The Cancun 'hotel zone' is where most tourists tend to stay. The hotel zone is one long strip lined with luxurious hotels with idyllic sandy beaches on one side and a lagoon on the other (watch out for crocodiles). The easiest way to get around is via bus - they are inexpensive, frequent and travel up and down the hotel zone to downtown Cancun. You can pick up a map from your hotel foyer and use the bus to easily travel to markets, shopping malls, beaches, bars, restaurants and more.
Most of the hotels in Mexico will have a fabulous pool and/or beach access and can be enjoyed year-round with hot and humid weather and warm sea temperatures. However the optimum time to visit Cancun is probably between November and April when there is less rainfall and more hours of sunshine. Websites such Holiday Gems can provide more advice on when is best to visit, where to stay and what to do.
Restaurants and Nightlife
Although All Inclusive hotels in the Hotel Zone usually offer a very high standard of food in Cancun, you would be mad not to venture out into the commercial centre and sample some of the culinary delights on offer. A top restaurant recommendation from us would be La Dolce Vita in down town Cancun. Serving the most delicious home cooked Italian food (try the Salmon tartar) with friendly and attentive service, you will leave feeling like you've made new friends.
Every cuisine imaginable is catered for in Cancun and Steakhouses seem to be particularly popular. You really are spoilt for choice but we have a soft spot for Harry's Prime Steakhouse which serves fabulous Kobe beef alongside spectacular sunset views.
When visiting Cancun, the extraordinary nightlife has to be high on your agenda. From AMAZING beach parties at exclusive beach clubs such as Mandala Beach to fun, vegas-style entertainment at the renowned Coco Bongos club which has to be seen to be believed or the crazy parties at Dady O if you are looking for something a little more on the wild side, Cancun has to be one of the best places in the world to let your hair down.
There are quieter choices too and most hotel bars will have their own cocktail lounge where it would be rude to not sample a tequila sunrise or two!
If your hangovers aren't too bad and you can tear yourself away from the glorious beach, you really must make some time to explore the area around Cancun. Day trips can usually be organised directly with your hotel, via your tour operator or with several booking agencies in the hotel zone. One of our favourite trips is a boat ride to the secret island of Isla Mujeres where we swam with dolphins, spent time snorkelling with stingrays and were lucky enough to catch sight of some sea turtles.
If history is more your thing, you might like to book a trip to Tulum which is closer to Cancun than Chichen Itza but still a magnificent example of the Mayan pyramids and architecture (make sure you pack bottled water as there is a bit of a walk from the car park and it's hot, hot, hot). A popular choice is to visit Tulum in the morning and spend the afternoon at nearby Xel-ha which is an ecological park where you can swim with dolphins, snorkel with a huge variety of wildlife, explore caves, follow jungle trails and dive from rocks. There are various packages available but we prefer the all inclusive option that includes snorkel hire, food and drink.
If you would like to stay closer to your hotel, make sure you leave space in your case as there is plenty of shopping to be done with La Isla Shopping Village, The Flamingo Mall , Plaza Las Americas and more all easily accessible by local bus or taxi.
Have you ever been to Cancun? I would love to hear about your experiences, please leave a comment or tweet me @nefamilyfun