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 Cancún's white sandy beaches and warm, crystal waters make it a paradise for all beach and water sports enthusiasts. Add a vibrant nightlife and the closeness to the breathtaking Mayan ruins, and you have Mexico's most popular tourist hotspot. Caring for four million tourists every year, it's hard to understand how this beautiful resort was a sleepy fishing village just a few decades ago. Its colourful buzz and ancient traditions co-existing with ultra-modern developments enchant everyone, from backpackers to luxury travellers.

currency

Mexican Peso 1 $ = 100 Centavos
USD are widely accepted in tourist areas.
Prices may be in USD or MX pesos.

phone

911

newspaper

Riviera Maya News
Cancun Herald

hours

Hours are guidelines:
9am–9pm Downtown
10am–10pm Hotel Zone
Shops & malls are usually open 7 days a week.
Small shops may close for siesta between 2–4pm

population

888,797 (2020)

info

Cancún Convention & Visitors Bureau
Cancún Center, 1st Floor Blvd Kukulcan Km 9, Zona Hotelera, Cancún

Phone: +52 998 881 2745
E-Mail: info@cancuncenter.com

Opening Hours: Daily from 10am

The City

Today, Cancún is known worldwide for its turquoise-blue water beaches, luxurious resorts, and bustling nightlife. But before this Mexican city became a major tourist destination, the region, which was once home to the Mayan civilisation, was mostly wetlands, mangroves, jungles, and untouched beaches.

After it was left abandoned for centuries, the Mexican government finally realised in 1968 its true potential as a holiday hotspot.

Currently, Cancún is divided into two distinctive districts, the famous Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera), a beachfront strip of hotels, resorts, eateries, shops, bars, and nightclubs, and the actual city of Cancún, known as El Centro.

The Hotel Zone, which is surrounded by 25 kilometres of pure white sandy beach, is linked to the city via the four-lane Boulevard Kukulcán.

Caribbean landscape near Cancun, Mexico Lev Levin/Shutterstock.com

Do & See

Apart from its dreamy beaches and energetic nightlife, Cancún offers a myriad of activities to fill your day. From historical sites where you can learn more about Mexico’s rich history and culture to breathtaking and unique natural spots to thrilling water sports and even the chance to swim with dolphins—or sharks for the courageous ones.

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Dolphinaris Cancún

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Isla Mujeres

Joaquin Moreno/Flickr

Eco Parks and Tours

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Parque de las Palapas

Kirt Edblom/Flickr.com

Puerto Cancún

Dronepicr/Wikimedia Commons

Rotating Scenic Tower

c&rdunn/Flickr.com

Cancún Theatre & Mexican Folk Art Museum

Tim B Motivv/Unsplash

Interactive Aquarium

wildestanimal/Shutterstock.com

Swim with Whale Sharks

Mikael Damkier/Shutterstock.com

Cancun Golf Club at Pok Ta Pok

Dining

Mexican cuisine is very versatile and best known for its intense and varied flavours, colourful decoration and variety of spices. Tacos, nachos and guacamole are only a small part of Cancún’s culinary repertoire beside the large palette of foreign cuisine. Whether you fancy a quick snack on the trot or a gourmet meal in stylish settings, Cancún has a fantastic selection of restaurants featuring dishes from all over the world.

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La Pizzarra

Playa del Carmen/Shutterstock.com

Casa Tequila

Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock.com

La Parrilla

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La Palapa Belga

Barbara Neveu/Shutterstock.com

La Troje

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La Dolce Vita

rocharibeiro/Shutterstock.com

Du Mexique by Sonya Grimond

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Peter's Restaurante

ngoc tran/Shutterstock.com

Bovino's Churrascaria

Bao Menglong/Unsplash

Puerto Madero

martiapunts/Shutterstock.com

Thai

Valentina_G/Shutterstock.com

Señor Frog's

Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Hard Rock Cafe Cancún

Cafes

Home to some of the best coffee worldwide, Cancún's cafe culture is somewhat different from that in most countries. Most people prefer to take their coffee inside with air conditioning rather than outdoors, and because all bars double as cafes, "European style" street cafes is a relatively new phenomenon but gaining fast in popularity.

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Cafe Antoinette

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Café Nader

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Café con Gracia

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Ah Cacao Chocolate Café

Bars & Nightlife

Whatever you are in the mood for, you will find it in Cancún. Shake your hips to Latin music, break it down to hip hop, pump it up to club music, or enjoy an extraordinary cabaret show - Cancún has developed around tourism and won't fail to fulfil your expectations.

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Cuncrawl

Natasha Bhogal/Unsplash

Señor Frog's

Colin Lloyd/Unsplash

The City Nightclub Cancun

ARENA Creative/Shutterstock.com

Mambo Café

dronepicr/Flickr

Forum By The Sea

Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com

Dady'O

Maxim Blinkov/Shutterstock.com

Mandala

Mexico. Souvenir bench. Plate and mask. KKulikov/Shutterstock.com

Shopping

Amidst the beaches, jungle, and culture, Cancún also provides its visitors with every shopping experience imaginable. From traditional market stalls selling local handicrafts to modern indoor and outdoor shopping malls, Cancún's shops are as versatile and creative as its people, and the privileged tax status of Cancún (10%) makes it a popular destination for buying luxury items--you can still practice your bartering skills at the markets, although most shops have fixed prices.

