Cancún, Mexico Trip Prep

We are planning on going to Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico sometime in the year of 2015 for 7 days. The peak tourist season is from December to April. Spring break seems to be the worst time there due to Spring Breakers descend on the Yucatán’s shores. Summer break is probably not good because sweltering weather there. That left us with Winter break.

Detailed List:

  • Cancún is about 7 hours of flight away. Not that bad.
  • Cancún time is 1 hour behind my local time zone. i.e., when my time is 6 am, it’s 5 am in Cancún. Shouldn’t be that noticeable.
  • Passports x 5. We are all set on these.
  • Visa: not required for U.S.
  • Government fee: $80 USD x 5 = $400 USD.
  • Swimsuits x 5 are a must for this trip.
  • Goggles
  • Swim cap for me
  • Luggage: carry-ons x 5 to put our stuff in.
  • Sand kit (plastic bucket, shovel, etc.) for kids to make sand castles on the beach.
  • Mini compact tent to hide from the sun.
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats x 5
  • Buy 3 pairs of sandals to bring on the trip for the kids to wear on the beach and in Xcerat
  • Backpack x 3
  • Beach towels? No need to bring from home
  • iPad/PC/iPhone
  • First aids kit
  • Snacks
  • Clothes: all summer clothes for tropical climates and a wind breaker. The average maximum temperatures range between 91 to 93 °F from May to August and reach the lowest in January and February with 62 °F. The water temperature is 77 to 84 °F.
  • Electric skillet, what about the charger? What’s the voltage? I found it with a little research: Canada, US and Mexico use the same electrical plug, i.e., 110 volts. We are all set on this one.
  • Plastic food container x 5
  • Forks x 5
  • Water bottle x 2
  • Airbed x 1
  • Underwater camera
  • Currency exchange rate: $1 USD = 13.14 Mexican Peso. US dollar is accepted in Cancún city only. Need to bring some pesos and changes before we head out every day.
  • Learn Español? Adventurer Jr. II and I have started learning it.
  • I need to be able to swim and tread water well because I’d like to snorkel in the Caribbean sea. I have stopped learning swimming for a while, I will start it again.
  • Car rental
  • GPS
  • Buy bottled water and only drink from bottled water, depending on size, typically costs MXN $30 – $50 (USD $2.75 – $4.55).
  • We can’t forget sunscreen either and always apply a fresh layer of sunscreen after taking a dip in the ocean because the sun’s UV rays are extremely strong in Cancún, even on cloudy days, and will burn any exposed skin on most persons from northern climates within a few minutes. We must buy biodegradable sunscreen because it’s required there.
  • Also buy mosquito repellent.
  • Buy a wide-brim pretty Mexican straw hat to protect my head and face and it can be a wonderful souvenir for this trip. After we get back home, I can hang it up as a wall art to pretty up my home.
  • Buy 3 t-shirts for every kid to wear as souvenirs.
  • Only use ATMs that are inside banks or our hotel to avoid being robbed or charged with exorbitant fees.

Things to do/sights to see:

  • Cancún city, of course. One day to Two days.
    • Downtown Cancún – markets and restaurants. Food there is cheaper than in the Hotel Zone. We’ll shop for our food and sunscreen there.
    • Parque de las Palapas (Park of the Palapas) There are lots of food stalls and other vendors. Not safe to walk through at night though.
    • Interactive Aquarium in the La Isla Mall near Hotel Zone. The admission is about $12 – $14 USD. $12 x 5 = $60 USD. In this very small aquarium, it’s about one hour of activity, including a dolphin show.  Also one can swim with dolphins in a large pool for a lot more money. There’s the up to 4 people dolphin swim package for $125 USD per person for an hour. You can do a lot of fun things in the pool, e.g., foot push, dolphin kisses you, you kiss the dolphin, lots of petting of the dolphins, dance with the dolphins, get to learn about the noises they make, how to tell if they are male or female, etc. The pictures package costs $120 USD (cd rom with 150 pictures) – $200 USD (for a book of 20 of the best photos, a thumb drive with all the photos, a cd with the video they filmed and a copy of your favorite picture) though. I tried to book it for 1 adult and three kids for Primax4, the price it gave me was $477 USD, that includes entrance fee though. $477 – $48 = $429 USD for this activity + 1 admission at $12 USD = $441 USDThis place probably isn’t worth the time and money.
