Is Driving in Cancun a Good Idea?

by Helen Pritchard on September 26, 2011

Cancun Aeriel View Photo provided by ItsVernon

Before going on a vacation in a foreign country, it is often a good idea to ask yourself some basic questions to help you prepare for your trip. This also applies if you are thinking about driving rather than be shuttled about while on your trip.

When visiting a new destination such as Cancun, hiring a car is a great idea and it means that you can explore all the main tourist attractions as well as get off the beaten track. You can enjoy the real feel of a country, whether in a Used Toyota or a four by four. But it is always a good idea to do some homework on driving in the country you are visiting.

What Should I Consider as I Plan My Driving Route in Cancun?

If you are thinking of hiring a car when visiting Cancun in Mexico, there are some key factors you need to think about.

For a start, make sure that you have a good road map and think carefully when planning your route.

Also, keep in mind that there are two types of roads in Mexico:

  • The ‘libre’ or free roads are what they seem in that they are free to use but the condition of the roads may not be that good. They will be slower as they will tend to pass through many villages and small towns.
  • The privately owned toll or ‘cuota’ roads are prevalent in Mexico. These can be quite expensive but are faster for traveling longer distances than the free roads.

Will I Find Unique Attractions by Driving in Cancun?

Xcaret Lagoon

There are plenty of interesting tourist attractions in Cancun for you to visit.

For example, the eco-archaeological park, Xcaret is where you can see local wildlife and plants as well as examples of Mayan culture and remains.

There is also the Hidden Worlds Cenote Adventure Park, based on an impressive network of underwater caverns and caves that have been featured in many movies and television series.

Of course, there is also a choice of beaches and with your own car, you can explore some of the less ‘touristy’ areas and try a bit of exploration. As befits a popular tourist destination, you will also find spas, golf courses and shopping centers.

A more unusual destination, perhaps, is the airport, which because of its location makes a good spot for bird watching, particularly in the early morning.

Chichen Itza, a few hours to the west of Cancun, is one of the most well known of the Mayan remains but there are plenty of other ruins to visit, some in Cancun itself but others in more remote locations such as Coba.

Chichen ItzaImage by Kyle Simourd

Are There Things I Should I be Aware of as I Drive in Cancun?

Be careful when driving in Cancun and keep an eye on what is going on around you.

Don’t necessarily follow other drivers’ lead. Speed limits should be observed and you are best going slightly under.

Toll roads have the benefit of rest stops at the toll stops with bathrooms and snacks available but the downside is that the roads are not always in the best condition. This is continued once you get off the beaten track so take care for potholes and other driving hazards. Driving carefully and slowly is advisable, especially if you want to avoid damaging your car.

It may also be better to avoid driving at night. With few lights and other hazards such as livestock wandering on the roads, it can be more risky at night.

Renting a car can give you a lot of freedom when exploring Cancun but it is always worth taking a little care.

Helen Pritchard writes for both, a used car classified website, and Car Finance 247 who specialize in helping people obtain car finance deals.
Helen Pritchard
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