Destination: Cancun, The 10 Most Asked questions!
Are you planning a trip to Mexico? A getaway to the sunny destination of Cancun and the Riviera Maya?
Here's a handy little guide with all the travel information you'll need to prepare for your stay in the Mexican Caribbean.
When to go to Cancun? What's the weather like in the Riviera Maya? Where to stay in Cancun and its surroundings? The same questions plague us all when preparing for a stay abroad.
In this article, we answer the 10 most asked questions about the destination Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Tourist season, economic travel, weather, transport, accommodation, personal safety...
Whether you are a first-time visitor to the Yucatan Peninsula or seasoned connoisseur of the state of Quintana Roo looking for new (ecotourism) experiences in the Mexican Caribbean, we are here to help and advise you.
For useful information, practical advice, and even a few little details that you probably wouldn't have thought of, follow the guide... or rather the parrot!
Table of contents
- 1. When is the best season to come to Cancun and the Riviera Maya?
- 2. When's the best time for a cheap vacation to Cancun?
- 3. What's the weather like in Cancun and the Riviera Maya?
- 4. What are the natural disadvantages of Cancun to be aware of?
- 5. How to come to Cancun? How to get around Cancun airport?
- 6. Alternatives for a transfer from Cancun airport?
- 7. Where to stay in Cancun and the Riviera Maya?
- 8. What are the useful places to know in Cancun?
- 9. How to get around Cancun and its surroundings? Can we use public transportation?
- 10. Is Cancun a safe city? What advice for foreign travelers?
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📅 The Tourist Season: When to Go to Cancun?
Like all major tourist destinations, Cancun and the rest of the Riviera Maya are subject to seasonality issues.
The high season begins at the end of November and extends until the beginning of February.
Winter in the countries of the northern hemisphere attracts many visitors who come to seek the sun and the warmth that they no longer find at home. For a few days or a few weeks, they come to enjoy a little corner of paradise in the Cancun region and the Riviera Maya.
Here are some perks to coming to Cancun during peak season:
- A varied and very diversed tourist offer.
- Ideal weather and temperatures that will make you forget the cold of winter
- A lot of entertainment in Cancun and the Riviera Maya
- Events in all the seaside resorts on the coast
This time of the calendar coincides with many festivities at the end and the beginning of the year in Cancun, but also means much higher hotel prices than in other months.
For the rest of the year, fluctuations in price and hotel occupancy are not so significant.
To sum up, Cancun and the Riviera Maya have a relatively stable and constant flow of tourists with certain peaks during events or national holidays such as Holy Week, Independence Day, etc. as well as certain particularly turbulent periods such as Spring Break.
💲 When to Go to Cancun for a Cheap Trip? 💸
The low season in the state of Quintana Roo (Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, etc.) corresponds to September and October.
If you dream of tranquility, rest, and a cheap stay in Cancun, September, and October are undoubtedly the ideal months!
Here are some perks of coming on vacation to Cancun during the low season!
- More attractive prices in hotels
- Discounts on visits and tours
- Fewer visitors to tourist sites
- More pleasant temperatures
For a cheap stay in Cancun, opt for the “All-inclusive” offers!
In Cancun and the Riviera Maya, these are the most interesting commercial proposals for travelers who want to enjoy a low-cost vacation!
💲 What's the weather like in Cancun and the Riviera Maya? 💸
The climate in Cancun is hot and humid. Tropical is the right word to describe it!
Concerning the temperature, the average is about 78° F (25.5° C), it generally oscillates between 77° F (25° C) and 81° F (27° C).
The temperature can drop to 68° F (20° C) at the coldest and climb to 94° F (34° C) at the hottest.
🌞 The high heat season lasts about four months and stretches from mid-June to mid-September.
During this time of year, the average temperature can reach 88° F (31° C).
Please note that all hotel complexes offer air-conditioned facilities to refresh their guests when they wish.
Regarding the cool season, because it is very difficult, if not impossible, to speak of the cold season, it is between the beginning of December and the beginning of March.
During this period the temperature is on average 83° F (28°C).
☔ Rain in Cancun and the Riviera Maya
Rain is also an important factor in the Cancun region and the Riviera Maya, which should not be underestimated when planning your trip to the Yucatan Peninsula.
Even heavenly destinations have downsides, and the Cancun area is no exception.
The rainy season corresponds to the summer months of the northern hemisphere.
In the Cancun area, it generally extends from June to September but, with climatic upheavals, it can now continue until October.
An annoying aspect of this climatic situation is that Cancun and the Riviera Maya can be subject to very heavy rains, but fortunately, these are for short periods.
Good to know!
The passages of rain never exceed more than 20 minutes. However, the government sometimes decides to close the beaches when these rainy episodes become too intense.