    • Wet n Wild is an aquatic park, located by the sea in the south of Cancún Hotel Zone. The city bus will take you there for next to nothing from the Hotel Zone or Downtown. Or you can drive there and there’s no fee for parking.  Open hours 10 am to 5 pm. This place can take one day. The “DOLPHIN ENCOUNTER + WET N WILD” costs $92 USD per person (adult or child) all-inclusive Wet n Wild admission, which brings us to $92 USD x 5 = $460 USD. No foot-push. There’s another one there that has foot-push at $129 USD per person but has to be 6-year-old and up. Someone went there in December 2014 and the entry fee was only less than $30 USD. Scheduled daily at 10:00 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:00 PM, 2:30 PM, and 4:00 PM in the Wet n Wild Park. The cheapest picture package they have, for two pictures, is $120.00. Some go up to $365.00. The activity is one hour, actual Dolphin Time is 40 minutes in 6-people group. Must be at least 3 years old. Kids under 4 feet tall must be accompanied by a paying adult (max 2 kids per adult). If one adult doesn’t do the dolphin, it’s $92 USD x 4 = $368 USD + 1 park admission at $49 USD ($43 USD for kid) = $417 USD. When you buy online tickets you’ll get 50% off but you must book 1 day in advance to get this promo. Without dolphins, it costs $49 per adult and $43 per kid. $49 x 3 + $43 x 2 = $147 + $86 = $233 USD. Tips from other people: Make dolphin encounter reservations online and do the early times. You wait less and get the dolphins earlier in the day and the staff have more energy. Order the photo packages online (cheaper) and BRING PROOF YOU PREPAID! and you get much more for doing the online package. Eat at the smaller food stalls (tacos, pizza) rather than the main one if you want better quality or Mexican food. The main food hub is mostly hamburgers and fries. It’s not busy at all in the off season. On a light day, it appears families come early and park personal effects at one of many “pods” of chairs/beach chairs. It’s like having your own cabana. Wet n Wild admission includes all Meals and Drinks, Ice Cream, Jelly, Apple Pie, Cheese Pie, Chocolate Cake, Fruit Cocktail, Access to all Water Slides, Pools, and Activities at Wet N Wild, Life Vests (if desired). Doesn’t include Lockers, Inflatables ($4.00 with a $10.00 deposit), Towels ($3.00) and Swim with Dolphin. They only take CASH for all rentals. We can spend one day there without worrying about anything. We just need to bring our own towel, sunscreen and water camera. It’s a better deal than Interactive Aquarium.
    • MUSA Museo Subacuatico de Arte, an underwater contemporary museum of art. “MUSA now has a new “dry” exhibition room. Located on the second floor of Kukulcan Plaza in the heart of the Cancun Hotel Zone, the Visitor Centre has free entrance and contains numerous sculptures, images and film of the Museum.” per this website. We can stop by to check it out.
    • Museo Maya de Cancún The small museum is built on the site of the San Migelito ruins and in the middle of the hotel zone. It’s located next to the omni hotel on the bus route at about km 17. One can spend a couple of hours there. Bring your camera and bottled water. The admission costs about $5 USD per person. $5 x 5 = $25 USD for us. The museum accepts only pesos for admission (59 pesos). As part of the museum entrance fee you have access to the grounds where you can walk on pathways that go to some of the ruins. There is a small archaelogical site at the back of the museum and can be reached via the ground floor. The largest building, a temple, is small compared to the ruins at other archeological sites such as Tulum. No info in English for its exhibits, no audio tour equipment and not all of the signs are translated into English, but enough that you can figure out what the exhibit is.  Also to have a view of the surrounding area on its top level. We’ll go to this place while in Cancún.
    • Cancún beaches. Half day to One day. These are private beaches in the hotel zone, where we’ll stay.
      • Yucatán’s shores – Royal Cancún, 15 minutes of driving distance. To see its beautiful turquoise waters and powdery white beaches.
      • Yucatán’s shores – Barceló Tucancun Beach, 24 minutes of driving distance; 9 minutes form Royal Cancún.
