Cancún - which means "snake cave" in the local dialect - is a city in Mexico on the Yucatán Peninsula. A vacation in Cancún is very popular with tourists because of one attraction: its 14-mile-long sandy beach is a dream destination for lovers of the Caribbean and sun-seekers from all over the world. Cancún currently has over 628,000 inhabitants. The local currency is the Mexican peso and the official language is Spanish. As late as the 1950s, Yucatán was a sparsely populated island with a few fishing villages. Cancún was only founded in 1970 and has grown into a tourist paradise in a very short time. The majority of the hotel buildings are concentrated on a strip of land in front of the island, which was artificially connected to the mainland at the time. The actual city center is on the land side. The city's surroundings are characterized by lush nature and primeval forests. Does that sound like an exciting travel destination for you? - Then we have more information and offers for your vacation in Cancún here for you!
You can travel to Cancún comfortably by plane. The city on the Riviera Maya has an international airport, the Aeropuerto Internacional de Cancún, located just a few miles from the city center. Many airports around the US offer budget-friendly flights to this popular destination.
Alternatively, you can also head for Cancún on a Caribbean cruise, because the sunny paradise is a popular cruise destination. You need a valid passport to enter Mexico.
There is something happening all year round in Cancún and Mexico in general: religious and historical celebrations, parades and festivals. It will be particularly interesting if you are in Cancún in March: Then everyone celebrates carnival in the streets of Cancún. At the equinoxes in March and September, the phenomenon of zigzagging shadows cast on the steps of the pyramid can be admired in Itzá.
Pirate tip: If you vacation in Mexico in November, you can experience the colorful celebrations of the "Day of the Dead" on All Saints' Day.
If you make the long journey to Cancún, you should use the time there accordingly: You should plan at least a week for a relaxing Cancún vacation, better two weeks to perfectly combine a beach vacation and sightseeing. After all, there is a lot to discover in and around the city. It is best to reserve several days for sightseeing on day trips around the Yucatán Peninsula.
Benefits of All-Inclusive Vacations
All-inclusive vacations are particularly popular in Cancún, which is why you will find a wide range of all-inclusive resorts here. On the one hand, of course, this also has to do with the security situation in Cancún and Mexico as a whole. Many tourists simply prefer to stay in the "protected" hotel area and enjoy every comfort. On the other hand, many tourists come to Cancún especially for the spring break and the included drinks, are of course, particularly welcome when partying excessively. Another benefit is that you can easily get to the beach from any of the major resorts in the Hotel Zone.
If an all-inclusive vacation becomes too monotonous for you in the long run and you prefer to see something of the country and be more flexible, you can of course also find cheap accommodation in Cancún on Airbnb. So you will definitely learn more about Mexican culture and get to know the locals. As always, you should pay attention to the reviews of other guests beforehand in order to find a good place to stay. There are also hotels and hostels in Cancún for both large and small budgets. Bargains can also make real Cancún bargains with a lucky hotel. Foodies can be found in the bars and restaurants in the city, for example at Porfirio's Cancún (top location for Mexican food) or cheaply for a snack at The Surfin Burrito.
In Cancún you will find a savannah-like, warm climate. There are only 65 rainy days a year, the temperatures rarely drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit even at night and the breeze from the sea ensures a pleasant coolness. The average annual temperature is 80°F . However, June to August is the rainy season in Cancún, with high, muggy temperatures and the risk of precipitation. The best time to travel to Cancún is between November and March. But be careful: the city gets packed at Christmas and Easter.
Warmest month: August with up to 95°F daily temperature
Coldest month: January with 67°F night temperature
Driest months: February/March/April
Rainiest months: July/August/September
Highest water temperature: July at 84°F
Average annual temperature: 80°F
There is a lot to discover and see during your vacation in Cancún. Get an overview of the activities and excursion options and then head straight to the vacation fun.
The shops in Cancún are of course geared towards tourist customers. You will find high-quality boutiques as well as quaint shops with souvenirs and traditional folk art.
Malls: La Isla, Plaza Kukulcan and Plaza Forum Mall are popular all-around shopping centers. Here you can get branded clothing, local goods and souvenirs. Numerous restaurants cater to your physical well-being.
Mercado 28: A flea market with local Mexican flair, where you can mainly buy handicrafts and souvenirs.
Luxury Avenue: In this shopping center you can shop for jewelry, watches and fine clothing - or just marvel at the fine goods.
