Make sure that you wear sun block at all times; UV radiation is considered “extreme” between 11 am and 3 pm, it’s important to remember to protect yourself even if you are not going to be at the beach or the swimming pool, your skin can be severely damage by the sun in a flea market or a tour. See more in our Cancun Weather section.
All you can drink:
Even though this sounds very appealing, inform yourself about the service before jumping into it; some of them are until certain hour or at a certain site of the restaurant or bar, or with a few types of beverages, sometimes the liquor is not the best quality.
Tourist are generally very scared about the water, specially those that get sick blame everything on the water, the truth is that none of them have been drinking water from the tap, what makes people sick in Mexico is the combination of all excesses in a short period of time. Excesses in things that they don’t do back home at all!; Tourists eat a lot of spicy food, they drink a lot and all day long, they get exposed to the heat and sun, they swim a lot, they stay awake late at night, they don’t get hydrated as they should and then break the balance of the body. There is nothing worse than getting sick during your vacation, by the time you are recovering, is time to go back home, so make sure to combine activities or fun in a way that follows your basic nature, habits and health conditions.
The official currency is the Mexican Peso. US dollars are accepted almost everywhere but you will lose some money in the exchange rate. Nobody takes US/American coins. Banks are open from Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm, some of them as HSBC are open until 7 pm, the best exchange rate is usually at the banks but you have to make line. You will be able to find exchange booths all over the city with the legend “Casa de Cambio” they are open from 9 am to 8 pm, the rate is not as good as the banks but sometimes is better that the one you have at the front desk of your hotel.
Money can be wired from the United States through any Wal-mart. More on our currency section.
Phone & Internet:
The international area code for Mexico is (52), the Cancun area code is (998), to dial in to a local cellular phone the code is (044). If you need to buy calling cards make sure that they are “Ladatel” they have good rates and work fine in most public phones. Internet is available at most of the hotels, if you bring your laptop you will find wireless access in most of the five stars hotel rooms or by the main lobby, in “Plaza Kukulkan” a shopping mall at the hotel zone there is a free wireless internet access station inside the mall.
If you decide to rent a car you will find that moving around Cancun is very easy, the only thing you have to pay attention is that the speed limit signs are in kilometers not in miles. Taxis are a good option too, however make sure to ask or negotiate the price before getting into the cab. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money the public buses go up and down the hotel zone and they cost 6.50 pesos (around 65 cents of a dollar), those with air conditioning are 11 pesos (1.00 dollar), they have a big sign at the front that reads “Hoteles”. (Please do not use US/American coins)
Tips are part of the main income of people that work in the tourism industry; normally 10% is recommended according to your evaluation of the service, it is not mandatory. In some restaurants the tip is automatically added to the bill, please check on your bill if the tip has been included in order to avoid paying double tip.
Aside from car break-ins, there is very little crime in Cancun. People are generally safe late at night in tourist areas; just use ordinary common sense. As at any other beach resort, don’t take money or valuables to the beach.
Electricity in Mexico is 110 Volts alternating at 60 Cycles per second. Check any electrical appliance before bringing them to Mexico. Some sockets do not accept polarized or three-prong plugs. It is recommended that you bring your own adapter.
Cancun with Kids
It’s very important to keep children hydrated at all times. If they don’t want to drink water you can try with some juices or any other type of liquid.
In Mexico you can find most recommended medicines for children; however the names may not be the same, is easier and more secure to bring with you the usual or prescribed medicines that you use back home.
All major hospitals in Cancun have English speaking pediatricians, in case you need one, don’t hesitate to contact one through the front desk or travel representative, remember that in hot weather children can dehydrate easily.
Sunburn can be very painful for children and may ruin your entire vacation, apply generously sunscreen to children even in a cloudy day, remember that children’s skin is a lot more delicate and thin than adult skin, use waterproof sunscreen 30 SPF or higher. Don’t forget their lips and feet and reapply many times during the day.
If you are going to travel with one try to get one simple, easy to carry and fold and with an umbrella.
Most of the hotels have Cribs for their small guests, try to bring the baby’s pillow and blanket to make him feel comfortable and with something familiar.
Bring your car seat only if you are planning to rent a car, most taxis and buses will not have the belts to put it in place.
If you have a small baby don’t give him/her any Mexican toy (those sell on the streets or in flea markets), they are intended to be handcrafted souvenirs, they have small pieces that can fall off and normally babies put everything in their mouth, this toys are not under government laws neither are they tested to be children safe.
Beach for children and small babies:
From kilometer 1 to 9 of the hotel zone you can find a shore that is called friendly sea for children because is not open water, Isla Mujeres (an island) is right in front of this area of Cancun, so there are no waves. Remember that there is not such thing as a safe beach for children and never let them unattended.