There are many options for getting to Cancun – Dublin, Belfast/London – but the seasonal Thomas Cook direct flight from Belfast is the easiest option. Much to the #NInja’s delight, travelling in the first couple of weeks of July, Cancun was actually comparably cheaper than some European destinations.
Upon checking the forecast before departure, the #Ninja was expecting the worst, rain and thunderstorms … BUT in reality it was blue skies and 30 degrees heat every day. So, as ever, don’t always believe the weather forecast!!
Cancun is very humid and can feel uncomfortable at times. A pool or beach close by is required to cool off! Cancun has 2 distinct seasons, May-October is wet season and warmer. November-April is dry season and slightly cooler. Dry season is popular for American tourists and is the busiest time to visit.
Cancun boasts many different accommodation choices. “The Hotel Zone” is a 22km island filled with hotels, as well as Downtown Cancun, buzzing with markets, bars and restaurants and many neighbouring towns.
The #Ninja decided to stay in Playa Mujures, one of these neighbouring towns about 35 minutes north of Cancun in a resort called Secrets Playa Mujures Golf and Spa Resort, which is an adult only resort. The resort had everything in one place.
- All-inclusive food and drinks including free mini-bar restocked daily with Corona!!
- 5 x A-la Carte restaurants Italian, French, Japanese, Fish, Steak, a buffet and snack bars all with no reservations required. Be warned long trousers and collared shirts in the evening!!
- Theatre, cinema, nightclub, bars.
- Resort is on a lovely white sandy beach.
- Pool bar and beach has waiter service at no extra cost so you don’t even have to leave your sun lounger.
- Sister family hotel next door called Dreams and guests of Secrets have full access to all of Dreams facilities so another 6 restaurants to choose from!
Most hotels in Cancun are All-Inclusive (and the #NInja would recommend staying in one of these) but obviously there are motels and self-catering options available as well.
Things to do.
Cancun and the surrounding area has something for everyone, for example:
- History/Culture- Cancun has a rich Mayan history and there are many ruins and pyramids around. Most notably Chichen Itza one of the 7 wonders of the world.
- Water sports- Beaches are rife with jet-skis, parasailing, paddle boards, kayaks and much more. There are lots of scuba diving schools and snorkelling available to experience coral reef and sea-life.
- Wildlife- Swim with dolphins, whale sharks and turtles! Amazing!
- Action/Adventure- Off-roading, ziplining, swim in cenotes (Natural sinkholes with ground water beneath).
- Sailing- Visit Isla Mujeres on a catamaran with drinks and lunch provided. Also get a chance to snorkel over the coral reef. Once on the island there is a chance to shop or hire a golf buggy (driving license required) and drive around the small island. This was a #NInja personal favourite and highly recommended!!!
Cancun has food for every taste. Cancun has a heavy American influence so all the chain restaurants are there, TGI Friday’s, Bubba Gump’s etc. But some of the best local restaurants in the area are-
- La Parilla grill- Traditional Mexican restaurant famous for its views and King Prawns!
- The Cove- Tropical seafood restaurant, try the speciality Tikin Xic, fish in Mayan spices wrapped in banana leaves!!
- La Dolce Vita- serves up great pizza and pasta dishes.
There is so much more including the ever popular Argentinian Steakhouses if you get bored of your All-Inclusive restaurants at your hotel.
Foods that must be tried-
- Ceviche- Fish cooked in citrus juice… To die for!!
- Totopos, guacamole and salsa- Mexican salsa and guacamole is amazing!!
There are many bars and clubs in Cancun catering for families and party animals. The clubs generally have an all-inclusive drink cover charge and on women’s nights women drink for free! Places you must visit while in Cancun-
- Coco Bongo’s – world famous for its extravagant shows.
- Carlos and Charles/ Senor Frogs – Crazy bars serving up great cocktails.
- Mandala Beach- Pool and beach party for the party animals!
- Tequila of course! The #NInja attended a tequila tasting event and learned about the different brewing techniques and why salt and lemon is used for “junk” tequilas. Highly recommended!
- Corona- the much-loved beer!
- Margarita’s – Can’t go to Mexico without sampling the local cocktail!!
Couples, honeymooners, weddings, families, stags and hens, history enthusiasts, Cancun has something for everyone.
#NInja Tips & Tricks.
- Peso’s and US dollars are widely accepted.
- Don’t book trips on arrival in the airport, the #NInja met a couple that did this and they were left waiting for their excursion only for it to be a con!!
- Bring plenty of bug spray as there are lots of mosquito’s.
- The Catamaran Trips try to sell you bio-degradable sun-cream (very expensive!) as its better for the coral reef. Either buy it before your trip or apply non bio-degradable sun-cream well in advance of snorkelling as it then is absorbed by the skin.