Advance Planning

Two months before Book accommodations ahead of the winter high-season from December to April, especially for smaller hotels.

One month before Reserve a table at top restaurants, such as Tempo and Benazuza.

One week before Check out the available scuba and snorkeling options, as well as the numerous day trips that you can do.


Lonely Planet ( Destination information, hotel bookings, traveler forum and more.

Maya Ka'an ( Website with info on tours and activities offered in nearby Maya communities.

Visitors Bureau ( Information on hotels, restaurants, activities, entertainment and shopping.

Top Tips

  • Get around on a foot as much as possible in Cancún Centro; to move around the Zona Hotelera you're better off hopping on buses.
  • ADO buses departing from the airport terminals are the cheapest and easiest way to reach downtown; shared shuttle vans work best for the Zona Hotelera.
  • Do not place your drinks out of sight when partying in large nightclubs and busy bars.
  • When heading out to Isla Mujeres, save money by departing from the Puerto Juárez ferry terminal as opposed to the more expensive Zona Hotelera docks.
  • Divide your time – spend one day touring Cancún Centro and the following one sightseeing and dining in the Zona Hotelera.

What to Take

  • Insect repellent, preferably of the plant-based ecofriendly variety
  • Driver's license, if driving
  • Beach wear, flip-flops and a hat
  • Hammock or tent
  • Small backpack

What to Wear

Bring lots of light and loose-fitting clothes to stay cool, and perhaps a light jacket or sweater for the night. Take a long-sleeve shirt and long pants or skirt for protection against the mosquitoes and the sun. In non-beach towns you'll rarely see people wearing bathing suits or other kinds of revealing attire, so dress appropriately, especially when visiting formal restaurants and churches. Some nightclubs and bars do not allow flip-flops, shorts or tank tops.

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Inform your debit/credit card company that you will be out of the country
  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your arrival date
  • Check airline baggage restrictions
  • Look into transportation options available upon arrival at the airport
  • Make bookings for accommodations and upmarket restaurants
  • Check your government's Mexico travel advisories