Cancun Travel Guide

Last Updated on December 31, 2022 by Helen E. White

Cancun Travel Guide: Without a doubt, Cancun is one of the first options when planning vacations on the sunny shores of the Mexican Caribbean. Kilometers of beaches such as Playa Delfines and Playa Tortugas will invite you to rest, sail or dive into their paradisiacal crystalline waters.

Cancun Travel Guide

It is not surprising that this town is the first tourist destination in Mexico,  also due to its offer of hotels, and its nights of parties and shows. In fact, it is incredible to believe that this city was a small land of fishermen until 1970, the year in which it began to become an international reference in tourism.

Today, more than 50 years later, it is the largest city in the state of Quintana Roo, and its tourist attractions continue to position it among the favorite places for any traveler. The Cancun International Airport is the second most important in the country and has the highest air traffic in the Mexican territory.

Due to its location in the southeast of Mexico and north of the Yucatan peninsula,  this destination serves as a prelude to the Riviera Maya and its natural beauties. Plus, it’s about a 2-hour drive from Chichén Itzá, one of the most visited Mayan ruins in the world.

Here we present you accurate and updated information about this destination, which also includes gastronomy, where to shop and nightlife. This is the main article of our series on How to travel to Cancun, tourist destinations and recommended hotels.

Where is Cancun?

Cancun is in the southeast of Mexico, just north of the Yucatan peninsula.  This destination is also the most inhabited city in the state of Quintana Roo. Across from Cancun, in the distance is Isla Mujeres, which is a 30-minute ferry ride from the city.

You will also like to know that  Cancun is very close to the destinations of the Riviera Maya (one hour from Playa del Carmen and 1 hour and 40 minutes from Tulum)  and other well-known tourist destinations in Quintana Roo.

However,  Cancun is more than 20 hours by car from Mexico City, so most Mexicans arrive at this destination by plane (2 hours away).

On the other hand, if you come from another country,  some of the distances by plane to Cancun are the following:

  • 2 hours from the United States (Miami)
  • 3.5 hours from Colombia (Bogotá)
  • 5 hours from Peru (Lima)
  • 9 hours from Argentina (Buenos Aires)
  • 10 hours from Spain (Madrid)
Cancun is a tourist destination with a worldwide presence due to its location and also for the offer of all the services and amenities in a safe way. This has earned it the Global Travel Security Seal from the World Travel and Tourism Council, recognized by the World Tourism Organization.

Why Travel to Cancun?

There are many reasons to visit Cancun,  but it is only enough to list a few for you to decide to discover this destination. We take the task of listing the top 5:

For Its Beaches

As part of the Mexican Caribbean, it has more than 20 kilometers of paradisiacal and famous coasts such as Dolphins and Turtles. They are white sand beaches and due to their crystalline waters, they are ideal for swimming or practicing any type of water sports. 

Due To Its Variety of Hotels

It has accommodations from the most important hotel chains such as Hyatt and Marriott. In fact,  there are hotels for all budgets and lodging packages for a comfortable stay, such as all-inclusive, with only breakfast or a European plan.

For The Mayan Ruins

Within the city are the El Rey Archaeological Zone, San Miguelito and El Meco. Also,  Cancun is less than an hour from the ruins of Tulum and a 2-hour drive from Chichén Itzá,  where the Temple of Kukulcán is located, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World since 2007.

For Its Theme Parks and Tours

In the vicinity of the city you will find parks such as Xcaret, Xplor and Xel-Há, among others. Excursions to places like Isla Mujeres and Cobá also depart from Cancun.

For Its Nightlife

The lively nightlife in Cancun is famous inside and outside of Mexico,  thanks to the bars and shows of the clubs and discos of the “Party Center”  of the Hotel Zone such as Coco Bongo and Mandala. 

For this and many other things, you will always find what to do in Cancun to have a good time during your vacation trip,  and in another article of ours, we share different ideas and activities in Cancun for you to enjoy according to your needs, who you will travel with and budget.

