Mexico is probably up there in my Top 5 favourite countries in the world, especially the Yucatán Peninsular. Beautiful beaches, ancient temples, incredible diving and delicious food for any budget. The locals were friendly, helpful and found our poor understanding of Spanish hilarious.
This will probably be your first stop. Most people fly here, it’s cheap and in the perfect location for most destinations whether you’re heading to the temples of Chichen Itza or the beaches of the islands.
Cancún itself has two distinct areas. El Centro is the gritty working half of the city and is a great place to see the real side of Mexico. Cheap food courts and cheap hotels, it’s good for those of you on a budget. We stayed in the lovely little Hostel Laurel 41; it was cheap, clean, quiet and the staff were very nice.
Zona Hotelera is where the action is. Miles of golden beaches, backed by monstrous hotels of varying luxury, it’s expensive and flashy, full of spring breakers and sunburned tourists. If you’re looking for a cheap, relaxing beach holiday then you might want to look elsewhere…
You should definitely take a trip to one of the many jungle and water theme parks, such as Xcaret Park, a place to experience culture, nature, food and activities such as floating the underground tunnels or swimming with dolphins. It’s an expensive but fun day out.
One thing I really regret not doing is diving the Underwater Museum. Jason deCaires Taylor is the artists behind the 400 life size sculptures that you can admire while snorkeling or diving. If you don’t want to get in the water you can always ride in the subsee!
If Cancún gets to be a bit too much you can always escape to the little slice of paradise that is Isla Mujeres. This tiny island is 7km long and only 650m wide, surrounded by sandy beaches and turquoise water.
You can catch a colectivo (minibus) to the ferry terminal at Playa Tortugas for Mex$5 (20p) and a return ferry ticket will set you back Mex$149 (£5.85) with Ultramar.
There are plenty of places to eat and drink, as well as cute shops full of colourful souvenirs, you can barter for things but be respectful! Playa Norte is a popular and beautiful beach lined with deck chairs and bars. At the other end of the island is Punta Sur, with amazing views. If you don’t want to walk you can rent golf cars to explore the island for around Mex$150 (£5.90).
Weather warning: If it rains, it pours. As we were there during wet season it rained very heavily and the streets were flooded within minutes! It’s not dangerous but it’s very dirty so best to avoid the streets and stay undercover in a cute little bar or cafe.
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If you can think of anything that I should add feel free to leave a comment below!