Yes, Cancún is a very good place to stay and spend your holidays however there are better places and beaches than the ones in Cancún.
I think Cancún is overrated and it’s not as good as people might say. Don’t get me wrong, it is good but not the best.
Please note that kukulkán avenue is marked along with the distance you have walked/ran from the very beginning of the avenue that is Kilometer “0”.
As a point of reference kilometer 9 is where Coco Bongo is and all the pubs/nightclubs.
Beaches – not all of them are good
Cancún being part of the Caribbean is so nice but not the best. If you are staying in a hotel in “Zona Hotelera” along Kukulkán avenue you will have access to better views/beaches.The best beaches are located from kilometer 10 to kilometer 18. They are wide, the sand is amazing and you are close to the night clubs and most exclusive hotels, views are simply gorgeous.
In a range from 1 to 10 I would rate the beach with an 8 maybe 8.5.
Remember all of this is located in “Zona Hotelera” and the further you go the harder gets the access to a convenience store like Oxxo, 7 eleven, Circle K,etc.
So if you are in a hotel with its “private beach” then you can enjoy cold beer any time by just going to the bar but if you are staying in a hostel in the city then you need to take all your properties with you and a thermal bag or cooler.
The solution would be to find a beach with access to a convenient store right? or bring all your supplies for the day… all of them.
Well… You can always go to the beach in Kilometer 6 and kilometer 9. They have a store super close (50 meters away). You can buy all the beer and snacks that you want. The disadvantage is the beach is not that good or is too crowded.
Streets – lots of wholes
One more time. Everything in “Zona Hotelera” is awesome, if you go there at night you will think that you are in Las Vegas with all the lights, hotels and people on the streets having fun.
In “Zona Hotelera”… but in the city is a completely different story. Streets are not well made (only principal avenues). The rest is full of wholes. If it rains. God bless you brother because most probably the streets will be flooded and there are puddles everywhere on the sidewalk making it no the best experience.
Public Transport – Unbelievable
I must say. It is effective. It takes you only 20 minutes to go from ADO bus station to Coco Bongo with low traffic. During rush hours it might take you up to 1 hour.
Drivers are crazy and I am not saying this carelessly because I lived in Mexico City where the traffic is horrible and the way of driving is aggressive. Bus drivers do not respect the rules (if there is any) and they know how to squeeze in very little tiny spaces.
Pick one in any direction and just observe how they drive and how people standing up fight to keep the position to avoid hitting the ground. They can pass from 70 Km/h to 0 Km/h with just one push of the break out of nowhere.
You know that bus drivers are crazy when a taxi driver says the exactly same thing. ” I really don’t like bus drivers, they create all this mess and traffic making impossible for us (small cars) to continue our journey. Only because they have a big car they feel they can rule the streets and do whatever they want”- he said
If you are planning to rent a car and drive around the city or to go somewhere outside Cancún then be ready for all the madness and not best drivers… be super careful when driving and watch out for the motorcycles.
Taxis/Cabs – Always ask the price / How much
If you want to use a cab (There is no Uber ) just stop it anywhere you are and then tell the driver where you wanna go.
They are use to deal with tourists of any kind, national and international tourists. Having said that very few understand English. They will recognize you and they will try to take advantage of you. Like charging you more of what they should (I even was overcharged twice).
So. Stop the taxi. Mention where you wanna go and then ask the price. There is no counter, price per kilometer or similar. Just your agreement with the driver.
Here is an estimate of prices.
- From airport to ADO bus station (500-600 pesos)
- From ADO bus station to airport (150-200)
If they try to overcharge you either negotiate with the driver or take another one.
Weather – Winter time
During winter the lowest temperature is around 20°C and highest 27°C. Not bad right? Well the thing is that it could be cloudy or rainy.
I don’t mind cloudy days because you can go out and not sweet like crazy and have a normal life. If you go to the beach it will be good but not that beautiful and diving or snorkeling won’t be as colorful as during sunny days.
What it bothers me the most it’s rainy days because it rains 20 minutes. Clouds go away then you have 2 hours of sun and then again it rains for 20 minutes making it impossible to plan your day or simply go to the beach.
This is one thing to consider when going to Cancun during winter. You might not have only sunny days and to be honest I cannot think about a single activity to do during a rainy day.
All of this together is why I think Cancún is overrated. You need to visit the city and its not that “good looking” side and what I dislike the most is the contrast between people. The contrast that exists between tourist and locals. The exactly same contrast that you will find in the architecture, the streets and the restaurants.