Should you Travel to Cancun Now? (COVID-19 and Prevention Measures at Destination)

Whether or not to travel to Cancun in the midst of the current pandemic will depend on what you want to do during your vacation trip, especially your willingness to follow the new rules due to COVID-19. If you want a quiet vacation, it might be a good idea to travel to Cancun this season.

Since mid-2020, activities in Cancun have  been progressively resumed and applying the following biosecurity measures:

  • Mandatory use of mask
  • hand disinfection
  • The social distancing of 1.5 meters
  • Reduction of the number of visitors in open and closed places
  • Taking temperature and cleaning shoes at the entrance of the premises

The premises open according to the epidemiological risk traffic light, which goes from green to red depending on the sanitary conditions of the moment. Currently, the traffic light is yellow in Cancun and on Isla Mujeres. Therefore,  most of the services and tourist places in Cancun and the Island are open to 60%. For example, hotels, restaurants and shopping centers. This list includes theme parks and historical sites, among other places of tourist interest.

Banks, food stores and medical services are always 100% open. While bars, nightclubs, shows and conventions will only open when the epidemiological light is green. However, we would like to tell you that some of these places have already opened with other entertainment alternatives.

How Much Does a Trip to Cancun Cost?

Enjoying a trip to Cancun also implies having an idea of ​​the budget that you will have available.  For this, aspects such as accommodation, food and means of transport must be taken into account.

It is also necessary to anticipate the possible expenses in the activities to be carried out and in the visit to the tourist sites that you plan to visit.  Something crucial that you should consider is that the costs depend on many factors such as the duration of the trip and what you are willing to pay.

For example,  you should have 7,420 MXN (369 USD) for a one-week backpacking trip.  This includes things like hostel accommodation with a shared room and transportation on public buses.

Now if you want a luxury stay, you are going to spend an average of 78,420 MXN (3,900 USD).  This estimate takes into consideration accommodation in an all-inclusive 5-star hotel and transportation in at least 6 taxis. 

But, if you want to get a quick account without leaving this article,  we have prepared a unique tool, our interactive calculator,  with which you can have an idea of ​​your travel budget to Cancun according to your needs and interests in terms of accommodation, entertainment and feeding. We encourage you to try it, it will take you less than 5 minutes.

Where Does Commercial and Tourist Life Take Place in Cancun?

The tourist areas of Cancun are the Hotel Zone and the urban center.  There is also Puerto Juárez, which is known for having the main port from where the boats make the route to Isla Mujeres.

━The Hotel Zone is a strip of land in the shape of a 7 or snake.  In its 24 kilometers, there are a large number of hotels, white sand beaches and parks such as Ventura Park. There, in addition, there are golf courses and exclusive residential areas such as Puerto Cancun. Similarly, the Nichupté Lagoon is in the interior sector.

━The center of Cancun has a lot of life due to the commercial activity of squares such as Plaza Las Américas and markets such as Mercado 28. In the center, there are food outlets and entertainment centers where residents and travelers go. Its neighborhoods or superblocks are delimited by streets and avenues that connect with the Hotel Zone and the other areas of the destination. 

See also  Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur

Where Are the Best Beaches in Cancun?

The biggest tourist attraction in Cancun is the 7-shaped coastal strip of the Hotel Zone, and the best beaches in the city await you there. You will like to know that all the beaches in Mexico are public and that most of the beaches in Cancun have lifeguard services, bathrooms and showers. There are even palapas with chairs. Access to the hotel beaches is free, however, you must bear in mind that the facilities and services are only available to their guests.

When choosing which beaches to visit, we suggest you take into account the gentle waves of the beaches on the north side.  You can enjoy a quiet day at Las Perlas and Caracol beaches or do water activities at Playa Linda and Playa Tortugas, the latter with a family atmosphere.

