CANCUN: A Travel Guide | The Fernweh Blog

CANCUN: A Travel Guide

Cancun Travel guide
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Cancun’s lavish and captivating international airport is the second busiest airport in Mexico. It receives huge international traffic of all airports in Latin America that makes it even busier. Back in 1970, Cancun was home to only 3 residents. Isn’t that surprising enough? But today thanks to the increasing population, over half a million people live in there enjoying themselves and their lives. The glittery white beaches of Cancun are made from the crushed coral that is ample in Yucatan Peninsula. It is warm to touch and will not hurt your skin. Another interesting thing in Cancun is the Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, The Great Mayan Barrier Reef which is considered to be the second largest coral reef in the world. Having the glittery sand and the shades of blue sky touching the crystal clear water, it is a perfect scenic view. With miles of astonishing beach and weather, it’s no surprise that Cancun and the Riviera Maya are home to over 46,000 destination weddings every year.

Mexico

Picture Courtesy: Visit Mexico

If you think you know everything about this Caribbean Coast, you better think again. It is an essential and effective way to have complete knowledge about the place you are planning to go. Cancun is very famous for snorkeling and diving making the cenote even more sensational. These cenotes are freshwater underground sinkholes-the largest of which at 134 long miles, making it the longest underwater cave in the world. The infamous Hotel Zone in Cancun is a peninsula on a peninsula! Yes, you heard it right. It’s shaped like the number 7 — so the hotels face toward the front of the beach on one side, and the Nichupte Lagoon on the other. If you wish to see the turtles, you must visit Hotel Zone. Each May, thousands of turtles lay eggs on the beaches of Cancun, and their nests are located in the heart of the Hotel Zone. Being a huge turtle fan, the hotel owners, employees and the guests contribute their best to protect the eggs from any harm.

Mexico

Picture Courtesy: Transat

Best time to visit Cancun?

If you visit Cancun, come in May to September, as during this time the groups of the whale sharks assemble in the waters off Cancun. Since they are huge and massive, they do not harm anybody and you can freely enjoy the swim. Take the risk and have a whale of a time. One other beauty that Cancun has is the underwater museum. This unique and lavish underwater museum named as (MUSA) has over 500 life-size sculptures. The view makes the person mesmerized completely. It is one of the most astonishing underwater artificial art attractions in the whole world.

Cancun

Picture Courtesy: Trip Advisor

Get to Know the Direct Flights to Cancun

In so-called advanced world, reaching anywhere at any time has become so easy and convenient. No matter how far you are from your desired destination, it is possible to reach there and that too in a very short span of time. This table would surely help you out with the flights and their duration to make your planning easier and comfortable.

DESTINATIONAIRLINEAVERAGE COSTDURATION
Atlanta Delta
Aero Mexico
AirTran
$3792:43 min
BostonDelta, JetBlue or US Airways$4744:27 min
CharlotteUS Airways$6313:00 min
ChicagoUnited
American
$396345 min
DallasSpirit
American
Sun Country
$3742:30 min
New York CityJetBlue
American
Aero Mexico
$3504:00 min
 San Francisco United
Virgin America
$5275:25 min
 Miami American$3761:43 min
Los AngelesDelta
United
Virgin American
$4804:45 min
Washington DCUnited$4573:35 min
Caribbean

Picture Courtesy: Caribbean Journal

Once the Airport formalities are done, need help to reach your destination?

Cancun Airport is about a twenty-minute drive from the hotel zone, 45 minutes from Playa del Carmen, and 90 minutes from Tulum and 2 hours from the Chichen Itza archaeological site.

Ground Transfers: There are many companies that offer the transport services on the internet or through your hotel. A few companies also offer transportation service, both private and shared there.

Renting a Car: Renting a car is a great option if you wish to visit many other places in Cancun and the Riviera Maya during the trip. Roads are generally in good condition and signage is ample.

Bus Service: For a pocket-friendly option, the ADO bus company offers their services to Cancun. Merida, etc. There is an ADO bus ticket booth that is located just outside Terminal 2 making things easy for you.

Where to Stay? Dig in for all your answers

Get to stay in these sustainable hotels and know innovative ways to go greener!

Posada Lamar

Apart from the other hotels, Posada Lamar is a quite resort with rustic beach vibe. The 2 levels are built with recycled materials that include wood, bamboo and palm fronds. They are ocean-air and quite exposed to the elements. Limited electricity comes from solar panels and wind generators.

Posada Lamar
Picture courtesy: AMOMA.com

Zamas

With complete focus on sustainable energy, low-density accommodations and local art and culture, Zamas main focus is to stay loyal to the culture of Tulum. Zamas is considered to be one effective and sustainable hotel because it not only takes care of the hotel only but also cleans the beach regularly. The largely unplugged resort is made up of large, airy palapas powered by generators.

