Cancun Guide

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Cancun Tourism Guide - 2023 Everything you need to know

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Welcome to Cancun Mexico

Cancun, the dreamy Mexican Caribbean destination, welcomes millions of tourists from around the world with its exquisite beaches and blue waters every year. Below you’ll find our guide to making your visit truly special – indulge in a variety of activities that make visiting this spectacular resort town a memorable experience.

Whether it’s swimming through crystal clear blue waves or enjoying the intense nightlife  – we’ve got all covered! Allow us to help you plan out an incredible vacation in Cancun. Let’s get started!


🇲🇽 Mexico Travel Resources We Use:


Cancun Guide

Some History First

Before the 1970s, Cancun was a forgotten Mayan cultural center with only 100 inhabitants. However, this area was significant for both fishing and maritime trades during its time as a Maya settlement. Nowadays, it is one of many thriving towns along the Mexican Caribbean coast that have grown from their ancient roots.

In the 1970s, Mexico chose Cancun as the perfect place to establish its next Caribbean tourist hub. At first, it was a difficult task to acquire investors- so much so that Mexican government had to finance the building of early resorts. But by mid 1980’s Cancun achieved great success and became one of Mexico’s most sought after destinations!

Cancun Today

Cancun is a place of time-honored culture and stunning natural beauty, drawing locals and travelers from far corners. Since 1989 it has held the title as Mexico’s most bustling city. Offering plush all inclusive resorts, lush white sand beaches, azure waters, and thrilling attractions; Cancun has become one of the Caribbean’s premier destinations for relaxation or adventure – you choose!

Is Cancun Safe?

Though gang-related crime has increased slightly in recent years, it almost always happens far away from the areas frequented by tourists. With tourism being integral to Cancun, officials work hard to keep the city secure and safe for travelers. As long as you use your intuition, exercise caution while exploring and steer clear of suspicious people or places, Cancun can be an enjoyable experience with no security fears! If you want to learn more read our detailed Cancun Safety Guide.

Where is Cancun?

Cancun is situated on the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and neighboring the gorgeous Caribbean Sea and is easily accessible from Houston or Miami in a mere two-hour flight. If you’re already within reach to Playa Del Carmen – just an hour away – or Tulum, situated further south at two hours distance, your journey won’t be long before you find yourself enveloped by this paradise destination.

Beach at Wyndham Alltra Cancun

Beach at Wyndham Alltra Cancun

Boasting the second-longest coral reef system in the world mere steps away, Cancun is a beach paradise you won’t want to miss! Enjoy azure Caribbean waters, sugary white sand beaches and some of the best diving and snorkeling imaginable– this most certainly IS island life at its finest.

What is the Best Time to Visit Cancun

When searching for the Best Time to visit Cancun, consider the predictable tropical climate and plan around it. Boasting a nearly consistent temperature of 83°F year-round, visitors must mainly be aware of potential rainfall during specific times.

January – April

With its ideal climate, this destination sees a surge of tourists. But if you are someone who prefers peace and quiet, you should still know that the ocean waters, cenotes and swimming pools may be quite chilly for some people’s liking.

Best Time to Visit Cancun : Average Temperature in Cancun
Best Time to Visit Cancun : Average Temperature in Cancun

May – October

The warmest and rainiest months are here, yet there’s still plenty of sunshine for snorkeling & diving. Be mindful during September and October as it is the peak season for hurricanes so make sure to be prepared with travel insurance in case of any emergencies. As a bonus, fewer travelers mean that you can find favorable rates at local hotels, resorts and tour companies during this time!

November – December

Cancun beckons for its greatest beauty during the autumn and winter months. This period marks the end of hurricane season, boasting salty air with a delightful coolness in the evenings that cannot be found at any other time of year. With pleasant conditions like this, it’s easy to see why so many people consider it an ideal destination!

Read Next:

 When Is Hurricane Season in Cancun?

From late May to early November, Cancun’s hurricane season is in full swing, with peak times typically occurring between August and October. While it may not be very common for a hurricane to hit the Yucatan Peninsula (only six hurricanes have made landfall there over the past four decades), storms passing by can still bring harsh conditions. To stay safe during this time of year, make sure you keep an eye on weather forecasts prior to traveling and consider investing in some travel insurance for added security.

