The entire hotel zone in Cancun is extremely safe and well policed. I would not venture into Cancun city at night or travel by taxi. Stick to the buses, which are fun and inexpensive. As far as travel outside Cancun tourist areas, I personally would stick with a tour company just to be safe and recommend Chichen Itza, the Jungle Adventure and Xel-Ha. I am not a fearful traveler, and have been to Cancun alone with no problems at all...in fact the hotel staff at the Grand Oasis seemed to take extra good care of me for some reason. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Anyone who slams Cancun has made no effort to really get to know the area or get out and DO things. Don't like the party scene, choose a resort farther down the hotel zone where everything is closed up by 10pm. It's really just common sense. Choose your hotel wisely (I am loyal to the Grand Oasis, but have tried other hotels too) and as an adult just AVOID SPRING BREAK at all costs. I usually go in late summer/early fall though I went once in May too. I try to go while school is in session for the teens, not that I have anything against teens--I just like to sleep without the "benefit" of blaring hip hop music. Happy Travels!
Fondest memory: I love Cancun so much it is almost obsessive. My favorite trip was with my two sons when they were teens when we explored snorkeling, Chichen Itza, the Cenotes and Isla. My solo trip was also a lot of fun and very relaxing. There are just SO many diverse things to do! The eco tours are amazing!
Favorite thing: Anyone looking to rent a cell phone for their trip to Mexico, I highly recommend getting one from Mexitel through Ebay. The process is so simple. You pay $35 for the phone plus a small shipping fee and a deposit for the phone. Minutes are purchased separately at a very low cost. When you return from your trip you simply return the phone in the prepaid postage envelope and they issue credit to your credit card for the deposit. I used the phone extensively for a week with only rwo dropped calls. Customer service is extremely helpful in gettin you started if you need them.
Favorite thing: I am also going there this week. I leave tomorrow and they won't let me reschedule, so I guess I have no choice. Please let me know if you hear anything, but we may just have to wait and see when we get there. Hopefully won't ruin our vacations!
In the winter, if it's cold where you live. If not, the prices are cheapest in the fall. You can see a run down of weather at different times of the year at http://www.beachcondocancun.com/thingstodo.asp The water is really warm in the fall, still, probably in the mid eighties, and it's wonderful to swim, snorkel, and totally relax in! I love too snorkel and boogie board, and it's like being away from it all! The prices and crowds are down in the fall, also. And, it's not as hotel as the summer.
Fondest memory: I think traveling alone with my husband (without 3 kids)!, and we had so much fun zipping around on a scooter around Cozumel. We accidentally came across some hidden ruins, and they were really interesting! It started to rain on us, but it was warm rain, and we barely made it back in time. But, we circled the whole island, and saw the other, unihabited part of Cozumel, and swam a little, and just relaxed in the sand, away from the crowds. It was like there were just two of us in that part of the world, very romantic!
Ive been there often. I found May to be the best all round time to go Cancun.W ater is perfect temp., wave are not to bad, Temp great (water in the upper part of the 7 is always calmer, almost like a bay). Not to crowded not to empty ( parts of Dec. & Jan are fairly slow and the water is choppy with a bad under tow). Cancun in May is from 75 - 82/90. Interior is 85-98 with high humidity.
The place is unreal. The end of August is hot, water great, Mexican children are back at school and a Mexican holiday ends at the end ot the month. Get the insurance if you can, its worth it for peace of mind in case of hurricane or personal problems.I love the place, all of Quintana Roo, the state you will be in. The water is truly the colors you see in the photo's.
Fondest memory: Hypnotizes by the water.
I have been to Cancun 7 times.
The best time to go weather wise is February-May and November.
June and July are hot - expect it to rain in the afternoons, but i would not worry too much about hurricanes. it is a bit quieter this time of year and the rain is usually welcomed as there is only so much time you can spend outside in the hot sun.
August-October is hurricane season.
December & January- it could be cool, it is also high season, as you will get all of the families and tourists during christmas, New Years & January.
If you want a party scene and if you are young, you will like it in March and April - but if you do not want to be with partying people between the ages of 18-25, avoid those months or go to Riviera Maya, which is about 20 minutes from Cancun. It is much mellower.
If you are going with kids, I just found this amazing deal:
$399+: Air & 3nts All Inclusive In Cancun
Kids Are Free + $200 FREE Flight Credit
This is also a great deal - but it is for Riviera Maya (the quieter area):
$549+: Air & 7nts All-Inclusive + Kids FREE
Sale: 40% Off At Upscale Iberostar Resorts
Fondest memory: Jet skiing with my best friend who has since passed away.
I found this site when doing my research and it kinda helped me get a good sense of what to do and how to stay for cheap too.
Check out Cancun Things to do, where to stay and overview.
Cell phones are great to have anywhere of course, and they're even more useful when you don't want to waste precious time waiting for or wondering about others. Cell phones are also not cheap to use in Mexico - until now.
On our last trip, there were 2 couples and we each rented a cell phone from Mexitel Cellular. We chose them for the price (definitely lowest), reputation (very good), and because they send you the phone in the US so you can use it to contact and confirm your transfer as you're collecting your luggage from the luggage belt.
