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Cancunmayan civilization to modern oasis

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Useful Information

Cancun Beach

Courtesy of visitmexico.com

Almost 1.3 billion gallons of sand were used to restore damage done to the shoreline by Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

Cancun International Airport
Getting To and From the Airport: 
Cancun International Airport (CUN) is located 7.5 miles from the heart of downtown Cancun. Renting a car at the airport is fairly easy and will be less expensive than doing so at a resort. Most of the standard car rental companies  like Thrifty, Budget, and Hertz have desks in both Terminals 2 and 3. The rental agencies themselves are located on the opposite side of the International Terminal parking lot. Visit the airport website for more information.

There are several options for transport to and from the airport. As there are a large number of people selling transportation options just outside the airport, it may be a good idea to book transportation ahead of time. A private airport transfer as well as a shared airport transfer can be a good option. Although the shared airport transfer can be less expensive, a private transfer will make the trip from the airport much faster. Shared transfers range from $9 to $35 for one-way transportation. Two-way shared transfers range in price from $17 to $71. Private transfers range from $43 to $170 for one-way transport and $87 to $1111 for two-way transport. All prices shown are dependant on your destination.

Buses run from Terminals 3 and 2 every hour to the Downtown Bus Station and the cost is $3.50 per passenger. It takes approximately 35 minutes to get to downtown Cancun. Buses leave Terminal 3 starting at 6:15 a.m. and leave from Terminal 2 starting at 6:30 a.m. and run every half hour until 12:30 a.m. Check the airport website for bus schedules and costs.

Getting Around: There is no shortage of taxis, but it is a good idea to agree on a rate with your driver before departing. Most taxis should have their fares displayed in the window of the vehicle. It is also recommended that you only take cabs that are with organized taxi stands, or sitios. Although the libre cabs are less expensive, the U.S. Department of State urges you to use the sitios. 

Fares are calculated by zones rather than by a meter. The least you can expect to pay while traveling in the Hotel Zone is $8 while the average price downtown is $3. Traveling between zones can range from $6 to $8 dollars.  It is common for most resorts and hotels to have transportation available to downtown as well as archeological sites and parks. Keep in mind though, if you are taking a taxi, hailing a cab outside of the hotel can be much less expensive.

At just $6 per person, the Cancun bus system is the least expensive way to get around the city. If you plan on remaining in the Hotel Zone, this can be the easiest way to get around as it only runs two ways, North and South. Although it is safe, it is recommended that you not take the bus at night. 

You can rent a car in Mexico with your U.S. drivers’ license, but it is imperative that you purchase Mexican car insurance as U.S. insurance is not valid in Mexico. 

Cancún Municipal Tourism Office 
Palacio Municipal, Av. Tulum No. 5 Sm. 5, 77500
Phone: 52-998-881-2800
Hours: M-F 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Geography and Climate: Cancun is located in the state of Quintana Roo, which is situated at the southern-most point of the Yucatan Peninsula. Cancun is essentially split into two sections: The Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera) and Downtown Cancun (El Centro). Most of the locals live on the mainland, where El Centro is located. The Hotel Zone is located on a 14 mile long stretch of island that envelopes the Laguna Nichupte on its east side. The Caribbean wraps around the west side of this strip of land. Both the north and south ends of the island are connected to the mainland. The main road, Kukulcan Boulevard, runs north to south and is where most of the hotels and resorts can be found.

The average temperature in Cancun hovers around the mid 80s for most of the year and will creep up into the 90s between May and September. The temperature rarely drops below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The summer months are definitely hot but not overwhelmingly humid. Cancun is in a tropical climate where peak hurricane season occurs between July and November, so it is important to remain updated on storms moving in that direction.

Currency: Although the rate fluctuates, a safe rule of thumb for the U.S. Dollar to Peso is approximately 13 Pesos for every $1. The U.S. Dollar is widely accepted throughout Cancun, but it is recommended that you use Pesos for smaller value items such as bottled water and cigarettes. When purchasing in places other than major resorts, restaurants, and nightclubs, it is possible that you may receive change in Pesos instead of Dollars.

You can lose on the exchange rate so it is best to keep Pesos on hand as for things such as the bus and small value items. Tipping is also customary for almost all services performed. A %15 tip is standard for most restaurants, but be sure to check and see if they haven’t already added it to your bill before tipping.

Most banks can be found downtown on the Avenida Tulum. Money can also be exchanged at casas de cambio, or exchange houses. Shop around for the best rate before changing money.

Safety: Although Cancun is relatively safe, you should always be aware of your surroundings. The Hotel Zone is quiet safe, but it is recommended that you not wander at night outside of the tourist zone.

The U.S. Department of State recommends that you drink bottled water while in Mexico. Most restaurants will serve tap water unless you specify bottled. Also be aware that the ice is made with tap water.

For the police, you can dial 066. This is the equivalent of dialing 911 in the U.S.. It is also a good idea to have the number of the local consulate on hand. When dialing the consulate from a local line, there is not need to type in 52, the country code for Mexico.

In Case of Emergency: 
U.S. Consulate
Consular Agent: Bruce Gordon
Plaza Caracol Dos, locales 320-323, Second Level, Boulevard Kukulcán, km 8.5, zona hotelera,
Phoneera C.P. 775000
Phone: 52-998-883-0272
Hours: M-F 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Galenia Hospital 
Av. Tulúm Lote 01 Mza 01 SM 12, Fracc. Sta. María Siké, Esquina Nizuc
Phone: 52-998-891-5200

AMAT Hospital
13 Nader St. , Super Block 2

Emergency Numbers:
To report an emergency: 066
Red Cross: 065


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