Like several destinations rolled into one, Cancun effortlessly combines the glitz and glamour white beaches and all-inclusive resorts with the cultural clout of ancient empires. And then it throws in some modern Mexican delights to complete its heady brew. Ruined temples, relaxed beach breaks and world-class cuisine – all in the same day – that’s Cancun!
When it’s winter in the US, the sun is usually shining, and temperatures are warm down in Cancun. Peak season here is from mid-December through to April. Expect the thermometer to be up in the 80s and humidity to be low during this time. However, as you might expect, high season can get busy in one of North America’s most popular holiday destinations.
If thousands of partying college kids sounds like fun, then visit during Spring Break. If not, then it’s probably best to avoid it.
However, Cancun is much more than just sun, sand and tequila. There are some real cultural highlights here, with magical ruins of ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations to visit. And if you can visit during late-October and early-November, you can experience the legendary Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival.
There are multiple departure points from US cities to Cancun to choose from. And Orbitz offers you many ways to increase your chance of getting cheap flights.
Being flexible is always the most important thing. Use the ‘Nearby Airports’ option, located under your chosen departure and arrival airports when your search results are returned. This will let you explore deals available from alternative airports.
Another way to bag a bargain is to be flexible on the dates of your flight. Click the ‘My Dates Are Flexible’ box when making your search to browse the cheapest flights on a number of days for your outbound and return flight.
You can filter and sort your results on the left-hand side of the results page – and by using the ‘Show Options’ drop-down. Sort your Cancun flights by price or duration, explore only direct or connecting flights, as well as using several other filters.
There are numerous flights to Cancun from the US.
Cancun International Airport is Mexico’s second busiest airport but the biggest for international visitors. Which should give you some idea of how popular the city is as a holiday destination. There are flights to more than 20 domestic destinations as well as 30 countries around the world.
The airport has expanded in recent years to accommodate growing passenger numbers, with a new fourth terminal opening in 2017. The airport is connected to local bus networks, as well as being well served by taxis and private shuttle services.
Direct flights to Cancun are available from a number of different carriers.
Cancun is generally very easy to navigate, with most of the accommodation and nightlife options located in the Zona Hotelera, between the airport and downtown. Buses are the cheapest way of getting around, although don’t expect too much comfort.
There are plenty of taxis buzzing around but remember to be clear about drivers using the meter or establish a fee before you get in to avoid nasty surprises.
Cancun is obviously known for its endless sunshine and beautiful beaches, but it’s actually a much more varied destination. This area has been home to some of the world’s great civilizations, including the Aztecs and Maya, and you’ll find evidence of their empires all around. Chichen Itza is perhaps the best known, and it’s an incredible place to visit.
Cancun is also known for its diving, with a network of underground caves (known as cenotes) to explore. The Underwater Museum is a vast subaquatic complex showcasing hundreds of statues that were submerged centuries ago.
It could also be your chance to take some Mexican cooking classes and learn how to add some spice to your culinary exploits.
August through October is hurricane season so expect the occasional big storm at these times. You should also be aware that Mexican holidays and festivals can get very busy, including Cinco de Mayo and Holy Week.
Prime weather in Cancun matches the worst weather months in most of the U.S.: November through February, with high season from mid-December through April, when temperatures are in the mid-80s and humidity is low. Be prepared to share the beach with plenty of fellow vacationers on school holidays, and to dole out more for hotels and attractions.
Cancun weather is typically warm and humid. Unless you’re really strapped from a budget or time standpoint, avoid hurricane season (August through October) and the rainy season during summer months. May through mid-December is considered low season, when prices drop from 10 to 30 percent. Some hotels charge higher rates in June and July, when Mexican, European, and U.S. families on summer vacations come to town. However, these rates are usually still lower than they are in the winter.
And just because Cancun has one of the craziest spring-break party scenes in the Caribbean doesn't mean it is bereft of cultural events. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in late October/early November celebrates the lives of deceased loved ones and ancestors. This time-honored tradition that’s akin to Halloween dates back to the ancient Azetc and Mayan cultures, and is revered as one of Mexico’s most significant festivals. There are regional variations, with Cancun’s take flashing influences from ancient Mayan customs that have been combined with traditional Mexican ceremonies to create Hanal Pixan (the Mayan ritual of the dead).
Also count on crowds during spring break and Mexican national holidays that are religious (Holy Week and Easter) or freedom focused (Cinco de Mayo in May and Independence Day in September). If you can handle the masses, these are great ways to soak in true local flavor as nationals display their patriotic pride.
*Savings based on all holiday package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Orbitz.com from January through December 2017, as compared to the 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. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.
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