Ask your holiday rep in resort about the local buses, they are really cheap & you only pay one price its less than $1.00 (It was when i was there in 1999 it may be a little more now)
Whether you go to the next stop or whether you stay on for an hour or more its a set price. Real good value for money & not too crowded & a bonus about these buses are that if you miss a bus dont worry, the next one will be there before you even get chance to think! They run every couple of minutes.
These buses are great for dropping you off to the main centre of Cancun where you can see the nightlife & also have a great day out shopping. We went out to Cancun Shopping Mall. It is fantastic and also air conditioned. A great day out for those who love to shop til they drop!
The cheapest way to get around Cancun (both in the hotel zone and downtown) is to take the local bus. It's also a great way to get some exposure to the local people and culture. The fare one way is 6.5 pesos (less than one US dollar). Bus stops are clearly marked throughout the hotel zone and downtown. The concierge at your hotel will be happy to tell you which bus to take to get where you want to go. From the hotel zone to get to Av. Tulum downtown take the R1. To get to Wal Mart and Market 28 downtown take R2.
For those of you who don't know yet, Cancun basically consists of two parts: Downtown Cancun and the Hotelstrip. Downtown Cancun is really a backpackers place, whereas the strip is filled with large and luxurious 4 and 5 star hotels.
The hotelstrip is a piece of land (+/-15km) in the form of the number 7 with both ends connected to the mainland. Inside the 7 is a big lagoon, whereas downtown Cancun is located on the mainland at the upper end of the 7. Bear in mind that most hotels on the strip are on the seaside an not the lagoonside. Halfway the strip there is also several modern shoppingcentres with shops, restaurants, etc.
The easiest way to get around Cancun is to go by bus. Buses are constantly driving up and down from downtown Cancun to the very end of the hotelstrip, with stops along the entire strip. Simply buy a ticket (fixed price, no matter how far you have to go) when entering the bus.
Taking the public bus is fun. The drivers are crazy, but that just adds to the excitement.. I think so anyway. They speed down the streets and come to abrupt stops. When you get on, sit down right away, or you'll end up falling down. THey don't wait till your seated, they just speed off while you are in the middle of finding a place to sit. ha ha ha...They make frequent stops at bus stops every 5 minutes, so there is never a long wait. When in doubt, just tell the bus driver where you want to get off. They're pretty good about telling you when it's your stop. About 6 pesos each way. A little more if you want to take air conditioned bus.Look for the R1 or R2 bus. They will take you around hotel zone and downtown. Oh yeah, before I forget, sometimes if you give them 10 pesos, or more, sometimes they won't give you change. ha ha.
Buses cost $6.5 pesos (NO American coins) per person / 1 way. You get a ticket, but, it is for their control. There are 4 buses R-1, R-2, R-15 & R 27. If you are traveling within the hotel zone then it really does not matter what bus you take (Wet'n Wild is the exception. It is in the hotel zone but only half the buses go there so ask before you get on). R-2 & R-15 go to Wal-mart & Mercado 28. R-1 you ask! Well, it now goes almost everywhere. You have to read the front right window of the bus as it lists where it ends up. R-1's will go to Puerto Juarez, Wal-mart, Plaza 2000, Mercado 23, the bus station & places I have never been. The R 27 turns left on Tulum Ave & goes to Plaza Las Americas (the local's mall).
Bus Tips a) Last man standing does not win anything. It means you will be flying soon. If you are the last person to pay the driver then before you can think about where you want to sit he will be going 78 miles per hour. b) Telling the bus driver where to get off is a good start but not always will it work. Most do not speak English well enough to understand you. Have an idea of where you are going before you get on. Look for landmarks. c) They will not stop to let you off unless you ask them to. Don't assume they stop at all the stops. d) To flag a bus down you need to wave one of your body parts. e) Cheapest tour in Cancun so enjoy it. f) Get on in the front and off from the back door whenever possible. g) Don't bring drinks on the bus as they will most likely end up on someone else. h) When getting off NO ONE moves for you so if the bus is packed, put your head down and push.i) 'The 'Official'way to alert the driver you want off is to press the Red Button on the handrail by the back door.
