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Things Not to Do in Cancun

Things not to do in Cancun. Photo by Sharrie Shaw via Trover.com
Written by Duke Stewart

Photo by Sherrie Shaw via Trover.com

This article is part of Hipmunk’s City Love campaign.


Things Not to Do in Cancun

Cancun is one of the world’s top destinations and everyone knows it. Of course they do, because you’ve also booked a flight to Cancun. Maybe you’re going with someone special and want to impress, or maybe you’re hoping to find that person while visiting Cancun. Cancun is a traveler’s dreamy and everyone wants to visit, so why not? Well, there are some things that you shouldn’t do in Cancun and that’s what this guide will outline. Follow these things not to do in Cancun and your stay will be more authentic and a true break from your life at home.

Don’t go for Spring Break

Stick to the months between May and August if you can. The beaches are still crowded, but room rates drop and Cancun is magically less packed than those chaotic late winter and spring months. If you’re feeling adventurous but need to save the cash, then the months between September and October will work best for you. Remember that this time of year is peak hurricane season in the region and inclement weather might ruin your trip. Always book in advance. Cancun’s rooms fill up quickly so prepare properly and don’t find yourself without a bed.

Don’t stay in a fancy all-inclusive

Aside from it feeling like your home country, there are real reasons to avoid all-inclusive resort or hotel. Budget travelers will get to see the real Cancun because they have access to it. If you’re staying all-inclusive, then you’ll likely get a bubbly and fake version of paradise. Cancun breaks down into two sections and many people will never leave the first, where they’re staying. Once you escape the hotel zone and head towards Downtown Cancun, a whole new city awaits and is full of so many wonderful things to do.

Don’t Assume Everyone Speaks English

This is probably the biggest myth and preconception about Cancun. Of course you won’t have to worry in the Hotel Zone but as we already noted, that’s not really Cancun anyway. If you venture into the real world and to downtown, then prepare a bit of Spanish and you’ll be surprised. Don’t expect too much, but the locals will appreciate you trying to fit in and speak their mother tongue. Try to at least learn some basic Spanish and basic numbers because why? Money of course! That will help when trying to negotiate a taxi fee or when you’re out eating at a local restaurant.

Honorable Mentions

These things not to do in Cancun will get you through with minimal trouble but there are some more things you should know. Many will point to common warnings and dangers found in Cancun, as in any tourist destination. Try to use pesos over dollars as you’ll find many restaurants and hotels accepting the latter, but at a less favorable exchange rate. Stick to these and the don’ts listed above and you’ll be sure to have a wonderful stay in Cancun. Remember to have fun and to respect the people living there. Cancun is a dreamland but not a place to forget common manners. Enjoy your stay and be sure to leave a comment if you have any questions!

About the author

Duke Stewart

As a recovering Expat, I write about Life through Travel and want you there with me through captivating stories followed by guides on how to do the same. My work has been featured in various magazines throughout Korea and in online publications including the awesome Hipmunk.com. I am also a nerd and love to point out a situation's similarities to any of my favorite movies, books, or tv shows. You've been warned:) Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for daily updates.