Itinerary for Cancun: Expert Tells His Favorite Secrets & Tips [2023]

There are many factors to consider when creating the perfect itinerary for Cancun. After all, you want to enjoy a trip that fits you well. No, an ordinary itinerary built for Mr & Mme Everybody.

To help you in the best possible way, I went to discover Cancun and its surroundings for more than 2 months.

After reading this article, you will be able to decide which places you want to visit in Cancun, how many days to stay, where to sleep, and what pitfalls to avoid.

Get your map and pen ready and vamos!

👉 Don’t hesitate to read our Cancun guide to plan your vacation and not make any more mistakes. You will find all our articles about this destination.

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Plan your trip around Cancun

In 2 months, I’ve spent more than 10,000 USD to test the best activities in the Riviera Maya. Stay with me to quickly decide which experiences you should do and learn how to make the most of your trip.

Itinerary for Cancun: Map

How to get to Cancun

From the international airport

airport transportation in Cancun
We opted for a private transfer to our hotel

A great Cancun itinerary starts with a stress-free journey. So, here are some helpful travel tips for reaching your dream destination.

First of all, Cancun, Mexico, is a huge seaside city on the Caribbean coast, north of the Riviera Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo.

Your flight will land at Cancun International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world, a big air hub with many direct connections worldwide.

So be patient when you arrive; the formalities can take some time, especially in high season.

Or, plan ahead and arrive on an early morning flight.

Also, leave earlier than usual for your flight back, as traffic can be heavy for some hours. Count on at least 1 hour between Cancun and the airport.

Once you get your luggage, there are 3 options to get to Cancun:

  • The easiest one is to book private transportation in advance. A driver will wait for you at the airport at a meeting point. They are punctual and reliable. Don’t listen to the other sellers.
  • You can take a taxi, but I don’t recommend it. The prices are not fixed, and they are expensive.
  •  If you are used to public transportation and watching your budget, take an ADO bus. It will drive you to downtown CancunCheck the schedule here.

If your hotel is in the Cancun hotel zone, you will have to take another public bus or a taxi.

Traveling within & around Cancun

Cancun transportation options

Bus-in-Cancun-

Here are some excellent tips about transportation to explore Cancun and its surroundings.

In Cancun

I recommend using public buses (lines R1 & R2) to get around Cancun’s hotel zone. It’s easy, they’re frequent, and it’s much cheaper than taxis without taximeters that inflate the price when you’re in a resort.

Public buses also have regular connections to Cancun downtown.

Once there, taxi prices are more reasonable.

To go out of Cancun

You’ve got the choice:

  • You can rent a car. Avant rent a car is a reliable agency. Before you leave, I advise you to take pictures of the scratches.
  • You can, of course, use ADO buses.
  • Taking a colectivo is the cheapest option. You decide where you want to stop; the driver drops you off at the roadside. It’s great if you are going to Puerto Morelos.
  • Private transportation is still an option. It’s up to you to negotiate the price of the taxi for the day or to choose an agency.

How many days for your Cancun itinerary

1 weekend or 1 week?

You won’t enjoy your trip to CancĂșn in the same way if you stay for a weekend or a week.

Here is some information to help you decide how many days you need to build your perfect Cancun itinerary.

Plan your 3-day Cancun itinerary

Is a weekend trip to Cancun worth it?

You are here for a weekend or end your trip to Mexico with a short stop in Cancun.

During these 3 days in Cancun, you just want to enjoy the best; follow me!

Pick your Cancun beaches

Visiting Cancun is impossible without enjoying its white sand beaches.

Beaches are public in Mexico, but reaching them in the concrete jungle of the CancĂșn resorts can be difficult.

The best white sand beaches are in the middle of the hotel zone.

Playa Delfines is a must. Lovely sand, shallow turquoise waters, and although very crowded, it’s large enough to find a quiet spot.

Plus, if you arrive early, you can lounge on a palapa for free.

Before you leave, take a photo of yourself behind the famous Cancun sign.

Heading north, you will find Playa San Miguelito, a beautiful, less frequented beach except in high season. 

Well-protected from seaweed, it’s ideal for swimming and relaxing. The view is superb.

The neighboring beach, Playa Marlin, is fantastic with its soft white sand and amazingly blue waters.