Snorkeling in Isla Mujeres

If you are looking for more animation, you will like the beaches on the Caribbean side of the Hotel Zone.  The waves of Playa Chac Mool, Playa Delfines and Playa Gaviota Azul favor the practice of surfing and other water sports, while the gentle waves of Punta Nizuc make it suitable for children. Now if you want a beach that you have to get to by ferry from Cancun, an unmissable alternative is Playa Norte in Isla Mujeres.

Here we present the main public beaches in Cancun  from kilometers 0 to 24:

— North side of the coastal zone:

  • Pearl Beach
  • Beautiful beach
  • lobster beach
  • Turtle Beach
  • Snail Beach

— Caribbean side of the coastal zone:

  • Blue Gull Beach (Forum)
  • Chac Mool Beach
  • Marlin Beach
  • Whales Beach
  • Dolphin Beach
  • Punta Nizuc Beach
Keep in mind that most of the beaches have already opened to the public but with biosecurity measures. In addition to the reopening at 60% of its capacity, the consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited and a distance of 3 meters is required between groups of a maximum of 5 people. First responders and street vendors must also wear face masks.

What Are the Main Mayan Ruins That You Have to Visit in and Around Cancun?

First of all, and if you are around Cancun, we recommend you visit Chichén Itzá,  which is probably the best-known Mayan ruins in Mexico. The journey from Cancun lasts 2 hours by car and 3 and a half hours by bus.

There you will see The Temple of Kukulkan, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World since 2007,  the field of the Ball Game where an ancient Mayan sport was practiced and the Temple of the Warriors with dozens of columns. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Sacred Cenote, the ancient Mayan site of human sacrifice for Chaac, the god of rain.

In addition to Chichén Itzá, be sure to visit other historical and archaeological sites of the Mayan culture.  We advise you to go to El Meco, in the north of the city. Also to the ruins of Yamil Lu’um, El Rey and San Miguelito near the Nichupté Lagoon. A few hours from there, you will also find the ruins of other Mayan cities in Tulum and Cobá.

━Cancun Mayan Ruins

  • In El Meco, you will see remains of palaces and administrative buildings, and a ceremonial square where El Castillo is located. The temple with 3 entrances located on top of this building offers a panoramic view of Cancun due to its great height. You will find it to the north, in the continental sector of Isla Mujeres.
  • In Yamil Lu’um (wavy land in Maya) is the Temple of the Scorpion. This main building owes its name to the remains of a scorpion found on one of its walls.  This archaeological site is at Kilometer 12 of Boulevard Kukulcán and you can access it through the Park Royal and The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort hotels, or from Playa Marlin.
  • El Rey is an important archaeological site because it has 47  religious and administrative structures. Its name comes from the fact that a head with a headdress similar to the crown of kings was found. If you are in the Hotel Zone, you will have to go to kilometer 18 to see it.
  • San Miguelito will captivate you because it preserves the remains of a pre-Hispanic Mayan city. It is located in the middle of the jungle,  and you can access this place through the gardens of the Mayan Museum of Cancun, located at Kilometer 16.5 of Boulevard Kukulcán.

━Surrounding Mayan ruins

  • Tulum: This coastal city is an hour and 50 minutes from Cancun by land and is usually visited for the ruins of an ancient Mayan port and the “Castillo del Mar”. From Playa Paraíso, the most beautiful in Tulum, you will be able to see the ruins while swimming.
  • Cobá: In this Mayan city, you will see an astronomical observatory, a ball court and the Nohoch Mul pyramid, one of the highest in Mexico.  The adventure of reaching its top at 42 meters high is compensated by the views of the region. The direct journey from Cancun takes one hour and 45 minutes by car or taxi.
The reopening of historical and archaeological sites with sanitary measures by COVID-19 has been done with a reduced capacity of 60%. At the entrance, they will take your temperature and you must maintain social distancing and use a face mask and bacterial gel during the tour.

What Are the Theme Parks in Cancun Like?

In the heart of the Hotel Zone are 2 of the funniest theme parks in Cancun.  At Parque Maya Tours, you can fly on zip lines and swings over the jungle and the Nichupté Lagoon, and explore its mangroves by boat.

