or do in this lovely Mexican town.
Getting There – Cancun has a bustling international airport. To get from the airport to your accommodation is quite a treat (with people all around, its like a free for all). Would suggest checking with the hotel you are staying in to see if there is a free shuttle. If not, go with one of the companies online, it should take you around $55 round trip from your airport to the hotel.
Getting Around – Buses are easy to learn how to get around, it is fairly cheap too. There are direct buses from multiple day trip locations from Cancun (like Playa del Carmen), and also from downtown to the hotel zone. Taxis are also plentiful but costs more than a bus.
- Cancun accepts USD but has an unfavorable exchange rate. If your credit card has no foreign transaction fees, it is easier to just use a credit card for everything, otherwise withdraw MXN to buy stuff from a market.
- Cancun also has an American tipping culture (mainly because there are so many American tourists in the area), so be prepared to see a 10% service charge on restaurants or other services.
What to See:
Cancun is lucky in a sense that you can have the beach (Caribbean Sea) and a plethora of historic sites that you can visit all in one go. Here’s a small list, but there really is plenty of things to see and do!
- Chichen Itza – though technically 2 1/2 hours away from Cancun, a lot of people elect to go here on a day trip away from the city. It is a pre-Columbian city most notable for the El Castillo building. You can opt to go here by a coach tour from Cancun (the coach tour is more worth it: free pick up & drop off from your hotel to the sites, and includes entrance fees to Chichen Itza, a cenote, and a buffet lunch for around $60). You can also opt to rent a car and drive to Chichen via the toll road – best if there is a bigger group you are traveling with to share the costs.
- Swim in a cenote – The Yucatan Peninsula is dotted with cenotes (sinkholes that are filled with water) and you have a lot to pick from, their depths range from shallow to very deep (some are around 100+ metres deep!)
- Isla Mujeres (Island of Women) – a short ferry ride away from the hotel zone or downtown is an island known for its laid back atmosphere as compared to Cancun. A common thing for people to do while on the island is to rent a golf cart and explore it at your own pace – you may see some ruins or isolated beaches along the way. Alternatively, you can also join some snorkeling tours or even swim with a whale shark!
There are also plenty of other places you can visit as you go through Cancun – the hotel zone is a site to see. You can walk around the beach and ogle at all the big resort hotels that dot the area (there’s more than 100, apparently!) There’s also a dolphin interaction experience in the hotel zone, and a luxury mall. Apart from that, if you’re looking for more out of town experiences: Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel are examples of that.
Cancun is such a buzzing, happy place that has every activity you can think of to cater to all sorts of traveler out there. This is just the tip of the iceberg, plenty more to see and do in this happy place that one trip can’t be enough!