The Best Cancun Travel Guide – Cancún has a glitzy hotel zone with its famous white-sand beaches, unabashed party scene and sophisticated seafood restaurants. Then there’s the actual city itself, with neighborhood taco joints and undeveloped beaches.
Tired of raucous discos in the hotel zone? Escape to a downtown salsa club. Tired of lounging around the pool in Ciudad Cancún? Simply hop on a bus and head for the sapphire waters of the hotel zone.
Or even better, venture out and explore more of Quintana Roo state. Just a day trip away from Cancún, the pristine national park of Isla Contoy beckons with a fascinating variety of bird and plant species. Cobá, with its Maya ruins, jungle, and croc-infested lagoon seems like a different world. Even further south, is Bacalar’s lagoon. To learn more about the Yucatan Peninsula go here, or visit the beautiful beaches of the Yucatan peninsula. Enjoy reading everything you need for a Cozumel Travel beach vacation. Now read our Cancun Travel Guide and start planning your beach vacation today.
Cancun Weather – When to Visit
The best time to visit Cancún is from December to April during the peak season. Even though the crowds are heavier, you’ll experience near-perfect weather and find some of the cheapest flight and room rates for a winter getaway at the beach. Just try to avoid traveling from mid-March to early April – that’s when spring breakers descend on the Yucatán’s shores. There are also significant discounts in late spring, summer and fall, but Cancún summers are sweltering and the fall months are prone to storms.
Best Cancun Beaches
Widely considered a beach spot for locals, Playa Tortugas is known for its relaxed atmosphere and clean sands. The area also has several open-air restaurants that make for great evening dining.
Playa Delfines is exceptional with no hotels, restaurants or anything else built on the beach. It is easily accessible by bus and there is free parking available. There are also clean, well-maintained restrooms available, a playground and palapas for shade, and chairs and umbrellas for rent. There are lifeguards, but the water can be very rough here so swim with extreme caution.
Playa Norte (Isla Mujeres)
Playa Norte (North Beach) has white sand and the aqua-blue Caribbean waters you dream about. There are many beach clubs where you can rent lounge chairs and umbrellas for the day, and order all the ceviche, margaritas and cervezas you might want. The waters are quite calm due to the fact that the beach faces the coast of Cancun.
Playa Chac Mool
Playa Chac Mool is the perfect beach for diving into the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Playa Chac Mool offers beach-side rentals for water sports equipment and activities. Playa Chac Mool also has nice calm waters, perfect for water sports and swimming.
Playa Forum is located behind one of the hottest spots for nightlife and is vibrant, beautiful and full of life. There is no shortage of restaurants, bars and entertainment. This beach has all the signature white sand and gorgeous water you’d expect from Cancun.
Best Cancun Restaurants
El Fish Fritanga $11 – 30
A casual seafood restaurant with tables in the sand overlooking the lagoon. Located in the middle of Cancún’s Hotel Zone, it’s popular with locals and tourists. Fresh catches and ceviche are the house specialties. Telephone: 52-998-840-6216 Web: El Fish Fritanga
Navios $11 – 30
Mexican fusion seafood, served to you in romantic cabanas set over the water. Located in Cancún’s Hotel Zone. Navios has the best seafood. Expect standout dishes like robalo al pastor – sea bass carpaccio served on a pineapple with cilantro rice. Telephone: 52-998-885-3848 Web: Navios
Captain’s Cove $11 – 30
A fine-dining seafood restaurant with a thatched-roof, overlooking the lagoon in the Hotel Zone. This restaurant is popular for its fresh options and catch-of-the-day offerings. This restaurant is part of Royal Resorts and thus frequently included in all-inclusive packages. Telephone: 52-998-885-0016 Web: Captain’s Cove
Lorenzillo’s $31 – 60
A Cancún staple that’s been serving lobster for more than 30 years. Head here for the live lobster and stay for the atmosphere. This Cancún landmark serves lobster almost any way you want it. Get it grilled, boiled, steamed or dripping in butter: though they’ve got a full menu with plenty of other choices too. Telephone: 52-998-883-1254 Web: Lorenzillo’s
Best Cancun Nightlife
This is one of the most popular nightclubs in Cancun and is located right between The City and Coco Bongo in the Party Zone. Mandala feels like the nicest, most ornate VIP room you’ve ever seen… only it’s an entire club, not a VIP room. The fact that the front of the club is entirely open to the street adds to the ambiance. This is one of Cancun’s hippest and hottest clubs and it’s been extremely popular since it opened. Telephone: 52-998-883-3333 Web: Mandala
Coco Bongo is Cancun’s most popular night club. Throughout the evening, a variety of performers put on shows. On any given evening at the club, Beetlejuice makes an appearance, Spiderman flies through the air, acrobats perform high above the crowd and a Michael Jackson impersonator lip-synchs some of MJ’s classic songs. The bartenders and wait staff even take the stage to sing and dance throughout the night. When you feel your feet start to move, don’t bother looking for the dance floor because there isn’t one. People just dance wherever they can find a little space. Telephone: 52-998-883-2373 Web: Coco Bongo
It is the biggest club in Cancun and it’s often packed to the brim during Spring Break and in the summer months. The 3-story club often has performances by internationally known artists like Ludacris, Akon, Flo Rida, 50 Cent, Fergi, Snoop Dogg and celebrity DJs. Like Coco Bongo, The City Cancun also has performances by acrobats and other performers during the evening. They play music of all genres on the 1,000,000 sound system and 650 square feet of video screens. Telephone: 52-998-883-3313 Web: The Cit
The inside of the actual club resembles a large cave. There is a dance floor in the center of the room and rows of tables line the walls of the multi-level club. Well-known DJs, celebrities, and bands often perform here, or host special parties. Even though this is one of the oldest clubs in Cancun, there is usually still a long line of people waiting to enter the club. Telephone: 52-998-883-3333 Web: Palazzo
Best Cancun Hotels
I love this post. Everyone always hears about Cancun and how wonderful the beaches are. I really like how you didn’t concentrate on the beaches and the hotels. All those extra attractions and sites is what makes me want to. You can get hotels and sand in Florida without a passport, but now I see Cancun is so much more, Very good job. Very good detail and information.
