During our vacations in Cancun, we have discovered tips, tricks and warnings to be aware of so that you can save a few pesos and thoroughly enjoy your stay. We have been several times over the years and learn a little bit more each time we travel to Cancun.
Here is some of our to advice to help you enjoy the best vacation in Cancun.
9. Math, anyone? Pesos are the cash in Cancun. Convert some dollars before you head to Mexico or be prepared to get cash out of an ATM or exchange money at your resort. The conversion rate is about pesos per U.S. dollar (as of 2020). So, you are going to need to get your mind ready to do the math for how much that meal or sun dress or sombrero costs in greenbacks, and it helps to be able to figure the proper amount to tip your servers, as well.
7. Time flies. Expect that you'll spend about twice as long to do something -- anything. If you are told your outing will be about 90 minutes, it very well could be three hours. A five-minute wait in line, will inevitably be 10 minutes or longer. It's called Mexican time or Caribbean time. Try not to get too frustrated.
6. Hawks circling. Hawkers are everywhere in the main tourist areas in Cancun. They approach with a friendly demeanor and are very persistent. Pitching deals for excursions to adventure parks such as Xcaret or time share presentations. Steel yourself to repeat "No gracias" over and over throughout the day if you are out and about. This isn't to say you shouldn't engage with someone if you are interested in an offer. They do often have good deals, but it will take a time commitment (for a time share presentation, for example). You'll have to factor whether it's worth it. We got two ferry tickets, a breakfast and a golf cart for a day on Isla Mujeres for $20 total for agreeing to hear a presentation. We were told it would take about 90 minutes of day and ended up being three hours (see tip No. 7, above). A great price for a package that would have costs us more than $100, but we began to question whether it was worth it when we went over by 90 minutes the time allowance we had expected.
5. Speak like a local. Did you know that most of us Americans are fluent in Spanish. You consider "Dos cervesas, por favor" as fluent, right? OK, you might want to learn a few other conversational phrases to help build a rapport with those who you will meet during your adventures in Cancun. We have been working on this during the past year since our last trip here, and while we are still raw, we have had fun chatting in Spanish. Our servers have been gracious and helped us learn new words and pronunciations. This also has led to us getting great service and being offered some free appetizers and drinks as we have built a bit of a relationship with some of our favorite staffers at the nearby eateries.
Bonus Tip: Immerse Yourself in History. Make sure to get away from the Cancun Hotel Zone and your resort to see some of the rich cultural icons of Cancun and the Yucatan Peninsula. One of our favorite days was spent at Tulum. This fascinating town on the Caribbean coastline features amazingly well-preserved ruins from the Maya civilization, which built a gorgeous port in Tulum. After exploring the ruins complex and learning about the impact of the Maya on the modern world, you can chill out at the beautiful beaches.
To easily get there, you can book a Cancun to Tulum shuttle service, which offers great pricing and flexibility so you can organize your day just how you like it.
Have you traveled in Cancun? Any tips or advice to add? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for reading, and always travel happy!
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