Flights to Cancun
One of Mexico’s easternmost points located on the Caribbean Sea, Cancún was first developed as a resort starting in 1970. Over the years, it transformed from a sleepy fisherman’s island and coconut plantation into one of the two most well-known Mexican resorts, along with Acapulco. Nowadays Cancún is a tourist’s paradise in the best sense of both words, with restaurants, beachfront clubs and resorts built to keep your dream of an island getaway alive. Whether you’re on spring break or heading to Cancún with the whole family, you’ll be able to take advantage of the beachy fun at every stop.
Outside of the resort area, Cancún is also a traditional Mexican city, complete with a town square, open market and plenty of food trucks. So if you want to wander out of the hotel zone, there are plenty of ways to experience a more authentic take on the city. Whether you’re heading there for the sandy beaches, the nightlife or just to relax and rejuvenate, Cancún was built to take you away.
Cancún International Airport, where your flight will land, is the country’s second-busiest airport after Mexico City. It has three passenger terminals and each day sees flights from almost every major city in the world. Inside the airport you’ll find first-class retail, restaurants, duty free shops, money exchange and other passenger services designed to make your trip easy and convenient.
Cancún International Airport (CUN)
- Many resorts and hotels offer shared shuttle service to and from Cancún International Airport, so be sure to check with yours before departing.
- In addition to taxi and limo service, the airport also has local city buses that leave every hour on the hour during the day for the 35-minute ride into downtown Cancun.
The crystal clear blue waters of Cancún are perfect for taking in the extensive reef and colorful fish. Many independent snorkeling companies offer deep-sea tours complete with all the equipment you’ll need to explore what lies underneath. And if you really want to see the depths, scuba diving tours take place with different companies throughout the island. Don’t forget to sign up to get certified before your trip!
If you want to get up close and personal with naturally social dolphins, AquaWorld at Cancún’s Wet’n Wild waterpark offers the chance for young patrons to interact with dolphins in shallow pools and for adults to swim alongside them in deeper pools.
And for a truly unforgettable experience, touring companies like Xplor take visitors on tours of the cenotes. You’ll float or swim as you wend your way through underground rivers and caverns that are well-lit so that you can marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites that abound.
There’s also plenty to see and do on dry land in Cancún. Because the area was originally inhabited by ancient Mayans, there are a number of pre-Columbian archaeological sites. One of them, El Rey, is located within the hotel zone, walking distance from some of the main resorts. It dates to A.D. 1250-1630 and features the ruins of plazas and buildings.
If you’d like to see Cancún from the treetops, take a canopy tour via zip line high up in the jungle. Or if you prefer venturing into the jungle from the safety of a Hummer, you’ll find guided tours that do just that.
For a more authentic taste of Mexico, head out of the hotel zone and into the city of Cancún itself. The heart of downtown is a main street called Avenida Tulum. Strolling down its wide pedestrian paths, you’ll find shops, bars, markets and the City Hall building.
The city’s main park, Parque Las Palapas, features vendors selling local wares and souvenirs, a playground, an outdoor food court and plenty of food carts serving traditional Mexican dishes. On weekend evenings, the park’s stage comes alive with performances that are popular with local families.
After the sun sets, Cancún really comes alive. The city’s nightlife brings in spring breakers and vacationers who are looking to have a good time, and Cancún has just the place for them. It is important to scope out what spots you want to hit up before night falls. Many of the clubs fill up and have cover fees, so know your options so that you can enjoy a margarita or two.
Nowadays, family fun and Cancún might as well be synonymous. Resorts have private pools with water slides, lazy rivers and access to private beaches (not to mention many of these have organized activities for kiddos while you hit the spa or golf course). Make sure to look at what services different hotels offer to ensure you stay at the one that’s the best fit for your family.
One relatively new resort that’s friendly to families and couples alike is Nizuc. Perched next to sparkling white sand beaches amidst a forest of mangroves, the resort features suites and private villas, a 30,000 square-foot spa and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.
Just across the Bahia de Mujeres (Bay of Women) from Cancún is Isla Mujeres, an island that blends laid-back resort culture with opportunities for adventure seekers, from diving along the Mesoamerican reef system to kayaking and deep-sea fishing. Check out the all-inclusive Beloved Hotel for a luxurious boutique experience.
If you prefer to seclude yourself as much as possible, Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya, a short drive down the road from Cancún in Puerto Morelos, provides posh accommodations surrounded by a community with a more fishing-town feel.
Cancun’s tropical climate means there’s little fluctuation in temperatures throughout the year, but there are pronounced rainy seasons. The wettest month is generally October, though tropical storm season officially lasts from May until December. February through early May tend to be drier months. Average temperatures throughout the year hover around 80°F and the Yucatán current, which continually brings warm water from the south, tends to keep water temperatures very warm year-round, with temperatures between 79 and 84°F.