I arrived in Cancun with little to no expectations of the place and I didn’t come away as a fan. The two nights I had weren’t enough to fall in love with the nightlife or explore outside of the immediate area. A great beach holiday? I’m sure, but it wasn’t for me.
I was staying in downtown Cancun, away from the hotel zone and the beaches of Spring Break fame. There’s still quite a lot going on in downtown Cancun, but as you can expect, it’s rather more functional than trying to appeal to tourists. Within walking distance of my hotel there were multiple restaurants, shops as well as shopping centres and supermarkets.
For 8 Pesos I took an R1 public bus out to the hotel zone. Once at the hotel zone, there are bus stops every two minutes or so. There are a few public access areas to the beaches dotted along this long stretch but it should also be relatively easy to take a short cut through a hotel if you find yourself far from any of these. Of course it took me 40 minutes of walking along the shadeless road to figure this one out…
The long expanse of sand is stunning. Where I eventually plonked myself I was able to rent a sun lounger and parasol for about £6 for the whole day, including waiter service and free use of the toilets. I was in front of one of the main nightclub areas so there was easy access to shops if I wanted cheaper drinks or snacks. Walking through this area during the day wasn’t the most pleasant, as you can imagine!
At night we returned to the same area using the R1 bus again, and were able to return on it at around midnight still. I wasn’t prepared for how expensive the clubs and bars in Cancun were going to be. For the massive nightclubs (think 6000 people) the cover can be $60 or more, although this includes a free bar. We settled for a slightly quieter night at Carlos ‘n’ Charlie’s but I still walked away with a $40 bill (damn that yard of Margarita!) .