So your flights are booked, your hotel reservation has been made (with us we hope!), and you can’t wait to show off your newly bought swimwear, but wait, have you got the right currency? Will your phone charger work in Mexico? And how are you going to visit the many attractions our region has to offer? To answer these questions and more allow us to give you a quick rundown on what you need to know before arriving in this sun drenched city.
Airport transfers – If your hotel reservation doesn’t include airport transfers then get in touch with our sister company Caribe Maya who will be more than happy to help get your vacation off to a great start.
Buses – The cheapest way to get around Cancun is by bus. The R1, R2, R15 and R27 buses run the length of the hotel zone into the city centre and beyond, 24 hours a day 7 days a week and cost just $10.50 pesos or US$1 a ride.
Taxis – Most taxis in Cancun don’t run on a meter so it is always best to ask the taxi driver beforehand what the price will be to avoid any surprise charge on arrival. Like restaurants and bars, taxis in the hotel zone are generally more expensive than in downtown Cancun.
Smart car – All our hotels offer the opportunity to rent a Smart car and visit the many beautiful places our region has to offer. Once in our hotels, just ask our Smart car team for more information.
Hot with a capital H! You most likely know that you will be arriving to high temperatures (this is the Caribbean after all), however what may take you by surprise if you’ve never been to the tropics before is the humidity, which, like the beautiful scenery that surrounds us, may take your breath away. Keeping well hydrated is the order of the day in Cancun and the Riviera Maya!
What to pack
Clothing – Plenty of t-shirts and shorts, and swimwear of course. As some of our more elegant restaurants ask for formal dress, we recommend packing shirts, trousers, dresses and smart footwear to make that special dinner even more special.
Plug adapters – Electrical sockets in Mexico are the same as those found in the United States and Canada. Otherwise, our hotels have a number of adapters for guests and they can also be purchased in our hotel shops.
Sunscreen – Don’t be that person who turns red on their first day of vacation and then can’t enjoy our pools or beach for fear of getting confused for a tomato. Bring sunscreen and make sure it’s suitable for the Caribbean sun which will burn you faster than you can say “another piña colada please”.
Sunglasses/Hat – Again to protect yourself from the sun’s rays… and to look cool.
Insect repellent – While our hotels are regularly fumigated to keep away unwanted guests, you may still come across mosquitoes on your travels, especially around areas of heavy plant growth. So we recommend you bring an insect repellent with DEET to keep those pesky mosquitoes at bay.
Money – While the peso is the national currency, in Cancun and along the Riviera Maya you will find that many places accept US dollars. Our hotels offer currency exchange facilities as well as ATM’s where you can exchange your foreign currency. At the time of writing 1 US dollar is worth 19 pesos.
We hope this has helped put you at ease so that those vacations in the sun that you have been long looking forward to go off with a bang!
While our hotels offer all the amenities needed to have a fun-filled holiday, it is well worth getting to know our beautiful surroundings and what makes this part of the world so attractive to millions of visitors each year. So here we have compiled for you five exciting things to do in the Mexican Caribbean.
1. Immerse yourself in Mayan history at Tulum archaeological zone
Considered by many to be the most beautiful Mayan archaeological site due to its spectacular location; a location that made this ancient city a major trading post in its day due to its proximity to the sea. In the Mayan language ‘tulum’ means wall and it is thought that these walls – of which the remains can still be seen today – separated the ruling elite from the proletariat. Nowadays you can wonder around the remains that date back to 564 AD with ease, and don’t forget to bring your swimsuit; taking to the sea below the ruins is an unforgettable experience.
2. Swim with turtles in Akumal
Only a five minute drive up the road from the Grand Oasis Tulum is the little village of Akumal, which is Mayan for ‘place of the turtles’, and that’s exactly what you will find here. Akumal is the ideal place to swim with turtles and to snorkel or scuba dive in general as the crystal clear water and nearby reef will testify. The Akumal Dive Shop has a hut at the Grand Oasis Tulum where you can get information on tours.
3. Party the night away in Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen, or simply Playa as it is known to locals, has a more laidback vibe than Cancun but also boasts an amazing nightlife with lots of cool and quirky bars and several nightclubs. During the day its beach clubs are great places to soak up the sun while sipping on a cocktail or two and listening to world-class DJ’s spin their tunes, and at night you will be spoilt for choice for places to eat with many international cuisines to be found. If shopping is more your thing then you’re in luck as Playa offers a fantastic range of national and international clothes, jewellery and accessory stores where you can shop till you drop.
4. A day of adventure at Xel-Há aquatic park
This all-inclusive aquatic park combines fun activities with beautiful wildlife. Here you will find zip-lines, jungle trails and a lazy river as well as a special area just for children, making this the perfect place to visit as a family. Entry includes food and drink, and for an extra fee you can swim with dolphins or go for a speedboat ride. Our hotels have onsite tour sellers that can provide you with more information and help you book your trip to Xel-Há.
5. Witness nature at its finest at Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve
This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers breathtaking natural beauty. In an area of approximately 1.3 million acres and spanning 120 kilometres from north to south, the biosphere reserve contains tropical forests, mangroves and marshes, and provides a habitat to over 300 species of bird as well as many mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and wild cats. You can encounter this wildlife by taking a boat trip through the waterways where you can also take a dip in the calm waters.
All these places can be reached by renting one of our Smart cars, for more information on car rentals just click below on the Facebook page of the hotel you plan to stay at. We truly hope you take the opportunity to visit at least one of these places, we can assure you that you won’t regret it!