Your Cancun vacation
It's true that tourists fill Cancun and its happening Hotel Zone, but for good reason. Flights are cheap, the beaches are the best this close to U.S. soil and there is plenty of outdoor action. While partying is synonymous with this spring break hot-spot, plenty of quiet, couples-only resorts claim a strip of sand. Families take to the Mayan ruins, water parks and dolphin swims.
With the comforts and commercial temptations of home, Cancun is a good place to get your international feet wet, and between sunning all day and dancing all night, you can sleep on the plane back home.
Orbitz reveals the best of Cancun travel with the best time to go, top 10 attractions and insider gems.
Best time to take a vacation to Cancun
If you find a great deal and can snag a few days off, pack a carry-on and boogie down to Cancun any time. Weather-wise, Cancun has a monopoly on warm sunshine year round. June through November is hurricane season, which peaks in September and October.
You'll find flocks of sun-worshippers at Christmas and Easter, and spring break crowds each March. It's wet and hot from May to November, but prices dip and crowds are few. Cancun regulars swear by January and February for ideal weather.
Insider tips for Cancun travel
Mayan ruins in the city
Kids love to climb the remains of a small Mayan settlement at the El Rey ruins, oblivious to its age, dating back to 10th century A.D. Bring fruit and feed the hundreds of sunning iguanas. El Meco is quiet, naturally shaded and tranquil enough for a picnic among the 14 structures or at nearby Isla Blanca, a local beach. Both are a reasonable drive from the Hotel Zone.
Local journalists relax over breakfast or lunch on the simple terrace at this hideout behind city hall. The coffee is good and strong and the dinner menu is authentic.
Practice your Spanish … and your haggling skills. Pottery, blankets, hats, jewelry, clothing and local crafts mix with fresh meat, fish shops and fruit stands at this very local market. Bring cash, preferably pesos.
Grab a taxi for a taste of Paris in residential Cancun. The small, family-owned restaurant in a converted house oozes romance over an array of French classics. A tri-lingual staff provides formal service. Dress to the nines and reserve a seat on the terrace.
Neighborhood watering holes with live music
Slip into Roots Jazz Club for late-night beats or El Capucino for live local reggae on Margaritas near Azucenas. Despite its location in Hotel Plaza Kokai, Bar Bohemio El Camarote is a cozy haunt that feels lesser-known with its small stage and decent bands.
More on Cancun from the Orbitz Blog
Sign up to receive our best deals
Get insider access to our best hotel deals, coupons and more!
Cancun Vacation Packages
Blvd. Kukulkan 12.5 km Map
30% off per night!
Celeb-chef restaurants at exclusive beachfront getaway in Cancun The Live Aqua Cancun is a 371-room, nine-floor oasis on the Yucatan Peninsula. The resort has Mayan-inspired architecture with modern touches. The haute regional cuisine, exotic dining venues, posh... More
Boulevard Kukulcan Kilometer 16.5 Map
30% off per night!
Family friendly, all-inclusive Cancun beach resort with many amenitiesPosh yet family-friendly, this 502-room beachfront property spans three eight-story wings awash in peach, yellow and earth tones. The largest palapa (thatched hut) in Mexico shades its stunning lobby.... More
Boulevard Kukulcan Kilometer 9.5 Map
Special Offer for limited time
Grand Cancun resort in unparalleled location with top-tier amenitiesThe majestic Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach is a member of the prestigious Preferred Hotels® & Resorts.The resort is set on the sun-drenched shores of the Caribbean Sea within the... More
Blvd. Kukulcan Km 14.5 Hotel Zone Map
24% off per night
A luxurious 4-Diamond Hotel with glamorous amenities and rock star styleTo live like a rock star means never being far away from the action. Lucky for you, the all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel Cancun puts you right in the middle of it. Located in the heart of Cancun's Hotel... More
Blvd Kukulcan KM 16.5 Hotel Zone Map
Book Now and Save - 30% Off per night
Sophisticated, beachfront resort in CancunEscape the daily grind of city life and retreat to a tropical paradise destination at Paradisus Cancun Resort & Spa - All Inclusive. This deluxe resort in famous Cancun features stylish accommodations housed in five... More