You can rent sunbeds. Be careful; there may be waves and currents.

The beaches around Punta Cancun are more crowded but safer.

I recommend Playa Tortugas, especially if you are traveling with kids.

It’s a popular beach with a nice pontoon and food and drink spots nearby.

It is very close to the pier to Isla Mujeres.

Learn an exciting Mayan history

El Rey Archaeological Zone - Cancun (1)

Visiting Cancun also means discovering the Mayan culture.

I suggest you visit at least one Mayan museum, especially if you don’t aim to go to Chichen Itza or Tulum ruins.

Further south, the Mayan ruins of the more popular El Rey ruins are interesting (1h is enough).

You can take a private guided tour in English for as little as 10 USD.

With a great object collection and an outdoor archaeological site, the Museo Maya is a must-see (count 1h30 reading everything).

Besides the Museo Maya de Cancun and El Rey, Ruins El Meco is a small, cheap, less crowded archaeological site. You will wander on your own among the ruins where iguanas sleep.

I recommend you visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds and the heat, especially in El Rey ruins.

Cancun downtown

Don’t waste time in the downtown area. I give you the 2 main interesting spots.

One night after 6 pm, go for a walk in Parque de Las Palapas to mix with the locals and feel the Mexican vibe. 

Enjoy a taco and a Marquesita, a cheese and Nutella specialty, while wandering among the craft stands and musicians.

I suggest you go to Mercado 28 de Noviembre, a lively and colorful flea market, to buy souvenirs.

Explore Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres, an island paradise, is another must-see on your Cancun itinerary.

The first option is to rent a day trip.

If you choose a private catamaran tour, you will snorkel on the coral reef and drop anchor on Isla Mujeres for a swim in the turquoise and shallow waters of the famous Playa Norte. You can also stay on board and enjoy the open bar.

You can join a catamaran group tour for a day cruise for a lower price. You’ll have the same experiences but with more time on Isla Mujeres. For lunch, I advise you to choose your beach club.

You can also decide first to visit Isla Contoy, another gem of the Caribbean sea. 

During 3 hours, you will discover its flora and fauna with a guide. 

You’ll have time enough to relax on the beach before you enjoy traditional dishes and reach Isla Mujeres. After a short visit to the village and some shopping, you will return to Cancun.

And why don’t you go to Isla Mujeres on your own? It’s easy, and you will do your program without any hurry.

Take the first ferry (Jetway & Ultramar companies) from the pier closest to your hotel (Puerto Juarez or Playa Tortugas).

When you arrive on the island, enjoy the dreamy waters of Playa Norte before the crowds disembark.

Rent a golf cart here and explore the island; drive to the southern part; it’s wilder.

If you like snorkeling, there are good dive spots like Garrafon de Castilla.

Have lunch at Kin Ha Isla Mujeres, a friendly beach club with a lovely pontoon on the turquoise waters.

I advise you to stop at Punta Sur to admire the view from the cliffs.

On the way back, buy an artisanal beer and sip it in Playa Norte as the sun sets, after you’ve returned your golf cart and before you catch the ferry back to Cancun.

Snorkeling & Diving

scuba diving in Cancun - MUSA

Even if you’re a bit scared to look underwater, don’t leave Cancun without experiencing the submarine fauna and flora!

The famous MUSA, the Underwater Museum of Art, is close to Cancun, which you can visit only with a guide for snorkeling or scuba diving.

This unique Cancun underwater museum offers a fascinating swim through concrete statues colonized by corals and colorful fauna in warm, pristine water.

You can also dive and snorkel in the cool waters of the cenotes, sacred sites of the Mayan culture. I advise you to focus on the cenotes around Playa del Carmen.

For your aquatic experience, I recommend 2 tours:

This easy complete snorkeling tour will make you explore a coral reef, the MUSA, and an underground cenote. You will surely see turtles.

It’s perfect if you are traveling with kids or are not a skilled diver.

If you want to be initiated into diving, this diving tour for beginners is made for you.

After a theoretical course in a pool, your guide will take you to the Cancun underwater museum and a coral reef.

Swim in mind-blowing Cenotes

Cenotes are one of the highlights of the Yucatan Peninsula.

