Travel insights from the Quintana Roo Tourism Board

The Travel Agent’s Ultimate Guide to Cancun

Cancun is a favorite destination among travelers around the world. Whether a trip is booked as the result of a celebration, holiday or a break from the daily grind, Cancun is the perfect place to sit back, relax and create new memories.

Cancun Basics

Before diving into everything that’s great about Cancun, let’s cover some basics:

  • Getting there - Visitors traveling by plane will arrive at the Cancun International Airport, one of the top airports in the world. The airport is about 10 miles away from the city and about 13 miles from the hotel zone.  After arriving at Cancun International, buses and taxis are the most common form of transportation.
  • Location – Cancun is located in Quintana Roo, a southeastern state of Mexico. The city of Cancun shares a border with Bahia de Mujeres to the north, Laguna Nichupté to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east.
  • Climate – Climate is a big appeal for many Cancun visitors. The city’s annual average temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a rainy season from May to October.
  • Currency – When it comes to dinero, travelers have a variety of options. The peso is the official currency of Mexico, however, a majority of tourist establishments are happy to accept U.S. dollars and most major credit cards.
  • Language – Nosotros hablamos español, Spanish is the official language of Mexico and Cancun. Forgot to brush up on your speaking skills? No worries, English is used in all tourist locations.

How far away is it from the Cancun airport?

Destination

Drive Time

Distance in Miles

Central Cancun

20 minutes

10 miles

Cancun Hotel Zone

25 minutes

12 miles

Isla Mujeres

45 minutes

20 miles

Puerto Morelos

22 minutes

25 miles

Playa del Carmen

40 minutes

32 miles

Cozumel

1 hour, 45 minutes

46 miles

Puerto Aventuras

1 hour

47 miles

Akumal

1 hour, 10 minutes

57 miles

Tulum

1 hour, 30 minute

72 miles

Holbox

1 hour, 40 minutes

89 miles


Lodging

Cancun has a reputation for awesome resorts that fit every budget and lifestyle. The city currently has a total of 185 hotels and over 35,000 rooms. Many of these hotels are located in Cancun’s hotel zone along the Caribbean Sea.  

Those travelling with kids can book one of the city’s many family-focused resorts to ensure their little ones have just as much fun as the adults. Travelers who are looking for a kid-free zone can opt for an adults-only resort instead.

Food

The city of Cancun offers unmatched dining experiences with beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea and the Nichupté Lagoon. The food is a culinary tour of international flavors with specialized restaurants and authentic regional cuisines. There are many restaurants that have earned a 5Diamond rating from AAA or are rated by the Michelin Guide. While there is plenty to gush about when it comes to elegant dining in Cancun, there is also an abundance of casual dining experiences that are equally delicious.

Fun

Cancun is bursting at the seams with fun activities and experiences. Looking for a relaxing afternoon? Indulge in one of the city’s many spa and wellness services. Is adventure more your style? Cancun is full of natural attractions such as the mangroves, the jungle and cenotes where countless adventure and ecotourism activities can be enjoyed by the whole family. Here are a few of our options for fun and entertainment:

  • Entertainment – Cancun offers a diverse range of entertainment and nightlife, including nightclubs and singular bars with excellent light shows, acrobats and some the world’s best DJs. A few of the city’s best nightclubs include Coco Bongo, Dady’O, The City and Mandala. For something more relaxed and familiar, try a dinner show on a pirate ship, an authentic Mexican party onboard a trajinera in Xoximilco, or the excellent show JOYÁ by Cirque du Soleil.
  • Adventure – Cancun’s adventure and ecotourism activities are unquestionably one of the greatest things the city has to offer. Here are just a handful of the many unique and exciting adventure-based excursions visitors can experience: swimming with whale sharks, bird watching, hiking, zip-lining through the jungle, diving in cenotes and caverns and cycling or 4x4 vehicle tours. Cancun is also home to a variety of natural sites such as the Cenotes Route, Isla Contoy National Park and Underwater Art Museum (MUSA).
  • Water activities – With some of the best beaches in the world, Cancun offers a diverse array of exciting water activities both at sea and in the lagoon. Visitors can get their feet wet by embarking on one of the following water-themed adventures: catamaran trips, snorkeling, windsurfing, speedboat tours through the mangroves, flyboard, wave runners, paddle boarding, kitesurfing, parasailing, sport fishing, diving and much more.
  • Shopping – Whether visitors are looking to purchase reasonably-priced local crafts or browse some of the most sophisticated brands, shopping in Cancun is a unique experience not to be missed. Cancun’s hotel zone is home to an array of exclusive and modern shopping centers featuring national and international fashion, jewelry and perfumer brands. . Each shopping center is crafted in a unique architectural style and many products are tax-free.

History and Culture

Cancun is home to many key landmarks of the ancient Mayan civilization. The Mayans are world-renowned for their achievements in art, architecture and science and continue to be a source of wonder and inspiration for people around the world. The following ancient Mayan sites can be found in Cancun:

  • El Rey, the largest archaeological zone in Cancun, located right in the hotel zone.
  • El Meco, located off the Puerto Juárez - Punta Sam highway north of Cancun.
  • San Miguelito is also in the hotel zone. Your access to the site is through the Mayan Museum of Cancun.
  • Yamil Lu'um is located next to the Park Royal Cancun hotel.
  • The Mayan Museum of Cancun displays one of the most significant archaeological collections of the Mayan culture in all of Mexico, including pieces from Quintana Roo, Palenque and Chichén Itzá.
  • Likewise, throughout the Mexican Caribbean there are imposing and majestic archaeological sites such as: Tulum, Cobá, Muyil and in the south of the state, Kohunlich, Chacchobén, Dzibanché-Kinichná and Oxtankáh.

Business

Cancun’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and excellent air connectivity makes it the perfect destination for major events and business travel. Over 50 local hotels and resorts are equipped with modern facilities for events, meeting spaces, conventions, congresses, corporate events and exhibitions. The Cancun International Convention Center (Cancun ICC) and the Moon Palace Arena are two of the most highly recommended spaces for large events. Many of Cancun’s hotels offer Zero Tax value Added Tax (VAT) for congresses, exhibitions and international conventions. In addition, a wide variety of services are often available such as: access to destination management companies (DMCs), access to event production companies, audiovisual assistance, transport, customs services, professional catering and simultaneous translation.

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Rita H | 12/27/18 - 09:30 AM

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Anthioshia H | 12/22/18 - 02:09 PM

very helpful

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Thomasa M | 12/15/18 - 09:12 AM

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