Cancun Tips and Tidbits

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PASSPORT: Make sure it’s up to date. Make a copy to keep in your wallet. Put the original in the safe in your room when you arrive.

ROYAL SANDS: (Our Hotel) Bring shampoo (not furnished by resort). Four hour “Happy Hour” every day, 2 for1. Chips and salsa are no charge, but you have to ask for them. They have pizza available for an evening snack. It is reported to be very good. There is a free shuttle to take you to their 5 resorts. There is a laundry room.  Restaurant info:

DRESSWOMEN: From a long time lady traveler to Cancun: “I don't take pants (unless it's cool and then just to wear them on the plane) but I do throw a nice sundress in my bag as well as one skirt that can be worn with several tops
and sandals. That usually suffices for almost any restaurant decision made.”

MEN: “He always packs one pair of lightweight khakis and closed end shoes just in case. Usually he wears nice shorts and collared shirts and sandals (not flip flops). Going to Cancun gives him an excuse to buy more Tommy Bahama shirts.”  That works for me!!!

SNORKELING: Catamaran (holds 40) to Isla Mujeres. $61.60 per person includes everything.  10 am-5 pm

SMALL BILLS: Lots of small bills (1’s & 5’s) will be handy for buses and tips.

SHOPPING: Probably the best and most enjoyable place to shop in Cancun's Hotel Zone these days is at La Isla Shopping Village and also the Kukulcan Mall. Both are close to the Royal Sands.

BUS TRANSPORTATION: The bus is 6 1/2 pesos or about 60cents us. No exact change needed. I would only give 1 dollar bills though. Stops are not posted in English. When you get on the bus hand the driver your money, he will hand you a ticket to hold on to. Tell the driver where you want to go. Believe it or not he will remember and stop where you want. They usually don’t speak much English. The bus runs like every 2-3 minutes. Stand out on the curb side and you will see them. To go to Wal-Mart, they will have a sign that says R2 Wal-Mart on the front--easy to see. Look for Wal-Mart and you will be fine. Take a taxi from Wal-Mart back to your hotel. It's very simple to use the bus system. The drivers go fast, so get on and sit down right away. 

TAXIS: There is only one Taxi Company in town and yes, they are often the best way to get around. You can either flag the taxis on the street or get one at a "sitio" or taxi stand. If you are flagging, set your price before you get in the car. Ask them "how much" and if you think it's outrageous, offer something lower. At a sitio, the prices are set though I would still confirm before you get in. Generally the sitios will have a higher price. There are sitios at all the hotel lobbies and the doormen will assist you with prices. Generally (depending where you are in the hotel zone), you can get to a restaurant or shopping center for 100 pesos or less. Night time it's often more expensive.  Update - most hotels have rates to common destinations posted in the lobby.

WATER: It is reportedly safe. “They do NOT serve you Tap Water at Restaurants. It is always bottled; just the water comes from a 5 gallon jug in the kitchen instead of a 1/2 liter individual bottle. The ice, of course, is made with purified water also. No problem at all.”

INSECT REPELLENT: Cancun has insects even though they do spray for mosquitoes in the Hotel Zone. You can get bitten especially at the lagoon side restaurants around sunset. We highly recommend you bring your own insect repellent from home and make sure it has Deet in it. In all our trips we have not been able to find any products containing Deet in Cancun and it is proven to be most effective at keeping mosquitoes away.

AIRPORT: It’s basically what you’ve done before. You wait in a line until you are called to the window. Here you'll hand over your passport & visa paperwork, hang on to the customs form. The agent will stamp your passport, give you back a portion of your tourist visa and send you on. Tuck your tourist visa into your passport and DON'T lose it. You will need to turn it in at the end of your trip. Straight ahead is where you collect your luggage.  Once you have your luggage, head to customs ... there are big machines and lines. Wherever you see a long line, head to the opposite side and there you'll usually find a short line. Your luggage is scanned (including carry-ons & handbags). You collect it and then hit the signal. You'll hand over your customs card at this time. Then push the button, green light continue on. Red light your stuff is searched.  Next you'll pass a couple of ladies in brightly colored skirts and Mexican tops. They are handing out little “Cancun Tips” plastic bags. Take one. There is a couple of booklets inside that can be helpful and have discount coupons.  Then you come upon the car rental / time share section. Your shuttle representative will be outside, make a beeline for the door walking as fast as you can, ignoring the time share vultures.

COMING HOME: ... don't scoff at the 3 hour ahead of your flight arrival for the airport. You may very well need that entire time to make it through the maze. Find your airline counter and make sure you’re in the right line.  At the airline check in counter you'll show your passport, hand over your tourist visa, and check your luggage, and pay departure tax if it’s not included in your ticket. Then head over to the security area to access the boarding areas. It's to the left.


This is what a lot of people do before leaving for the airport:

–Bring some Zip-Loc baggies from home.

–Order room service the night or morning before check-out.

–Use the baggies to store the food before airport/airplane consumption.

BUBBA GUMP’S and MARGARITAVILLE are after security, upstairs and have reasonable prices.

Updated 04/17/11