When to fly to Cancun
The best time to take a flight to Cancun is between February and April when the weather is warm and sunny and there is little rain. However, this is also the high travel season and when many university students take their Spring Break so flights and accommodation can be pricey.
Late April and May are good times to snap up a cheap flight to Cancun. Temperatures are in the upper 20s and Cancun gets humid, but the breezes off the Caribbean should keep it manageable. Between June and November the weather in Cancun is hot and humid; it's hurricane season too. But, if you're willing to take your chances with the weather this is also the best time to find cheap flights to Cancun and discounted resort rates.
Once a small, unremarkable fishing village, the resort of Cancun is today the reason most people visit Mexico. It is made up of two parts: the glitzy hotel zone dedicated to tourism, and the downtown area inhabited by the permanent residents. A different atmosphere prevails in each, with a dramatic contrast between the air-conditioned shopping malls, chic restaurant dining, and wealthy pleasure-seeking tourists in one; and bustling market street stalls, noisy vendors, and the daily grind of people at work in the other.
The hotel zone, situated on a thin strip of land (Isla Cancun) in the shape of a figure "7", is what people imagine when they talk about Cancun. It is a vision of Caribbean paradise with soft white sand beaches and clear blue-green waters. There is plenty of high quality accommodation available, a wide choice of restaurants and shops, a notoriously energetic nightlife, and an array of activities, including both land and water sports. The city is also a good base from which to explore some of the nearby attractions, particularly the ancient Mayan site of Chichen Itza on the mainland, which is the best restored and most famous of the archaeological sites on the Yucatán Peninsula.
The average temperature in Cancun is 26 degrees (Celsius) and there are more than 240 days of sunshine every year. Rain is rare. Late August through early October is the rainy season.
Getting around Cancun
It’s easy to walk around Cancun. Be aware that taxi prices are supposed to be set by zone. The reality is that locals pay far less than tourists, and guests at expensive hotels are always charged more. One popular way to get around the city is by bus. To get from the mainland to the beaches along Avenida Tulum you can take route 1 and 2. Route 8 buses are for Puerto Juarez/Punta Sam, where you can catch a ferry to Isla Mujeres. Pick up a route 8 bus on the east side of Avenida Tulum. They run between 6am and midnight every day. Watch out for private buses that go the same places, but charge a higher fee. For a little more adventure, you can rent a moped for around $30 each day, but be safe and wear your helmet.
Cancun insider information
- Spring breakers in search of the best time will head to the hottest bars - Señor Frog's, Dady'o, Basic. Observe the rules of holidaying in Cancun - breakfast at 11am and take a siesta every day.
- If you'd like a quieter time, avoid Spring Break season. Visit at the start of June.
- The Isla de Mujeres lies 13km (8 miles) from Cancun, an hour's boat journey. This small island is a wonderful place to swim, visit the sea-turtle nursery, and pick up some souvenirs in the local shops.
- Swimming with whale sharks is memorable. Time your flights to Cancun for between June and September; this is when the whale sharks migrate to the Yucatan Peninsula. The Whale Shark Festival takes place on Isla Mujeres every July. Isla Holbox, about 20km (12 miles) away, is another great place to see the majestic creatures as well as flocks and flocks of colourful bird life.