There are none near Cancun. To visit some of them without driving many km, the best option is the Ruta de Los cenotes near Puerto Morelos.

If you want to learn more about these strange and mysterious formations while having fun, I recommend this fun full-day cenote tour.

With a professional guide, you will swim, snorkel, fly in a zipline, and kayak while discovering the 4 geological forms of cenotes. Transportation, snacks, drinks between each cenote, and a picnic lunch are included.

If you rented a car or negotiated a good daily price with a taxi in Puerto Morelos, you can also organize your own tour.

The most beautiful cenotes, however, are in the Riviera Maya around Playa del Carmen.

This VIP cenote private tour will send a van to pick you up at your hotel at 7.30 am and take you to visit 3 beautiful cenotes with a guide.

The last cenote to visit is Taak Bi Ha, one of my favorites.

Via steep stairs, you will go down into a fantastic cenote cave with stunning blue waters and beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.

You will be back at your hotel in the early afternoon.

Nightlife in Cancun

Cirque du Soleil - JOYA
Credit: Cirque du Soleil Joya 

Cancun is also known for its exciting nightlife.

The most famous clubs, such as Coco Bongo and Mandala, near Playa Forum, are in Cancun’s hotel zone. 

There are events and live concerts every night, and they usually offer open bars.

The heart of the party life is Punta Cancun. The area is small, so you can easily walk from one spot to another.

There are also some cool bars in downtown Cancun.

Go for a drink and dance at Barezzito Puerto Cancun; the atmosphere is psychedelic. There’s a terrace to breathe in between salsas.

If you just want to have a drink in an authentic ambiance with locals, I recommend La Taberna de Los Amigos, one of the best bars in Cancun.

If you like to sip in the fresh air while chatting with other travelers, you will appreciate the rooftops of the Mayan Monkey hotel or the Nomads youth hostel.

For more mystery, go to La Joya to enjoy a dinner show in the amazing Cirque du Soleil theatre in the jungle.

In Xoximilco, you will board a lighted trajinera and travel through the canals listening to a group of Mariachi musicians and tasting typical dishes and a good Tequila.

Eat tasty food

To discover the local culture during your Cancun itinerary, you must taste Mexican cuisine!

If you like street food, you’ll find some delicious ones in downtown Cancun, and the prices are fair.

Loncheria El Pocito offers delicious and cheap traditional dishes at lunchtime.

In the evening, Porky Junior’s truck prepares some tasty and copious tacos.

If you want to enjoy a delicious Mexican dish in a lovely garden with a slightly retro romantic atmosphere, I recommend La Habichuela.

Most restaurants in the Cancun hotel zone serve international cuisine and are more expensive.

If you want to enjoy local and delicious food, I recommend these excellent addresses:

  • La Bamba is a small and basic-looking restaurant that serves delicious mex-seafood dishes during the day.
  • If you want to enjoy refined and tasty Mexican cuisine, go and dine in the nicely chic ambiance of Porfirio’s Cancun.
  • And if you don’t mind spending money on a good meal, you’ll delight in Puerto Madero Cancun.
  • If you’re traveling with your lover, hold an evening to dine on the NichuptĂ© Lagoon at sunset.
  • The Italian restaurant, Casa Rolandi, or the seafood dishes at Lorenzillo’s should satisfy you.

To add a fun touch to your Mexican food experience, book a street food tour. A guide will make you taste some fine specialties while walking around Cancun and tell you about the local culture.

Plan A 4 or 5-day trip to Cancun

Best Cancun day trips

If you have 4 days or 5 days to plan your Cancun itinerary, you can either add some fun activities or a full-day trip.

You may also want to spend those extra 2 days outside Cancun!

Spend a couple of days in Puerto Morelos

Still preserved from the tourist expansion, Puerto Morelos is a pretty small seaside town of the Riviera Maya.

Prices are much more affordable than in the Cancun hotel zone and even more than in Playa del Carmen.

Frequented mainly by older guests and families, the ambiance is very calm.

If you’re hoping to go out at night, forget it, Puerto Morelos falls asleep after 11.00 pm.

In short, it’s the ideal destination if you want to relax.

Located less than 30 minutes from Cancun International Airport, Puerto Morelos is also very near the Ruta de Los Cenotes, and scuba diving fans will appreciate the nearby coral reef.