What are the Climatic Hazards of Cancun to be Aware of?
🌀 Among the major weather phenomena: hurricanes (hurricanes).
They are not specific to Cancun and the Riviera Maya but globally affect the Gulf of Mexico, of which the Yucatan Peninsula is a part.
The hurricane season is coinciding with the rainy season in the Cancun region.
It is essential to be attentive to the weather indicators between June and October to ensure that the time is right for you to come to the State of Quintana Roo.
Hurricanes originate in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
Although the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres form a natural barrier that largely protects the shores of the mainland, hurricanes generally retain enough strength when they arrive on the coasts of Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen to cause significant damage and are likely to spoil your stay.
Another natural inconvenience: sargazo or “sargassum” in English.
Usually, the arrival of this brown seaweed which washes up on the paradisiacal beaches of the Caribbean seas coincides with the temperature rise.
Although the government and some private initiatives are trying to stem the phenomenon through regulatory plans, its stranding on the coasts is absolutely inevitable.
Ask your accommodation to find out what arrangements the establishment has made to rid the beaches of these invasive algae.
✈️ Cancun Airport: what do you Need to Know?
Cancun Airport is the second most important airport in Mexico after Mexico City due to the number of arrivals and connections it has.
In 2019, it received just over 13 million travelers. Although the cities of Cozumel and Chetumal (capital of Quintana Roo) also have their own airport, the bulk of tourists heading to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Isla Mujeres, and a few other Riviera Maya destinations such as Puerto Morelos pass through this point.
Located south of Cancun, very close to the exit that will take you to Playa del Carmen, this airport has first-rate infrastructure. Indeed, it has direct connections with 31 countries, in addition to having intense domestic traffic.
IMPORTANT: Cancun Airport has four terminals that are not connected by pedestrian walkways
In fact, it is important to inform yourself well beforehand, in order to know your terminal and thus avoid any inconvenience or unnecessary stress when you arrive or leave.
✈️ How to Organize a Transfer from Cancun Airport?
Once you arrive in the Mexican Caribbean and are enjoying the Cancun airport facilities, a question arises: how to reach your hotel?
You must therefore organize your transfer from Cancun airport. To do so, several options are available to you. Taxis, coaches, private drivers, shuttles…
To find out about all the transfer options from Cancun airport: read our article.
Note that the time of your arrival can drastically reduce your transport options to leave the airport, especially if your flight arrives between midnight and 5 am.
An informed tourist is worth two!
On your arrival, it is essential that you have all the information relating to your accommodation in the Riviera Maya. Indeed, some large hotel complexes may have several establishments in different seaside resorts on the coast.
Our advice: Be sure where your base is located precisely in Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos or any other place on the Riviera Maya.
It would be a shame if you were taken to the wrong place and had to turn back, otherwise, you would lose precious hours of sleep or relaxation.
To avoid all the pitfalls during your vacation in Cancun, you can read our Best practical tips in Cancun.
Transfer from the airport for “All-inclusive” stays: what do you need to know?
If you are one of the visitors of the “All-inclusive” hotels in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, transportation is included in the price of your stay.
If so, your only concern will be to find the correct pick up point and identify the agency or hotel staff you booked with and wait for your carrier in the area. agreed.
be patient, the advantage of this “All-Inclusive” formula is that you won't have to worry about your means of transport.
The inconvenience will be, on the other hand, to wait for all the participants, sometimes coming from different destinations and, once on the way, to stop in all the places where the holidaymakers will have to be dropped off.
🏨 Where to Stay in Cancun and the Riviera Maya?
If you are planning your vacation in Cancun, then the next question arises, where should I stay?
How to choose the right location for your hotel or vacation rental?
Whatever type of accommodation you choose during your stay on the Riviera Maya, its geographical location will depend above all on your centers of interest and the dynamics you wish to give to your vacation.
Are you coming to Cancun and the Riviera Maya for idleness, the beautiful white sand beaches and you don't plan to go on long excursions?
Then the hotel zone of Cancun offers you great accommodation options in hotels with a swimming pool, by the sea with all the comforts you will need to rest.
These hotels generally offer “All-inclusive” packages that are perfect for a cheap vacation in Cancun for visitors wishing to take advantage of the rest without leaving their Resort.
On the other hand, if you wish to discover other places in the Riviera Maya, there are other accommodation options offering good alternatives to Cancun.
This is the case of Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen located south of Cancun. Thanks to their more central position on the coast of the Riviera Maya, they are a prime location for touring the area.
Further south still, the pretty seaside town of Tulum is ideal for resting away from the hustle and bustle of Cancun. Less festive, more natural, the place is perfect for lovers of calm, outdoor activities, and bicycle rides.
Close to the archaeological zone of Tulum and the Sian Ka'an reserve, Tulum is a good alternative to Cancun.
