Cancun: Things to know

All your pre-visit and on-location info, from taxis and tipping to visas and vaccinations, via weather warnings and when to go. Suited to its laid-back nature, the logistics – like the living – are relatively easy in Cancun


Spanish, but you’ll have no problem using English

Time zone

US Eastern Time (GMT-5). Cancun does not observe Daylight savings time, and clocks remain unchanged throughout the year


Pesos (MXN$), but it’s very easy to use US dollars (USD$)

Country dialling code



Around 23C/73F in January and 28C/82F in June, sunny all year round. Hurricane season runs from June until November; afternoon rains from May until October; and from November until February Cancun gets occasional storms from the north

When to visit

December to February for the best weather, plus fiestas all through December and a big carnival in February. This is high season but, although you’re likely to get greater discounts when the weather is rockier, deals can be found year-round so don’t let your dates be defined by this. Easter week festivities in March or April are huge fun, too, although, being Spring Break time, perhaps not best for families – who should stick to December to February


You’ll get a Mexican Tourist Card upon entrance, which is valid for 180 days – this can be also be obtained in advance. Some countries require an additional visa, found out more here


None required, but you might want to consider hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines


Type A/B (two-prong)


In touristy places tip 15-20%. At local joints, 10%



Tourist office

Try your hotel concierge, busboy or barman – they’ll have the leaflets

Getting there

Airlines and airports: The central hub for international flights is Cancun International Airport, and most major airlines will get you here on direct flights from the US or indirect, via the US, flights from Europe


Many hotels pick up at the airport, otherwise look into car hire here, or take a taxi to downtown Cancun or the Zona Hotelera. These private taxis can be relatively steep – US$50-60 – so many chose to save money by splitting a colectivo (shared taxi), or by hopping on the Grayline shuttle

Getting around

Public transport: Navigating Cancun by bus is gratifyingly straightforward. You’ll easily spot the bus between downtown Cancun and the Zona Hotelera, while you can make affordable trips to Playa del Carmen, Chichén Itzá and Tulum from the bus station in downtown Cancun (on the corner of Avenida Uxmal and Avenida Tulum). Otherwise, boats to Isla Mujeres depart from the downtown Gran Peurto terminal and, more recently, the Zona Hotelera itself (although these are less frequent)

Cabs: Agree on cab fare before getting in, lists of fares are posted outside the hotels

Hotel Offers

Worldwide deals and discounts for American Express Cardmembers