Average Wind Speed Cancun
Average Wind Speed Cancun

How to Get to Cancun & Around

Exploring the wonders of Cancun is only a few steps away with multiple routes of transportation to get you there.


If you’re looking for an uncomplicated getaway to Cancun, the city is serviced by numerous flights from all over the globe each day. Located in Cancun City’s Centro area and only 13 miles away from Zona Hotelera lies a bustling hub of international travel – Cancun International Airport (CUN). With a capacity that surpasses 20 million passengers per year, it stands as one of its kind within this region.

Airport Shuttles

For your convenience, private or group shuttles can be arranged to pick you up at the airport and drive you straight to where you are staying. Although more cost-effective than a private shuttle, please note that opting for a shared vehicle could extend your journey as it is likely to stop at multiple hotels before arriving at yours.

To maximize your savings when traveling with friends or family, we suggest getting a private minivan shuttle for $30-$40 per van. This is much more cost-effective than shared shuttles which are about $10 per person.

Taxis & Uber

Taxis are abundant, which makes them a great ride amenity to travel straight from the airport to your lodging. The cost is dependably regulated – simply ask at any taxi stand for an estimate. Generally, it costs between $40-$50 dollars if you’re going to Centro or the Hotel Zone. Although taxis can be convenient in Cancun and prices range around $4-$7 dollars within Hotel Zone  or Centro (map) – we highly recommend prearranging an airport shuttle ahead of time (see above).

When journeying from the Hotel Zone to Centro and vice versa, expect a $10-$15 charge for one-way service. Whenever you’re ready to set off, your hotel can telephone a taxi which will pick you up in no time. If traveling between Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum by way of taxi is more convenient for you despite its costliness; make sure that prices are discussed beforehand so as not be subject to exorbitant fees.

Uber has been on and off in Cancun and we would advise that you don’t try to book a trip with Uber while in Cancun as there have been even violent acts against uber drivers and customers by the local taxi mafia. 

Rent a Car in Cancun
Rent a Car in Cancun

Rent a Car in Cancun

Need to go places and explore your surroundings? Consider renting a car – it’s an easy, convenient, and budget-friendly option with daily rates as low as $15. Before you set out on the open road though, make sure your hotel has parking available so you have somewhere safe to store your rental car when not in use.

Enjoy the convenience and safety of traveling between Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum with a rental car. You’ll have access to amazing sites like cenotes beyond town limits! But keep in mind that there are road speed bumps called Topes that you need to be aware of while driving – stay alert so you can fully enjoy your trip without any hiccups!

Buses in Cancun

Buses are the most cost-efficient and widely used form of transportation, offering air conditioned rides to your desired destination. From airports, there are frequent public buses that transport you into a city’s downtown area. Additionally, this service is also offered from Tulum and Playa del Carmen — just be sure to enquire at your hotel for pick up/drop off locations prior to hopping in!

Things to Do in Cancun

Cancun offers an endless array of activities and entertainment that will make each day a unique adventure! From exciting live performances to sailing tours, you’ll never find yourself without something fun to do.

Let’s explore some of the incredible options available for your next visit:

Cancun Beach

1. Visit Cancun’s Amazing Beaches

The Hotel Zone’s shorelines extend for miles and feature spectacular, powdery-soft sand. Many resorts provide loungers and day beds on their own designated sections of beach, but you can always explore the rest to find your favorite spot!

Playa Delfines is widely known for its beauty, making it an idyllic destination to bask in the sun and take a dip. With that said, those with small children should heed caution as the waters may get rough at times. Moreover, if you are looking for a classic Instagram shot of Mexico’s iconic ‘Cancun’ sign – then this beach has got you covered! On the other hand, if your goal is to swim peacefully without having to worry about strong waves or unpredictable currents; head on over towards Playa Chac Mool where tranquility awaits all who enter.

Discover the perfect beach for you and your family with our comprehensive Cancun Best Beaches Guide, full of useful information about each stunning shoreline!

