Cancun! Cancun! Oh, how we love you!
While we may be singing praises from the rooftops now, truth be told, prior to this visit we were not sure we would love it as much as we do. We had always associated Cancun with happy-go-lucky college kids on Spring Break. We had never really seriously considered it as a vacation destination for ourselves. Well, not until the opportunity availed itself. You see, one does not simply let cheap flight tickets get away, without grabbing the chance at a getaway! So, when the approximately $200 per person flight tickets to Cancun fell into our laps, we hit the ground running. Literally! It was a mad dash to secure what had to be the sweetest deal we had seen in a while.
Psssst…If you didn’t know already, travel deal sleuthing is one of our favorite pastimes.
We took off from Dallas, TX on a Friday night and landed in the beautiful land of Mexico approximately 3 hours later. From the moment we made our way out of the airport, and into the waiting hotel shuttle, we knew that it was the onset of what would be an epic vacation. How do you ask? The overall vibe of the tourist-friendly destination, that’s what! We could tell that it was going to be one of those “constantly replayed stories for the future grandkids” type of good. True story!
Fast forward to the vacation experience…
Where to Stay in Cancun
We previously shared details about the all-inclusive resort that we called home while in Cancun. Our resort was in the popular Hotel Zone area, approximately 30 minutes from the airport. We recommended these particular resorts based on our own experience. Feel free to explore other options and dig deep into reviews before locking down a place to stay. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a dump while in the paradise that is Cancun. It will dampen your spirits and possibly ruin your vacation. Well, maybe ruining your vacation is a slight exaggeration, but you catch our drift, right? Our top site recommendations for searching for flights are Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, and Priceline.
How To Get Around In Cancun
We chose not to rent a car and opted instead to use either taxis, buses or the ferry (to Isla Mujeres). In addition to the aforementioned, Uber is also available. You have tons of transportation options, friends.
What To Do In Cancun
We would only be in Cancun for four nights; therefore, we planned to be intentional about exploring as much as we could. Our stay was chock-full of fun-filled adventures. We hit the ground running, eager to take in as many sights and sounds as we could while there. We squeezed in truck-loads of activities into every millisecond of our vacation– there was no stroke of time left behind!
Off the bat, we were bombarded by tour guides at the airport, each wanting to outsell the other and lure us into a paid guided tour of Cancun and beyond. In our experience, guided tours are a great way to explore a new city; however, sometimes they may limit how much you are able to see within a certain timeframe, as you are governed by their schedule. We have found from previous travel experiences that when we are in control of our own exploring, we have the freedom to allocate as much, or as little, time as we want to tour activities.
What’s a visit to Cancun without enjoying time at the beach? That my friend would be considered shortchanging yourself. The beach is an absolute must! I mean, is there really anything better than chillaxing by/in clear turquoise water and sinking your toes in the white sand? We spent many an hour laying out in beach cabanas enjoying the sun’s Vitamin D, and mother nature’s Vitamin Sea. If you are staying at a beachfront resort, access to the beach is about a hop, skip and jump away. We are all about easy beach access, hence our decision to stay at Grand Oasis Palm Resort. The following are a few additional public beaches in and around Cancun that we recommend:
P.S. Don’t forget your sunscreen. It’s essential, not optional. Protect your skin and your life.
There are so many ways to explore Cancun by land, air, and yes, by water too! Jet skiing, paragliding, boat cruises…you name it! Your options are almost limitless. The following are a few companies that we recommend:
- Marina Tropical
- Parasail Cancun
- Samba Catamarans
- Columbus Lobster Dinner Cruise
- Dancer Cruise Cancun
- Cancun Waverunner and Snorkel Tour
- Total Snorkel
- Jungle Tour Adventure
If you are an adventure seeker and/or an adrenaline junkie, these are a few options of activities you can indulge in while in Cancun:
Day Trip To Isla Mujeres
Armed with our flexed self-guided exploration muscle, we took matters into our own hands and ventured out to the nearby Isla Mujeres Island sans tour guide. By opting to tour the island ourselves, we saved a significant amount of time and money. We took an approximately 30 minute, $20 ferry ride from Cancun to Isla Mujeres, which added to the excitement of the overall travel experience. Upon arrival on the island, we rented a golf cart and traversed the island, taking in all its beautiful sights. We drove by Playa Norte, drove to Tortugranja (turtle sanctuary) and took a peek at dolphins at Dolphin Discovery.
We ate all our meals at our all-inclusive resort; however, we took a moment to ask the locals about restaurants they would highly recommend. Foodies will be pleased to learn that there are a wide variety of restaurant options available. The following are a few:
Visit Historic Sites
If you are a history buff, these are a few must-see places in or near Cancun:
Cancun has a wide variety of nightlife activities. The following are a few recommendations:
- Xoximilco (night boat cruise)
- Coco Bongo (night club)
- Mandala Cancun (night club)
- Mambo Café (night club)
Cancun Travel Tips
- It is recommended to drink bottled water; avoid tap water.
- Most places accept US dollars as payment; however, it might be a good idea to get a few pesos for places that do not accept dollars.
- Tip generously! Please be courteous and tip all the people who play a role, regardless of how small, in making your Cancun stay comfortable.
- US citizens and US permanent residents do not need a visa to visit Mexico. Check the Mexico immigration website for country-specific requirements.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. NB. This is just a general rule of thumb no matter what travel destination you visit.
- To save costs, you can consider using public transport to get around.
- Carry a government-issued form of identification with you at all times.
- Purchase travel insurance!
- Pack lightweight clothing as it is warm for the most part of the year.
- The rainy season is from July to October. Earlier in the year is peak season. Plan accordingly.
Needless to say, we had an exciting Cancun adventure! It is one of those places that you can visit multiple times and still be awed by its absolute splendor each time. It is a destination that we have unashamedly added to our “repeat offender” list. Meaning, we will visit it repeatedly, unapologetically, and unabashed. “You are going to Cancun AGAIN?” they’ll ask. “Yes, there’s no shame in our game!” we’ll respond. Until next time, Cancun. Thank you for the memories; they will tide us over until the next visit.
As always, it is our goal to share our travel experiences with you, with the hope that you too will be inspired to personally visit the places we bring to you virtually. There is so much of this beautiful earth to explore. To travel is to live! Happy Wanderlusting, friends. Go forth and see the world!