Cancun, Mexico: Make a Yucatan Splash
This one-time, foam party hot-spot, now sophisticated lady is back to its post-card perfect, lovin’-life ways.
Good to know: The Cancun Hotel Zone sits on an island connected by two bridges. Busses travel up and down this strip all day long to take travelers from hotel to hotel, and if you are looking for the most action, it is best to start in the northeast corner. After the busses stop at night, it is easy to get around by taxi cab.
Where the locals go: While it may be hard to pry yourself away from blue lagoons, tequila bars, and Caribbean beaches, head outside the Hotel Zone to downtown Cancun for a glimpse into a more authentic version of Mexico. Along Tulum Avenue, a souvenir-filled flea market flourishes with handicrafts. And you won’t go hungry on Jaxchilan Avenue, where La Paria, Perritos, and La Placita serve up tacos and quesadillas with a smile.
Spring break lives on: For a booze cruise with a fun pirate twist, walk the plank to Captain Hook’s Pirate Adventure. When you take off from Playa Linda in a replica of an 18th century pirate’s galleon ship, the “pirates” will welcome you aboard with a hearty “ahoy.” Be sure to pillage and plunder the open bar and stay out of the way during the sword fight. Aarrgh…
Get out of dodge: Take the ferry to Isla Mujeres, rent a scooter, and spend the day breezing along the island’s 11 scenic kilometers while sampling beaches, Cancun views, and Mexican flavors. Although Isla Mujeres means “island of women,” men are more than welcome. At night, impromptu beach parties erupt on white sands beneath the stars.
Place we love, even if it’s touristy: It’s worth pulling yourself away from the hotel pool for Xcaret. By day, it teems with watery adventures, like swimming with dolphins and snorkeling along a spectacular underground river so clear, it’s crystal. At night, enjoy dinner and a riveting show filled with Mexican music and dance, both ancient and modern, including a fiery version of hockey that’ll leave you on the edge of your seat.
Local tipple: Tequila! There’s the Margarita on the rocks or blended, with or without salt. Orange juice and grenadine make the Tequila Sunrise a sweeter potion, and we think they taste just as splendid at sunset. And there’s always the Slammer: simply lick salt, throw back a shot, and suck a lemon until all worries disappear. Feeling brave? You know you secretly want to try the worm–now’s your chance.
SINGLE OCCUPANT IS AT AN ADDITIONAL COST