Its white sand beach is beautiful but exposed to seaweed during the season.

For accommodation, Grand Residence Riviera Cancun is a good option. This all-inclusive resort offers quality facilities, good service, spacious rooms, and two lovely outdoor pools. The decoration is a bit old-fashioned.

If you want more modernity and to be close to the beach, I suggest the quiet Hotel Amar with its lovely garden and outdoor pool.

Spend a couple of days in Isla Mujeres

Want to spend 2 cool days on a beautiful island bathed by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean? Welcome to Isla Mujeres!

The island is quite crowded during the high season, but it calms in the evening when most tourists have left for the mainland.

You can then enjoy the village and Playa Norte, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

The west coast facing Cancun is moreover well protected from seaweed.

You will find all the amenities of accommodation and restaurants, and it’s cheaper than Cancun.

When you arrive at Cancun airport, get private transportation to one of the three ferry docks to Isla Mujeres (Puerto Juarez, Playa Tortugas, and Playa Caracol).

Jetway and Ultramar operate the ferries (one departure every hour – 30 minutes crossing time).

Moving around the island is very easy; for some fun, I recommend renting a golf cart.

You will be able to enjoy the highlights of the island, such as Punta Sur or some great beach clubs.

For accommodation, you have two options:

If you prefer to stay close to Playa Norte, I recommend the stylish charm of Hotel Secreto; the view is impressive.

You can also choose to stay on the west coast. Hotel Joya Isla Mujeres is a little haven of peace, very close to Garrafon, a great diving spot.

Explore mysterious Mayan ruins

Tulum Ruins (10)

When you think of Mexico, you think of Mayan ruins.

Before exploring an ancient Mayan site, let’s hear some good advice.

There are several interesting Mayan archaeological sites 2-3 hours from Cancun, and many agencies propose different tours.

Before you decide, be aware that these tours are often long and tiring. There is a lot of driving, the sun hits hard among the ancient ruins, and you have to walk.

Some include the visit of two sites in one day. This means a lot of information to assimilate, and you may feel hurried by the tight timing of the program.

In short, Cancun is not the best starting point to visit the Mayan ruins; Tulum is much better located.

To help you choose, here is an overview of the main archaeological sites around.

Visit Chichen Itza

With Kukulcan, its famous pyramid celebrated at the equinoxes, and its numerous well-preserved edifices on a vast tree-lined domain, the Unesco world heritage site of Chichen Itza is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and best-known Maya sites.

I recommend you to take an official guide; for 1 hour, he will give you precious information about the Maya culture. Save 3 hours to walk around the ruins.

The established reputation of Chichen Itza inevitably attracts mass tourism and souvenir sellers of all kinds.

If you want to enjoy this ancient Mayan site while avoiding the crowds and heat, I recommend you to be there at the opening, or even better, to take this Chichen Itza sun-rise Private Tour that will drop you off at dawn to watch the sun rise over Kukulcan.

Other tours visiting Chichen Itza available from Cancun:

Visit the Tulum ruins

The beautiful Mayan ruins of Tulum are located on an esplanade overlooking the Caribbean Sea, facing the rising sun.

Easy to access and not very extensive, you can visit this site in 1 hour.

Next to the pyramid, you can go down to a small beach for a bath if there is no seaweed.

It is very crowded, and there is absolutely no shade to shelter from the sun. I advise you to be there as soon as it opens or in the late afternoon before it closes.

Tours visiting Tulum ruins available from Cancun:

Visit Coba

Coba is the oldest city in the Cancun region, and its access has been difficult for many years.

“Recently” opened to the public, it is not yet very frequented, and many buildings are still to be excavated.

I advise you to rent a bike to ride through the ancient ruins overgrown by vegetation (6 km circuit). It’s entertaining. 

You can also get a ride on a tuk-tuk.

The whole tour takes about 2 hours.

Tours visiting Coba available from Cancun:

Visit Ek-balam

Ek Balam, whose excavations only really began in the 20th century, is a Maya site older than Chichen Itza but less famous.

The facades of some of the buildings discovered up to now have beautiful decorations.

