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A practical guide to Cancun

Mexico has a culture of festivity and celebration, which can be a great attraction to visitors. To make the most of the fiesta atmosphere, try aiming for:

  • 16th September, Independence day: where flags wave from the buildings and coloured lights adorn the streets.
  • 1st and 2nd November, Mexican Day of the Dead: Colourful altars are made to honour the dead, accompanied by music and feasting.
  • 16th December, Las Posadas: Candlelit processions to honour the journey that Joseph and Mary took in the lead up to Christmas.

National holidays and other celebrations:

  • New Year's Day: 1st January.
  • Mexican Constitution Day: 5th February. Celebrates the 1857 and 1917 Constitutions after Mexico achieved their independency from Spain.
  • Birth of Benito Juarez: Third Monday in March. The birthday of a national hero.
  • Easter: Between the end of March and the end of April.
  • Labour Day (May Day):1st May.
  • Independence Day: 16th September. Celebrates the Independence War against colonial Spanish rule.
  • Revolution Day: Third Monday of November. Start of the Mexican Revolution.
  • Change of Federal Government: December. Once every six years.
  • Christmas Day: 25th December.

Money

The local currency in Cancun, and the rest of Mexico, is the Mexican peso ($ or MXN). US Dollars are also widely accepted.

  • For the best rates, bring British pounds to exchange into pesos at local banks.
  • If using dollars, you may find you pay more for your goods, so we recommend using pesos.
  • ATM machines accept international cards and charge a small fee for withdrawals.
  • Credit cards can be used in many restaurants and shops and offer you an excellent rate.

Eating out

Spicy Mexican food is the obvious thing to try but it's possible to find virtually every cuisine in the world at Cancun's eclectic restaurants. We highly recommend venturing out for a meal.

For the most authentic cuisine, small local restaurants guarantee the most genuine, homemade Mexican meals. The most traditional local fare you can get in Cancun is Yucatecan cuisine - a blend of Mexican and European flavours, which are mouth-wateringly tasty.

Fish lovers will be pleased to find an incredible selection of seafood restaurants scattered around the city and, for the highest level of culinary sophistication and variety, we love the three AAA Five Diamond Restaurants in Cancun, two of which are found inside the Ritz Carlton Cancun and the other at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach.

Downtown Cancun, also known as ‘El Centro' is home to many excellent restaurants. Along Avenida Tulum and on Calle Yaxchilan you'll find a line-up of fantastic eateries, which tend to be far cheaper than those in the Cancun Strip and allow you to really soak up the typical Mexican atmosphere. You might even be serenaded by an authentic band of Mariachis.

Climate

Cancun is hot and sunny all year round, with temperatures hovering around 25°C throughout all seasons. With minimal climate variation; Cancun holidays are popular throughout the year.

  • The most pleasant time to visit is usually between December and April, when temperatures are a little milder and rain infrequent.
  • The rainy season occurs between May and October, with May and June seeing peak temperatures and the highest humidity levels.
  • The dry season runs from February to early May, with only the odd scattered shower.
  • Cancun is located inside the hurricane belt and, although high strength hurricanes are rarely seen here, they are most likely to hit in September and October.

Meterological information

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Average °C 232425212728233032282628
Minimum °C 232425202728233032282427
Maximum °C 232425212728233032282828
Sunshine (hours) 889101011101111988
Rain (cm) 3413317191624189

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