It also offers you the possibility of getting to know the Mayan culture and hiring a tour to visit the archaeological site of El Rey and the Mayan Museum of Cancun. At Ventura Park, you won’t be able to miss the water activities at Wet’n Wild and the zip lines and bungee swings at Aaah!Ventura.

Outside the city, an hour away and very close to Playa del Carmen, you will find  Xcaret Park with more than 50 attractions and ecological activities in underground rivers and caves.

In the same way, it offers visits to the Butterfly Garden, the Coral Reef Aquarium and the night show on the history of Mexico from the ancient Mayans, Colonization and up to the Mexican Revolution, “Mexico Espectacular”. This last attraction which has the staging of more than 300 artists is considered by many tourists the main reason to visit Xcaret.

In the Xel-Há water park, also from the Xcaret Group,  you will have fun like never before taking floats along the Xel-Há river and sliding down the 30-meter-high slides of the Mirador Lighthouse. Its cove will allow you to see specimens of the pink conch and snorkel among fish and marine animals. 

In addition to Xcaret and Xel-Há, we have had the opportunity to visit other parks in Cancun (adventure parks, optical illusions and even a Mexican dinner with dancing all night!)

You will be able to visit these theme parks safely as they all follow sanitary measures and limit the number of visitors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Upon entering you will notice that the Park staff will take your body temperature and offer antibacterial gel to visitors. Inside the parks, you must maintain social distancing and use a face mask during the tour. They only allow the removal of masks in restaurants and water activities.

Water Sports That Can Be Practiced in Cancun

On your vacation in Cancun, you can not miss water sports.  Here we present the best places and beaches where you will have the opportunity to put your adventurous spirit to the test.

  • Snorkeling:  You can practice in Playa Tortugas, Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc in Cancun. You can also do it in Garrafón Park on Isla Mujeres or in the cove and cenotes of Xel-Há Park.
  • Sport fishing: The marinas in the Hotel Zone and Isla Mujeres offer fishing tours. Cancun Adventures Tours excursions depart from Marina Chac Chi every day.
  • Surfing:  The strong waves of the Chac Mool, Delfines and Gaviota Azul beaches are ideal for surfing.
  • Boat trips: From Playa Tortugas, there are boats that go along the coast and catamaran cruises that go to Isla Mujeres, with the option of diving and snorkeling.
  • Jet ski or jet ski: Dare to drive a jet ski alone or accompanied in Playa Linda or Playa Tortugas.
  • Flyboard and Jetpack:  Jetpack Adventures offers a boat ride that departs from the El Faro marina and arrives at the Nichupté Lagoon. There you will rise above its waters with a hoverboard or a rocket backpack.
  • Sky Rider Parachute:  Aquaworld excursions in Cancun and Isla Mujeres will offer you the opportunity to parachute and take a boat ride. You can also practice snorkeling and diving.
The parks and tourist companies that operate water activities, tours and excursions in Cancun follow sanitary measures to prevent COVID-19, such as the disinfection of equipment and boats and limited access on tours.

How to Experience Nature in Cancun? (Ecological Parks, Tours and Excursions)

When you go on vacation to Cancun, you will have the opportunity to enjoy nature in the Nichupté Lagoon and the ecological parks of this city located between a lagoon, the sea and the jungle, which are partly protected areas of the state of Quintana Roo.

Nichupté Lagoon

The Aquaworld Jungle Tour boat ride will allow you to tour the mangroves of this set of 7 lagoons that connect with the Caribbean Sea through the Sigfrido and Nizuc channels. You will also see lots of birds, as well as leopard frogs and white turtles.

See also  Where to Go in Avsallar, Turkey

Kabah Ecological Park

This park offers walking or bicycle tours through its jungle trails and the Chiclero Camp, where you will learn how the Mayans made chewing gum. During the walk, you will see spider monkeys, squirrels and crocodiles. If you are interested in experiencing nature in a more entertaining and extreme way, in this article about Xcaret parks we detail how.

