Holidays in México – Cancún guide – First steps

This is meant to be quick guide to help you during your first day in Cancún from the moment you land so here we go. First things first.

Money – Exchange rates

All prices in my posts are in local currency (Mexican pesos) and an approximate in dollars. With the recent events in Mexico (New president, new agreements with countries or huachicol) our currency is up and down.
For example when I arrived the exchange rates were:

  • 1 US = 20 pesos
  • 1 EUR = 22.5 pesos

1 month later:

  • 1 US = 18 pesos
  • 1 EUR = 21.5 pesos

If you want a quick conversion use the following exchange rates but please check the current rates on your bank or any bank in Mexico (Santander, Banamex, Bancomer, etc).

  • 1 US = 18 pesos
  • 1 EUR = 21 pesos
  • 1 PNL = 5 pesos

I made a small experiment changing money (From zlotys to euros) that you can check here and I found that it’s better to use a exchange office than paying with card or withdrawing money from the ATM.

HINT: a lot of places accept dollars. Yes. Not only at the airport but in Cancún city. Before you enter the place you will see a note “We accept your dollars – 1 US = 17 pesos”. The exchange rate is lower but at least you will have the option to pay in dollars only or mixed and get the change in pesos.

If you pay in dollars they will include the equivalent on your ticket.

From the airport to Cancún

From Cancún Airport to ADO Bus station in Cancún (Taken from Google Maps)
ADO bus to Tulum

The easiest option – If you bought an All-inclusive package then most probably your accommodation includes transport to the hotel, if not, just ask to your hotel. A person will wait for you holding a big banner.

The comfortable option – Take a taxi, just name your Hotel/Hostel. This will cost you around $500 pesos (28 US).

The best-cheap option – Take a bus. I think ADO is the only bus company. As soon as you cross immigration you will see an island selling tickets to Cancún, Playa Del Carmen and more. The cost to Cancún is 86 pesos (4.5 US). Ask where exactly your bus stops is because there are 4 terminals. Departures each 30 minutes. It takes no more than 30 min to arrive.You can see current prices (as of February 2019) in the picture below for other destinations.

Accommodation

I have family living there so I didn’t book any place. If your budget is limited then choose any Hostel/Hotel near ADO bus station. You won’t spend much time there anyway. The advantage of choosing a place close to ADO is the access to restaurants, public transport and malls.

Booking.com

Mobile phone and sim cards

Again, the moment you cross immigration you will see tons of people selling any kind of mobile plans. Take your bus to the city and buy it in front of ADO bus terminal. There are 2 major mobile phone companies. Telcel and Movistar. You can buy either one and you will be just fine. The sim card alone cost 150 pesos (8.5 US) and if you want to have unlimited access(for 1 month) to social media (Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook) you need to spend 150 pesos more (8.5 US) . Just buy the sim card, put it on your phone and enjoy. You don’t have to register it like in Poland before using it. Just plug and play. Sim cards come in 3 sizes. Standard, micro and nano.

Where to buy? Supermarkets

Close to ADO bus station there is one Soriana, 10 minutes walking a Chedraui and 10 minutes from there there is a huge Walmart. All depends where you are located. Everything you need is in Walmart because it’s the biggest. I will write a bigger post of all what you need and you can buy in the supermarket like, sunscreen, food, snorkeling gear and more.

Taken from Google Maps

I hope this information is useful. See you next time!