  • Isla Mujeres island One day. We need to go there early though, around 7 am, before other tourists flocking there. Ferry to island costs about 35 to 70 pesos one way per person. Only buy one way ticket. One can take a bus to get to the ferry place.
    • Playa Norte – The north beach of Isla Mujeres is Playa Norte.The water here is a beautiful aqua color; further out it becomes a deep blue. The waters are very calm and warm. You can wade out hundreds of feet and still be only waist-deep in the water.
    • Temple to Ixchel – At the southern tip of the island are the ruins of the Temple to Ixchel, goddess of the moon, fertility, etc.
    • Punta Sur (South Point) – to see the rocky cliffs and crashing Caribbean waves.
    • East coast of the island, which is open to the Caribbean Sea.
    • Tortugranja to see turtles.
    • Dolphin Encounter – Isla Mujeres” costs $109 USD per adult and $89 per child and free admission for kids from 1 to 5 years old. $109 x 2 + 89 x 2 = $218 + $178 = $396 USD. Also needs to pay $8.00 USD dock fee per person. $8 x 5 = $40 USD. Total $436 USDNo food or anything else. No foot-push.
    • Isla Contoy – a national park about an hour via boat from Isla Mujeres and a paradise for birds. Cost is approximately $750 MXN or $58 USD per person, which includes the boat trip, all drinks (beer, soft drink, water, etc), snorkeling along a Caribbean reef en route (equipment provided), park admission, lunch and a brief guided tour, that brings us to $58 x 5 = $290 USD. There’s no other way but joining a tour to go to this island. Tours can be booked at the Fisherman’s Cooperative booth on Isla Mujeres which opens at 8 am, but there’s a limit of 200 persons daily to this island. So if we want to go there we need to join the tour early. The tour is about 6+ hours. According to this the cost is $900 MXN ($68.5 USD x 5 = $342.5 USD) though. Do we need to book the tour in advance? No. If we can get the tickets on the day we are on Isla Mujeres island, we’ll go, if not, we’ll skip it.
  •  South of Cancún – Three days, leave at 630 in the morning.
    • Playa del Carmen (PDC to San Miguel of Cozumel island, Quintana Roo), on the way to Tulum, Qroo, along the coast south of Cancún, about 1 hour driving distance from Cancún city via highway 307. Here’s an article about someone’s experiences with Playa del Carmen. Very helpful. This is a link of free things to do while in here. This is the perfect place to practice Español.
    • Cozumel island is a world class place for diving and snorkeling. There are Reefs west of the island: La Ceiba Reef, Raratso Reef, Chankannah Reef, Yucab Reef, Sna Francisco Reef, Palancar Reef, Colombia Reef and Maracaibo Reef. It’s the world second largest coral reefs. We will go to Cozumel island and do snorkeling there. Here’s a nice webpage about Cozumel island. And here’s a Mystic Snorkeling Tour for snorkeling in the turquoise waters off Cozumel island that costs $67 USD per person, with minimum of 4 people up to 12 people. No snorkeling experience is required. Photos are always taken of the trips so you don’t have to worry about doing that yourself. I like this feature so we can enjoy the view. CDs with 50-70 photos for $40 USD. $67 USD x 5 = $335 USD + 40 USD = $375 USD. The meet-up is at the marina, Cozumel island. Morning trips leave the harbor at 8:30 am and return at 12:30 pm. Afternoon trips leave the harbor at 1:00 pm and return at 4:30 pm. Cheaper snorkeling costs $20 to $25 USD per person. At the right places they will quote 250 MXN (about 20 US) including lunch on Isla Mujeres island, so it should be around this price or even cheaper in Cozumel island. Here’s a link to some snorkeling tours, the 3 Reef Snorkeling Adventure or the Ultimate Snorkeling (includes lunch) look good if we can get the price to $20 USD per person. $20 x 5 = $100 USD. Here’s the plan, we’ll get to Cozumel island first via a ferry from Playa del Carmen through the Caribbean Sea, once we are there we can negotiate the price since there are so many tours. According to this article, it’s about 30 minutes with one way tickets that cost 140 MXN, or $12 USD, no latter than 10 am ferry was recommended. The Playa del Carmen ferry terminal is located right in downtown Playa del Carmen, about a block and a half from the main square and Plaza Playacar, where most of the tour pickups take place. And the Cozumel ferry terminal is located right in downtown Cozumel, at the extension of Av. Lic. Benito Juarez, across from Hard Rock Cafe and Palmeras Restaurant. Here’s a link to 3 free things to do on this island. While on Cozumel island, you can venture further back into the village parts were people live. It is safe to do and gives a glimpse into typical mexican life. There’s a swimming with dolphin program with 12-people for 15 minute briefing and 30 minutes with the dolphins, but kids must be older than 8. So we can’t join this one.
