Cancun, Mexico – Dispelling the vacation myths
Cancun is a place which often divides people. Whilst some think of it as a tropical paradise holiday location, others simply see it as a party destination. Add to that concerns over safety and feelings that by visiting here is just like visiting any other resort location and a holiday in Cancun doesn’t seem much like the perfect trip to take. That doesn’t have to be the case so here’s me jumping into Cancun’s corner to dispel the popular myths that surround this Mexican city.
1) Cancun is great for a party but not so good for families?
Ok, let’s get this one dealt with once and for all. Yes, Cancun has been seen as the Spring Break Capital with teenagers descending upon the city to party. However, there are two saving graces. Firstly, Spring Break only occurs for between 2-4 weeks of the year and the ‘Party Center’ is not based around the hotel zone which is actually located on an island. What I’ve found is that many hotels no longer allow Spring Breakers to book rooms with them which lessens the impact it has on tourism, especially with regards to families. Far from being the party capital, Cancun has something to benefit everyone and is a great place to take a family trip.
2) Cancun is all about the resorts, not authentic Mexico.
A holiday in Cancun can be one of two things. Travellers either visit to enjoy the resorts and an all-inclusive break or they visit the city, stay in the resorts but use them as a base to explore the wider area. To me that’s a perfect use of time spent in Cancun. In the surrounding area, the seas are perfect for scuba diving and snorkelling such as in Cozumel Reef National Park.
In my opinion, no trip to Mexico should be without a trip to one of the ancient sites. Chichen Itza, Tulum and Coba are all located near to Cancun and it’s definitely worth taking a day trip out to explore these remarkable historical sites. I’d also take a detour whilst in Tulum to visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve , which is home to forests, mangroves and reefs hosting a breathtaking amount of wildlife. Another great way to combine the natural and ancient worlds of Mexico is to visit Xcaret eco archeological park.
The most baffling claim I once heard was that that food within the Cancun resorts was just like any tasted in the American ‘Mexican’ fast food restaurants. This is a myth I’m happy to expel. There are many traditional restaurants within the city which offer authentic Mexican cuisine that is hard to replicate in any other country. Be prepared for a flavour sensation that will set the tastebuds on fire! As well as Mexican cuisine, there are a number of restaurants that offer a taste of the Caribbean, including seafood restaurants which offer freshly caught food.
3) Is Cancun a dangerous holiday destination?
In short? No! Statistically, Cancun is actually safer than many cities in the USA. Much of the trouble with crime is seen at the US-Mexico border which is over 1500 miles away from Cancun and the hotel zone itself is perfectly safe. This includes worries over water which is fine to drink around the Hotel area as the water is purified within the resorts.
My own concerns regarding trips to Cancun centred around the weather. Being a nervous flier, I wanted to avoid any season where bad weather might effect my travelling and my mind immediately went to hurricane season which I know can drag on for months around the USA and South America. I was soon comforted to discover that hurricanes are rare in Cancun and when they have hit land, they usually only do so between September and October.