Zamas Tulum

Picture courtesy: Loco Gringo

Nueva Vida de Ramiro

Nueva Vida de Ramiro is a budget friendly place to spend a great time. Solar panels and wind generator provides electricity and a wastewater treatment system hinder polluting the ecosystem. This makes Nueva Vida de Ramiro one sustainable and eco-friendly and pocket-friendly place to have a great time.

Nueva Vida de Ramiro

Picture courtesy: YouTube

Playa Escondida

Playa Escondida, a romantic retreat s tucked away in a beachfront spot in the jungle outside Sayulita. It has 25 beautifully decorated rooms in standalone huts built with natural local materials. The jungle and ocean views make the place even more romantic for the couple. The small pool has an infinity edge overlooking the beach and natural saline water. The paddle boards and snorkeling equipment are free to use.

Picture courtesy: Sayulita

Ahau Tulum

Ahau Tulum is a beachfront property that blends handcrafted artwork and bohemian décor with rustic architecture that is made with complete locally sourced materials. The 26 rooms have a scenic ocean view. Plastic bags and bottles are highly discouraged, so each room has its own fresh water container that’s refilled daily. The glass beer and soda bottles are straight away brought back to their products to be refilled.

Picture courtesy: Vaolo

Things Not To Be Missed

Take 2-hour tour to Chichen Itza

If you’re in Cancun, this tour is surely a must to complete your Cancun trip. A 2-hour tour to the iconic Maya ruins of Chichen Itza is to be taken an advantage of. Well, something that makes this visit interesting is that thankfully you don’t have to wait in the long lines. Thanks to a private entrance that gives you quick and easy access to this alluring historic site. Get a chance to learn the historical importance of all the crucial constructions such as the Nunnery, Observatory, La Iglesia and Akab Dzib. Explore many more temples and beautiful sites on this tour and be ready to learn a lot of new things.

Maya ruins of Chichen Itza

Xcaret Park

Get ready to soak up under the sun and experience the scenic beauty and cultural heritage at Xcaret Park. This adventure park is in the center of Riviera Maya with 40 attractions and activities. From a lush jungle, underground rivers to the breathtaking the Caribbean Sea everything gets exciting and thrilling. Once done with the adventure, set off to the Hacienda Henequenera for the beautiful green plantation. To make the day interesting and fun there are other spots like the Folk Art Museum, Chapel of Guadalupe, Living Museums of Orchids. Apart from this, make your way to the aviary and feast your eyes on the captivating pink flamingos, scarlet macaws and more than 44 species of tropical birds and also get up close with the marine turtle that will surely give you goosebumps.


Picture Courtesy: Project Expedition

Dive In

To experience the aquatic adventure, Xel-Ha Park is the perfect place. Dive into the glittery crystal waters and get close with the tropical fish, explore the Yucatan jungle and much more. Begin the day in a lagoon, where you can snorkel and grab a chance to see the yellow stripes of Angelfish and over 90 species of marine life. To overcome your fears make your way to the Stone of Courage. Raising 15 ft. above the water, it is surely a perfect perch to test your mettle.

Xel-Ha Park

Picture Courtesy: Scuba Diving Cancun

Day Trip to Tulum and Zacil-Ha Cenote

Uncover the mystery and secrets of the Maya ruins, an ancient civilization as you tour this archaeological site with your gang. Start digging your toes in the sand of Tulum’s beach and then take a refreshing dip in the Zachil-Ha cenote. After this tour, you can head towards a walled Maya city perched on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. Here you can even listen to stories about Maya rituals, culture, worship and many more things as you walk around the famous cliff top, Castillo.

 Zach-Ha cenote

Picture Courtesy: Trip Advisor

3-in-1 Adventure

Get your adrenaline all pumped up for this 3-in-1 ride that will definitely give you goosebumps. The 3-in-1 adventure includes an ATV ride, a zip line route, swimming and snorkeling in the shimmering crystal pond and an ocean inlet. This adventure is all action packed and will get the junkies out of you. This thing cannot be missed if you wish to have an unforgettable day.

3-in-1 adventure

Picture Courtesy: Expedia

Cancun Dancer Cruise

For all the fun and adventure loving people, the Dancer Cruise in Cancun Bay will become your bae. On this cruise, you can slide down the water-slide, jump off the diving boards to splash into the ocean, snorkel in the Gulf of Mexico, explore the islands of Isla Mujeres. Apart from these activities, the main highlight is the dance to music played by a live DJ. This is exactly why this cruise is known as the dancer cruise. Once done with the adventure and dancing, feed yourself with delicious food and drinks on the cruise.