    • Xcaret, an Eco-archaeological Park south of Playa del Carmen, in the Riviera Maya. Located on the mainland, just a short ferry ride from Cozumel, opens 8:30 am to 9:30 pm – 7 Days per Week. This is a zoo, jungle for tropical flora and fauna, bird paradise and lazy river in one, plus museums and folkloric shows that open a window to Mayan culture. Go early and plan to be there for a whole day from 9 am to 9 pm.  Bookings made at least 21 days in advance will get 15% discount. For standard admission, here’s a list of included activities for $79 USD per adult, $42 USD per child (children 5 – 11 half price), that’s $79 x 3 + 42 X 2 = $237 + $84 = $321 USD. Or you can log on to the official website where you can find their contact numbers or their Customer Service e-mail where you can send your request and they will be very pleased to assist you on the entry fee. Xcaret Plus includes Buffet Lunch, Non-Alcoholic Drinks, Free Beer Per Person, Snorkeling Equipment, Towels and Lockers for $27 USD more per person. The lunch itself costs $29, snorkel equipment $10 USD if we snorkel there. That’s $39 USD right there. Plus the towels if we do the dolphins there. Xcaret Plus will have cost us $109 USD x 3 + $54.83 USD x 2 = $327 USD + $109.66 = $436.66 USD. If we don’t buy the Xcaret plus, we need to bring our own food, drink, towel and pay for the snorkeling equipment. But someone went in November of 2014 and said that food and drinks are part of your entrance fee: 3 meals and any drinks. Here’s an article from a family which just visited Xcaret in January, 2015. They spent one day there and were happy with it. So we’ll definitely go there. Tips from other people: Xcaret’s cave is mainly man-made, so you won’t see any fish unless they are stocking it. The snorkeling in the underground caves was interesting, and in the lagoon at Xcaret it was very nice. There were lots of pretty fish in there. Underground rivers float through the park, animals, beach, dolphins, snorkel, water slide. Beautiful animals (flamingos, giant tortoises, manatees, stingrays, etc), butterfly exhibit, beautiful coves and beaches for swimming or relaxing, snorkel, scuba, swimming with the dolphins, get a massage. The spa was excellent, you are in a cave under a waterfall getting a massage. Most of the attractions are covered in the price of admission, however, special things like swimming with the dolphins, massages, swimming with sharks, snorkeling, etc., are extra. No need to pay for extra features or any additional activities there. There is so much included with the standard price. Do not miss the show, Xcaret de Noche, the most fabulous artistic representation of the history of Mexico and dances representing all of the regions of the country, words cannot describe the excitement of the crows as this show crescendos to its finale. The night show was amazing, and the Mayan show a must see. The night show was incredible and should not be missed both the traditional Mexican portion as well as the Mayan pelota game. Also head to the arena early to get a good seat for the show. You will know when because everyone in the park will start walking over there at the same time. Be sure to swim across the lagoon to the cenote caves. We snorkeled in amazing natural pools, visited the ruins, the Mayan town, the sea turtles, and dolphins, and saw all the shows. There spectacles going throughout the day like the Voladores de Papantla that offer a nice break from being in the water and there’s several observatories that allow you to learn about turtles, manatees, butterflies, orchids, and mushrooms. We loved the unique church and loved walking around and discovering something new within the park. Do things like the River Float right away as you may want to try it again and by the time to get around to it, it will be too late. Everything seems to close mid-afternoon. You can snorkel at The Underground Rivers at Xcaret Park, which is included in the admission. The rivers are part of a natural network of channels which circulate under the Yucatan Peninsula. You can choose from Blue River, Maya River or Manatee River, the three rivers of Xcaret flow to the ocean, next to mangroves inhabited by pink flamingos. It is included in the Xcaret admission, except that the snorkeling gear has a rental cost of $10 USD (requires a refundable deposit of $20 USD). If your admission has food included, snorkeling gear is without additional cost. Only requires a refundable deposit of $10 USD. One swimming with dolphin program at Xcaret costs $58.65 USD per person  (adult or kid) for a 10-person group for 20 minutes in the water and 10 minutes in briefing. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. $58.65 x 5 = $293.25 USD or $58.65 x 4 = $234.6 USD. No foot-push  and too many people in the group with too little dolphins time. Here’s another swimming with dolphins at Primax at Delphinus Xcaret for $126.65 per person (adult or child) for a 6-people group for 45 minutes in the water and 15 minutes in briefing. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult and the lowest height must be at least 3.3 feet. Bathrooms, showers and dressing rooms are included. $126.65 x 5 = $633.25 USD. Has foot-push. This one seemed to be the best one that suits our family needs. Assuming we buy the Xcaret Plus and Primax at Delphinus Xcaret, that would have costed us $436.66 USD + $633.25 USD = $1069.91 USD. This could be the most expensive day of our trip. However, if we do everything here, we probably don’t need to go to Wet n Wild, which is smaller, nor do we need to visit Isla Contoy. I pretended to book and the quote it gave me was $438.6 USD for Xcaret Plus and $558.75 USD for Primax at Delphinus Xcaret, total $997.35 USD. The least busy day seemed to be the weekends. Someone went on a Saturday and it was comfortable. Fodors travel guide says weekends are the least busy and Thur. and Fri. are the busiest. The busiest days at the park are Tuesdays and Wednesdays; it’s less crowded on the weekends when many travelers head home per USA TODAY. Parking is free.
    • Xcacel It costs 10 MXN per person to get into the wide beach called Xcacel.
    • Yucatán’s shores – Occidental Royal Hideaway. It takes 1 hour and 4 minutes to drive there form Cancún via highway 307.
    • Yucatán’s shores – Riu Playacar. It takes 1 hour and 6 minutes to drive there form Cancún via highway 307.
    • Tulum, Qroo, 2 hours driving distance south from Cancún city via the above mentioned highway 307. There are Mayan pyramids by the sea. The sea water is green in color. The access fee is $35-40 pesos (video cameras extra $30 pesos) and opens 8 am to 5 pm everyday. You have to park your car at the shopping center’s parking lot for a cost of $30 pesos when arriving through the main ruins entrance. Then we need to take a bus from the shopping center to the site or take a walk for about 7 minutes (1km) or there is also a small “train” going to the entrance you have to pay 20 pesos for it. Do not park on the first lot to the right. Precede straight until there was nowhere to go and park on the smaller parking lot on the right. It was closer and no need walking through all the stores. At the main entryway to the ruins, there is a collection of shops and restaurants like a strip mall where you can buy various crafts and souvenirs. Here you can also hire a guide in several languages to show you around the ruins. Also, there is demonstration of the Danza de los Voladores. This ritual represents the yearly calendar with four men twirl around in the air, suspended by a rope attached to their feet and a high pole spinning thirteen times to reach the 52 weeks of the year. You have to pay donations after you’ve seen it. It is a small site and you can easily tour it in 90 minutes. Just follow the path and there is no way to get lost. Lots of paths have stairs, or rock stairs so it is better to wear sport shoes. Tulum does not have a lot of coverage and will broil your flesh in the afternoon. So go there early at 8 am and bring a lot of water and some food. So we need to leave the hotel zone around 5:45 am. Tips from other people: There are some explanatory panels but if you opt to not hire a guide, you might want to print out a little information so you know what you are looking at.  “The ruins are perched on a cliff overlooking the beautiful turquois of the Caribbean Sea, contrasted against the vibrant green of the grass and plants of the grounds. While there are no large impressive buildings, the buildings that are there give an understanding of how this ancient city was laid out. Along the way, there are numerous descriptive placards that provide decent explanations of the buildings and life of the Mayan inhabitants.”