It is located in the middle of a very thick jungle. I advise you to climb to the top of the pyramid, the view is breathtaking, and you will admire many other buildings emerging from the canopy.

It takes about an hour and a half to walk around it.

Tour visiting Ek-Balam available from Cancun:

You can visit the ruins on your own

You can easily visit the ancient Mayan ruins of your choice without booking a tour. It’s cheaper, and you can stay as long as you want.

Just rent a car and buy your ticket at the entrance.

Remember to bring Mexican Pesos.

I recommend you take an official guide if you want to know the Maya culture.

I also advise you to be there at the opening, especially if you want to go and visit Chichen Itza or Tulum.

Visit exciting attraction parks

If you want to add a bit of adrenaline to your Cancun itinerary, here are some great theme parks on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Have fun in Xcaret

Xcaret
Credit: Official Xcaret Day trip

Located at 1h45 from Cancun, near Playa del Carmen, this vast and beautiful eco-park proposes many fun and cultural activities, aiming to introduce the fauna and flora of Yucatan and the Maya culture.

Exploration of cenotes and underground rivers, snorkeling on the reef, animals farm, shows, and aquariums will make the happiness of families more than couples.

The park is very crowded; I recommend you arrive early to be able to do as many activities as possible.

Don’t miss the evening show telling the history of Mexico in a great way.

Drinks and delicious food are unlimited.

Have fun in Xplor

Xplor is an adventure park of the Xcaret group, 1h45 from Cancun.

Located in the jungle, it includes various safe and well-designed activities such as underground river exploration, amphibious vehicles, ATVs, and two famous circuits of 7 zip lines, the highest in the Riviera Maya, which will take you over the canopy before landing in a cenote.

It’s great for couples and families looking for fun and action.

For those who want to add a touch of magic, Xplor Fuego proposes a night flight in ziplines lit by torches and the stars.

Xplor is the most expensive park.

Have fun in Selvatica

Selvatica ziplines Cancun

Selvatica is an adventure park in the middle of the forest, 1-hour drive from Cancun and very close to Puerto Morelos.

I recommend it for its ziplines (10 in total); personally, I find them even more fun than those of Xplor.

You can brake with your hands. Don’t worry; you wear gloves. In short, you’re the pilot! The feeling is even better.

However, the ATV tour and the exploration of the cenote could be better.

If you are with your family, make sure that your kids can do the activities, the age set by the park is older than at Xplor.

Go snorkeling with turtles in Akumal

Akumal Turtle + Cenote Tour from Cancun

If swimming with sea turtles is a must on your Cancun itinerary, let’s go to Akumal. It’s a good spot.

Akumal is a small seaside town on the Caribbean coast, north of Tulum, facing Cozumel Island.

Warm waters and a coral reef home to beautiful aquatic life border its lovely white sand beach. 

Access to the beach is not free.

On-site, you will easily find a guide who will take you to see the sea turtles that live there all year round, thanks to the abundance of grass beds.

Akumal attracts many people, so I advise arriving at 8-9 am. Moreover, turtles are early birds. You will have more chances to see them.

Coming to Akumal from Cancun is a bit difficult if you don’t rent a car.

I recommend this Akumal & Cenote tourincluding hotel pick-up and drop-off.

This half-day trip will allow you to swim with sea turtles with a guide and snorkel in the crystalline waters of a big and beautiful cenote of the Xtun cave complex.

A 1-week Cancun itinerary

Are 7 days in Cancun enough?

Unless you decide not to leave your all-inclusive resort at all, I advise you to add a stop on a paradise island to your 7 days Cancun itinerary. You won’t regret it!

I’ve already mentioned Isla Mujeres, but Cozumel or Holbox are also good places to go.

These three beautiful islands, with their well-protected seaweed coasts, are great destinations, especially if you love to laze on beautiful beaches.

Enjoy a few days in Cozumel

Located at 1h30 from Cancun, Cozumel is a gorgeous island in the Caribbean, famous for its diving spots; the coral reef is still well preserved.

It’s in this small paradise that I had my best snorkeling and diving experiences!

You can get there by ferry from Playa del Carmen (1 departure every hour – 30-40 minutes journey).

Many cruises stop in Cozumel, especially on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and sometimes Sundays. But the island is still relatively well protected from mass tourism. Besides the days when tourists get off the boats, it is quiet. 

