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Cancun Tips

by All About Cancun on October 22, 2008

Cancun beach

Allaboutcancun.com has compiled a list of 15 tips to make your stay in Cancun more safe, affordable, and enjoyable. Keep these simple practicalities in mind while having fun. They will protect both your safety and your pocketbook if you do so.

  1. Hotels and resorts filter drinking water. It is recommended you use bottled water just to be on the safe side.
  2. Waterproof sunscreen is a must in Cancun, whether you are in a pool or the ocean.
  3. Mexican currency is invalid if it is torn or defaced in any way. Do not accept anything that is not in good condition.
  4. Areas around hotels are private property. People not staying at a particular hotel must use public access to the beach. There are 10 total access points.
  5. If you have a legal problem, you need to contact your consulate.
  6. You must enter Mexico with the proper legal documents. You may use your passport, birth certificate with raised embossed seal, voter registration card, or driver’s license with photo id. If you are bringing a child under 18 into the country who is not your own, you MUST have an authorized letter from the parents or guardian(s). This applies to any relative such as a grandchild, niece, nephew, or cousin.
  7. One US dollar is worth between 11 and 12 pesos. You may convert your currency at any number of locations around Cancun. We recommend you convert only small amounts of currency at a time to give yourself spending money while you are out and about. Traveler Checks are the safest way to spend money and are accepted by most businesses in the Hotel Zone and Tourist Zone. US Dollars and credit cards are also accepted in many places.
  8. Only purchase calling cards from the phone company. They will have a label that reads TelMex or Lada Te, and almost always have a microchip in them as well.
  9. Many places are cash only, so it is advisable to carry your credit card. Make sure you have identity theft protection anytime you take your credit card out of the country.
  10. Buses only cost $6 pesos and are much more affordable than cabs.
  11. Cancun Taxi drivers do not expect tips, but they have been known to overcharge if people are confused about their destination. Be clear in communicating where you are going, and make sure you negotiate a rate up front.
  12. Stay with the crowds when you are shopping or clubbing. Cancun is a safe city by metropolitan standards, but there is no city in the world where you can just wander around alone at night without something eventually happening. Be cautious and use good sense while having fun.
  13. Pedestrians do not have the right of way in Mexico, so for your own safety, yield to drivers.
  14. Any information booth you visit will try to sell you a timeshare. Timeshares are great for many people, but do not be talked into buying one if you did not originally intend to.
  15. If you are going to need your cell phone in Cancun, you need to call your provider to make sure it will work in the area, and you need to verify that it will not cost you higher roaming or international usage fees.
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  • Marilyn

    We are planning on going to Cancun at Christmas time in 2010. We are retired and do not golf, nor are we late-night people. What tips or suggestions do you have for nature lovers who want a relaxed, quiet vacation?

  • All About Cancun

    Thanks for your post Marilyn!

    For quiet and nature loving I would definitely suggest not necessarily Cancun or even Playa del Carmen but more so Cancun’s surrounding areas such as:

    Akumal – an hour south of Cancun with 3 bays as well as the gorgeous ocean. Plenty of excellent snorkeling and scuba diving options.
    Isla de Mujeres – Isla de Mujeres is a small 7 KM long Island off the Yucatan peninsula that can be reached by ferry out of Cancun. The island offers great restaurants, shopping & an abundance of daytime activities like snorkeling and scuba diving in its’ gorgeous coral reefs. However, there are virtually no night options as the town goes to sleep pretty early.
    Playa Paraiso & Tulum – Tulum was the location of an ancient Mayan fort and is one of the only places with ruins contrasted by the Caribbean sea. Playa Paraiso is the beach located just south of the ruins with a laid back, quiet, uncrowded ambiance. There’s great scuba diving and snorkeling here too but the most popular sport is kite boarding.
    Playa Secreto – about 35 minutes from Cancun this is a more residential area populated by mostly home owners. It is located on a beautiful Riviera Maya bay that has great snorkeling & kayaking but in addition is surrounded by gorgeous jungle, mangroves, cenotes, great bird watching and other day time eco adventures.
    Puerto Aventuras – Puerto Aventuras is a marina right in the middle of it all. Tulum is 20 minutes south, Playa 20 minutes north and Cancun and hour north. Puerto, as the locals call it, is most well known for its outdoor activities like cenote adventures, snorkeling and nature themed eco parks. The town is also equipped with top-notch golf courses, shopping and restaurants. The emphasis here is also on the daytime and not night.
    Sian Kaa - The Sian Kaan biosphere holds a collection of some of the most untouched beaches in Mexico. It is mostly deserted with no restaurants and services but a few eco tours. It is mainly you and the beach.
    Xpu-Ha – This town has a surfer vibe with restaurants, beach shops & bars that require casual dress only. Also known for great fishing, snorkeling and swimming options.

    Most of these options are quiet, less populated with an emphasis on day time activities over night time as opposed to Cancun and Playa which are very populated and the emphasis is on night time activities. However, in Cancun or Playa you will find more restaurant, shopping and resort options than the other towns. It just depends on what you are looking for.

    If you are going to stay in Cancun the good news is most of these places are but a short day trip away. Another day trip worth mentioning are the Chichen Itza ruins about 2 and a half hours NE of Cancun. They are a breathtaking collection of Mayan pyramids and one of the seven wonders of the world.

    Hope this helps and that you have a wonderful vacation! The Riviera Maya is a beautiful place so there is really no way to be disappointed no matter what you choose. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  • Daisy

    My family and I will be traveling to Cancun for 13 nights. We need to know where we can do our laundry for cheap while staying there. Lord knows I do not want to carry back dirty laundry.

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