Your visit to Cancun will be smooth and less stressful if you do an intensive research about the place prior to your date of travel. While it may seem cliché, the saying “knowledge is power” is applicable in all fields, particularly in traveling. By doing a research about your destination, you’ll be able to know the places and activities you must avoid. You will also be armed with enough know-how that will be very helpful in your journey.
Here’s a handful of information that can guide you in planning out your trip and in achieving a headache-free visit to Cancun and her majestic beaches:
Cancun Beach safety
Q: Are the waters in the publicly accessible beaches safe for children and non-swimmers?
A: Cancun’s north-side beaches are safer for children as well as for weak and non swimmers. Beaches on the east side can be dangerous because of rougher surf, so if you’re not an expert swimmer, you’d better stay on the areas that are carefully watched by lifeguards. They are the ones who know the waters well and are familiar with the signs of riptides and undertow. Always listen to the lifeguards when they signal you.
Q: In some parts of the beach, there are flags put up on the sand. What are those flags for?
A: The flags indicate the current conditions of the water; they are there to tell you when it’s safe to swim or not. Black flags are signs that you have to stay out of the water; red flags indicate possible danger; and yellow flags are warning you to be careful and avoid swimming alone. The safest time for children and non-swimmers to be in the waters is when the flags are green.
Q: Is walking along the long stretch of Cancun beaches safe?
A: Yes, Cancun beaches are generally safe for visitors during the day. There are members of Mexican Military patrolling the beach from time to time to ensure peace and order. After dark, it would be safer to stay on the main streets, instead of wandering on the public beaches particularly at the wee hours of the night. Avoid flaunting large amounts of money while on the beach.
Cancun beach accessibility
Q: Is it free to roam around Cancun beaches even if I’m not a guest in one of the hotels there?
A: Of course. All beaches in Cancun are Federal Property, so everyone – whether tourists or locals – can roam around for free. While checking in in one of the hotels in the Hotel Zone gives you easy beach access, this isn’t a requirement for you to enjoy and explore the beach.
Weather & best time to visit Cancun
Q: When is the best time to visit Cancun?
A: The answer to this question will always depend on what’s more important to you – weather or price. Weather-wise, the best time to visit Cancun beaches is from December to April. But since it is considered as the peak season, room rates and airfare are usually higher. Booking two months in advance can help you save on your accommodation.
In February to April, the beaches could get really crowded. Cancun usually becomes the hub of American universities’ spring break activities. This won’t be a problem if you’re the type who’s looking for a party atmosphere. March to April is also a busy time in Cancun because of the pre-Lenten as well as Lenten season activities, so during this time, prices will surely be higher.
Budget wise, the perfect time to visit Cancun is from May to November. The cheapest months would be September and October, but these are also the rainiest months in Cancun, and your vacation could be upset by storms or hurricanes. The best times to catch fairly comfortable weather yet less-expensive prices are the so-called shoulder season, which is late November to early December and late April to May.
Calling From Cancun
Q: How can I call to Canada or USA from Cancun?
A: Mexico’s international exit code is 001, so if you need to make a call to the US or Canada, you need to dial 001 + area code + the seven-digit number you wish to call.
Food, water and sanitation in Cancun
Q: Can I drink tap water in Cancun?
A: While in Cancun, it’s always recommended to drink bottled water. There is water filtration system in place throughout the hotel zone, but the distribution system isn’t that perfect. So if you want to avoid stomach problems, you’d better not drink the tap water in Cancun and just save it for your personal needs.
Q: What time do night clubs in Cancun close?
A: Cancun has an active nightlife and most of the bars and night clubs there are open till 3 or 4 AM. Keep in mind, however, that the legal drinking age in Mexico is 18, so minors will not be allowed to get into a bar or night club.
Beach Nudity in Cancun
Q: Is topless bathing accepted in Cancun beaches?
A: Going topless on the beach is actually illegal, but it isn’t strictly enforced. In most beaches in Cancun, topless swimming is quietly accepted. Don’t be surprised, however, if someone calls your attention and asks you to put your top back on. It also won’t hurt if you use your common sense. Look around first and observe if there are other topless women nearby. If you see some, chances are good that topless bathing is locally accepted in the beach you are in.
Q: What about total nudity?
A: Total nudity is illegal and rarely seen especially in Cancun’s major beaches.
Cancun water sports and adventures
Q: What water sports and activities are common in Cancun? Are there water-sports equipment rentals available?
A: You can find lots of marinas and areas along the beaches in Cancun where you can engage in different water sports. There are jet-skis, banana boats, pedal boats, hobie-cats, and kayaks for rent in most resorts and hotels in the area. You can also try para-sailing, water skiing, kite surfing, and catamaran rides. Surfing along exciting waves can be enjoyed in Cancun’s east side beaches where exciting waves can be found.
Q: Where’s the best snorkeling spot in Cancun?
A: If you want top-notch snorkeling experience, you’d better go for one of the tours offered by your hotel, travel agency, or even by a local tour guide as they can take you to protected marine sanctuaries where great snorkeling can be enjoyed. Among the famous snorkeling places in Cancun are at Xcaret, Yal-ku, and Xel-Ha.
However, if you just want to use the personal snorkeling equipment that you’ve brought with you, most visitors do snorkel in the rocky area with calm water at the Hotel Zone’s southern end, near Club Med and Westin Hotel.