Our pirate tip: Bargaining for the best price at flea markets and in smaller owner-managed shops is worth a try and is even expected by tourists in some places. Anyone who enjoys haggling and is skilled can make great bargains here on their Cancún vacation.
Cancun itself is a hotel town. If you want to go on excursions and still discover exciting activities for yourself, you have to leave the city. In this case we recommend:
Xplor Adventure Park:You can really work yourself out on the site near Playa del Carmen. A zipline leads through treetops, you can swim in an underground river or take a tour on land and water in an amphibious vehicle - great fun for families with children.
Xcaret: An ecological-archaeological park where you can admire excavations, a diverse fauna and lush vegetation. In the evenings there is music and dancing presenting Mayan culture.
Cenotes: Cenotes are flooded craters - huge natural fountains revered as sacred waters by the Maya. You should definitely take a close look at such a natural monument.
Vacations in Cancún are perfect for bathing tourists, but of course there are also cultural offers. You can learn about the world in these museums:
Museo Maya de Cancún: Here you can find out everything about the Maya and their culture in an extensive exhibition.
Museo Sensorial del Tequila: After a visit to this museum, no question remains unanswered about the Mexican national drink, tequila.
Museo Subacuático de Arte: A museum with a large exhibition of figures - under water! The exhibits are located on the seabed and can be viewed by diving or taking a glass-bottom boat ride.
Casa de Cultura de Cancún: This museum features art by contemporary local and Mayan artists in a permanent collection.
Eating & drinking on a Cancún vacation
A notable feature of the cuisine in the Yucatán Peninsula is that it is considerably milder than the rest of Mexico, otherwise famous for its spicy dishes. If it is your first visit to Mexico, you can carefully approach the typical cuisine in these restaurants:
Lorenzillo’s: This upscale seafood restaurant is known for its lobster dishes of all kinds.
Bovino’s Churrascaria: This Steakhouse is also very popular with the locals.
La Habichuela: The oldest restaurant in Cancún offers Caribbean, Mexican and seafood cuisine in a romantic and cozy ambience.
Wild. exuberant. Uninhibited - that's partying in Cancún. The main season for party getaways in Cancún is between mid-February and mid-April, when spring break is in the USA. The English term "spring break " has become synonymous with ecstatic beach parties with all the clichés like wet t-shirt contests and much more. We'll tell you where you can really let off steam in Cancún.
One thing is clear: you probably won't get much sleep during your party vacation in Cancún. It is all the more important that you do not end up in a stuffy hotel with mostly older guests. They will be annoyed by you and you will get in trouble if you show up at the hotel early in the morning with a lot of fanfare. Therefore, you should better choose a hotel that is well suited to party holidaymakers and where you can meet like-minded people. These are mostly in the hotel zone.
We have found the 6 best spring break and party hotels in Cancún for you:
Grand Oasis Cancun
Hard Rock Hotel Cancun
Crown Paradise Club Cancun
Hotel Riu Cancun
Reflect Krystal Grand Cancun
The 3.5-Star Grand Oasis Hotel really is a superlative hotel! The complex consists of two hotels with a total of 1800 rooms, 14 bars, and 18 restaurants. The rooms are clean and well equipped, but these will probably be secondary criteria for you. If you only go to Cancún to party, this is the place for you. With its wide range of entertainment, the hotel caters to party vacationers. It's not just at the outdoor pool that the party is popular around the clock.
The Hard Rock Hotel in Cancún is a massive all-inclusive resort in the Hotel Zone that's incredibly popular with party vacationers. Here you will find everything you need for your party vacation: infinity pool with sea views, numerous bars and restaurants and music. If you want to take it easy after a long night of partying, that's not a problem in certain areas of the hotel.
The Beach Palace also leaves nothing to be desired. The all-inclusive hotel impresses with three pools with great sea views and ultra-modern rooms. Of course you can also enjoy delicious drinks and culinary delights here at the hotel bars and restaurants. So you can start the party in the hotel - and continue partying almost seamlessly directly on the beach or in the clubs nearby.
The upper middle class hotel offers its guests an all-inclusive vacation at reasonable prices. Young families and party vacationers feel equally at home here - and there is enough space for everyone. Numerous bars such as the lobby bar, pool bars and the beach bar ensure that the alcohol level remains constantly high. You can also continue partying nearby, for example in the English pub Trafalgar's or the nightclub Disco Nitro.
The All Inclusive Hotel Riu Cancún is also in the Hotel Zone - right on the beach - and very close to numerous shops, eateries, and pubs. The location is perfect in every way - it's only 12 miles to Cancun Airport and 6 miles to downtown Cancun. Among the hotel's three pools is a magnificent infinity pool. The hotel also has several restaurants, five bars, and offers events such as nightly live shows, a spa, and a nightclub.
The Reflect Krystal Grand Cancun, formerly known as Hyatt Regency Cancun, is also our top pick on our list of the best party hotels in Cancun for spring break and any other party or beach vacation. The location in the hotel zone on Boulevard Kukulcan 5 miles is fantastic - try to get a room with a sea view, the view and especially the sunrises are amazing! But you're here to party - and you can already do that at the world-renowned Mandala Beach Club, less than 1600 feet away. There are also numerous good restaurants in the vicinity of the hotel.
Cancún is best known as a party vacation destination thanks to Spring Break. Since the 1990s, hordes of party-hungry American college students have flocked to the Mexican seaside town between mid-February and mid-April to leave college stress behind and celebrate their spring break. In the meantime, however, it's no longer just Americans that are drawn to Cancún for Spring Break, but party vacationers from all over the world.
If you want to go to spring break, get ready for the biggest, most revealing and uninhibited party of your life. Sufficient alcohol ensures that nothing is embarrassing anymore - perfect conditions for spring break! During the day people celebrate boisterously on the beach or directly at the bar in one of the party hotels, and in the evenings they continue to the city's clubs.
As already mentioned, Cancún's nightlife takes place mainly in the Hotel Zone. Here you will find some of the largest and most famous nightclubs and bars in the city in the immediate vicinity. You should not miss these clubs and bars during your party holiday in Cancún:
Mandala: The Mandala Club is located in the middle of Cancún's party zone between two other clubs, "The City" and "Coco Bongo". It is one of the most popular clubs in the city and, with its colourful, Indian-inspired interior, ensures a chic yet cozy atmosphere. Here you can feel a bit like in a VIP room. This is probably one of the reasons why it is so popular with party guests.
Coco Bongo: The Coco Bongo is probably the best-known club in Cancún and should therefore not be missing from your program for the party holiday. The program is colorful and crazy: acrobats, Michael Jackson doubles, Spiderman and other characters delight guests with their performances throughout the night. There isn't even a dance floor - you just dance where you feel like it and find space!
The City: The City is a massive nightclub with space for up to 5,000 partygoers. This makes it the largest club in Cancún and one of the largest in all of Latin America. Music from all kinds of genres is played while videos are shown on huge screens. There are also various performances by artists and internationally known artists such as Ludacris, 50 Cent or star DJs.
Palazzo: The Palazzo is one of the newer clubs in Cancún. And we think: it can definitely keep up with the clubs mentioned so far! Glamor looks, theme nights, well-known guest DJs, pole dancing poles and pole dancing/stripper competitions make the Palazzo a highlight of a party getaway in Cancun.
Dady'O: The Dady'O is one of the older clubs in town and therefore has a loyal fan base. But even if you are there for the first time, you will be amazed. The location is unique: from the outside it looks like a big rock engraved with "DADY'O" and inside it looks like a kind of cave. In the middle is the huge dance floor, where you can dance to the music of world-famous DJs and bands.
Congo Bar: This small, open-air bar is also in the heart of Cancún's party hub, and is as popular with locals as it is with tourists. Plus point: the prices are lower than in the really big clubs and you can see from the outside how the party is going beforehand. The concept of the bar includes GoGo dancers, shot girls and lots of confetti! Even if there is no real dance floor, you can party and dance properly here.
Typical activities that you can do on vacation in Cancún naturally have a lot to do with the sea. Water sports and beach fun are popular:
The rather narrow but long beaches consist of fine white coral sand and attract bathing tourists from all over the world all year round. In fact, Cancún was modeled after Miami Beach. A total of more than 13 miles of dream beaches are waiting for you, most of the beaches are in the so-called hotel zone of Cancún. There are also numerous cocktail bars along the beaches - so you get a real Caribbean feeling on a beach vacation in Cancún.
Playa Las Perlas
The underwater world off Cancún and Playa del Carmen is colorful and fascinating. Diving is worth it! The Great Maya Reef is in the immediate vicinity and is in no way inferior to Australian reefs in its splendor. In the colorful coral reefs of the Yucatán, you can encounter rare species of fish such as the blue parrotfish and neon tetra.
