Palapa parasols on white-sand beaches, suites with swim-out pools, tortillas crisping on an open grill and turtles nesting on offshore islands – discover paradise on Cancun holidays
Expect endless shots of vitamin D from the moment your plane lands in Mexico, the taste of raspberry margaritas over crushed ice following a path to oceanfront restaurants and the scent of sun tan lotion leading to a peninsula of blindingly white sands fringed by Caribbean Sea. Cancun is the kind of place you come to when you want to wake up and walk right down to the beach; where if you fancy a coconut salt scrub at half past two and a tequila at half past three no-one’s going to bat an eyelid. It’s also the perfect spot for snorkelling among life-size sculptures at Jason deCaires Taylor underwater museum or jumping into a bright blue cenote at Xel-Ha Eco Park.
We’ve been to Cancun and can tell you first hand that the location is a dream.
Although famed for heady spring break vibes – delirious mayhem at Coco Bongo and killer cocktails in a bar swaying from rope-hung swings – the Yucatan Peninsula has transformed itself, and Cancun holidays are all about dazzling oceanfront hotels humming with hideaway spots, seductive Mexican flavours and glamorous pools. This is spring break with style: a place where kids are infatuated by video game arcade clubs and dressing up boxes, couples crush on cocoon-like spas and everyone falls in love with barefoot bliss, oceanfront sea life and the shade of palm trees leaning over plumped-up day beds.
Privileges are generous and everything is minimal effort – sunset catamaran sailing, tacos and Champagne in the early hours and sunrise whale watching. Tear yourself away from tequila tastings and salty breeze and venture to the heart of real Mexico – day trips to Mayan ruins and towering temples at Chichen Itza and Tulum, with enough time to get back for a succulent bite of papaya and a bonfire party on the beach. Tempted? Talk to one of our experts to find out more.
- We have handpicked a selection of Cancun’s finest all inclusive resorts, ranging from family friendly to adults only
- The reefs surrounding the nearby island of Cozumel or the Museo Subacuatico de Arte – an underwater sculpture museum – are a diver’s dream
- We highly recommend soaking up a slice of Mexican culture and history with a day or overnight trip to Chichen Itza, Merida or Tulum
- There are plenty of golfing opportunities in Cancun, including the course at our most popular Cancun resort Moon Palace
Best time to visit Cancun
On Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, December to April is the dry season, with a wetter season from May to November. June to October is the hurricane season throughout the Caribbean.
Cancun holiday highlights
It’s all about beach and water activities, spectacular resorts and a renowned ‘until the early hours’ nightlife on holidays to Cancun. You’ll find the world’s second largest coral reef and a long sliver of powder soft sands so expect plenty of scuba diving adventures as well as snorkelling, windsurfing and kayaking. British sculptor Jason deCaires’ Underwater Museum gives you a chance to scuba dive or snorkel among over 400 statues, or if you prefer, on a glass-bottom boat tour. You can island hop by ferry to Isla Mujeres and Isla Holbox for a day of total seclusion on the beach (look out for the huge sea turtle population), day trip to Chichen Itza, Tulum or Coba for extraordinary archaeological Mayan sites or get away from the sands at one of the championship golf courses all within sight of the Caribbean Sea.
For something a little more adventurous, float down the underground rivers at the eco-archaeological park of Xcaret, cruise the Caribbean Sea by catamaran, boat tour through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve or soar above the jungle by zip-line, cooling off after with a splash on one of the many cenotes. Along the Hotel Zone there are plenty of restaurants, shops and bars as well as the famous Coco Bongo nightclub and Forum by the Sea shopping plaza. If you fancy a more authentic feel of how the locals live, head to downtown Cancun for the day.
Where is Cancun?
In south-east Mexico overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the city of Cancun is on the north-eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, home to a string of sublime white-sand beaches that continue to make it one of the top tourist destinations.
The Hotel Zone is likely where you’ll spend most of your time and it’s easy to navigate and walkable. Buses or taxis will take you further, such as Boulevard Kukulcán (downtown) or Avienda Tulum, however if you want to day trip to Chichen Itza, Coba or Tulum we recommend booking a tour.
Food and drink
Our hand-picked Cancun hotels are all inclusive and you can expect an extensive choice of restaurants including Oriental à la carte complete with teppanyaki tables, classic Italian cuisine, traditional Caribbean and Mexican and lots of seafood and fresh fish. There are international buffets with themed stations, poolside dining, gourmet Mediterranean delights and Brazilian steakhouses. Outside of your resort you’ll find atmospheric restaurants overlooking the Nichupte Lagoon in the Hotel Zone where you can expect authentic Mexican. Classic Italian and seafood and market grills. Beach cocktails are a must – try classic margaritas, Caribbean rum punch, Mai Tais and that famous Paloma tequila cocktail.