Since 2008, the Caribbean coastline of Mexico (Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen etc.) has been subject to annual Sargassum influx from April to August. While resorts and beaches attempt daily removal of this seaweed from the sandbanks, it can still be quite smelly in places where no action is taken. Therefore we recommend selecting a hotel with a pleasant pool area for swimming or else visiting Cozumel or Isla Mujeres which are largely unaffected by these accumulations.


🇲🇽 Mexico Travel Resources We Use:


Adventure Parks: Xplor Fuego
Adventure Parks: Xplor Fuego

2. Experience The Adventure Parks

Roughly one hour south of Cancun lies a collection of globally renowned adventure parks that will undoubtedly provide an unparalleled experience. Xcaret is the most talked about park, boasting unique canals to swim through, secluded beach coves, astounding cultural performances and jungle trails- just to name a few! While they may be on the pricier side compared to other attractions in the area , these adventure parks are indisputably worth every penny and should not be missed during your stay.

If you’re looking for an exciting adventure, Xplor is the place to be. With its incredible caves and ziplines, as well as rafting and ATV rides, it’s sure to please! Meanwhile at Xel-Ha you can find waterslides, snorkeling opportunities in mangrove tunnels and more water activities than you’ll know what to do with.

Or if nighttime adventures are your thing then head over to Xplor Fuego where a torchlight tour awaits! Additionally Xenotes provides an unforgettable cenote experience while Xoximilco invites guests onto floating fiestas – plus don’t forget about the oddly popular optical illusion park known as ‘Xenses’.

Fall Equinox at Chichen Itza Pyramid
Fall Equinox at Chichen Itza Pyramid

3. Take a Trip to Chichen Itza

Make the journey of a lifetime to visit Chichen Itza, one of the most impressive Mayan ruins. Located just two hours away from Cancun, it’s the perfect opportunity for you and your family to explore its majestic temples and monuments before cooling off with an exhilarating swim at a cenote on your return trip!

Exploring Chichen Itza can be done on your own with a rental car, but many choose to book either a private or group tour for convenience. On the group tours you won’t have to worry about driving directions and will also be able to take some time out of the day for relaxation in the van going back! Note that most packages don’t include park entrance fee (which is $30 USD adult/$5 child). If you’re looking for something highly rated at an affordable price, this top-rated Group Tour offers buffet lunching, sightseeing in Valladolid and swimming in a cenote along their return journey. Alternatively if one prefers more personalized options then why not check out what we have available here with our Private Tours selection?

Best cenotes in Mexico: Cenote Suytun
Best cenotes in Mexico: Cenote Suytun

4. Visit A Cenote

Cancun is home to a multitude of magnificent cenotes, each produced when underground caves collapse in on themselves and fill up with rainwater or natural spring water. Immerse yourself physically and spiritually in these awe-inspiring forces of nature: take a dip, don your snorkel gear for an underwater exploration, scuba dive into the depths or simply stroll around them – no matter which you choose, you’ll be sure to reap their healing properties!

Golf Club at Iberostar Cancun
Golf Club at Iberostar Cancun

5. Go Golfing

Golfers rejoice – Cancun is your paradise! With more than 15 courses around the city, there’s something for everyone regardless of skill level. Experience a mix of awe-inspiring sand dunes and tranquil lagoons, accented with Mayan ruins or cenotes. The most sought after option has to be Pok Ta Pok: 18 holes located in the Hotel Zone, complete with driving ranges and two practice putting greens plus bars on hand so you can stay refreshed while perusing the course.

scuba diving Cancun

6. Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving

If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure, hiring a tour company or taking the plunge with a dive shop can bring you the chance to explore and discover some of Cancun’s most stunning lagoons. Especially notable is MUSA’s Underwater Sculpture Museum – featuring more than 500 statues erected in its azure waters as part of efforts to restore coral reef systems! With so much natural beauty on offer, it will be hard not to be swept away by Mexico‘s vibrant landscape.

If you have the time, we highly recommend a visit to Cozumel Island – just a short ferry ride away. It is renowned as one of the greatest hotspots for diving and snorkeling in all the world! But there are other great options too if that’s not your thing. Jump into those undiscovered depths and uncover an aquatic treasure trove waiting beneath its waves! One of our top recommendations is this popular snorkeling tour near Cancun which visits some remarkable reefs, plus an incredible shipwreck nearby.

