Quick Guide to Cancun
Playa del Carmen
Garrafon Natural Reef Park
Xplor Adventure Park
Mexico is known for its stunning beaches, amazing ancient Mayan ruins and its gorgeous Spanish colonial towns. This all mixes with a fantastic and vibrant culture as well as year round sun. If you're after all of this at a great price with the sunshine and clear seas of the Caribbean thrown in for good measure, then it's time to think about cheap holidays to Cancun in 2016 - who hasn't thought about going for spring break at one time or another?
Cancun is made up of two distinct parts, the Old Town and the Hotel Zone. The Old Town has plenty of atmosphere and a great range of nightlife spots, but no real beaches to speak of. The Hotel Zone is almost the complete opposite with nothing but long sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, and wonderful all inclusive hotels designed to cater to your every whim.
Although Spanish is the local language, expect English to be widely spoken in the Hotel Zone as well as at the tourist sights on the Yucatan Peninsula. Old Town Cancun can be harder to get by in without Spanish though, so be patient and learn a few words!
Fab holidays for:
Amazing all inclusive resorts, Coral reef diving, White-sand beaches
Cancun International Airport
Did you know?
In 2010 Cancun added an extra seven miles of beach which had been eroded away. Hurrah, more beach for everyone!
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Top 5 Things to do in Cancun
Cancun is set around a stunning bay, with all you could need for a relaxing holiday in the sun, boasting restaurants, bars and nightclubs aplenty. In fact, you could easily never venture away from the Hotel Zone and still have a fantastic holiday. You would miss out on a lot of fun though!
- Playa del Carmen
- There is plenty of "real Mexico" not far from Cancun too, if you want to see more of the country on your holiday here. An hour away to the south, you will find the beaches of Playa del Carmen which is smaller and quieter than Cancun. It also has more of an emphasis on diving so has a range of dive schools. It's hard to resist the turquoise Caribbean teeming with vivid marine life.
- Holidays in Cancun can also be about escaping to a pretty island. There are regular trips to the chilled hang-out of Isla Mujeres, as well as to the larger island of Cozumel.
- Mayan Heritage
- If you really want to explore the Mayan heritage on a holiday in Cancun, there are plenty of holiday deals to choose from, with some of the country's best on your doorstep. Tulum and Chichen Itza are the best known sites in Mexico and are easily accessible on a day trip from Cancun.
- To get a taste of the Spanish colonial past, then the only place to go is Merida. The capital of the Yucatan, it's the place to go for food, theatre and most importantly dancing!
- And thrill seekers won't want to miss out on Xcaret, an eco-archaeological theme park where the attractions are the natural caves, known as cenotes, and you get to explore them, find hidden beaches, and interact with the local animals too.
Beach Holidays in Cancun
Don't mistake Cancun beaches for those unmistakable screams of 'SPRING BREAK!' it has become associated with. Some of the world's most beautiful beaches reside in the Riviera Maya - so beautiful that you won't feel guilty lounging around the sun all day long.
Tulum's Paraiso Beach, for one, is sat next to the Tulum Maya ruins so you get a dose of culture with a large helping of 'How is the sand so white and the water so blue?' on the side.
Playa Delfines is one of the area's largest beaches, its bright blue waters attracting everyone from parasailers and jet skiiers to pelicans. In our opinion, it deserves its place as one of the best beaches in Cancun.
Akumal has another edge - turtles. Just 60 miles south of Cancun lies the 'Land of the Turtles', a hotspot for sea turtles to lay their eggs. And that's not even mentioning the snorkelling and diving opportunities.
The thumping sounds of Mamitas Beach can be heard before you arrive - artists like David Guetta and Tiesto have graced the stage in this area's many music events. From Riviera Maya Jazz Festival to BPM Festival, Mamitas Beach is a place where the party the never stops.
Playa Forum is lined with bars while Playa Chac Mool is right next to it, sans the crowds (but the same pearly blue waters). Families should make a beeline for Playa Tortugas as it's one of the few hotel zone beaches that comes with almost no waves. Alongside an oceanfront restaurant and marine, there's also a bungee tower for a quick shot of adrenaline.
When to go to Cancun
Thanks to its great location, Cancun has temperatures of at least 30°C all year round - and from May to October expect this to be even higher with the mercury regularly reaching 40°C.
For a holiday to Cancun that makes the most of the area's vibrant flowers in full spring bloom, the time to visit is from January to March. In fact, this is when you'll see the whole of the Yucatan Peninsula at its best, when it's brimming with life and colour. You can expect this to be one of the most crowded months for a Cancun holiday, although prices won't hit the heights of the peak winter sun season.
December to February sees the peak season, with holidays to Cancun ever-popular with US visitors, as well as increasingly popular with UK travellers. Beware of July-November as this is hurricane season in the area.
Early December can provide the best all-round solution for a cheap holiday to Cancun, with high temperatures, lots of sun, little rain and - before mid-December - often lower prices than in spring. Still, whenever you want to go it's well worth booking as far in advance as you can to secure great early booking rates. Alternatively, if you don't mind where you stay you can get some great last minute deals on holidays to Cancun.
How to get to Cancun
The easiest way to get there is to book a cheap package holiday into Cancun, as you'll have everything taken care of for you - although be sure to check whether transfers are included! It's worth adding them on to your package if they are reasonably priced because then you'll know that you'll be able to easily get from the airport to your hotel.
If you prefer, you could just book your flight to Cancun and then find your hotel separately. Flights take around 10 hours direct and depart from London, Manchester and Glasgow, as well as others. Look out for flights with stopovers as they are rarely that much cheaper and can push your travelling time to double the time for a direct flight!
When you arrive you'll have to pay an entry tax of $20 in US currency, so make sure that you have some with you before you set off!
If your transfers aren't included with your Cancun holiday package then it's best to take a taxi to your hotel - be sure to arrange the price before you get in to make sure you don't pay too much over the odds. If you're thinking of hiring a car be aware that the local police are quite poorly paid and are frequently on the look out for any excuse to extract a bribe from tourists. Check your hire car thoroughly before you depart to make sure it's roadworthy, and always stick to the rules, even if fellow drivers aren't!