Feb 23 2011

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Mexico vacations 101: Cancun hotels for first timers

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The picturesque, cliff-top Tulum Ruins are a must-stop during any Cancun vacation. Credit: Redeo.

By Vince Font
Not all travelers set out with specific beach vacations in mind. Some arrive at their choices through a carefully considered process of elimination, while others just throw a dart in a map. But if you ask any seasoned traveler they’ll tell you that sometimes, the best way to pick a vacation destination is by seeing what’s on special and going there. If you’re a first timer and are looking for a list of great Cancun hotels to call home while you’re in town, you could do a lot worse than making your selection from any of the Cancun vacation packages on offer. After all, this is Cancun you’re talking about—it’s pretty tough to go wrong here. Follow these tips for easing the process, whether you’re in the mood for a spring break vacation or romantic getaway.
Choose your distance.
If you’re the kind of traveler that doesn’t mind exploring as long as home base is situated near your entrance and exit points, take a look at the flight and hotel packages on offer and narrow them down by the hotel’s distance from the airport. Believe it or not, maintaining a close proximity to the nearest airport can accentuate the whole vacation experience because you won’t be plagued with the nagging worry that accompanies going too far out on a limb your first time.

Choose your activities.
Another source of immense stress reduction involves scheduling activities ahead of time. One of the great things about beach vacations to Cancun is that there’s always something fun to do, but if you wait for the last minute you could end up spending more time trying to decide what to do than actually enjoying yourself. This is supposed to be your vacation, remember? So figure that stuff out ahead of time by reviewing the featured attractions and securing your reservations long before your plane’s even taken off. As you’ll learn, the things to do around Cancun aren’t just limited to snorkeling and water sports. These are the two most strongly suggested if you’re visiting Cancun for the very first time:

  • Chichen Itza: The ruins of this Mayan pyramid date back 1,500 years. The good news is, your day trip tour ticket entitles you to a bus ride from Cancun and back again. The bad news (if you can really consider this bad news) is that the ride is a few hours long. Best advice: don’t plan this too soon after your arrival or the constant traveling could drive you nuts. The duration of the tour from start to finish is 12 hours, which means you’ll have plenty of time once you’re there to take in the fascinating pyramid and surrounding archaeological site.
  • Tulum Ruins: The Tulum Ruins are equally fascinating and could be the weary traveler’s best bet. Just 20 minutes from Cancun, its proximity makes it the archaeological site of least resistance—but its cliff-top location on the coast of Mexico makes it a contender for most gorgeous.

Be sure to maximize your savings by booking your flight, hotel stay, and any tours or activities ahead of time. Doing so can save you big, paving the way for return visits to see everything you didn’t get a chance to see the first time around.

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Vince Font is a freelance writer born in Puerto Rico and currently escaped to Utah. When not dreaming of interstellar travel, he’s on the hunt for weird, wacky, and off-the-beaten-track vacation destinations. Next stop: The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast.

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Posted on: February 23, 2011 | Tags: | Category: Family TravelCategory: Mexico VacationCategory: Travel Tips

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