Seemingly carved out of the jungle, Cancun sits at the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, twinkling with big resorts and a boisterous nightlife. Ancient Mayan ruins and beautiful palm fringed beaches compete for your attention during the sun soaked days. The nights steam up with delicious food, tantalising cocktails and an array of clubs.
Before You Go: Need-to-know info
Entry requirement: Passport
Flight time: Approximately 24 hours from Sydney and 29 hours from Perth. Getting around: Taxi, bus
When To Go: Cancun at its best
Best weather: Cancun is reputed to have an average of 253 sunny days a year. Trade winds temper the high temperatures. The rainy season runs from September through to November, and hurricane season swirls from September to October.
Best prices: May to mid December; exact dates vary by hotel
Festival highlights: Carnaval rocks the city in February with the week long Cancun Jazz Festival grooving to the beat in May. El Senor de las Ampollas is celebrated with fireworks, dancing and music from late September to early October. Check out Cancun’s website for details.
What To Do
Explore Mayan ruins: Cancun’s big resorts offer a comfortable nest from which to explore ancient Mayan ruins, the seaside Mayan city of Tulum is closest. Good day trips include Coba, a quiet site with towering temple pyramids, and Chichen Itza, a prominent city from the 8th to the 12th centuries. El Castillo is the home to Chichen Itza’s pyramid centerpiece and is a must see on your honeymoon.
Cool beaches and hot nightlife: Masses of lively crowds gather to soak up the sun on the ever popular beaches along Cancun’s ‘Hotel Zone’, this is the place to grab a volleyball, learn to windsurf or browse the malls along the strip. For a more laid back oceanside experience, head over to the nearby beach at Akumal, a popular snorkelling spot known for its natural sinkholes, azure waters and underwater caves and corals. When the sun slides out of sight, kick up your heels with the party crowd at one of the many bars on the popular Coco Bongo, or relax with cocktails and live music at Roots Jazz Club.
Go shopping: Colourful shopping stands can be found everywhere, but Ki Huic on Tulum Avenue in Cancun is the place to go for crafts. For silver, visit Flamingo Plaza and Plaza Caracol on Kukulcan Boulevard, Cancun’s main drag. Look for the ’925′ silver jewellery quality stamp and don’t hesitate to bargain at outdoor markets.