Cancun Nightlife: Coco Bongo Cancun
Coco Bongo Cancun

7. Enjoy The Nightlife

If you’re looking to have some fun in the Mexican Caribbean, Punta Cancun is where all the nightlife is. It’s home to an abundance of clubs and tourist bars that make for a night full of dancing and good cheer! Coco Bongo has been voted as one of the best spots around by many – but ultimately, there are tons more options available within Zona Hotelera if you want to kick off your evening on the right foot.

Isla Mujeres
Best Day trips from Tulum : Isla Mujeres

8. Visit The Islands

Journey to two enchanting islands located just off shore from Cancun – Isla Mujeres and Isla Contoy. Even if you don’t have the time to spend a few days on these peaceful isles, make sure to fit in a day trip or day tour! From captivating catamaran tours to snorkeling excursions; there’s something for everyone available departing from Cancun. For an added thrill, venture into the pristine waters of Isla Contoy nature preserve which offers a variety of activities perfectly tailored for adventurers! Explore this list of superb day trips here before setting sail towards your paradise destination

Where To Stay In Cancun

When deciding on where to stay in Cancun, travelers should look for locations and amenities that best suit their needs. With our Cancun Hotel Guide, we provide detailed information about the different neighborhoods so you can easily select which area is most suitable for your vacation. We also offer great hotel recommendations across all budgets! 

What To Eat In Cancun

Cancun is renowned for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and vibrant nightlife. But on top of that, it also offers a variety of delectable cuisine to savor! Are you looking for an epicurean adventure? Discover all the flavors Cancun has to offer with our comprehensive Cancun Restaurant Guide.

Do you need a Passport for Cancun

Entry & Exit Requirements

To travel to Mexico, you must obtain a passport and an FMM (tourism card) which can be acquired from any Mexican consulate, border-crossing point, Mexican tourism office or directly through your airline. Most FMMs are free of charge upon arrival; if not included in the cost of your flight ticket then it is highly recommended that you pay for one beforehand.

It’s essential to keep this card with you throughout your journey as it will need to be presented when leaving the country. As a precautionary measure against theft, remember to store both documents securely whilst carrying around copies should anything happen during your trip abroad. For additional information, visit the U.S. State Department’s website.

What To Pack For Your Trip!

From thrilling experiences to peaceful rejuvenation, the Mexican Caribbean offers an abundance of opportunities for travelers. To make your trip easier, we’ve crafted a comprehensive guide on What To Pack For Your Mexico Vacation – complete with our must-have recommendations! Don’t let packing be a challenge anymore; plan ahead and ensure you have all the essential items necessary for an unforgettable holiday in this paradise.


Cancun Seaweed - Sargassum
Cancun Seaweed (Sargassum)

Is there Seaweed in Cancun

From April to August, the Caribbean shores of Mexico (Cancun, Tulum and Playa del Carmen) have been inundated with Sargassum seaweed since 2008. Although resorts do their best to clean up the sand daily, lingering odors can still be a nuisance. To avoid this issue we highly recommend booking a hotel with an inviting pool area or taking your travels further east to Cozumel or Isla Mujeres where you won’t suffer any effects from the seaweed!

How Many Days Should You Spend In Cancun?

If you want to make the most out of your Yucatan Peninsula experience and use Cancun as a jumping-off point for exploring, I suggest dedicating at least seven to ten days here. With that amount of time, you can marvel at remarkable Mayan ruins while also enjoying some beachside tranquility—all in one place! However, if this isn’t primarily where you’re headed on vacation, two or three days should be more than enough!

From adventurous undertakings to beautiful shorelines and captivating surroundings, Cancun should be an unforgettable experience for any traveler. Take a journey through why this mesmerizing Mexican paradise has become one of the world’s favorite holiday spots today!

Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?

I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:

🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Mexico. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!

✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Mexico, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.

🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.

🚙 Cancun Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.

🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Mexico, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.

🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Mexico. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.

📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.

☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.