Diving in Cancún is not only for professionals, because here you will also find many dive sites that are perfect for beginners. In the renowned local diving schools you will learn how to move properly under water and can discover the most beautiful diving spots in Cancún.
Our pirate tip: There are several shipwrecks off the coast of Cancún that you can explore on a one-day diving tour. Maybe you will find another pirate treasure ;)
Playing golf on vacation in Mexico? Yes, actually why not? In Cancún you can choose between several golf courses. If you feel like playing a round or discovering this sport, you can tee off away from the beach life. Some of the top rated golf courses and golf resorts in and around Cancún include:
Riviera Cancun Golf & Resorts (in Cancún, approx. 10 miles from the center, 18-hole course, approx. $35)
Iberostar Golf Club Cancun (in Cancún, approx. 8 miles from the center, 18-hole course, approx. $60-$148)
Playa Mujeres Golf Club (in Punta Sam, 18-hole course, approx. $131)
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort ((in Cancún, approx. 12 miles from the center, 27-hole course, unfortunately quite expensive at approx. $219)
This ensemble performs nightly in the Convention Center and presents a show of traditional Mexican dancing - of course in the traditional colorful costumes. Mexican dances include:
The Jarabe Tapatio (sombrero dance) from Guadalajara (the most famous Mexican dance)
The amusing dance of the old men, Danza de los Viejitos from Michoacán
The Quetzal dance with colorful costumes and huge headdresses from Puebla and Veracruz
The Aztec dance as a symbol of the struggle between good and evil
The local agency, Captain Hook , offers cruises and dinner shows on authentic replica Spanish galleons. Fun in an authentic ambience that you shouldn't miss!
Since Cancún-City has only existed for a few decades and was planned from the beginning as a pure tourist city, you will not find any historical buildings or significant sites in the city itself. The most important sights in the area are a bit far out of the city: you can book guided day trips on site or undertake them on your own. If you want to spend a relaxing holiday and at the same time get to know archaeological sites and the secrets of a foreign culture, you are in the right place with a holiday in Cancún. There you will enjoy Mexican hospitality and tourist amenities of the highest standard.
Our pirate tip: You shouldn't just start snapping photos in Mexico. In particular, members of the indigenous ethnic groups often do not like to be photographed. Please respect this and ask in advance if in doubt
A visit to the ancient Mayan city with its famous pyramid is a must if you are not only interested in beach life, but also in the culture of the Yucatán natives. An impressive cenote is one of the highlights of a trip into the past.
Tulum is another Mayan city right on the sea. The ruins, which include the Castillo Castle, the Old Port, and the Temple of the Wind, are definitely worth visiting. The opening times for visitors are from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.
Playa del Carmen is about 43 miles south of Cancún. It is a popular seaside resort; The ferry also runs from there to the offshore island of Cozumel. It is interesting for extreme athletes: the "Iron Man" competition is held here every year in November. A detour for diving is also worthwhile: Under water you will find coral reefs that already inspired Jacques Cousteau.
If you are planning a family vacation to Cancún, Mexico, here are a few travel and excursion tips for you:
To enter Mexico you need a passport and children's ID card that is still valid for at least 6 months and a tourist card (it is best to get it in advance from the consulate or embassy).
Take a turtle snorkeling tour
Try out new (water) sports such as jet skiing, diving, quad biking or wave runners
Visit Xcaret, an eco-archaeological park near the Riviera Maya - fun and adventure for the whole family!
Visit Xplor Adventure Park, less than an hour from Cancun, and swim underground rivers and more
If you are interested in a vacation in Cancún, you inevitably have to ask yourself the question of safety and the dangers on site. For a long time, the tourist magnet was considered comparatively safe, but in recent years the security situation throughout Mexico has increasingly deteriorated. Above all, petty crime (pickpocketing, scams, etc.) is a problem that affects tourists again and again. But acts of violence and even murders, mostly in connection with the drug milieu, are unfortunately almost the order of the day in the country. The Travel.State.Gov therefore advises increased caution.
In order to avoid dangers on vacation, you should consider a few things: do not go out alone at night, avoid dark, secluded corners and do not openly display valuables. You should only take copies of important documents such as passports or plane tickets with you on excursions and deposit the originals safely in the hotel.