. “If you turn left after entering the complex, Casa Del Cenote can be seen at the top of s small hill to the left. Another well restored structure. It has a small cave/cenote under the structure that you can see on the left before arriving at the top of the path. Once on top there are also good views of the ocean and you will see an exit/entrance through the complex wall to the north. It is worth while to take a moment to walk through as the view up the coast is beautiful. From Casa Del Cenote, looking southeast is Templo Dios Del Viento. Translated this means Temple of the Wind God. It is a smaller structure than most others at the complex. During my several visits to Tulum over the years, I was always able to get very close to this temple. However, now everything is roped off. The El Castillo Castle is the located in the center of the complex and at the highest point. The Castle only stands 25 feet high but it appears much larger because of its location. Again with the other structures, you can no longer get very close at all to any part of this area. There is an alter inside the Castle that is said to act as a beacon for canoes that were coming ashore. There is a beach for easy landing to the north that has a natural break in the cliff wall. Makes this a perfect location. The entrance to Tulum is now located to the north. Upon entering, the first structure that you encounter is Casa Del Noroeste. It is fairly well restored and in good condition relatively speaking. You are permitted to walk off the pathway here onto the grass but you cannot go into or on the structure. Here you have two options. Proceed straight on the path or turn left before passing Casa Del Noroeste. Turning left will take you to the coast. The next structure is Casa Del Cenote.“.  “There is a wall that surrounded the city on three sides, the fourth having been left open to the sea. The wall, sometimes 16 feet high, to enclose the ceremonial and administrative zone, thereby distinguishing it from the residential enclaves that spread out along the coast towards the north and south.” The location on the Caribbean is spectacular! Views from the ridge are gorgeous looking up and down the coastline. The ruins themselves are quite a walk from the parking lot and there is no water available past the entry gate so make sure you take water with you as well as swimming gear if you want to take advantage of the beach at the bottom of the cliffs. The above mentioned family also visited Tulum. Tulum has one of the world most beautiful beaches. There’s a ship tour at night time. The tour provides Mexican food and shows. But we are not that into ship tour, so we’ll pass that.
    • Parque Nacional de Quintana Roo. Get on highway 109 to West from Tulum, Qroo. But GoogleMap can’t calculate the directions between the two. So I’m not sure how to get to this national park. We’ll have to wait until we get there to check it out to see if we can fit it into our 1 day trip.
    • Yucatán Peninsula, Cenote diving/snorkeling. We can do scuba diving/snorkeling here instead of at the Cozumel island if we come here. Leaving Tulum heading South, taking highway 307, 184, and 293. It takes about 6 hours from Cancún; another 4 hours from Tulum, Qroo. Probably we don’t have enough time.
    • Chetumal, Qroo? Probably can’t go down this farther south.
    • Belize city? Belize is a small country near Cancún. We don’t need visas there either. It’s official language is English, so no barrier there, well almost, due to heavy accent. It takes about 8.5 hours to drive to Belize city from Cancun city. If taking a bus, it will cost $80 x 5 = $400. We can drive there ourselves since we’ll rent a car in Cancun anyways. After we get there, we can join a day tour. We’ve decided not to go to Belize.
    • Belize Barrier Reef, the world second largest barrier reef after the Great Barrier Reef in Oz. Nope, since we’ve decided not to go to Belize.
  • West of Cancún – One day
    • Valladolid, Yucatán. Here’s a list of free activities in Español and here’s a list of things to do in English. Here’s the parking situation there “We drove straight to the town square, where we were shown a parking spot for us by a policewoman directing the hustling and bustling crowd of busses, cars, motorbikes and people. We paid couple of pesos to the Mayan 6 years old who insisted on watching our car for us. Why not. “. It takes about 1 hour and 39 minutes fromCancúnonhighway180D.
