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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 MXN 9. 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 tariffs are loosely based on a zone system. Fares should be agreed on upfront, and travellers should note that taxis located outside restaurants and hotels often 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 popular way to get around in Cancun, although it is considered dangerous and only experienced drivers should attempt it. Hiring a car can also be stressful, as traffic is chaotic and police are quick to pull tourists over.

Time

Local time is GMT -5.

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 or 911 (Police); 065 or 911 (Ambulance)

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2015 2016
New Years Day (Año Nuevo) 1 Jan 1 Jan
Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución) 2 Feb 1 Feb
Benito Juárezs birthday 16 Mar 14 Mar
Maundy Thursday 2 Apr 24 Mar
Good Friday 3 Apr 25 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 16 Nov 21 Nov
Day of the Virgin of Guadalope 12 Dec 12 Dec
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, with average high temperatures as high as 93°F (34°C). The rainy season runs from May to 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.cancun-airport.net

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 outside the arrivals hall. Colectivos are small buses that provide a door-to-door service; the driver will usually wait until it is full before leaving. Airport ADO buses leave the airport every 30 to 40 minutes and go to downtown Cancun as well as Playa del Carmen.

Car rental

Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar and Sixt, along with a number of local companies.

Airport taxi's

Official taxis provide services from the airport and can be paid for at the airport just outside 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 facilities one would expect at one of the world's mega-airports. Facilities include ATMs, bureaux de change, business facilities, restaurants, shops, a pharmacy, medical services 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 near to the terminal entrance, starting at MXN 28 per hour, up to a maximum of MXN 165 per day.

Internet

Free wifi is available throughout the airport.