The hotel zone is a long and narrow reef stretching over an area more than 20 km, and the zone itself is located about 10 km from the downtown. The best way to get around is to take the bus. They run all the time and are very cheap. In the front it is written were it's heading, and if you're not quite sure where to get out you can ask the busdriver to tell when you arrive at that place. Most of the time the driver don't say the name of the stops.
There are many different routes running around in the city. The route going from downtown to the hotel zone is called R-1, and it's clearly marked on the front window.
Cancun is a pretty big place. If you are staying in downtown, then you will need public transport to get to the beach. If you are staying in the Hotel Zone, then you will need public transport to get into town.
I occasionally used to walk from downtown to the northern end of the Hotel Zone (a walk of 8km), but to get to my favoured beach, Playa Delfines (18 km from downtown), I had to rely on the bus.
The bus service is excellent. Buses R1, R2 and, so I was told, R15 all run frequently between downtown and the Hotel Zone 24 hours a day.
You will never have to wait more than 5 minutes for a bus to turn up. Buses can be caught from numerous points along Avenida Tulum in downtown and from many stops along the 23km long Hotel Zone.
The fare is a flat rate 6.5 Pesos (correct at March 2006), regardless of the length of your journey. It doesn't matter if you are going from downtown to the northern end of the Hotel Zone or the southern end 23km further on, the price is still the same.
Fares are paid to the driver upon boarding the bus and I believe that bus fares can only be paid for in Pesos. I once witnessed an argument between a bus driver and an American tourist who was trying to pay in US Dollars. The driver was telling the passenger that he was trying to cheat him, and the tourist was protesting that he had more than enough to cover his fare, but only in US Dollars. So, if you're going to be catching buses in Cancun, I'd advise you to carry some small change in Pesos.
Also note that taxis charge a hefty surcharge for crossing the bridge between mainland Cancun and the Hotel Zone. The bus is therefore an economical choice and I never once needed to use a taxi.
The palace resort buses are really nice, and are very spacious. They are very helpful because they take you to specific locations in Hotel Zone and elsewhere. The only problem with the Resort bus is that is only goes to a certain number of locations, and it runs on time intervals of 4 hours. So for example if you board at 9am then your pickup time is 1pm. They actually give you a ticket and you must meet back where you were dropped off at that particular time. We used this bus to go to La Isla Mall, and it dropped us off at the Beach Palace. This was the most luxurious transportation vehicle of all the ones we used in Cancun.
The normal buses running through Cancun are quite run down, and kind of have an odor to them. They are quite cheap though, and will get you anywhere you can imagine in the main part of hotel zone, or the port of Cancun. If you don't have a ride and need a cheap and quick way to get around I would recommend this. However, if you have any other alternative you would be best to use it. We had to use this to get to a resort where our normal tour bus was going to pick us up. Overall not a bad experience but one that I wouldn't have cried had I not experienced it
The least expensive way to travel around Cancun (from the Hotel strip) is by bus. What would be about a $10 or $15 dollar trip (one way) in a taxi, will cost you 65 pesos (or about .65 cents). Granted, it will take twice the time, but as long as you have a seat and a little extra time to spare, it is s good way to go.
I took the bus from the end of the strip (near the Grand Oasis hotel) to the Market in downtown Cancun. The trip took about 45 minutes. It was very hot (July is sweltering), but I had a seat, and that made the trip easier to handle. A combination of locals and tourists are on the bus and you can take any bus to get to the downtown area. To get back, you will need to find out which bus goes by your hotel. In my case, R2 was the bus I needed.
The bus system in Cancun is wonderful! The Hotel Zone busses stop in front of each hotel. For about 60 pesos, the bus will take you for miles in each direction. It is extremely convenient, runs every few minutes, and is available all night long. They driver will make change, but it's always easier if you have the proper amount needed. They will then give you a paper receipt. Much cheaper than taxi's! Take the bus bar hopping or shopping - everyone does it!
We went around Cancun using the bus they used for the day trips... Otherwise when we were just shopping or just going around the general area... we would take the bus... Its very easy and cheap! Most people will tell you which bus to take to the Market, Wal Mart or shopping!