Mexico is the world's number one exporter of cowboy boots and is also famous for its silverware, tequila, hot chili sauces, and handcrafted pottery. Other popular souvenirs are vanilla essence, Aloe Vera products, blankets, and, of course, the famous Mexican sombreros.

Artificial Photography/Unsplash

La Isla Cancun Shopping Village

michaeljung/Shutterstock.com

Kukulcan Plaza

Sara Kurfeß/Unsplash

Plaza Las Americas

Brooks Leibee/Unsplash

Luxury Avenue Boutique Mall

svatiska/Shutterstock.com

Las Plazas Outlet

dronepicr/Flickr

Forum By The Sea

Tropical lake Nichupte lagoon, Cancun, Mexico photopixel/Shutterstock.com

Tourist Information

Best Time To Visit

If you are looking to avoid holiday crowds and high prices, then the best time to visit Cancún is from May to November, particularly in September and October. However, these two are also the rainiest months. If you prefer escaping the cold winter to relax in the sun, book your trip in December or January, the high season in Cancún.

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Tourist Tax

As of April 1 2021, international travellers that are 15 years or older visiting the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, where Cancún, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cozumel are situated, are required to pay a tourist tax known as Visitax.
This payment can be made before, during, or after your trip, but it must be paid before boarding your departure flight.

At the time of writing, the Visitax costs $224 Mexican pesos (USD $11) per visitor. Once the payment is made, you will receive a QR Code that must be shown at the airport before leaving Mexico.

Below is the official government website of Quintan Roo:

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Website: www.visitax.gob.mx/sitio/

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Passport/Visa

Visa exemption applies to citizens of all EU countries, most countries in the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and more. Both tourists and business visitors from these countries may stay in Mexico for up to 180 days. For Russian, Turkish, and Ukrainian passport holders, electronic authorisation (SAE) is required, which then grants travellers from these countries the right of a single entry followed by a stay of up to 30 days. Please consult an official source/consulate in your home country for the latest information on visa requirements.

When travelling to Mexico, you will need to fill out a Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM), which is essentially a visitor's permit for Mexico. All travellers are encouraged to do so online prior to travel and present the printed out document upon entering the country.

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Website: www.mexicotouristcard.com

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Cancún Airport International

Cancún Airport International (CUN) is Latin America's 4th busiest airport. Located outside the city of Cancún at km 22 of the Cancún-Chetumal highway, the approximate transfer time to Cancún’s City or Hotel Zone is 20-30 mins. Buses, shuttles, private transfers, VIP vehicles, and limousines are available for pickup and every terminal has a designated taxi service available. A public modern air-conditioned bus service to Cancún’s central bus station is available outside Terminal 2.

Address: Cancún Airport International, Cancún

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Website: www.cancunairport.com

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Public Transport

Cancún's central bus station is located at the corner of Avenidas Tulum and Uxmal, offering excellent and regular connections to most touristic destinations. A regular shuttle transfer to Playa del Carmen leaves every 15-30 minutes. The frequent local bus service between the Hotel Zone and downtown Cancún (R-1 or R-2 buses) is quite efficient and runs 24 hours.

Buses stop on hand signal and will often leave before everyone is seated; bus stops are marked with a blue and black sign with a picture of a bus.
You can buy tickets on board but don't forget to check your change before taking your seat.

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Taxi

Taxis are a common mode of transport in Cancún and Mexico. Despite warnings to agree on a price before getting in, one should know that all taxi drivers belong to a syndicate, and there is an official fixed price list split into various zones that all taxi drivers must carry (also available in all hotels). Taxis in the Hotel Zone are more expensive than downtown, and a standing taxi always costs slightly more than one flagged down from the curb. A couple of alternatives are the Cancun Cab taxi service that serves all over Cancún and reserving a ride with Uber, which is back in the city following problems from the local taxi unions.

Cancun Cab:

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Phone: +52 998 840 0321

Website: www.cancun-cab.com

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Post

The postal service in Mexico is very slow and often not very reliable. Sending anything of importance or value is usually safer by courier service.

Cancún’s main post office is located in the city centre where stamps or postcards can be found; mailboxes are red and easy to recognize.

Address: Sunyaxchen and Ave. Xel-Ha, Cancún

Email: contacto@correosdemexico.gob.mx

Phone: +52 800 701 7000

Website: www.portal.correosdemexico.com.mx/portal/

More Information: On Mercado 28, at the corner of the Avenue

Pharmacy

There are two types of pharmacies in Mexico, the regular Farmacia and the Farmacia Similares. The former sells well-known brand medications whilst the latter sells cheaper non-branded medicines. Prescriptions are generally not required for anything, and most medicines are widely available. You can find a Farmacia on almost every corner within Cancún's downtown, with several located in the Hotel Zone. Many Farmacias are open 24 hours and offer a delivery service for a small surcharge.

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Telephone

Country code: +52
Area code for Cancún: 998

Please note that not all international mobile phones will work in Mexico and it is therefore best to check with respective providers beforehand to ensure service.

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Electricity

110 Volt. Hotels usually offer voltage converters for 220 Volt devices.

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