Cancun holidays

A holiday to Cancun gives you the chance to go exploring in a vibrant city, set on Mexico’s spectacular Riviera Maya. Known for its gleaming white beaches and upbeat atmosphere, the city’s glorious coastline invites everything from lazy days spent sunbathing to diving and sailing.

While Mexico is famed for its rich history and ancient ruins, Cancun is very much a 21-century city bursting with sleek shopping malls and superb restaurants. So, if you fancy flexing your bargain-hunting muscles or unleashing your inner foodie, you’ll find plenty of places to go. There are plenty of fun things for kids, including the popular Interactive Aquarium, and fun things for adults like championship golf courses and a full-on party scene. 

Cancun is a vibrant city surrounded by the beautiful crystal clear waters of the warm Caribbean seas. Once a small fishing town along the northern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the city has now bloomed into a thriving holiday resort destination. Due to the long stretches of golden sandy beaches, luxury hotels and electric nightlife the resort now attracts over four million visitors every year. Split between downtown markets and the Hotel Zone a visit to Cancun synthesises the best of local cultural attractions and luxury beach highlife.

Long white beaches

A stretch of 22 kilometre golden beach weaves around the Cancun coastlines. Gently lapping against these shores are the warm Caribbean seas where you will find an array of both secluded beaches and vibrant resorts to enjoy your holiday in style and in comfort. Across the beaches there are opportunities to go diving, snorkelling sailing or even swimming with dolphins at the interactive aquarium.

Ancient history

Cancun is rich with Mayan history and the resorts regularly run day trips to the town of Tulum and its ancient archaeological sites. Here you can visit the Pyramid El Castillo, The Great Palace, Windows in the Castillo and Temple of the Frescos. The well preserved sites are a throwback to the 15th century Mayan era. Tulum is a town brimming with ancient history and romance, set amidst a backdrop of breathtaking scenery. Visitors often stay to indulge in the range of luxury massage treatments from the local resorts.

Nightlife

After absorbing the local beach life and ancient history why not try out some of Cancun’s night time entertainment. The Hotel Zone clubs have state of the art light shows, DJs, acrobats and impersonators to provide an exhilarating clubbing experience. If you’re feeling more adventurous then travel to down town Cancun where you can even enjoy an evening of flamenco dancing, cabaret and dancing performances from one of the many local bars.

What should I pack?

Chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time on Cancun’s beaches or lazing around the pool at your All Inclusive resort, so don’t forget your swimwear and sunglasses. Sun cream is also a must, as well as a hat and a light layer to protect yourself from the scorching sun in peak season. Make sure you pack plenty of light, cool clothes as well as a light jacket or waterproof layer for rain showers or cooler evenings. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you jet off, too.

Map of Cancun

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28-36 ℃

With an average temperature of 28 (°C) throughout the year, you can expect hot, clear, sunny days and warm, balmy evenings.

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Ten Hours

It takes around 10 hours and 25 minutes to fly to Cancun International Airport (CUN) from the UK.

Cancun is best for...

Beach lovers: Cancun has a choice of beaches, each with idyllic white sand backed with palm trees, and offering a choice of top water sports. You’ll even find some secluded bays if you want to escape the crowds; check out Punta Bete, between Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen.

Families: Beautiful beaches are ideal if you’re taking your holiday to Cancun with little ones. 

Golfers: Cancun’s numerous golf courses each enjoy breathtaking locations, where you can play all day and relax on the waterfront in the evenings. There are courses to suit all levels, whether you’re a complete newbie or a seasoned pro, and some of the best backdrops in the world.

Fast facts for Cancun

Language: The language spoken throughout the region is Spanish.

Currency: The currency used is the peso.  

Local time: Cancun is 5 hours behind GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Cancun International Airport. Transfers to your hotel in Cancun take 20–30 minutes.

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Cancun is 10.5 hours.

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at www.visitmexico.com/quintana-roo/cancun.

Visa / Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mexico for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Cancun.