Costa Occidental National Park

It is made up of Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancún and Nizuc, and is part of the Mesoamerican Reef or Great Mayan Reef, which is the second-largest coral reef barrier in the world.  It consists of 3 areas that cover the coasts that give it its name.

Isla Mujeres

If you want to get to know this island,  there are tours that go from Langosta, Linda and Tortugas beaches in the Hotel Zone to there.  Once there, you must go to Playa Norte, or to any of the 4 entrances of the park, to begin the adventure of diving in the reefs and the area of ​​the sunken ships.

Coral reefs

As it is the Mexican Caribbean,  you can also explore the coral reefs of Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc.  Access is made through the Caracol, Chac Mool and Gaviota Azul beaches of the Hotel Zone, or by motor boats from the clubs of the Nichupté and Bojórquez Lagoons.

The parks in Cancun, and the tours that take people to them, follow biosecurity regulations due to COVID-19. Likewise, they have reduced the number of visitors and their transfer on boats to 60% of their capacity and they disinfect the areas of greatest contact.

What Are the Best Walks and Views in Cancun?

When traveling to Cancun, you will surely want to walk and visit its different corners. Therefore, here we tell you about 4 of its main attractions:

  • Downtown Cancun: On Avenida Tulum, you will find the Municipal Palace and the Ceviche Fountain with sculptures of marine shapes, where it has already become a tradition to take a photo in this place.  From the center, you will also see the huge flag that flies on a pole about 100 meters high on the Explanada de la Bandera at Kilometer 5 of the Hotel Zone.
  • El Mirador de Playa Delfines: Here do not miss the excellent views, one facing the Caribbean Sea and the other towards the Nichupté Lagoon and the El Rey Archaeological Zone.  We suggest you take a souvenir photo of your trip at the spot with the name of the city and the sea in the background.
  • Hotel Zone: At the Boulevard Kukulcán pier, where the Nichupté Lagoon and the sea meet, you will find the Scenic Tower. Its revolving elevator will offer you a 360° view of the Hotel Zone, the Nichupté Lagoon and the mangroves from 80 meters high.  Remember that access is free with the Xcaret parks bracelet.
  • Isla Mujeres: from Garrafón Park, you will be able to see the Hotel Zone of Cancun and the flag of the Explanada. But, above all,  you will enjoy a view of the Mexican Caribbean.
The Scenic Tower, Playa Delfines and Garrafón Park follow the sanitary protocol to prevent COVID-19, such as measuring body temperature at the entrance and the mandatory use of face masks and antibacterial gel during the visit. Likewise, they limit public access and disinfect their equipment and facilities.

When to Travel to Cancun? (the Weather in Cancun + Best Time to Travel + the Sargassum in Cancun)

In case you did not imagine, the climate of Cancun is due to the fact that it is in the middle of a very humid tropical jungle, so it can rain at any time of the year. However, there are months that are rainier than others. Before planning your visit, you should take into account that, between June and October, the rains are more frequent. It can even rain 2 days in a row or have storms and hurricanes.

But the good thing is that after the storm comes the calm and the season of clear skies will welcome you if you decide to go between November and May. If you wonder when to travel to Cancun,  we suggest you visit it at this time because the rains are scarce and last just a few minutes.

Also, you should know that sargassum usually reaches the Caribbean coast at any time of the year. Fortunately,  sargassum affects the coasts of the state of Quintana Roo in a small percentage, and Cancun is the coastal region that is least affected. We recommend that you request information about Cancun from the hotel staff before your trip and confirm whether or not your stay coincides with the arrival and presence of the sargassum. 

Where to Stay in Cancun? (All Included and Cheaper Options)

If you are wondering where to stay in Cancun, you will be delighted to know that there are various hotels available to you.  You will find the best hotels in Cancun in the Hotel Zone and Costa Mujeres. We tell you that many of these establishments operate as “all-inclusive” hotels. Also, keep in mind that Costa Mujeres is the continental strip of Isla Mujeres and some consider it a “second Hotel Zone”.