      • Around downtown area, there’s the church Convent of San Bernardino de Siena (Opens 9-5, cost 30 pesos or about $2 U.S., can be toured in 1 hour.  Per AAA.com, “Church and Convent of San Bernardino de Siena is about 1 km (.6 mi.) w. of the main plaza at the end of Calzada de los Frailes, between Calles 45 and 47. The fortifications of this massive complex, built between 1552 and 1560 by the Franciscan Order, were meant to ward off the warring Mayas, who sacked it repeatedly. It was constructed next to a large cenote, with a paddle wheel over the opening providing fresh water. A recent underwater excavation revealed weapons and munitions discarded during the War of the Castes in the mid-19th century; a large exhibit of these items along with photos of the excavation can be seen in the onsite museum. The church and chapels contain a number of religious artifacts.”); 
      • The Cathedral of San Servacio. “Spending an hour there to enjoy the serene vibe and sense of calm surrounding the curious Cathedral of San Gervasio. Make a wish in the nearby fountain and stock up on local produce for the rest of your adventures at the little shop across the street from the cathedral’s parking lot; without question, that’s one of the best spots for pepitas, tropical fruits, and seasonal specialties.”
      • Parque Francisco Canton Rosado, the town center park. “The Parque Francisco Canton Rosado is the largest park in the city of Valladolid in Mexico, the second most important city in history after the city of Merida. This is a fairly large park close to the place of the same name, ie Francis Square and opposite Canton Street which houses the Cathedral of San Gervasio or Servatius. Also surrounding the park are two of the leading hotels in the city and the Municipal Palace and House of Culture. The park is commonly known as the park of love, as it has white chairs especially for couples with 2 seats facing eachother. Its banks are also painted in white and house the coat of arms of the municipality. There is a fountain at the center of the park and various souvenir shops.”
      • Cenotes Samula and Dzitnup. Opens 8-5. Cost 56 pesos. “About 7 km away from town. The 2 cenotes are right next to each other. Water is crystal clear with fishes swimming around and the caves are impressive. We went to Dzitnup first. There were many people swimming in it. Later we walked across the street to Samula. Cenote Samula is even prettier with an opening at the top of the cave like a natural skylight creating a dramatic effect on the water. We swam in Samula and it was a fun experience not to be missed. Tips: wear swim suit before you go as there is no place to change.” 
      • Cenote Zaci, a landscaped freshwater cenote or underground sinkhole in which you can access the inside and explore its cave. This one is in downtown but not so good as Cenotes Samula and Dzitnup per review. Entrance 15 adult, 10 kids, toilet 2 pesos. Opens 8-5. We are not going to this one.
    • Chicen Itza, YUC, means “At the mouth of the well of the Itza”, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, is a must-go destination for us because Mr. Adventurer had mentioned Mayan ruins many times and Chicen Itza repressed the best of Mayan culture. One can easily spend one day there. Admission fee is approximately 98-182 pesos or $14 USD for adults with discounts for children, seniors, and students with identification. We’ll go there by ourselves since we’ll be renting a car. We’ll have more control over what to see and enjoy. It takes about 2 hours driving west of Cancún on highway 180D. Parking is 10 pesos. The above mentioned family also drove to Chicen Itza. Per that article, natives sell souvenirs outside in Chicen Itza  all over the places and one can swim with the dolphins there. The picture was quiet expensive however, $35 USD per picture if taken by self, and $170 USD if buy the pictures they took for you. $10 USD deposit for locker use and $6 USD for towel. Those are ripoffs, we’d better bring our own towel.
    • Mérida, Yucatan, the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán and largest city of the Yucatán Peninsula. West of Cancún and Chicen Itza. Leaving Chicen Itza, continuing West for about 1 hour via highway 180D. The total driving from Cancún is 3 hours. Here’s a link to free things to do in Mérida. But we probably will not have time to visit here. We’ll play by ears.
    • Yucatán’s shores – Freedom Shores. It takes about 7 hours from Cancun via 180D and 180E; 4 hours from Mérida. We don’t have enough time for this.
    • Mexico city? Mayan and Aztec cultures. Nope, Not at this time. It takes 18 hours to drive there from Cancún city.
  • Northwest of Cancún
    • Canyon del Cobre (Barranca del Cobre, Chihuahua, Mexico)? Nope, too far away. It’s actually closer when going from Taxes, USA.
  • Postcards x 7 for friends; stamps for postcards; addresses for postcards.
  • Staying safe and avoiding being bitten by an iguana.

Comments

Cancún, Mexico Trip Prep — 1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Hola, Mexico | The Adventurer Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *