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The Best Hotels in Cancun

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Best Hotels in Cancun

Cancun Hotels

Hedonists and sun-worshippers flock from all over the world to experience Cancun for themselves. The allure of its tropical climate, soft white sand beaches, world class shopping, and legendary nightlife proves irresistible to millions of travelers each year. The weather is at its very best from December to April, making it perfect for those longing to escape a Northern Hemisphere winter. Though it's acquired a reputation for late-night debauchery, Cancun is also a truly great family destination, with water parks, aquariums, and jungle tours offering thrills for kids of all ages.

Things to see

Cancun is a shopper's paradise. Head to La Isla Shopping Village for the ultimate retail experience. This glistening mall houses over 150 shops, separated by Venetian-style waterways. It's also home to a fantastic interactive aquarium. If you want to avoid the tourist hordes, join the locals at Playa Tortugas. At this ruggedly beautiful beach you'll find street vendors selling delectable fresh fruit, and open-air cafés where you can sink a cocktail as you marvel at the red-hued sunset. Perhaps the most unexpected attraction in Cancun's ultra-modern Hotel Zone is the El Rey Ruins. This stunning archaeological site is home to 47 mystifying ancient Mayan structures, as well as hundreds of tame iguanas who love to be fed by visitors. On nearby Isla Mujeres, Dolphin Discovery offers you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim and frolic with friendly dolphins in crystal-clear tropical waters. Isla Mujeres is also home to Playa del Norte, perhaps the most picture-perfect beach in the region.

Hotels in Cancun

As you'd expect from a world-famous coastal city, there are hotels in Cancun for every budget. The coast is dotted with internationally-renowned 5-star hotels that simply have to be seen to be believed. These offer opulent rooms with deep-soaking bathtubs and spectacular ocean views, decadent spas, state-of-the-art fitness centers, and fine dining on palm-shaded terraces. If you're traveling on a tighter budget, there's an array of more affordable alternatives. Even more basic options are likely to provide a swimming pool, and amenities such as free WiFi, complimentary toiletries, and cable television.

Where to stay

Late-night revelers should base themselves near the Hotel Zone. This area is home to Cancun's best bars and nightclubs, which regularly attract the world's best DJs. You'll also find glitzy shopping malls, top class restaurants, live rock and jazz performances, and Las Vegas-style cabaret shows. Downtown Cancun offers some bargain-rate hotels and great transport links, making it a perfect location from which to explore the surrounding areas. Lying just off the coast of Cancun, Isla Mujeres is ideal if you're looking for a more tranquil experience. Find yourself a spot on one of its breathtaking beaches, and feast on fresh seafood as the turquoise sea laps gently against the shore.

How to get to Cancun

Cancun International Airport is a major transport hub, with flights arriving daily from all over the world. The airport is just 10 kilometers from Cancun Hotel Zone, and 16 from downtown. Car hire is available at the airport, and there are numerous companies offering shuttle services into town. Beware of touts offering free transfers as you come out of customs clearance, as they're most likely looking to sell timeshare or overpriced tours.

When are the best times to travel to Cancun?

The beachfront city of Cancun enjoys a year-round tropical climate, with humid and stormy summer months, peaking in September – during this time you’ll find a wealth of bargain Cancun hotel deals. Through late-December to April, Cancun enjoys crystal-clear blue skies and honey-like sunshine, perfect for poolside cocktails and relaxing on the beach. If you’re looking for a tranquil trip, take note that Cancun often turns into a pulsing spring-breakers’ paradise from mid-March to early April.

What are the top must-see attractions in Cancun?

While the glitzy Cancun hotels make up the modern beachfront skyline, the city is also steeped in ancient heritage. Check out the Mayan El Ray ruins in the Hotel Zone, a 600-year-old stone piazza scattered with stately columns. Art lovers should explore the weird and wonderful Cancun Underwater Museum, a selection of surreal sculptures submerged beneath the ocean, accessible via a snorkeling trip. Don’t miss Cancun’s top beach, Playa Delfines, a vast, sweeping stretch of pristine sand bordering turquoise waters, popular with swimmers, parasailers, and sunbathers alike.

What are the best types of food and restaurants in Cancun?

Throughout the beachside Hotel Zone, which gathers together an ensemble of luxury and cheap Cancun hotels, you’ll find an abundance of easy-going bars and restaurants serving up a range of classic Mexican dishes alongside typical European and American grub, from pizza and pasta to surf ‘n’ turf. For a true taste of Cancun’s Yucatan cuisine, head to Downtown and explore the Mercado 23 farmers’ market, where food stalls cook up sizzling corn tortillas and fried fish wrapped in banana leaves.

What are the top things to do in Cancun?

Lovers of local heritage should take a trip to nearby Tulum, where a huge complex of fortified, vine-clad Mayan ruins rests atop a rocky, palm-studded crag, all overlooking pure-white beachfront. For more Mayan magic, take a day trip to Chichen Itza, the ruins of a once-great Mayan city. Marvel at the ancient crumbling observatories and perfectly preserved pyramid-shaped temple. Back in Cancun, explore the city’s Parque Las Palpas, a family-friendly park overflowing with food vendors and trinket stalls, there’s often live concerts on weekends, too.

What are some fun facts about Cancun?

A cool Cancun fact is hidden in the city’s name –“Cancun” is a Mayan word, which roughly translates to “nest of snakes”. Before the city took the name Cancun, it was called Ekab, which loosely translates to “black earth” – ironic, considering how much glistening gold-white beachfront surrounds the city. And did you know why Cancun’s beaches have such a bright white color? It’s because the sand is largely composed of crushed coral, churned and tossed by the sea, and this coral-sand remains cool to the touch year-round.

What kinds of public transport are there in Cancun?

Cancun is easy to navigate, as the city is divided into 2 distinct sections – Downtown on the mainland, and the Hotel Zone sprinkled across the stretch of land that separates the sea from Nichupte Lagoon. Cheap public buses run regularly and extensively throughout and between these areas. Taxicabs are a great way to get around, too, and are found in droves throughout Cancun. Just bear in mind that fares tend to be more expensive in the Hotel Zone.

Cancun Travel Guides & Things To Do

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