Cancun – Why on Earth did we go there?

Cancun Mexico
Thinking of Cancun led us to think – wild parties, never-ending nightlife, glitzy Vegas style resorts, white-sanded beaches infused with the colour and flavours of the Mexican “fiesta” and drunken tourists.

We said we wouldn’t go there…

But we did…So why did we spend 3 weeks there?

Cancun Mexico - Why go there?

Our own private beach at our Timeshare Resort – was pretty nice and I love weather watching too!

Why did we go to Cancun?

Firstly we wanted to go to a TBEX Travel Bloggers Conference being held there. We were and still are learning this blogging thing.  We had a great learning experience and connected  with loads of wonderful bloggers.

Cancun Mexico - Why go there?

We did do one party in Cancun – TBEX party night by the beach at Moon Palace – a very nice place.

Secondly we discovered that is was a great jumping off point to Cuba – actually only a 90 minute flight, once I discovered that it was all on… we were hooked on going to Cancun.
Coooooba we’re coming… yes that’s how they pronounce in Spanish.

Typical local scene in Havana… love you Cuba

Thirdly we have the misfortune of owning timeshare and Cancun was a good place to use up some accumulating points.

So you see there is always a reason for what happens and where you go.
Especially when we subsequently snagged flights to Cuba for $260 return for the both of us; and we met a wonderful lady who was married to a Cuban man going the same flight as us!

She gave us every last tip and instruction on how to ‘work Cuba’

Yes, you actually need to know how to work Cuba if you are going independently. Things like the money for tourists is different to the money for locals.  You also need to take all the cash you require for your trip.  It is nigh near impossible to get cash in a cash machine in Cuba. We felt very lucky to have met Gill in Cancun – another thank you Cancun and more on Cuba later.

Then we met some wonderful lifelong and inspirational friends at TBEX.

Just to name a few –  the gorgeous Carmen and Dave from Double Barrelled Travel, the very hip young travel journalists who just become three with little Ruby and now starting Family Travel, the super inspirational and one and only Indi Tansey… that’s her in the middle!

Cancun Mexico - Why go there?

Getting some dance moves going at TBEX Cancun

And not to forget the super adventurous family Aimee, Jason and their girls from Everyday Journey who just uprooted and moved their life from the US to Mexico permanently! Just like that.

Cancun Mexico - Why go there?

Aimee, Des and Indi at TBEX Mexico… I think they are trying to dance maybe?

It was all just meant to be – this going to Cancun business.

Getting to Cancun From Belize

We had been staying on Caye Caulker in Belize. Not wanting to ferry back to Belize City and go to that dreaded Belize bus station that everyone says such bad things about, we headed off on an International Jetboat directly from Caye Caulker to Chetumal – which we booked online. It was very comfortable and plenty of room for luggage.

Cancun Mexico - Why go there?

The Fast Boat across the border from Caye Caulker, Belize to Chetumal, Mexico – Way to go!

Once in Chetumal we hopped on the famous and very comfortable ADO bus that we’d come to love, and for $34 each we were on our way to Cancun.

This wasn’t the cheapest combination but it was a comfortable way for us to do it. 

ADO Buses - Cancun Mexico

The Mexican ADO buses are so comfortable and usually cheap.

All the way up the coast we saw Mangrove Jungles and more Mangrove Jungles,  Billboards Galore, Theme Park signs and grandiose all inclusive resorts hidden behind grand palatial entrances.
Everything seemed so big and America like – eek.
Cancun Mexico - Why go there?

This is a loud, gross place called ‘Coco Bongo’ – the name says it all.

Then Cancun hit us like a brick – it’s so like America…  And the Zona Hotelera the hotel strip full of all inclusive resorts which looked rather plastic and tourist like.  We felt like we’d left Mexico and gone somewhere extremely western.
We said Cancun is not Mexico – especially after our months travelling the gorgeous colonial cities and towns of Mexico. We felt a bit cheated really.
Sure, it was built to be a tourist hub and that’s exactly what it is, a place where 4 million tourists line up on beach chairs and take their vacations every year.
White Sand Beaches of Cancun

A typical scene in front of the large hotels in the Hotel Zone.

Cancun is what it is  – and while we are there we will enjoy it – there will be no grizzling ok!
And so we found and made the best of Cancun…

What we Liked About Cancun

White Sand Beaches of Cancun

We liked the relaxed public beaches…

White Sand Beaches of Cancun

You can’t get enough beaches – right… there’s dozens in and around Cancun.

The Beaches – The water is the most stunning shade of blue I think I’ve seen of the ocean! And the sand – soft and white. To finish it off, palm trees are scattered throughout giving you some well needed shade after a couple of hours in the warm of the sun.

Loving every sunset there is to be had!

The Weather and the Sunsets – perfectly warm and balmy everyday – yes everyday is fine and warm.

Restaurants – Every kind of restaurant (from sushi to steakhouse) is easily accessible plus you can run across the street to 7-Eleven and buy cheap water and snacks.

The Buses – $1 takes you anywhere in Cancun

Isla Mujeres – you could jump on a ferry and in 30 minutes be on a beautiful island and totally different world which you can do for a day trip.

Isla Mujeres

Beautiful Isla Mujeres… can you feel how warm that water is… I swear at least 35C

Swimming with Whale Sharks – a wonderfully daring and fun experience.

Rio Secreto – the best kept secret on the Yucatan. Don’t hesitate – just go there. The Cenotes – how can you not like them?Our Timeshare – we’d been on the road for 6 months and the timeshares (although a big thorn in our side) proved to be a luxurious change for us – with little things like carpet, a comfy couch, fresh towels and soaps daily, a washing machine – you get the picture.Day Trips – There’s also a plethora of day trips that you can take from Cancun to just about anywhere on the peninsula – for  example if you want to go to Chichen Itza, Tulum, Akumal or any of the Eco Parks.

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza – only a couple of hours bus ride away from Cancun

International Airport  – you can fly almost anywhere including Paris or London from here – plus they have amazing Pork Ribs at TGI Fridays at the airport – just saying!

FREE WIFI – The internet in most places is free.

What we Didn’t Like About Cancun

  • Cheesy, over commercialized, and packaged.
  • Expensive compared with the rest of Mexico.
  • Crowded with tourists.
  • Shopping is the pits – we bought a GoPro here but could not buy a suitable memory card.
  • Loud Music and obnoxious drunks
Cancun is NOT the place to visit if you’re seeking a local Mexican experience.

And after we used up all our timeshare points we headed out of Cancun to explore Isla Mujeres, Tulum, Merida, Valladolid and the rest of the beautiful Yucatan.

Not far down the road south this is ‘Tulum’ a super quaint little town on the coast not far from Cancun.

So when I reflect on all the wonderful experiences we had either in or just out of Cancun;  I’m pleased we used it as our base for a while.

When you think about Swimming with Whale Sharks, Caving and Snorkelling at Rio Secreto, exploring Mayan Ruins, Zip lining and Rappelling, Diving the Underwater Museum, releasing Baby Turtles at Moon Palace, Swimming in endless Cenotes and beach dwelling then it wasn’t all that bad at all.
White Sand Beaches of Cancun

There’s something about white crunchy sand between your toes…

In fact Cancun was freaking awesome!


2 Comments on “Cancun – Why on Earth did we go there?

    • That’s fantastic Di, sometimes we just need some inside information from like minded travellers.

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