Sky Rider & Aquatwister Combo

Experience the 2 very exciting adventures of Cancun all-together. Starting with simple parasailing in a Sky Rider, it then touches down and gets your adrenaline pumping in an Aquatwister speedboat. As it is designed for maximum speed, hold on people because the speed gets so high that the boat blasts into the water, cutting through the waves and screeching around the hairpin turns.

Sky Rider


Picture Courtesy: Aquaworld.com

Ways to Save up on the Dollars 

If you are looking for great adventures and wish to know the Cancun culture and that too in fares that are affordable, here are some effective yet efficient tips which give you the potential of saving up on the dollars.

Fly on Wednesday or Return on Wednesday and save up on the trip fare

The cheapest day to fly is on Wednesday where you can save around $10 or even plan your return on a Wednesday where you get to save $38 in your trip fare. Also, the resorts get less crowded during the weekdays than on weekends.

Fly in December to lower the stress and save up more

The holiday season, as usual, tends to cause you more stress than joy because it’s the peak time and the fares are touching heights. Well just to lower the stress and fare, book a flight to Cancun in December and get a chance to save $50 on your fare.

All-Inclusive Resorts

To save the money and time, always look for deals and packages of all-inclusive resorts. This makes things much easier and comfortable for you, to find where your next meal will be and at what time. This becomes savvy as compared to the outside food. Also apart from food, you get to access the free beaches while you’re off sight-seeing the different sites and enjoying the different activities in the area.

Avoid High Season

Not only Cancun but any other place gets super expensive in a high season. The rates of the hotels & resorts, the fares of the flights and the activities everything gets raised up that can sometimes shake up the budget. To save up on your trip in a pocket-friendly budget avoid going in a high season.

Ask for Discounts/Bargains

As said before, when in Cancun roam like a local and ask for discounts and bargains when shopping.  You may not always get a discount but it’s always worth a try. Try your luck because you never know when you get great discounts.

Check the Bills Carefully

No matter how amazing the restaurant or a place is but you should always check the bills carefully. Many times not intentionally but by mistake, things get added twice in the bill, so just to make sure you do not pay extra or something that you didn’t even have to check the bills carefully.

Shuttles/Sharing Cabs

Once you reach the airport, you will see a lot of cabs waiting for you. Always prefer a shuttle or a sharing cab to reach your destination. The personal cabs are very expensive and can costs a lot more than the actual price by knowing that you are a tourist.

Book a flight to Cancun 15 days in advance

The cheapest day to fly is on Wednesday where you can save around $10 or even plan your return on a Wednesday where you get to save $38 in your trip fare. Plus, the Cancun resorts get a lot less crowded during the workweek than on more popular weekend days comparatively.

Compare the fares of every flight before booking

Before booking the flights in excitement make sure you compare the fares of every flight and then book according to your requirements and needs. Book the flight where you get to save up more and helps you to lower the fare and its stress.

Ignore the tour guide on the streets

Once you reach Cancun, you will find many tourist guides on the streets. Being a guide they have a very good convincing power but being a savvy tourist you should know how to say a NO! Cancun is a place where you can find the ways easily and also the locals are so cooperative that they are always ready to guide you, and that too for free free free. So make sure you don’t get convinced and get to save the dollars.

City Buses

The city buses run after every few minutes and there are bus stops too near every hotel and restaurants. Take advantage of this and have the potential to save up as the ticket costs one dollar each way only. These buses are a great idea to see the city and save money rather spending on cabs.

Know What’s Included

Many companies use a wristband to signify that you’ve paid for certain access to their facilities. Before finalizing things make sure you know what all is included and what costs extra to avoid future confusions. Also, make sure of the inclusive things so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not the activity is worth the price or not. On the other side, one wristband may get you access to multiple attractions but many times the vendors do not always advertise these benefits, so make sure to ask and clear everything.

Know the Exchange Rate

This tip is not just limited to Cancun but also to your all other trips, make sure you know the correct exchange rate. Don’t ever trust the vendors in calculating the exchange rate for you. You can either ask the hotel concierge or check online before somebody takes advantage of you not knowing the correct and current rate.

Be a Savvy Shopper

Once in Cancun, just forget you are a tourist and feel like a local there. Roam and shop just like a local to save many dollars on your shopping and buying more comparatively. The salesperson will work really hard to convince you but make sure you don’t fall for high-pressure sales techniques. You can say, ‘No Thank You’ and simply keep walking because this is the only way to get them to stop you. But if you don’t like anything just keep the thing on the table and leave. They may follow you a few feet but eventually return to their shop for the next victim.

For more travel related information, visit Flightsbank

Recommended Reads: 14 Hilarious Travel Memes for Every Traveler

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