There is no public transport on the island due to corruption, so you will need to rent a car when you arrive. Or use expensive taxis.

Cozumel is also famous for its beautiful beaches with such nice white sand.

Remember to go to Punta Sur at Faro Celerain. Here is the entrance to a beautiful national park.

The West part is uninhabited; nature is wild, and the waves are strong. I advise you to plan an excursion to discover this part of the island without hurrying. You will take unforgettable pictures.

For accommodation, I suggest you choose a hotel in the south of the city; you will be closer to the most beautiful beaches.

The Presidente Intercontinental, with its private beach, is an upscale option.

If you want a cheaper option, the Albatros Suites by bedsfriends offers comfortable rooms with a kitchenette.

Enjoy a few days in Holbox

If you want to relax in a quiet and pleasant beach vibe, Holbox is the perfect destination for you!

You get to this peaceful paradise by ferry from Chiquila (30 minutes crossing), a small seaport town north of Quintana Roo.

To reach Chiquila, you must take the bus or private transportation from Cancun (2 hours drive).

There are no roads in Holbox, just dirt tracks that flood when it rains.

The accommodation is more modest than in Cancun, but there are still some great ones, don’t worry!

The island is mainly appreciated for its gorgeous white sand beaches and lovely mangrove. Don’t hesitate to explore.

If you want a peaceful place, I advise you to stay on the left or right side.

You will easily find flats like this one in the quieter western part.

If you want to be close to the island’s beach clubs, choose the eastern part.

Villa Caracol is a nice upscale hotel with double rooms.

La Casa del Alux, a cheaper adult-only hotel, has only double rooms but with a kitchenette.

Enjoy a few days in Playa del Carmen

If your itinerary for Cancun includes a strategic stop in a laid-back atmosphere, Playa del Carmen is for you!

Cheaper and “quieter” than Cancun, Playa del Carmen is a medium-sized beach city ideally located near beautiful cenotes, ancient Mayan ruins, and great theme parks.

It is also very close to Cozumel.

There are excellent beach clubs, but they are not spared during the seaweed season.

While not as festive as the Cancun hotel zone, 5th Avenue, with its concentration of restaurants, bars, and clubs, is a great place to party at night.

To stay close to the fun part, choose 5th Avenue.

However, take a hotel with a pool during the seaweed season and avoid being close to a beach club if you want to sleep peacefully.

Porto Playa Condo Hotel and Beach Club, between the beach and the heart of the city, has comfortable double rooms, but it’s noisy at night.

If you want less noise without being too far from the center, Riviera Maya Suites offers bungalows in a beautiful green space.

Finally, for even more peace and a lower price, choose Departamentos K&B. Its double rooms have an old-fashioned look but are comfortable.

When to visit Cancun

High season & cheapest months

Cancun- El mirador - forum

Here are some practical travel tips to help you set the dates for your Cancun trip.

Best weather

The best period from a weather point of view is from the end of December to April.

The sky is clear. It’s warm without being oppressive. There can be downpours, but they are quite short.

Cool events

Whale shark tour Cancun tom (1)

Choose the dates of your Cancun trip according to what you are looking for.

If you dream of swimming with whale sharks, July and August is the most favorable time to see them.

If you want to experience the vibe of an electro event organized by a Cancun resort or listen to your favorite DJ, check out the program before you leave.

High season

CancĂșn - Ferry Jetway

To avoid the crowds during your Cancun vacation, you should know that the tourist season is most intense from the end of December to March-April. 

Cancun is a popular holiday destination for Mexicans during Easter holy week.

Springbreak, usually between March & April, brings a rush of American students to celebrate the end of their exams.

Cancun is also busy on Thanksgiving at the end of November.

Sargasso

Cancun Seaweed - Sargazo

If you want to enjoy Cancun’s famous dream beaches, I advise you to avoid planning your Cancun itinerary between April and October. This is the seaweed season.

Trust me; it can ruin your holiday. These algae give off a strong and unpleasant smell when they accumulate on the sand.

And you may be disappointed not to see the beautiful turquoise water you were told about.

The beaches of Costa Mujeres and around Punta Cancun, north of the hotel zone, are a little more protected.

