ADD TO LISTKnown as much for its white sandy beaches as for it's non-stop partying and active nightlife, Cancun is one of North America's top travel destinations and it promises boundless entertainment. Relax on the beaches or go underwater to snorkel or scuba dive the reefs at Cozumel. Head out into the jungles to explore the nearby Mayan ruins or soak in a pool before another night out. No matter what time of day, there's always something to see or do in Cancun.
Questions answered about visiting Cancun
Travel Tips from people who've been to Cancun
Presidente InterContinental Cancun Resort: Best Beach in the Hotel Zone
The Hotel Presidente is touted as one of the 5 star resorts in the hotel zone. I would agree that it is a great resort, but I'm not entirely sure I would agree with the 5 star rating. The hotel's architecture is modern, and not particularly beautiful, but the lobby is pretty. The rooms are on the small side, but clean and have a tropical feel, but are a little loud. We had a nice view of the lagoon and were grateful that we were further down the strip than most of the major resorts because we could somewhat hear the clubs at night. If we could hear them I cannot imagine how loud they are if you’re staying at a hotel closer. The hotel has a bus stop right outside, but is also a relatively easy walk to Daddy O’s, Plaza Caracol, Senor Frogs, Carlos and Charlie’s and the Hard Rock Café. There is a little shopping plaza across the street with a few local taco stands, a pharmacy and a supermarket. The staff is nice and helpful. If you use the concierge to book your restaurant reservations she will usually give you a coupon for “welcome drinks” at most places in town.
DO BEWARE the hotel has a strict policy forbidding outside food and drink from entering the building. They do not tell you about this policy upon check in and if they see you bringing in any outside food or beverages they will stop you at the door and confiscate it. We found this out prior to our arrival through customer complaints, and because my friend walked into the lobby with an open can of Coke which they promptly “threw away” for her. My advice is to hide your provisions in your beach bag to get them into the building, as everything is overpriced at the hotel. It was the way we were able to circumvent this annoying rule. Also be aware that they have a $17 a day charge per room for tips and reef preservation, so while you’re at the hotel it’s not necessary to tip.
Overall I enjoyed our stay here. I was annoyed by the no outside food and drink policy but thankfully aware of it so I was able to maneuver around it.
Unique Qualities: The Presidente has two fabulous pools. Have a drink at the pool bar if you get a chance. I must say that in my opinion they also have the best beach in the Hotel Zone. The water is shallow and calm with two designated swimming areas and an area for water sports. You are allowed to swim past the buoys at your own discretion where the water gets deeper, just watch out for waverunners and boats. We saw loads of starfish, but there’s not really much else to see in the water – so you don’t need to bring your snorkel equipment out here. The white sand beach is long and wide. There are hotel employees out on he beach to get and set up your beach chairs and waiters wander to serve drinks and food. And they also organize games of beach volleyball throughout the day. Check out the activities list by the beach concierge (where you can get your fresh beach towels) if you’re interested in doing some yoga or playing some cricket, etc. They also have tennis courts past the upper pool. Don’t forget to check out the resident Iguanas sunning themselves in the makeshift lagoon between the pools.
Address: Blvd Kukulcan Km 7 5 77500 Cancun
Directions: On the north end of the Hotel Zone.Website: http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ic/1/en/hd/cunhc
Luggage And Bags: Depending on how long you'll be traveling try to bring just enough to carry on the plane. But leave a little room in your bag to bring home souvenirs to your jealous friends you left at home.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: During the day you'll only need sandals or thongs. If you're planning to use the hotel gym, take a jog along the boulevard or hike the ruins then bring along some tennis shoes. At night bring out the dancing shoes... you'll need them!
Toiletries & Medical Supplies: Bring extra batteries, pepto bismol, Imodium and tums if you have a weak stomach or fear Montezuma's Revenge. Also bring aspirin to combat those late nights out. When you're there make sure you stop by the supermarket and stock up on bottled water.
Photo Equipment: Bring batteries, film and/or and extra memory card for your camera. It's gorgeous here and you'll want to take plenty of pictures. Also bring an underwater or waterproof camera if you're planning on participating in water sports.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: No need to bring towels, most hotels provide both bath and beach towels. We brought our own snorkel gear - but there wasn't anything to see off our hotel beach. All organized snorkel and dive trips provide your equipment. We brought our own paddle ball set to play on the beach.
Miscellaneous: Bring a bathing suit and sunscreen. Also bring nice clothes to wear out at night. People tend to dress up a little in the evenings in Cancun. And if you're going to the clubs be sure to check out the dress codes first.Website: http://www.cancun.info/CANCUNINFO_ING/_programas/
Name of Shop: Market 28
Market 28 is the huge open air flea market located in downtown Cancun. It's a maze of stalls and vendors selling everything from silver jewelry to sombreros, postcards to leather. Any Mexican tchotchke you're looking for you'll find here. Each stall features something different, although the more time you spend here you'll find that doesn't necessarily mean unique. Take the time to shop around. Chances are if you find what you're looking for in one stall you'll find something similar 5 shops down. Market 28 also houses several restaurants and cantinas if you're in the mood for something to eat or a cold cervesa. It's by far the largest of the marketplaces in Cancun so if you can't find that souvenir here, you probably won't find it elsewhere. It's the one stop tourist shopping mecca in Cancun. The advantage to shopping at Market 28 is that you get into the heart of downtown Cancun and get to experience a little more of the culture than you would shopping in the Hotel Zone markets.
What To Buy: Leather, silver, pottery, postcards, hair braids, frames, magnets, glassware, art work, handicrafts, etc. Don't expect to find anything "out of the ordinary" or terribly unique though, all the marketplaces in Cancun sell all the same types of things.
What To Pay: Shop around and bargaining is the key to getting good prices here. We talked a vendor down from 900 pesos to 300 pesos. Talk about a markup!
Address: Avenida Yaxchilán and Sunyaxchen
Directions: From the Hotel Zone take the R2 bus downtown. Exit the bus right before the WalMart make a right at the corner and follow the signs to Market 28 (aprox 3 block walk from the bus stop).Website: http://www.cancun.bz/shopping_tips.htm
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