Blvd. Kukulcan km12 Map
Free Wi Fi
All-inclusive beachfront Cancun resort for social grown-upsThe beachfront Complete ME by Melia Cancun is an adults-oriented destination with a hopping, expansive infinity pool and full-floor lounge. Rooms are outfitted with artwork from Yuri Zatarain, iPod docks and... More
Playa Mujeres Map
Wine&flowers in room+Concierge,Wifi,Premium liquor
Romantic beachfront resort with exclusive amenities near Cancun The contemporary Excellence Playa Mujeres is perched amid seven swimming pools on a picturesque white sand beach. The adults-only resort boasts a 170-slip marina and Greg Norman signature golf course with... More
Blvd. Kukulcan Km 14.5 Retorno del Rey Lote 38 + 38b Map
Unlimited Calls, Wi Fi, Green Fee & Sunset Cruise
All-inclusive property with luxurious accommodations and eye-catching sea viewsSecrets The Vine Cancun - Adults Only Luxury All Inclusive is a beachfront resort that caters to adults-only holidaymakers seeking a beach getaway in this side of Cancun, Mexico. Visitors... More
Boulevard Kukulcan KM 8.5 Zona Hotelera Map
Perfectly situated along a breathtaking white sand beach in the heart of Cancun's Hotel Zone, sits Dreams Sands Cancun Resort & Spa, opening this September! Experience all the great inclusions of Unlimited-Luxury at our newest beachfront resort - where there's... More
Boulevard Kukulcan km 8.5 Map
Get a Double Resort Credit & Altitude Benefits
Luxury resort and spa offering stylish spaces overlooking the oceanSet facing the ocean and steps away from shopping, dining and entertainment destinations, Krystal Grand Punta Cancun makes for a relaxing escape in Cancun. After touring the island, holidaymakers retreat... More
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on www.orbitz.com in 2012, as compared to price of the same components booked separately.
Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.
Swim or interact with some of the most brilliant mammals on the planet that happen to look like big, friendly fish. Kids of all ages love dolphin kisses, hugs and handshakes. Dolphinaris and Dolphin Discovery are among the top-ranked venues.
Take a day trip to see a few pages out of the history books. Drive 80 miles south to Tulum where cliff-top ruins overlook the blue sea. Head inland to scale Mayan pyramids in the middle of the jungle at Coba. At Chichen Itza, get lost in a mix of pre-Columbian architecture, from temples to the Great Ball Court.
Keep your wallet north of the border. All-inclusive resorts serve up a hassle-free Cancun vacation and most include food, snacks, drinks and non-motorized water sports. Check out the nightlife scene and choose one that will satisfy after the sun goes down. Resorts range from family-friendly to couples-only to dens for the single-and-looking.
It's Vegas gone wild at Coco Bongo, where throngs of nightlife thrill-seekers pile in for club music, aerial shows and confetti showers. A younger crowd goes dancing and drinking at Senor Frog's. For dinner with your dance moves, try Carlos and Charlie's.
Mexican cooking classes
One day with Chef Claudia of Can Cook in Cancun and you'll be dangerous with the habaneros for life. Part hands-on cooking class, part history and gastronomy lesson, plus sangria-infused lunch with new friends, the class sends participants off with recipes, an apron and serious know-how for whipping up home-style Mexican cuisine.
Xel-ha, Xplor and Xcaret
Not to worry: This triplet of X-named theme parks are completely family-friendly. An hour south of Cancun, fill up on adventure from snorkeling to zip lines between three outdoor ecological parks. Or, keep it local on the water slides at Wet'N Wild.
Playa del Carmen
Sample a fresh scene an hour south of town. No longer a sleepy little fishing village, PDC (or "Playa") rivals Cancun with shopping, dining and nightlife on a smaller scale with more local flavor, all set along car-free 5th Avenue.
La Habichuela restaurant
Since 1977, this family-owned restaurant with a Mayan theme has charmed guests with a romantic walled garden and Caribbean-style seafood.
Set on a lagoon, La Isla Shopping Mall combines a trendy, chain mall with local establishments and an aquarium. Canals and small bridges top off the Venetian-inspired setting. Downtown flea market Mercado 28 brims with silver jewelry, Mexican handcrafts and souvenirs on the cheap.