When to Visit Cancun
Getting Around Cancun
A 14-mile sandy strip on the Yucat n Peninsula that’s shaped like the number seven, Canc n is dotted with resorts, beaches and fun. The area includes Boulevard Kukulc n, which runs through the Hotel Zone (or Zona Hotelera), and extends to downtown Canc n, located west and further inland. La Isla Mujeres (the Island of Women) is a short ferry trip away.
When traveling to Canc n, your options can be limited in terms of variety but here’s some advice: if you’re seeking a traditional Canc n getaway think all-inclusive resorts and s pring break the Hotel Zone should suit you just fine. For something a little different or cheaper, book accommodations downtown.
The Hotel Zone
Canc n’s main thoroughfare is the Boulevard Kukulc n, which runs through a collection of hotels, resorts and attractions generally known as the Hotel Zone. Beaches including Playa Langosta and Playa Tortugas in the north, Playa Gaviota and Playa Chacmool in the middle of the strip, and Playa Delfines on the southeastern side line this area. Chances are you’ll travel to Kukulc n most often, and fortunately it’s easy to traverse both by bus and by foot.
Downtown Canc n
Canc n proper is a relatively small resort city that’s dominated by more than 150 hotels and other commercial properties. But uniquely Mexican neighborhoods are within reach (via bus) of downtown Canc n, which is located to the west of the Hotel Zone.
For a more elegant experience, try visiting Isla Mujeres. a small island town about 8 miles northeast of Canc n. Isla Mujeres’ placid Playa Norte beach is a serene scene for those travelers desiring a more secluded swim. To get there, take a ferry from nearby Puerto Ju rez (at the northern tip of Canc n’s “7”).
Canc n has largely avoided the drug violence that has afflicted much of Mexico in the past decade. But while crime against tourists is especially low, the U.S. State Department advises constant vigilance. Your most important safety concern in Canc n is likely to be in the water. Beware of rough surf and only swim when supervised by a lifeguard. White or green beach flags signify safe waters while yellow or orange flags advise caution. If you see a red flag, swimming is prohibited.
The best way to get around Canc n is the bus, which stops frequently along Boulevard Kukulc n and within the downtown area. One-way fares are a steal at 8.5 Mexican pesos, making a ride in a Canc n taxi seem exorbitant. However, you should splurge for a cab to get to and from the Canc n International Airport (CUN), located about 6 miles from the Hotel Zone and 9 miles from downtown. There are car rental kiosks in the airport but driving yourself isn’t recommended the area’s narrow roads and speedy traffic patterns can be intimidating.