What I didn't realize at the time was that the new prices for airtime there (for this company anyway) is cheaper than using a cell in the US. As an example, we could call each other (and other phones in Mexico) for 50 cents for a 20 minute call. That is cheap, but it's not the biggest deal... You can call anywhere the US (and Canada I'm told) and talk for 20 minutes for $1. I thought it was a mistake. It was not.
Anyway - it was great to have cells we could actually USE while there and one of the reasons was to keep us coordinated. You see, the guys wanted to look at and do certain things and we wanted to look at and do different things (sometimes, and of course), so when they had a cell and we had a cell we didn't have to stay together the whole time or struggle and constantly make plans to arrive at specific places at specific times to be together. Also to be able to call home and check in with the kids (and not be rushed) for $1 was great.
Almost forgot to add this:
Place to rent the phones is Mexitel Cellular (www.mexitel.net)
The Yucatán Peninsula is the remains of a very old coral reef, raised from the sea after thousands of years. So the whole peninsula is made of limestone. This is a very porous rock, which immediately sucks down rain water. This means that there are no rivers in the peninsula and very few lakes.
Once underground, the water will migrate down the limestone, until it reaches the bedrock (the layer of hard rock beneath), which doesn't absorb water like the limestone. This creates huge underground reservoirs, which can be anywhere from 3 meters to over 60 meters below the surface.
As the water moves underground, it dissolves the limestone, creating huge undergound rivers. Occasionally, the roof of the river will colapse, creating sinkholes (or cenotes, as they are called in the region). The cenotes were a major source of water for the Maya and other indigenous people
Cenotes (or sinkholes) were the basic water source for the indigenous people of Yucatán. This gave the cenotes not only an important role in survival, but also a central one in the religion of the people.
Cenotes were a representation of the underworld. Considering their depths, this is not surprising! In most religious centers, the cenotes that had important ceremonial functions were not the same as the ones were drinking water was obtained. Since many ceremonies included throwing down precious objects for the gods, including children (the only situation were children were sacrificed), this was wise. However, as the cenotes are connected by underground rivers, contamination in one would spread to others. Some historians speculate that a contaminated water supply may be the reason why ceremonial centers were abandonded at the end of the Classical period.
One of the pillars of Maya identity is the language. Outside Cancún, it is common to hear people speak one of the 19 different maya dialects. It is very and sounds very different from European languages.
Mayas also developed their own form of writting, based of hieroglyphs. This was used not only in the stella and monuments, but also to write sacred books on papers made from tree bark. During the Conquista (the Spanish conquest), however, these books were rounded up and burned, in order to squash the local people. The book burning took place in 1562, which became known as Maní (meaning "There is no more", in Maya). After the Conquista, Spanish monks created a set of rules in order to write Maya using the Latin alphabet, to enable them to teach the locals to read the Bible.
Until recently, most children would learn Spanish in school and a maya dialect at home. There was no official incentive for the indiginous culture. Recently, there was a loss of interest in teaching the children these very old languages.
Fortunately, the importance of preserving this heritage has been recognized. Today, public schools are taught in both languages. You can even find signs in the Latin alphabet version of the language (specially in the archeological sites).
Unlike what many history books say, the Maya people did not "disappear" suddenly. Even though the great ceremonial centers such as Chichen Itza, Tulum and others where abandoned, the Maya people themselves didn't go anywhere. And, even today, most of the residents of Quintana Róo identify themselves as Maya, or a mixture of Maya and Spanish.
The people are very proud of their origins. The guides will proudly tell how it took the Spanish over 21 years to conquer the Yucatán peninsula. Restaurant owners will say that a certain dish is Maya in origin. A local bar will serve a fiery drink made of honey and aniseed.
Favorite thing: Well, just hang out on the beach for a while. The advertising banners on the little planes flying over Cancun's beaches will surely give you some ideas. Senor Frogs, Margaritaville, Coco Bongo...they all do it. This one is for Dady-O
If not at the hotel pool, I may also have been found here. The CasaMagna Resort also has an outstanding beach view grill, mere feet from the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea. I ate lunch here just about every day. In the shade, just hanging out watching the waves. It was hard to get me to move from there. There's simply nothing more relaxing to me.
I wonder if this should also be a restaurant tip...
Fondest memory: The shrimp quesadillas. Mmmmm...
Having been a lazy bum for most of my stay in Cancun, the place to find me was usually floating in my hotel pool. Usually having a few Coronas at the swim-up bar. I think the swim-up bar is one of the more outstanding inventions ever by mankind. You swim up, you get your drink, you put it on your room, you (maybe) swim away with your drink. Not something you could do every day but, when in Cancun...
Fondest memory: My best memory is actually the people I met. Especially the family from California I met my first full day in Cancun. We ended up hanging out at the pool all day, then they graciously invited me to dinner that night. Oh, I got 'em back later that week - you should've seen my bar bill that day ;o)
Thanks for the friendship, it won't soon be forgotten.
Our travel agent told described the accomdations here as luxury but they were a bit less impressive...more
I believe that most everyone that posted positivie comments either on this site or Trip Advisor had...more
The hotel is great and everything went fine on my stay. The staff is friendly, the rooms are...more