So you have decided to go to Cancun. Congrats! You are going to have an amazing experience! If you have plans or would like to have plans to travel to Cancun, here are some helpful tips that I have picked up along the way. And knowing is half the battle!
1) Bring your patience. As with every airport, sometimes it may not be the fastest experience. When we arrived, the line to get through customs snaked all the way back to the baggage claim area and looped around three times!
They also do random searches. After your luggage is scanned (yup, you get scanned before and AFTER you are on the airplane… not sure what they think you are picking up in the airport and on the plane, but… I go with the flow. Actually on the way home I was marked to get searched. The funny thing was that I was searched at the security check point and the AGAIN at the boarding of the plane. Again…I am not sure what they thought I picked between security and the plane, but hey… Better safe than sorry?
2) When you get through customs, you go through a set of doors. Beyond those doors are the money exchange places, the information places, and the vultures. By vultures, I refer to the scores of people lining the walls, all dressed the same, all trying to convince you to come over to their table and listen to their presentation. They are very very sneaky. I have seen even seasoned travel agents fall prey to their cunning ways! “Which hotel are you going to? Oh good I’m your ride!” No they aren’t! Your ride is actually waiting outside the next set of glass doors for you. All you have to do is survive the vultures!
3) Safety: a lot of people hear that I am getting married in Cancun and ask if I am sure that it’s safe. Something important to note about the size of Mexico. It’s really big. Not like a little big, but most of the US big. The distance from Cancun to Nuevo Loreto (just using this famous problem child of a town as an example) is approximately 913 miles as the crow flies (that means straight) and 1500 miles if you have to drive it. That’s like saying that you shouldn’t go to Ft. Lauderdale because there are problems in Boston. Of course I’m not saying that you don’t have to be careful, or that there is no crime in Cancun. I’m saying that the crime in Cancun is no worse than the crime in other large cities. Go to Detroit, or go to Washington DC and you still have to be vigilant and careful. Pack your brain when you travel.
4) Explore. If you are there more than three days, book an excursion and get off the hotel’s property. The Yucatan Peninsula is filled with unbelievable history and so many wonderful things to see. Go to one of their natural adventure parks such as http://www.xplor.travel/ or http://xcaret.com/. Take a day tour to Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Personally I would skip Tulum if it is offered. I was there a few years ago and my biggest disappointment is that they had to block off the actual structures of the ruins and you couldn’t get close enough to touch them. It was very hard to appreciate the experience when there were ropes everywhere blocking everything off. Chichen Itza you can still (for now) go up to it, touch it, climb it, feel the power of it. Take a trip from your hotel up to Playa del Carmen. I especially love it at night (if you love shopping, you’ll also love it during the day). http://www.cocobongo.com.mx/ and http://www.blueparrot.com/fireshow/are two of my favorite things to do! There is so much to see and do in and around Cancun, you’ll never be bored!
5) Protect yourself. In this era of health consciousness, ads about caring for your body, ads for beautifying your body… you’d think people would remember sunblock. Isn’t skin cancer one of those things that television commercials and magazine articles and parents warn you about all the time? I can’t even tell you how many people we saw who were burned to a crisp! It’s like they left their house and forgot everything they knew about sunbathing safety (well… as safe as sunbathing can be). I’m sitting here with Danny wishing I had thought to take pictures of every lobster looking person that I saw so that I could post them for your viewing pleasure. But sadly I didn’t. So please imagine a large man, in a speedo, with his entire body red like a tomato. Ok thank you, now you have the picture. Protect yourself people. Remember sunblock. Remember to find shade after a while and keep the sun from beating down on your skin for hours on end. And remember that as good as you sunblock is, it doesn’t stand up to water. Reapply after you go in the ocean so you don’t regret it for the rest of your vacation!
There are so many more things to say, but today I think I have given you enough to digest. Keep checking back, I’m sure I’ll write about this again!