Cancun: The Miami of Mexico

I have been meaning to dedicate an entry to Cancun for a long time. The title probably doesn’t do it justice in any way because there is only one thing you could compare to Miami in Cancun: The hotel zone aka tall buildings and probably as many American tourists there, and students, esp. during Springbreak.

After spending more than a week there, I came up with a couple of pro’s and con’s and why I think, in the end, it makes sense to visit Cancun.

Starting off, I’d like to say that there is nothing more boring for me than spending a week solely on the beach, esp when you travel as far as Mexico (consider: European standpoint here!) and there are so many other things to see and do. So, yes – Cancun is great for a beach holiday, although there are way nicer beaches close by (posts to follow suit!).

But Cancun is especially great if you like to think of it as your base for trips in Quintana Roo and Yucatan.

Foto 1

Or put your feet into the white sand and enjoy the sea. The water is really enjoyable; like taking a bath in your bathtub! 🙂

Foto 2

More “Cancun-beach”.

Foto 3

This is one of the first public playas (beaches) – Las Perlas – and actually one of the least beautiful (there is a lot of sea weed and the sand isn’t as nice).


Looking at the hotel zone from the “back”.


In Cancun you can even : Beware of the crocodile. (Of course not in the sea, but in the lagoon that spans the space between the hotel zone and “the continent”.

IMG_2455 IMG_2457


IMG_2458 IMG_2461 IMG_2462More hotel zone.

The con’s

  • Cancun is far away from being “authentic” Mexican. The hotel zone with it’s massive hotels and shopping malls reminds me of Miami.
  • The beaches are not picturesque and…
  • …there isn’t much is nothing to see in downtown.

The pro’s

  • Cancun is great if you want to use it as a “base” and go on day trips and explore other sights/places like Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, Valladolid, Tulum, Akumal, party in Playa del Carmen, maybe even go to Merida (although that’s almost 300km drive in one direction – not sure about the day-trip), Holbox or eventually move further south towards Chetumal.
  • It’s absolutely worth exploring Xcaret if you can. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures when I was there, but it’s the best “high-profile-entertainment-zoo” I have ever been to. Yes, it’s a little bit expensive. But the service is great, the food is plenty and the show the put on every night goes on for over two hours and displays Mexican culture and history and you’ll leave with a sparkle in your eyes. It’s simple an awesome experience.
  • People are friendly.
  • Getting around is easy. Simply hop onto on of the buses or take a cap. Both are inexpensive.
  • Food is great. Oh, sure. It’s Mexican…what am I thinking! 😉
  • Aircrafts take you into Cancun.

I have to admit that I am really thinking hard to come up with a longer list of pro’s but personally I think the first one outweighs the con’s by far. Cancun is definitely not a “must-see” on a Mexico trip, but there are reasons why it’s worthwhile thinking about it.

Good to know: I came across this tour provider – Tour Xichen – which seems to have fantastic offers at reasonable prices. I saw their buses all over Cancun and at the hotel zone (and I am sure the hotels, too) there are countless stales that offer different tours.

– Catherine


2 thoughts on “Cancun: The Miami of Mexico

  1. In 2012 I did New York, cancun, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It was actually my least favourite place but the photos were absolutely amazing. I went back again in 2013 and would definitely recommend it for those wanting a taste of Mexico, even if it’s like the equivalent of Doritos compared to authentic corn chips. I mean, who doesn’t like Doritos? 😜

  2. Pingback: Mayan Riviera I: Does Akumal really have the most beautiful beaches? | Globetrotter Scribbles

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