Don't think Cancun is just a Spring Break destination for college-aged kids. Tourists of all ages abound and there's something for everyone in the family in Cancun: jungles to explore, dolphins to swim with, beaches to lie on, as well as snorkeling, kayaking, ziplining, and so many activities to choose from you won't be sure where to start (don't worry, we'll help!)
Cancun is bustling with tourists all year round and many visitors enjoy going in the off season (from May until mid-December) because prices usually drop from 10 to 30 percent. Try to avoid visiting between September and November, which is Cancun's rainy season (and a time when hurricanes aren't uncommon.) Tourist season is considered to be mid-December through April.
Cancun has a tropical, humid climate with mild weather all year round, with an average annual temperature of 80°F. It only rains an average of 58 days a year, usually between September and November (though sun showers throughout the year are not uncommon).
The average maximum and minimum temperatures are:
Unlike in previous years when travel to Mexico and Canada was more informal, you—and everyone in your family—must have a valid passport to enter Mexico.
Cancun International Airport (CUN) serves more than 10 million travelers a year, making it the most international airport in Mexico, despite being the second largest. You will have to clear customs when you arrive though this should not be a lengthy process (the Mexican government is eager to encourage visitors to Cancun and elsewhere in Mexico). Inside you'll find cafes, duty-free stores, restaurants, VIP lounges, and small tiendas (shops) to buy local products. The airport is conveniently located about 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) from the city and 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) from the Hotel Zone.
There is shuttle service, taxi service, and private service vehicles that can take you from the airport to your hotel. Shared shuttles cost $8-$10; taxis cost 25 to 35 pesos ($2.50-$3.50); private vehicles between $50-$60. Some hotels and large tour operators include the price of airport transportation in the reservation, so be sure to check your reservation before you make other plans. If included, a large air conditioned bus will pick your family, and dozens of other travelers, up at the airport. If transportation is not included, you can make advanced reservations for a reliable shuttle, taxi or private service on the airport's Web site.
Rental Cars: If your family plans to forgo guided tours and do a lot of exploring outside of Cancun on your own, it may make sense to rent a car at the airport. You can find most major U.S. car rental companies at the airport and they will provide you with a free shuttle to the lots of parked cars. Make these arrangements in the United States with the car rental company of your choice before you go. Since there are so many transportation options available, however, you may want to skip the stress of being responsible for a rental car in a foreign country.
Public Buses: Budget family travelers can take a public bus from the Cancun Airport to the bus stations in Cancun and Playa del Carmen but these public buses do not stop at individual hotels so, if you are staying at a hotel, you will have to take a taxi from the bus stop.
The airport's toll free number for questions about ground transportation is: 1-800-317-1921 (US & Canada) or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buses and taxis are the two most prominent forms of transportation in Cancun. Empty taxis—they are easily identified because the cars are white with a green line—cruise the Hotel Zone making it easy to find transportation whenever you need it. On average, taxi rides are approximately 25 to 35 pesos ($2.50-$3.50 plus a tip for the driver).
Turicun and Autocar, two urban bus companies established in Cancun, have regular routes and service throughout the city's main avenues as well as on Kukulcan Boulevard (where many attractions and shopping venues are located) through the Hotel Zone. The buses stop every three to five minutes at the Hotel Zone stops, and run 24 hours a day. A bus ticket within the Hotel Zone costs $6.50 pesos, about 65 U.S. cents.
Cancun is a new city in Mexico, established as a tourist destination in January 1970 when the first construction began. Despite its recent history, it has several festivals and family-friendly events. The Convention & Visitors Bureau website is constantly being updated with events.
The Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau maintains a helpful website, www.cancun.travel, that includes the daily weather report in Cancun, a list of hotels, and lots of useful information about traveling in Mexico.
Blvd.Kukulcan km. 9 "Cancun Center 1st. Floor"
Hotel Zone, Cancun
77500, Q.Roo, Mexico
+52 998 8812745
+52 998 8812774
Cancun is pretty pricey. Even though you're in Mexico, expect to pay U.S. prices for the activities you do. Try to avoid last-minute airport shopping (where a cup of bad coffee costs $3.50) as prices are high there. If you buy Mexican handicrafts or food from street vendors, prices will be cheaper. Haggling is expected for handmade items and you can get good deals if you bargain. There are no City Pass discounts like in cities in the U.S. but Web prices are sometimes less expensive so check on-line before making reservations. In addition, shopping malls offer discount coupons for their boutiques and hotels sometimes run tour specials. Ask at the information desk.
Cancun is the youngest Mexican city and its largest tourist destination, boasting 146 hotels with over 28,000 rooms of which 75% have 5 stars or better -- the highest percentage in Latin America. There are approximately 453 restaurants, 12 shopping centers and 13 golf courses in Cancun.
Best known as part of the Mexican Caribbean, it is a coastal city in Mexico's easternmost state, Quintana Roo, on the Yucatan Peninsula. Development started in Cancun on January 23rd, 1970, when Isla Cancun only had three permanent residents. Thirty years later, it had some 600,000 inhabitants.
In 2007 Cancun brought 3.073 billion dollars of foreign currency into Mexico, almost double the 1.818 billion dollars from the previous year. Today it is a source of employment for some 800,000 people, has the second largest airport in Mexico with 54,729 annual flights, and has become one of the hubs with the highest number of direct international flights in Latin America.