The coasts of Holbox, Cozumel, and Isla Mujeres (west coast), are also fairly well spared.

Good compromise

Considering all the travel tips I just told you, November is an excellent compromise to plan your Cancun itinerary.

It’s a bit cooler, it doesn’t usually rain too often, there are fewer tourists, and there’s no seaweed.

May is good too, but there is Sargasso.

Where to stay in Cancun

Best areas in Cancun

If you want to really enjoy your days in Cancun, the choice of your stay is an essential parameter to consider.

Let me give you some good advice.

If you aim to spend less money, choose to stay in downtown Cancun.

Hotels are cheaper than in the hotel zone; there are good restaurants and especially great food trucks.

Taxis to get around downtown are not too expensive.

You can easily take public transportation (R1 and R2 buses) to go to the hotel zone and an ADO bus or a colectivo to get out of Cancun.

The hotel zone is great if you want to be close to the party scene.

Punta Cancun is home to the best bars and clubs, such as the famous Coco Bongo, and the most lively beaches, such as Playa Forum.

The beaches are even more spectacular in the middle of the hotel zone. However, there can be currents and waves.

Playa Marlin is a small paradise, and you surely have heard of the dolphin beach, the famous Playa Delfines, a public beach further south.

The further you go towards Punta Nizuc, the southern point of the hotel zone, the quieter it is, but you’ll find fewer restaurants and bars.

The Cancun hotel zone borders the Nichupté lagoon, a peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle and perfect for a romantic and delicious dinner at sunset.

If you prefer to avoid the hotel zone, choose an all-inclusive resort in Costa Mujeres, north of Cancun and facing Isla Mujeres.

The resorts are built into a thick tropical paradise; they are vast and nicely tree-lined. Their white sand beaches are bathed by shallow waters and pretty well protected from seaweed.

Is Cancun safe

Can you explore Cancun

Cancun sign

Cancun is a popular destination for tourists who come by the millions yearly.

Tourism often involves greed and potential illegal traffic of all kinds.

So you may wonder about the security during your Cancun vacation. Don’t worry; Yes, Cancun is safe, even if you’re a lonely traveler.

Cancun is certainly one of the safest cities in all of Mexico, including Mexico City.

Of course, don’t tempt the devil by wandering at night in some dodgy areas.

Stay in tourist areas such as Cancun downtown and the hotel zone.

Feel free to take public buses and eat in local restaurants.

Regular national security patrols on the beaches and occasional nightly operations in the clubs ensure that everything runs properly.

Of course, you may be exposed to pickpockets, especially in crowded areas. Don’t walk around with your head up and your bag open.

To feel safe, take the same basic precautions that you would in any tourist area.

How much do you need for Cancun

Yes, Cancun is expensive

Isla Mujeres day trip Catamaran Tom & Aleja
Catamaran to Isla Mujeres

Obviously, when thinking about your trip to Cancun, you wonder about the budget you need.

Let me give you some good tips to help you calculate it.

Of course, your budget depends on what you want to do during your stay, your preferences, and the number of days in Cancun.

First, beaches are free in Mexico. You may have to pay a fee to enter some beach clubs or a beach attached to a resort you are not a guest at.

For food, tacos bought on the street cost 1-2 USD, nothing compared to a romantic dinner by the Nichupté lagoon, as you can imagine.

For your budget day trip, note that most group tours are around 100 USD/day. The price goes up to 300-400/2 pers for a private tour.

Choosing a hotel in downtown Cancun will cost you, on average, 80 USD per night.

If you prefer an all-inclusive resort, the price will be at least 300 USD/day, and it can reach up to 600-700 USD for the top-of-the-range resorts.

Taxi fares in the hotel zone are high (15-20 USD). I recommend you take the public buses; you will pay less than 1 USD.

If you rent a car, plan on a budget of 25/40 USD daily.

INFORMATION: PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME LINKS ARE AFFILIATE S AND AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU, I EARN A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU MAKE A BOOKING. IT’S A NICE GESTURE TO THANK US FOR THE MANY HOURS WE DEDICATE TO TOMPLANMYTRIP 🙂

I have been traveling around Colombia and Mexico since 2015 to discover new experiences and help travelers make the right choices.

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