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The dos and don'ts of Cancun

Published December 17th, 2014

Mexico’s capital of cool: White sandy beaches, glitzy hotels, all-night parties and a healthy dose of Mexican culture, Cancun has it all. It's no wonder students from all over North America descend on the playas of Cancun to cut loose for Spring Break every year. Hello cheap cerveza for under 18s! Before you head for this slice of paradise in the Yucatan Peninsula, grab your sombrero and read up on our dos and don’ts of Cancun.

 

 

DO visit outside Spring Break

The Cancun Spring Break party scene is legendary. College kids from the US and beyond flock here to party up a storm all day and night, and the whole area becomes a wild sea of drunken debauchery. Unless you want to pay premium prices for just about everything from accommodation, dining, tours and entertainment, consider visiting at other times of the year too. High season in Cancun is from November to March, so lock in low prices and good weather either side of this in the shoulder seasons of May or October.

 

 

DON’T forget to visit the turtles

If you can tear yourself away from the beach or pool, there’s some amazing adventures to be found in Cancun. Snorkelling with turtles is up there with the best of them. Book yourself on a tour that will take you to the clear azure ocean waters to swim alongside these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

 

 

DO book your accommodation

There’s heaps of resorts and hotels in Cancun, but things can get pretty booked up here, even out of peak season, so make sure you book ahead. If you’re on a tight budget, downtown Cancun Centro may be your best bet with lots of backpackers and cheaper authentic eats. For the ultimate Cancun resort and nightlife, the glitzy beachside hotel zone is the place to head.

 

 

DON’T forget the sunscreen

Cancun is hot, hot, hot! We’re talking the tropics. Sad-looking tourists with sunburn tan lines are a frequent sight here, so unless you want to be rocking this look on your holiday, don’t forget to slip, slop, slap all over. Check the weather before you go.

 

 

DO feast on seafood

Before Cancun became a knockout tourist destination, it was a gentle Mayan fishing region. Today you’ll find loads of incredible seafood restaurants in the area - Lorenzillo’s is one of the best and the views over the lagoon at sunset are legendary. Don't miss eating your fill of tostadas de ceviche (a type of fish taco) and other Mexican-style street food at cafes and beach huts too.

 

 

DON’T miss the nightlife

From the sultry jazz performances at the Roots Bar, and the eclectic live acts at Coco Bongo to the DJ beats of the Mandala Disco, Dady'O, and The City, Cancun is party central. If you’re up for a big night of partying until the early hours, join the six-hour Cancun VIP Nightlife Tour, complete with VIP service and unlimited drinks. Bottoms up!

 

 

DO drink bottled water

The jury’s still out on whether the tap water in Cancun is safe to drink (remember Charlotte in the Sex and the City movie?), but to be on the safe side and avoid stomach issues, stock up on cheap bottled water during your stay. Or tequila. Just sayin'.

 

 

DON’T forget to hit the beach

Cancun is famous for its long stretches of white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters. All the beaches are public although large beachfront hotels often block access, so you’ll have to search for the public paths to each beach. If you fancy a dip in the ocean, Playa Linda and Playa Langosta are great choices. If you’re looking for a beach with some great cafes and bars, try Playa Tortugas or Playa Las Perlas where you can enjoy a cold cerveza right on the sand.

 

Amy Dalgleish

Wanderlust pommie, currently living the dream in sunny Byron Bay.