Morning angels so i finally got around to writing about my sunny mehicooo trip from the end of November and it was a good one! Don’t you just love that feeling when you land in a foreign country and that sun hits you! I’ll take 29 degrees and sunny over 2 degrees and rainy back in London any day of the week! I’ve pulled together some of my top tips for Cancun, Let me know in the comments below if you would like me to include a full review of the Paradisus Cancun resort- where we stayed… if you would like to stay tuned for more then please subscribe http://www.sophsterldn.com or follow me on instagram/ twitter for more real time updates @sophsterldn
Ok so to my top tips, i hope you find these useful!
Top tip number 1:
When you arrive at Mexico (Cancun airport) you’ll be asked to head over to a set of information desks- do not do that! The airport will try to sell you packages for excursions etc… if you already have your transport booked head straight outside and look for your name on the plethora of boards outside!!! The other alternative is to take a local registered taxi… nevertheless don’t waste time talking to the information guides- whilst they are friendly and helpful they are really trying to up-sell and after a 10 hour flight all you really want to do is get to your hotel freshen up and head straight to the beach (with all your travel books)!
When booking excursions there are so many different operators and options to choose from. Definitely shop around and absolutely haggle the price (there is always a little room for negotiation). We looked at the hotel offering, the hotel discounts for those that “consider” time share options (though you’ll need to sacrifice half a day to get 25% off) and then there is the operator you booked your holiday via. We opted for option 3, British Airways selected Amstar as our local ‘guide’ and booking and service and they turned out to have the best offers. They also offer express tours in much smaller groups (for those of you like me who are partial to coach sickness this is a blessing as there are hardly any stops on route to e.g. Chichenitza, Tulum or Coba you have a much more direct route a smaller mini people carrier and all the other luxuries you would need for a slightly longer journey)- oh and the tours are shorter which means you’re not spending your whole day wasting away on a coach and can get back to your hotel for swimming, sunbathing or eating something delicious and refreshing before the evening- perfection!
If you’re heading to Mexico, Cancun- Chichenitza, one of the worlds seven wonders will absolutely make it’s way on to your list. My recommendation is to book the express tour (you’ll need to be ready at 7am and will get back to your hotel by 3pm) allowing you to enjoy the rest of your day by the beach or the pool! We loved Chichenitza- it was absolutely stunning but the benefit of taking the half day express tour is seven fold 1) you avoid the rush and the queues 2) you can get that all important shot without having to wait for ages 3) if you go earlier in the day you’ll be out of there before the height of sun makes it almost unbearable to take snaps 4) if you burn easily wear loooots of suntan lotion and take an umbrella (your tour operators should supply these) we opted for Cancun Adventures they were brilliant. Very knowledgeable and they really took the time to show us the old and new parts; finally 5) you will need to pay 5 mexican pesos if you take specific camera equipment and some things are banned (selfie sticks and cannon g7x type cameras/ accessories are fine).
If you’re thinking of visiting Tulum- again go for the express tour, you’ll start early again but it’s so worth it to get in before the heat of the day kicks in. You can actually get around Tulum pretty quickly our tour guide was done in an hour and half… it’s a leisurely stroll and i even saw those with walking sticks making their way around (it’s much easier than Chichenitza). With the express tour you’ll leave cancun around 7am ish and be back at your hotel by 1pm ish… nice and easy and allows you to enjoy your day. Again there’s a charge for specialist camera equipment but this time including selfie sticks- so just be mindful of that. There’s a beach (if it’s open definitely go down for a swim)… it was open the day we visited and so many people enjoyed the water!
Coba- you will definitely need a good pair of trainers or hiking shoes to feel secure climbing up that pyramid. Coba holds a set of Myan pyramids within the jungle… it’s humid but well covered by jungle (apart from the big pyramid which you can climb this ones out there right in the sun)- definitely do the express tour so you can be in climb and leave before it gets way too hot- it’s November at the moment and 31 degrees so you can only imagine what this is like at other times of the year. Oh and be prepared for a little rain… it sporadically rains in the jungle (literally for 2-3mins) but when it rains it pours and luckily there are plenty of spaces to take cover under the jungle trees. You’ll also notice a very sweet smell when you get to Coba- similar to honey suckle… but this is the local trees (ones a reddish colour called Chakah?! i think)… definitely worth the visit oh and don’t worry, even though your glutes will get a work out coming down, there are little bikes to take you back to the entrance… or if like us you want to stroll you can walk back through (it’s only 30 mins)…. again we came to Coba with Cancun Adventures- great tour guides and service! Highly recommend
Tip 6 – Coco Bongo
I highly recommend coco bongo- what an amazing show. You get those Mask vibes the moment you step inside. Definitely opt for gold service (you’ll get a seat and a great view of the show from up top and non stop drinks). Music wise they have everything; rock, pop, reggaeton, gangster rap- literally every kind of music genre! There are two different coco bongos (one in playa del carmen and cancun- we opted for cancun as it’s right on the hotel strip). So so much fun!! You also might get pulled up on stage and ladies i’d suggest wearing under garments otherwise you may have a marilyn moment on stage!!! Also expect a late night- if you love to dance you’ll be there like us easily until 4am- so wear yourself some comfortable shoes folks! People dressed up in varying degrees (men- shorts and polo shirts etc… women- dresses or shorts with heels or sandals)- literally everything goes!!!
My final 7th tip relates to currency-
Everywhere you go you can use Mexican Pesos but there is a big tipping culture here and the locals definitely prefer those American ‘Dollar Dollar bills yo’… most resorts you stay at in Cancun are right on the tourist strip so it’s very safe but generally the hotels are mostly all inclusive- which means unless you’re booking excursions or want to get your shop on you won’t need much by way of spending money. We visited for 11 nights- i took a mix of dollars and pesos and some extra £ to exchange should i need to. I would recommend taking a wad of $1 dollar bills to tip your servers, cleaners, guides etc… then if you are looking to book excursions either pesos or dollars will do! I exchanged £500 into pesos and already had $200 USD from a prior trip so didn’t really need much.
Shopping Malls/ Restaurants you can visit:
The area by Coco Bongo
That’s all for now and i hope you enjoyed this post- we visited mid Nov and bar one over cast day the rest of our trip was a solid 30/31 degrees throughout- i would definitely go back again!!
Hope you enjoyed this post and if you like what you’ve seen please leave me a comment below xoxo