Cancun Life and Visitor Travel Tips
(Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico)
With more than two million visitors arriving in Cancun every year, life in this historic Mexican city has become dependent upon its reliable travel industry. With high-rise beachfront hotels, spreading resorts and many appealing coastal areas complete with sandy beaches, Cancun is the perfect place to relax on holiday.
Travel tips are available below and also from the tourist offices within Cancun. If possible, have a go at speaking the local language when in Cancun, since this will always be appreciated.
Useful Contact Details
The two official tourist offices in the city are the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau, and also the State Tourism Office. Both of these offices are situated close to the Avenida Tulum and feature English-speaking staff, dispensing plenty of information about Quintana Roo in general, along with useful fliers and maps.
Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau
Address: Avenida Cobá, Cancun, Mexico, MX
Tel: +52 998 884 6531
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 19:00
State Tourism Office
Address: Pecari 23, Cancun, Mexico, MX
Tel: +52 998 884 8073
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 21:00
Instituto Nacional de Migración
Address: Avenida Náder / Avenida Uxmal, Cancun, Mexico, MX
Tel: +52 998 884 1404
This is where you should come if you have any queries regarding your visa or tourist card.
Language and Dialect
Mexico Spanish is the native tongue in Mexico and spoken by almost the entire population of Cancun, although that is not to say that some locals, particularly those involved in the tourism industry, can also speak English to some extent. It is simple enough to pick up basic Spanish and locals in Cancun will be delighted if you can speak to them actually using their own language. A Spanish phrasebook can therefore prove invaluable and prevent awkward situations. Examples of some basic Spanish phrases are listed here.
- Hello - buen dia
- I'm looking for a hotel - estoy buscando un hotel
- I'd like a double room - quisiera una habitación doble
- Where do I pay? - dónde se paga?
- Where is the petrol station? - dónde hay una gasolinera?
- What time does it close? - a qué hora cierra?
- How can I get to...? - cómo llego a...?
- Please would you write it down? - puede escribirlo por favor?
- Is it far? - está lejos?
- Where are you staying? - dónde está alojado?
- I am from... - soy de...
- Goodbye - adiós
Do's and Don'ts
- About Toilets - any toilets in Cancun with wastepaper bins next to them mean that the sewage system cannot cope with toilet paper. Instead, any used toilet paper should be deposited in these bins. Also note that public toilets in Cancun are often quite rare
- Business Hours - most shops in Cancun open between 09:00 and 20:00 Monday to Saturday, while banks generally open from 09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday and also on Saturdays, from 09:00 to 13:00
- Drinking Tap Water - before you drink tap water in Cancun, it should be boiled or sterilised with iodine tablets. Alternatively, stick to bottled water or check for a sign in your hotel room stating that the water is indeed safe to drink
- Immigration - the Instituto Nacional de Migración stands on the Avenida Náda and handles all tourist card and visa enquiries
- Left Luggage - you are able to leave luggage in secure lockers in the international arrivals area of the Cancun Airport
- Money - all of the shopping centres within Cancun's Zona Hotelera feature major banks and cashpoints. Further banks are located along the Avenida Tulum and also close to the Avenida Cobá
- Smoking - smoking in Cancun is quite relaxed and you are able to smoke at most places, unless signs tell you otherwise. Many restaurants are now providing special tables for non smokers, although you are no longer permitted to smoke on most flights and on buses
- Sunburn - even on days which appear a little overcast it is still possible to suffer from sunburn in Cancun, particularly when sunbathing on the beaches. Therefore, drink plenty and always use a good quality suntan lotion
- Timeshares - be cautious of going to any timeshare presentations in Cancun, whatever the freebies, since sales tactics can be quite pressured
- Tipping - you are expected to tip at Cancun's main restaurants, and also tip hotel staff. Taxi drivers should only be given a tip if they have performed a special service