Holiday destinations related to Cancun:

 

Getting around Cancun

By bus: Buses are the cheapest way to get around in Cancun, running regularly all over the city. The buses also cover the main strip until late at night, with some services in the city’s ‘hotel zone’, running 24 hours a day. There are services connecting Cancun to other resorts along the Riviera Maya, like Playa del Carmen.  Bus tickets cost approximately 7 pesos and can be bought from kiosks across the city. You’ll find that buses have their route numbers clearly displayed on the front windscreen, so you’ll always know which bus you’re getting on.

By taxi: Taxis are readily available. They’re always on hand at the airport and in the ‘hotel zone.’ Taxis generally don’t have a meter, and will operate on fixed fares, so it’s a good idea to check the price before you go, and many people haggle. However, it’s worth noting that Cancun is divided up into zones and fares vary between each. If you’re unsure, most hotels have rates posted outside or, alternatively, you can ask the driver to see his official rates card.

Events in Cancun

Spring break: Cancun’s Inception Music Festival is the world’s biggest Spring Break event, taking place around April. For 30 days and nights, the city comes alive with some of the best DJs from electronic dance music. You’ll find parties on the beaches by day and Cancun’s vibrant clubs hosting Festival Nights, once the sun goes down. 

Dia de Muertos: The Day of the Dead is a spectacular traditional Mayan festival celebrated throughout Latin American between 31 October and 2 November. The original meaning of the festival is to welcome home the souls of those lost to you, and to celebrate the sheer joy of being alive! Take your Cancun holidays to coincide with this fiesta and you’ll see locals dressed up in costumes, trick-or-treating, and chowing down at the food festival.

Cancun safety and security

Do I need a passport?
You’ll need a passport for your holiday to Cancun. Although your passport will need to be valid for the entire length of your stay, it doesn’t need to be valid for any specific period of time beyond this.

For more information on Cancun passport rules and details of Mexico’s entry requirements, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mexico/entry-requirements.

Do I need a visa?

If you’re travelling to Mexico as a tourist, there’s no need to apply for a visa. You will have to fill out an immigration form, which you’ll be given during your outbound flight. You must have this form with you when you enter and leave Mexico.

If you lose your immigration form, don’t worry as you can get a replacement at the immigration office located in any of Mexico’s international airports. However, it will cost you 500 Mexican pesos to get a replacement, so it’s best to ensure you keep your form safe during your trip.

For more Cancun visa information as well as details of entry requirements to the country, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mexico/entry-requirements.

hould I get travel health insurance?

We always recommend taking out comprehensive health and travel insurance before you set off on holiday. This will ensure you’re covered in case you need emergency medical treatment while you’re abroad. It’s a good idea to check your policy thoroughly before you head off to make sure you’re aware of what is and what isn’t included. You should also check you’ll be covered for any activities you’re planning for your trip, such as watersports.

Any other tips?

  • It’s a good idea to carry a photocopy of the relevant pages of your passport and your immigration form with you at all times, as Mexican police are allowed to ask you for these.
  • At hotels and resorts in Cancun, you can normally flush toilet paper down the toilet. However, be aware that in most places in Mexico, toilet paper goes in the bin next to the toilet.
  • The official currency in Mexico is Mexican pesos. It is possible to pay with US dollars in most resorts, shops and restaurants in Cancun, but it’s likely that you won’t get a very good exchange rate.
  • For more information and Mexico travel advice, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mexico.

Cancun weather

Temperature: 28-36 (°C) 

When’s the best time to go?

Known as the ‘Mexican Caribbean’, the coastal city of Cancun is the place to find luxurious All Inclusive resorts and some of the world’s most beautiful white sandy beaches. It’s also the gateway to the Mayan world, so follow our Cancun travel advice to book your trip to this stunning destination today. With its tropical climate, Cancun is hot and sunny all year round, with the sea the perfect temperature for swimming.

The most popular time of year to visit Cancun is from December to April, when the weather is near-perfect, with temperatures ranging from 28°C to 32°C during the day and, rarely dropping below 21°C at night. From June to August, humidity is high and the hottest temperatures of around 34°C can be experienced, so you’ll need to pack your sun cream and a hat.

If you prefer cooler temperatures, why not visit between September to November? It’s a little less hot and humid but it’s worth noting that this is hurricane season, with stormy weather and rain likely. Although hurricanes rarely make landfall here, they do happen occasionally, so make sure you have travel insurance in place and keep an eye on the weather forecast before your trip.

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