In the center and Puerto Juárez, you will find cheaper options,  from smaller “boutique” hotels with personalized attention to aparthotels and inns.

In the Hotel Zone

In this area, there are plenty of 4 and 5-star all-inclusive hotels for tourists traveling as a family, couple or group of friends. The Hyatt Ziva Cancun, Sandos Cancun and Panama Jack Resort Cancun hotels are very well located facing the sea.

There are also accommodations with all-inclusive plans exclusively for adults.  For example, Le Blanc Spa Resort or Hyatt Zilara Cancún, with outdoor infinity pools, spas, and Jacuzzis in the rooms. Take a look at the article on the 10 best luxury hotels in Cancun and find out which of these alternatives best suits you.

For beach lovers who want to spend a long stay in Cancun,  hotels with apartments, suites, and lofts are perfect because the possibility of contact with other people is less. The Ocean View Apartment, AR Cancún Plaza and Cancún Suites Apartments hotels are on the beachfront, although a bit far from the city center.

In The Middle

For long stays, we recommend the aparthotel located in this area or near the center.  Here we give you 3 options: Hotel Los Girasoles and Las Palmas Studios, a step away from the Center, and Seven Boutique Apartments Cancún, less than 10 minutes from the Center and close to the beach. If you want something much cheaper, centrally located and close to the Cancun bus station, Casa Ana and Casa Wayak are good alternatives.

In Costa Mujeres and Isla Mujeres

Costa Mujeres and Isla Mujeres have high-end “all-inclusive” accommodations, among other options. In Costa Mujeres, you can choose between the Grand Palladium, Villa El Palmar and Casa Yamil. On the island, there are hotels for all types of travelers, such as the Mia Reef Isla Mujeres, or for adults only, such as the Isla Mujeres Palace. The 3-star hotel’s Posada del Mar and Villa Kiin and the aparthotel El Malecón Central Mini Apartments, near the beach and the center of the island, are good alternatives.  

The hotels in Cancun and Isla Mujeres had closed due to COVID-19 but have been gradually reopening since June 2020 to avoid crowds. Sanitary measures include 60% occupancy, the limited number of people in pools, spas and common areas, and even the use of applications to request care and services. Social distancing, disinfection of all facilities, and the use of masks and gloves by staff are part of the daily protocol.

Where to Eat and What to Eat in Cancun?

In addition to its beaches and nightlife, Cancun is also a gastronomic destination.  In the Hotel Zone and downtown, there are high-end, medium-range, and inexpensive restaurants with menus of all flavors and places in the world, with specialties from the Quintana Roo region, of course.

The best restaurants can be located right in the Hotel Zone.  In La Buena Barra you will taste seafood dishes or the catch of the day while contemplating the sea or the Nichupté Lagoon.

You’ll also enjoy lobster ceviche and Latin American flavors at La Rosa Negra and Argentine specialties Asado de Tira or churrasco at Cambalache. 

In downtown Cancun, La Habichuela Cancun offers chicken en mole and the famous cocobichuela, with shellfish and lobster, served in a coconut. At La Parrilla Cancun you can savor Mexican dishes in a typical atmosphere with mariachi bands, as well as octopus, shrimp and grilled meats. If you love Italian food, especially pizza, La Dolce Vita is for you.

In Cancun, there are cheap seafood and typical food places. In the Hotel Zone, there are  Tacos Rigo, a traditional taquería with take-out service, and the open-air Fish Fritanga restaurant. In the urban center, El Rinconcito de Puebla and Pescaditos are good options. 

Due to COVID-19, many locations are now offering delivery or have disposable or digitized menus and face-covering bags. They also carry out constant disinfection of the tables located 1.5 meters away or outdoors.

What to Do at Night in Cancun?

It is still possible to go out and enjoy the nightlife of Cancun after a day of walking and beach, despite the restrictions due to COVID-19. Live music and shows in the open air await you in some clubs, discos and bars. You will like to know that the urban buses that connect the center with the Hotel Zone also run at night.

