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Cancun

Tropical beach, Cancun

Practical Info about Cancun

Getting around the city

Buses are the cheapest way to get around in Cancun, and the fare from the Hotel Zone to nearly anywhere in the city is around MXN8.50. The white Bus One is air-conditioned, and costs MXN11. Intercity buses are available from the station on Avenida Tulum, including service to Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Merida, and Chetumal. Taxis are perhaps the most convenient method of getting around, and are charged by a zone system. Fares should be agreed on upfront, and travellers should note that taxis located outside restaurants and hotels charge higher rates. It is also important to know that only approved airport taxis are allowed to collect passengers from the airport. Scooter rental is another way to get around in Cancun, although it is considered dangerous and only experienced drivers should do so. Hiring a car can also be stressful, as traffic is chaotic and police are quick to pull tourists over.

Time

GMT -6 (GMT -5 between the first Sunday in April and the second last Saturday in October).

Electricity

130 volts, 60Hz. Two-pin flat blade attachment plugs are standard.

Currency

Mexican currency is the New Peso (MXN), divided into 100 centavos. Credit cards are widely accepted, particularly Visa, MasterCard and American Express. ATMs are available in most cities and towns and are the most convenient way to get money, but for safety reasons should only be used during business hours and vigilance is advised. Although many businesses will accept foreign currency (particularly US Dollars) it is best to use pesos. Foreign currency can be exchanged at one of many casas de cambio (exchange houses), which have longer hours and offer a quicker service than the banks.

Communication

The international access code for Mexico is +52. Some US long-distance phone companies have access numbers which can be dialled in order to use your phone card - calls are usually cheaper than direct-dialled calls from a hotel room. If calling internationally from a phone booth use the official TelMex phone booths, as all others charge very high fees. GSM mobile networks cover most of the country, but international roaming costs can be exorbitantly high. Internet cafes are widely available, especially in tourist-orientated areas.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 066/911 (Police); 065/911 (Ambulance)

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day (Año Nuevo) 1 Jan 1 Jan
Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución) 3 Feb 2 Feb
Benito Juárezs birthday 17 Mar 16 Mar
Labour Day 1 May 1 May
Independence Day 16 Sep 16 Sep
Day of the Dead (El Día de Muertos) 2 Nov 2 Nov
Revolution Day 17 Nov 16 Nov
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec

Climate

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The Yucatan Peninsula, including Cancun, is the hottest and most tropical part of Mexico, especially from June to August when humidity is high, although temperatures usually don't exceed 90°F (32°C). The rainy season runs from May to mid-October and is characterised by late afternoon tropical showers, lasting for a short time only. Cancun lies within the Atlantic Hurricane Belt and the flat terrain makes the Yucatan Peninsula especially vulnerable to storms, particularly between June and October. In fact, big storms can affect Cancun at any time of year, but although they can be violent they are usually short-lived. On average April is the driest month and October is the wettest. Humidity tends to be high all year but coastal breezes have a pleasant cooling effect. The peak tourist season in Cancun runs from December to April, when the weather is warm and the sea reliably calm, making it a good time for watersports and scuba diving. Out of this peak season, prices at the resorts tend to drop dramatically and the peninsula is less crowded. Although the threat of hurricanes puts some travellers off, between June and October the weather can be wonderful - hot with cooling winds - and can be a great time to visit if no storms hit.

Cancun International Airport

www.asur.com.mx

Getting to the city

Both taxis and colectivos can be used to get to the town. An official taxi company provides services from the airport and can be paid for at the airport just after the arrivals hall. US$14-20, the drive takes 20 to 25 mins. Colectivos are small buses that provide a door-to-door service; the driver will usually wait until it is full before leaving, US$6/30 mins. Taxis also go to Playa del Carmen 335 Pesos/US$30-35 and the trip takes approximately 1 hour.

Car rental

Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty and National.

Airport taxi's

Official taxis provide services from the airport and can paid for at the airport just after the arrivals hall. Taxis go to both Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

Transfer between terminals

A shuttle bus runs between the main entrances to the terminals every 10 minutes.

Facilities

Cancun airport has all the appurtenances one would expect at one of the world's mega-airports. Facilities include ATMs, bureau de change, business facilities, restaurants, shops, a beauty salon and tourist information. There are facilities for disabled passengers but those with special needs are advised to contact their airline in advance.

Parking

Parking is available nest to the terminal entrance, starting at MXN 24 per hour up to a maximum of MXN 150 per day.

Internet

Wifi is available for a fee in the business lounges of the international departures area.