Villa del Palmar Cancun
Luxury Beach Resort & Spa

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do in Cancun

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If you’re planning on visiting Cancun, there are a few things you will want to avoid. While the city is filled with amazing activities and attractions, there are also some things you shouldn’t do in Cancun.

things you shouldn't do in Cancun
Airplane about to land in Cancun.

Cancun is one of the most spectacular and popular tourist destinations in Mexico. Every year, millions of people fly to its shores to enjoy its white-sand beaches, glorious sunshine, and crystalline waters. The vast majority of travelers have an amazing and trouble-free time however, there are a few things you should consider to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are five things you shouldn’t do in Cancun!

Book the First Accommodation you See

While there are many great hotels and resorts in the area, it’s important to do your research before booking. Be sure to read reviews from previous guests and make sure the resort is suitable for your needs before visiting Cancun.

things you shouldn't do in Cancun
Mexican pesos.

If you choose to stay at an all-inclusive resort, keep that colored wristband firmly in place. Much to the surprise of many, it can be quite costly to replace if lost —often at a cost of up to $40 dollars per band. Yikes!!

Contrary to popular belief it’s not that common to fall sick in Mexico. With a few simple precautions, one can easily prevent this from happening. The best way to avoid getting sick while on vacation there is to practice safe food and water precautions — as you would anywhere right?

things you shouldn't do in Cancun
Dish at a gourmet restaurant at Villa del Palmar Cancun.

Sticking to bottled water and making sure all food is thoroughly cooked are essential. However, you won’t have to give this a second thought if staying at one of Cancun’s many luxury resorts. Bottled water is provided as part of the inclusive cost, so you’ll never have to worry about the safety or quality of what you consume. Rest assured you will be in excellent hands!

Overpaying for Goods

As with any popular tourist destination, prices can often be inflated. Avoid paying extra for souvenirs, food, and activities by researching the average cost beforehand and knowing the exchange rate. It’s all too easy to forget the conversion rate and end up overpaying for goods when visiting Cancun.

Spendings in Mexico
Mexican Pesos.

It’s also never a great idea to exchange currency at the airport or at a hotel. The rate will not be in your favor. Best to bring currency with you in hand or alternatively exchange it at a bank. You can withdraw from local ATMs but be aware that some machines can have hefty withdrawal fees of up to $20 including a poor exchange rate to boot!

things you shouldn't do in Cancun
Person taking money out of a machine.

In Mexico cash is king and many places won’t accept cards. Make sure to always carry some with you. Be sure to bring small bills as many places won’t have change for larger denominations. Yes, this can be frustrating, but isn’t that part of the fun of going somewhere different?

Making Quick and Harried Decisions

Yes, sadly scams are part and parcel of traveling abroad. (They even happen at home too right?!) It’s often best to book excursions via your hotel rather than from an independent agent. To ensure you make the most of what Cancun has to offer seek out your hotel representative for authentic and official tours. Many hotels offer great deals for their guests and will go above and beyond to ensure you have a good time whatever you choose to do.

Tours in Cancun
Woman discovering Cancun’s wonders.

Often arriving in Mexico can feel somewhat overwhelming. When exiting the airport you will probably be approached to book local tours or car hire. However, there’s no need to feel pressured into committing to anything at the airport. Just say a simple no thanks ‘no gracias’ and continue on your way. You can always decide on which excursion or service suits you best once you’ve settled into your hotel. The majority of hotels offer an array of activities and excursions to choose from.

Couple in Cancun
Couple traveling in Cancun.

We know there are certain things that you shouldn’t do in Cancun and making quick and harried decisions is definitely one of them. Take your time, kick back and have a margarita or two before you decide.

Leaving without Tipping

Although tipping is customary in the US many are unsure of how much or when to tip in Mexico. When visiting Cancun it’s worth remembering that local employees are often on very low pay and that extra tip really does make a difference. It’s customary to tip anywhere from 15-20% depending on the quality of service.

Tipping in Mexico
Tipping in Mexican pesos.

Taxis are reasonably priced in Cancun and it’s not necessary to tip the driver. However, if they go out of their way to help you with your bags or give you some great advice on where to eat then feel free to show your appreciation with a little extra something.

Taxis in Mexico
Taxi diver using a map.

Ultimately, it’s your decision on how much to tip, but it’s worth remembering that spreading a little kindness here and there is always greatly appreciated. Not tipping at all just comes across as cheap — you never know how much that little extra might mean to someone!

Not Asking for the Best Transportation Method

You may be wondering how you will get around once you arrive in Cancun. Most hotels or luxury resorts include transportation to and from the airport and some also offer regular shuttle buses into town.

Hotel transportation in Cancun
Man opening the door of a black car.

However, don’t be afraid to use public transport when visiting Cancun. Buses, unlike taxis, are allotted their own individual lane allowing them to travel much quicker. And at up to five times less the cost of an average taxi you will save a heap! Buses in Cancun are cheap, reliable, and fast. What’s not to like?

Tourism busses
Local bus in Cancun.

If you really do prefer the comfort of a taxi always remember to agree on the price of the journey before you hop in. Not asking the price beforehand is a sure-fire way to invite an unwarranted surprise at your destination!

Whichever method of transportation you choose when visiting Cancun, rest assured that you’ll have a great time. Cancun never disappoints and now you have the down-low on what not to do, go ahead and take the plunge!


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