See also  What to See in Japan & Do in Japan

Here we offer you some clues about the best nightclubs in the Center and the Hotel Zone so that you can enjoy your vacation in Cancun to the fullest.

The Hotel Zone is colloquially called “Party Center”.  It is known inside and outside of Mexico because it concentrates on famous bars and restaurants, and more than 10 discos or nightclubs with “cover” service of open bar or entrance with bottle service.

If you are looking for good bars, the Mandala oriental-style nightclub has 6 open bars and a variety of music at night, but for now, it offers snacks and drinks. Its “pool party” with access to the beach during the day is suspended for the moment.

When it comes to shows, Coco Bongo has reopened with dinner and an American menu on its terrace, and live outdoor shows inspired by superstars and famous movies. The City has 9 bars, music and acrobatic shows but it is still closed.

But if you prefer to live the Mexican party with all the security measures, you can enjoy a night cruise with limited space and to the rhythm of mariachis in the Xochimilco theme park, 25 minutes from the city.

An hour from Cancun or less,  you can see JOYÀ del Circo du Soleil at the Vidanta theater, a show inspired by the jungle with dinner included, or the show Mexico Espectacular at Xcaret Park, a musical staging with 300 actors that will lead through the history of Mexico.

In the center, there are also several areas that are very lively at night and that adapt to different tastes. Now you will find the sports bar La Taberna de Los Amigos open, with beers and billiards, and Hunter Bar, where you will enjoy local beers and good music. If you like cocktails, you can accompany the tacos and seafood tostadas with mojitos at La Playita Bar, or perhaps you prefer to discover other fashionable spots.

In “Nuevo Cancún”, on Bonampak avenue, new night spots have opened. On Avenida Nader, behind the Municipal Palace, you will find designer bars and restaurants that function in old remodeled houses. In the area is the Amarula restaurant-bar, a relaxed-style house with electronic music.   

Many nightspots have reinvented themselves due to the coronavirus. Now they offer dinner or drinks and snacks on the terraces for a limited number of people and present their shows in the open air. In addition, its staff use face masks and gloves and carry out constant disinfection of the premises and tables.

Where to Go Shopping in Cancun?

Every Cancun travel guide includes its shopping malls and markets as they have a variety of shops, services, and attractions that locals and tourists like.

The Hotel Zone has 3 important shopping centers in Cancun. These are La Isla, Plaza Caracol and the modern Plaza Kukulcán with its luxury wing. There you will find department stores of the well-known brands Adidas, Benetton and Lacoste. Likewise, you will find stores selling electronic products and offering all kinds of services such as restaurants and nightclubs.

The most popular and visited shopping malls in the urban center are Plaza Las Américas, Plaza Cancún Mall and Plaza Las Tiendas. At Plazas Outlet it is possible to buy items from the famous Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss brands at discounts.

There are also other smaller centers like Plaza Bonita, with art galleries. Nearby is Mercado 28, where you will find handicrafts and souvenirs, as well as clothing and typical drinks that should not be missing from your gift list.

International travelers will like to know that there are several exchange houses in Cancun and that most of the stores offer the Money Back benefit and operate tax-free. 

The use of face masks, the measurement of body temperature and the disinfection of hands with antibacterial gel are part of the measures applied by the squares and markets of Cancun to all people who enter their spaces and premises. In addition, a minimum social distancing of 1.5 meters is required.

What is the Cancun Airport Like? (and How to Get to the City)

Cancun International Airport normally connects with 107 destinations in 27 countries and has the highest international traffic in the country.  This makes it the second most important in the country, after the International Airport of Mexico City, which is the first on the list.

The main airlines in Cancun that make daily trips to and from North America are Aeroméxico, American Airlines and Air Canada. They also operate Latin American lines, such as Copa and Delta, and European lines, such as British Airways and Iberia, among others. From Mexican cities, you can travel by plane to Cancun via Aeroméxico, Interjet and Volaris.