To find out all about the different types of accommodation in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, visit our section: Hotels & Resorts.
What are the places of interest in Cancun?
As in any city, Cancun has different places of interest. Between all these areas most worthy of tourist interest, we can distinguish:
🏨 The hotel zone:
Located on a 15-mile-long strip, it is in this part of Cancun that, as its name suggests, all the major hotels are located.
This area is bordered by the waters, the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Nichupté Lagoon on the other.
In addition to countless hotel complexes, you can find here a wide variety of restaurants, shops, shopping centers, a golf course, and a multitude of bars and trendy nightclubs, to name only the most popular places of interest.
🎁 El Mercado 28 :
This craft market, the most typical of the city, is located very close to the center of Cancun and is undoubtedly the best known in the city.
You will find all the styles of handicrafts from the different regions of the country. Let yourself be seduced by their originality and their shimmering colors which are the pride of Mexico.
🚢 Puerto Cancún:
This is a residential area attached to the hotel zone of Cancun. Here, you can find an exclusive shopping center, shops, many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
🚢 Puerto Juárez:
Located further north of Cancun and adjacent to the western part of Isla Mujeres.
This place is gaining more and more importance since it is the starting point from where one embarks towards Isla Mujeres. It is possible to access its pier by a private vehicle, a taxi, or using public transportation.
Here are some other useful to know places in Cancun:
🚍 The bus terminal: Located in the center of the city of Cancun, the bus terminal is a place that is useful to know if you want to venture out of the city and you don't have your own transportation arranged.
This is from where all the buses and “camiones” (small collective transport of the van type) leave and which will take you to all the major destinations of the Riviera Maya (Playa del carmen, Tulum, Puerto Morelos), as well as all the other more distant destinations (Chetumal, Bacalar and other towns in the Quintana Roo state).
🏥 Hospitals: Hoping that you never need them of course, it is still useful to know where they are located.
You can find most of them along with Avenida de Tulum, the main road that crosses the city. They are also found in the hotel zone of Cancun.
🆘 First aid stations: On some beaches in Cancun, you will find first aid centers. Lifeguards are also responsible for the safety of the beaches, especially on those with strong waves and subject to currents.
To find out more about Cancun and the Riviera Maya beaches and the services available there, see: The best article about the beaches in Cancun. In this post, you will all about the services and ammenities available at the beaches in Cancun.
How to Get Around in Cancun? Can We Use Public Transport?
Cancun and the Riviera Maya are an accessible and easy destination to get around.
There are many ways to travel across the Riviera Maya.
You can choose to rent a car, use the coaches that travel the Yucatan Peninsula, or opt for cheaper means of transport such as small vans, called “colectivos” in Spanish.
The roads of the Yucatan Peninsula are safe and well maintained. Cancun is a big city but driving is easy. The signposts are numerous and clear.
Outside of peak hours, in the morning and evening when people who work in Cancun are driving around, driving in Cancun is not very demanding.
However, be sure to respect the speed limits and other prohibitions and to drive sober as the police are vigilant for violations.
Good to know:
In the hotel zone some buses run 24/7.
If you want to use public transport instead, nothing could be easier. The Cancun bus network is of good quality, it covers the vast majority of the city.
To find out all about public transport in Cancun and the Riviera Maya: click here!
Is Cancun a safe city?
On the whole, yes, Cancun is a safe city. All tourist agencies will tell you, official government sites too, the Yucatan Peninsula is by far the safest place in Mexico.
Tourism is the first economic activity in the region, so all measures are taken to make visitors feel as safe as possible.
Transportation is available throughout the night for a safe return to your accommodation. Police patrols constantly circulate the city.
However, certain precautionary measures should be taken, especially when you are a foreign tourist because it is likely to attract attention.
Here are some simple rules to follow:
- Always be respectful towards people and do not seek conflict.
- Do not show external signs of wealth that could attract attention and jealousy to you.
- Try not to return alone to your place of accommodation at night.
- Try not to get on a taxi stopped on the fly. Favor official stations and private drivers.
- Pay attention on your blood alcohol level, especially if you are a young woman. Loss of control due to alcohol can lead to difficult and even dangerous situations.
- Always watch your belongings on the beaches, thefts are frequent. Lockers are available on some beaches.
- If you rented a car, do not leave valuables on sight in your vehicle.
We hope that this article on the 10 most asked questions about Cancun, has helped you with the preparation of your next vacation in the Riviera Maya.
If you want to know more about Cancun, find our articles:
- The Best Article on the beaches of Cancun!
- Things to do in Cancún? 35 ideas to enjoy 100%
- Cancun and the Riviera Maya: 15 excursions [not to be missed under any circumstances!]
- Chichen Itza: preparing well for your visit