I've been to Cancun 30-40 times and I don't believe I've ever gotten sick from bad water in the hotel zone, but there are a few things some of you need to know:
1. Chichen Itza is NOT in the Cancun Hotel Zone. It's two hours away and there are many places where the tap water isn't purified.
2. If you are in a place where the water isn't pure, it isn't enough to avoid drinking it. You must not eat anything that isn't either peeled or cooked. No salads, no ice, no salsa, no ceviche. You must not brush your teeth with it and keep your mouth shut in the shower. One drop is all it takes.
3. You are far more likely to have gotten sick from buffet-style eating. Your food may have been sitting there for hours, and some of it may have been salvaged from leftovers. If you must eat buffet-style, try to go when they first start serving that meal. The food will be fresher and safer.
4. Beware of restaurants offering bottled water with your meal. Some places will serve you imported water and charge $6-7 per bottle. If you want bottled water, ask for Bonafont, Ciel, or Nestle, which are all domestic, or just ask for Mexican bottled water.
5. I drink bottled water whenever I travel, even to Las Vegas. Hotel water rarely tastes good, so don't feel bad about drinking bottled water on vacation. At home I use re-fillable bottles to reduce plastic waste. Enjoy!
While traveling in Cancun, a friend and I paid very close attention to what we ate and drank, since we didn't want to fall prey to the infamous Montezuma's Revenge. We made it through our trip with flying colors, but got a little careless at the airport on our way home. We thought a Subway sandwich would make a nice light meal before our trip home, but the next day we found we were mistaken. While the resorts and many resturants use purified water to wash their veggies, the Subway in the airport did not. Save yourself some tummy issues and opt for a cooked meal when you're heading out.
Don't drink the water from the tap while you're in Mexico unless you're from there. The water contains microbes that most of us aren't used to and will make you ill (you're liable to get the "runs") if you consume it. Cancun depends on tourism so most hotels and restaurants in the hotel zone use purified water and will post clearly that they do so, therefore it's absolutely OK to drink drinks with ice (even blended) and washed fruits and vegetables. Just buy bottled water otherwise and you'll be fine. When in doubt ask for "agua purificada por favor"...
Some people may think this is stating the obvious. But bare in mind that the ice is usually made from local water. We are all normally careful not to drink the water but if u think how much of the ice melts into your drink you're just as likely to get a dodgy belly (as i did) from the ice. It's not pleasant (especially with a 10 hour flight home!) so avoid it as much as possible.
Although we were careful not to drink the water while on our trip my husband likes his soda cold and when he orders them they put ice! Well I guess the ice they use isnt very clean either coz on our last day in Cancun, my husbad was so sick! And the only thing we can think of was the Ice in his drinks!
Here's the generic Mexico tip: don't drink the water. This means avoid ice (even crushed), easy on the lettuce that has been washed with tap water, and just plain tap water. Stick to bottled water.
Luckily, I never fell subject to Monctezuma's Revenge, but everyone I was travelling was stuck in the bathroom for at least a day. Not so pleasant, especially when you're wondering why you dropped about a grand to go to Cancun and spend a day in the salle de bain.
Do not drink the water (everyone should know that already) and leave the doobie at home--you're liable to face a hefty criminal charge if you decide to smuggle into and out (that goes for any country actually).
I have heard that some people have suffered from the revenge of Moctezuma... So be careful with what you eat if you have a soar stomack;)
Else, during summer it's really, really hot so bring lots of good sunlotion if not sunblocking!
Water - sanitized water is always found in the hotel district but if you venture out - watch it!
There is a bus that travels up and down the hotel zone, it's great, cheap and you can have a drink with you at all times - it's not illegal to drink and drive to be careful!
They always say 'Don't drink the water' but we drank plenty of water and didn't get sick. Half the time it was bottled, but the tap water seemed fine. If you're worried about getting sick, DON'T DRINK THE TEQUILA!!!
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