Thank you so much Jennifer, and you are absolutely right? Why pay a fortune just for beautiful beaches. Heck, I live in Florida and I have that here. But it is all the rest to experience in Cancun that makes it a great vacation destination!
Your website was very interesting to navigate.What was really interesting was learning about Cancun. I have heard of this place but never visited but would love to.Your website was very detailed. You’re doing great. I loved the content. Keep up the good work ?
Thank you so much Courtney! I am glad you enjoyed visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com and reading my Cancun Travel Guide!
Great site! I would love to book travel thru you when I am ready. I have Cancun on my bucket list and will message you when I am ready! Thank you all the great information you have provided.
Great Junior, just message me when you are ready. Thanks for reading !
Wow this place looks amazing. Added to bucket list for sure.
Thanks for an in-depth look at it.
You are so welcome Lawrence. Cancun is definitely a bucket list item 🙂
Wow! Great stuff about the eastern side of Mexico. You twisted my arm and now I’m going to start planning. I’ve only been on the Baja side like Mazatlan and La Paz. Very nice there too. But again, wow, your site is awesome and you’ve got some great ideas for a few days getaway at least. Thank a lot.
Glad you enjoyed and I could twist your arm somewhat 🙂 I have been to the Baja side many, many times. This is a little different in Cancun, but with different flavor and experiences. You will love it.
Great overview of Cancun! I have never been, but it looks like a place to go. I appreciate the ratings of the hotels and restaurants. That helps to do comparisons. More arrival and departure information would be helpful. Thanks for posting!
Thanks Glen, hard to do arrival and departure when there are so many places to travel from 🙂 I can definitely help you with this. Just shoot me a message. Thanks for reading!
I should have been more specific. But arrival and departure info related to Cancun itself.
Ok Glen, I think I know what you want 🙂
Upon arrival at the Cancun Airport, you will pass through immigration and present the Mexican immigration agent with your passport. You will then claim your luggage and proceed through customs to declare any goods. You will press a button on a light resembling a traffic signal. A green light means that your bags will pass without inspection, a red light means that your bags will be inspected.
The Cancun International Airport requests that all departing passengers on international flights must be at the airport at least 2 hours prior to their flight departure time. Your pick-up time was scheduled according to this request and taking into consideration information such as your flight departing time, approximate travel time between your hotel and the airport, day of the week, and assumed traffic flow. I hope this helps!
It’s been so long since I’ve been to Cancun! Thanks for the info because it looks like there were DEFINITELY some things I need to go back and check out!
Well time to go again Alyese! There is a lot to offer in the area, besides just gorgeous beaches. Cancun is a wonderful beach destination. Thanks for visiting beachtraveldestinations.com.
I always have the desire to go to Cancun. Even though family and friends who have been there encourage me to do same, I am always a bit hesitant. Your thorough review has put my fears at ease and has made Cancun look even more amazing than I ever thought or heard. From where to go, how to get there and safety have certainly helped. Thanks for this invaluable information. Cancun, here I come.
Great Carol, I am glad I could give you that little push. It really is an amazing place 🙂 Glad you enjoyed reading my Cancun Travel Guide!
I will keep it in mind when I am deciding where to go on my next vacation.
Well done, keep up the great work.
Cancun is already number 1 on my list thanks to you.
I’m glad, you will love it. Thanks for reading my Cancun Travel Guide!
Hey, thanks for the travel guide to Cancun! Great roundup and lots of great suggested activities. I can’t believe how beautiful and inviting the water looks! Definitely a destination on my bucket list 🙂 Are there decent shops? I wondered what the art was like there?
Thank, and I am glad you enjoyed reading. Yes, you will find your share of shops here with a variety of Mexican art. Plenty of silver jewelry, sombreros, pottery, and that sort of thing 🙂 Thanks for vising the Cancun Travel Guide.
Wow, Cancun looks amazing and well worth a vacation to. I love the beach, live close to the beach and love to surf. Can you surf in Cancun?
It is amazing Matthew! Thanks for reading the Cancun Travel Guide. And yes, you can surf in Cancun! You will have a blast!
I’ve heard a lot about Cancun, and it sounds very fun. But is Cancun dangerous if you venture further out into the city? I’ve just heard lots of horror stories of tourists in Mexico.
Mexico is dangerous, don’t get me wrong. But this is really for the mainland of Mexico and not the Baja Peninsula, the Mayan Riviera, or the Yucatan Peninsula. If you stick to the major resort areas, you won’t have a problem. Always take precautions, no matter where you are traveling. Thanks for reading my Cancun Travel Guide.
I have been debating on whether to go to Cancun for awhile now. Some of my friends have been and say it’s lovely. Thanks to this, I will consider booking a flight for this summer and definitely check out that Mayan pyramid.
Great Miranda! Cancun is a wonderful place to visit. If you have any questions or need help with your booking, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. Thanks for reading the Cancun Travel Guide.