In addition to the millions of travelers it usually receives each year,  Cancun Airport stands out for its 2 runways, the tallest control tower in Latin America, and an energy-saving terminal. It also has beauty salon services and an entertainment center. If you like aeronautics, you can enjoy watching the planes fly by on the new runway that passes over the highway.

There are different alternatives to choose from to get from the air terminal to Cancun.  You can take an authorized taxi, a collective taxi or a shuttle operated by your airline. The buses to Cancun on the ADO line make the route to the center in 35 minutes.

What Are the Airport’s Covid-19 Protocols for Foreigners?

In case you didn’t know, the Cancun Airport was operating at 20% of its capacity from April to June 2020  due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, it resumed its activities and its terminals 2, 3 and 4 are already working.

Travelers arriving in Cancun from abroad, are required to fill out a mandatory COVID-19 risk identification questionnaire from the Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC)  upon arrival at the airport. Most of the time this form is provided to you by the same airline with which you fly. It is important to answer the questions and keep the receipt to be shown to the air terminal staff.

Currently, it is not necessary to quarantine when visiting Cancun nor are medical tests required, although in December 2020 the Government of Quintana Roo applied rapid tests for COVID-19 at the International Airport. This measure was practiced mainly on flights from countries such as the United Kingdom, where they detected a new strain of the virus.

As expected,  security protocols are being applied at the Cancun Airport, such as the measurement of body temperature and the constant disinfection of all spaces. Likewise, the use of face masks is required for travelers and local workers, who in many cases must also wear gloves and face shields.

Social distancing in the facilities, commercial areas and inter-terminal transport are another of the forecasts that are taken.  Likewise, acrylic barriers were installed at the counters, apart from antibacterial gel dispensers at various points.

How to Get Around in Cancun?

In Cancun, there are public and private transportation services that will get you moving in and out of the city. To move within the city and get to know the tourist places in Cancun, there are public service buses that operate 24 hours a day.

Currently, to move from the city center to the Hotel Zone there are 3 routes.  Buses on routes 1 and 2 run more frequently and pass through the Fuente del Ceviche. But the frequency of those on Route 27, which pass through the central Plaza de las Américas, is less.

There are 9 transportation concessionaires in Cancun that cover intercity routes. The Autocar, Turicún and Maya Caribe companies, for example, circulate through the urban and hotel areas and the mainland of Isla Mujeres.

Collective taxis and the IS company circulate through the Maritime Terminal and Puerto Juárez, and  ADO buses cover the route from Cancun to the Cancun International Airport, among other destinations such as Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos and Tulum.

If you prefer to move more freely,  you should take taxis or rent a car. 

Public and private transport applies sanitary measures, such as the reduced number of seats occupied per vehicle. 4 people can go in cars and 3 in taxis, including the driver. The ADO bus line guarantees you a safe trip. Upon entering the terminal and boarding the units, the technical staff is in charge of taking the temperature, offering antibacterial gel and requiring the use of face masks for passengers inside the terminal and during the trip.

Tips for Traveling to Cancun With Children

If you plan to travel to Cancun with children, here we offer you some excursions and tours within the city and other nearby sites.

Beaches:  The calm and shallow waters of Playa Tortugas are ideal for swimming with the family and seeing turtles and dolphins.

Water attractions: Ventura Park in the Hotel Zone has slides, wave pools and jumping jets, which will be the joy of children. The Children’s World at Xel-Há Park, an hour from the city, also has a wading pool with slides and slides. Other than that, it has a playground with climbing ropes.

Ecological walks:  The Kabah Park in Cancun is a good option to observe flamingos, coatis and deer.  It also offers a representation of how the Mayans collected resin and prepared to chew gum.

One hour from Cancun, Xcaret Park has natural pools, wild animals, and visits to the Butterfly Garden and Aquarium. In addition, they carry out conservation programs for different species such as macaws, flamingos and sea turtles, which roam freely in the Park.

Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship Tour:  Includes dinner, a pirate show and fun quizzes inside a replica of a Spanish ship. You’ll be delighted to know that admission is free for children under 12.

Leave a Comment