[Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

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BillyV001
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:50 pm

[Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by BillyV001 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:19 pm

Hey All,

First time to Cancun. Family vacay and staying at the RIU Riviera Maya.

I'm not a lay-on-the-beach-guy so I'm wondering what interesting things some of the Bogleheads who've been to Cancun, have found to to do near-by.

Also wondering best place to buy good cigars.

Best,
Bill

Trader Joe
Posts: 700
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:38 pm

Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by Trader Joe » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:27 pm

BillyV001 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:19 pm
Hey All,

First time to Cancun. Family vacay and staying at the RIU Riviera Maya.

I'm not a lay-on-the-beach-guy so I'm wondering what interesting things some of the Bogleheads who've been to Cancun, have found to to do near-by.

Also wondering best place to buy good cigars.

Best,
Bill
Cancun is dangerous. I will not travel there. Be safe.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nat ... 071436002/

DesertDiva
Posts: 384
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:49 pm
Location: In the desert

Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by DesertDiva » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:37 pm

Trader Joe wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:27 pm
BillyV001 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:19 pm
Hey All,

First time to Cancun. Family vacay and staying at the RIU Riviera Maya.

I'm not a lay-on-the-beach-guy so I'm wondering what interesting things some of the Bogleheads who've been to Cancun, have found to to do near-by.

Also wondering best place to buy good cigars.

Best,
Bill
Cancun is dangerous. I will not travel there. Be safe.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nat ... 071436002/
Right. Try a weekend in Chicago instead.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/03/us/chica ... index.html

Seriously... have a good time.
Last edited by DesertDiva on Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.

dpm321
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:04 pm

Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by dpm321 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:37 pm

There really isn't anything "nearby." If you want to travel a bit there are several Mayan sites within driving distance (e.g. Tulum and Chichen Itza). Cancun isn't really Mexico, so if you want to experience a bit of that you can take the bus into town. You can eat there for about 25% or less of what you'll pay on the hotel corridor. Isla Mujeres is also a pleasant break from the corridor.

oxothuk
Posts: 427
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:35 pm

Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by oxothuk » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:40 pm

Trader Joe wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:27 pm
BillyV001 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:19 pm
Hey All,

First time to Cancun. Family vacay and staying at the RIU Riviera Maya.

I'm not a lay-on-the-beach-guy so I'm wondering what interesting things some of the Bogleheads who've been to Cancun, have found to to do near-by.

Also wondering best place to buy good cigars.

Best,
Bill
Cancun is dangerous. I will not travel there. Be safe.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nat ... 071436002/
If you read that story (from last year) you will see that it has nothing to do either with tourists or the hotel zone.

No reason to panic. Use normal common sense and you will be fine.

+1 on recommendations to visit Isla Mujeres, Chichen Itza, and Tulum.

decapod10
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by decapod10 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:59 pm

I found that the main draw of Cancun honestly was that there was nothing really I felt compelled to do around there, so we just lounged on the beach and in the resort all day. I'm not normally that kind of person, but I enjoyed it. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort, so they would just bring food to us on the beach.

We did take a trip to Chichen Itza. It was a pretty long bus ride, but worth seeing. Also went to Isla Mujeres and took a boat trip around the island which was nice.

hsmith
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 5:48 am
Location: Upstate New York

Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by hsmith » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:07 pm

dpm321 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:37 pm
There really isn't anything "nearby." If you want to travel a bit there are several Mayan sites within driving distance (e.g. Tulum and Chichen Itza). Cancun isn't really Mexico, so if you want to experience a bit of that you can take the bus into town. You can eat there for about 25% or less of what you'll pay on the hotel corridor. Isla Mujeres is also a pleasant break from the corridor.
I’ve been to Cancun and agree with those recommendations. You’ll be an hour south of Cancun, but closer to Tulum. We also enjoyed Xcaret Park https://www.xcaret.com/en/, an ecological/water park near Playa del Carmen.

If you get up to Cancún, you might also want to visit the Maya Museum.

Starfish
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Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by Starfish » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:14 pm

You can have a very nice vacation in Riviera Maya. It's a pity (or maybe better?) that many people stay on the beach all the time.
There are ruins to see, caves and cenotes to visit. Check the parks like Xel-Ha, see Tulum, do some cave diving, snorkeling, sailing etc
Plenty of things.
For cenotes and caves I would avoid the main ones and go in the hidden, less visited ones.
I would not do the tours from the resort, I personally prefer to use the comunal vans or rent a car.

MotoTrojan
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:39 pm

Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by MotoTrojan » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:18 pm

+1 to check out some cenotes. I got dive certified in one near Akumal, amazing.

Deblog
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:16 am

Re: Screw The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by Deblog » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:36 pm

I love Mexico. Look up cancunwithme.com we have used manny several times. He can customize anywhere you want to go or he has some set trips. He does some less known tours. We did some real 4 wheeling in the jungle and isolated cenote. It is even more cost effective if there are 4 people. You get a driver and van (I never rent a car there)and one trip we liked was started in tulum before the tour buses and crowds. We then did cenote Dos Ojos and akumal to snorkel with sea turtles. We end with shopping in playa and then back to hotel.

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Watty
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Re: Screw The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by Watty » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:06 pm

It was over ten years ago but when were there we found that the taxis were very inexpensive and you could hire them for the day to take you to places like Citizen Itza or Coba. A big advantage of this that you could get up early and get there when it was still relatively cool and beat the crowds and tour busses there.

One of the highlights for us was the Cenote Ik kil near Citizen Itza and we were there before the tour busses so it was not crowded.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... nsula.html

My memory is fuzzy but we may have done loop through Citizen Itza, Cenote Ik kil and Coba.

I don't recall what it cost but hiring the taxi for the day cost but was roughly the same amount that a regular tour would have cost for the three of us but it did not include lunch. We just took food with us which was fine with us since we had heard of people getting sick from the food outside the main tourist areas. It was very nice that when we could leave a place early if we wanted to or say longer and we did not need to worry about when the bus would leave.

This seemed to be a very good day for the taxi drivers and we tipped him. We had met him prior in the week when taking taxis around town and his English was good and he was a bit of a character(in a good way). We had asked him about hiring the taxi for the day and we had his phone number to call him and set it up. We actually used him again for another day trip later in the week he seemed very glad to get to do that again.

Talk with the drive ahead of time about if you will be taking the toll roads or not, they may be a bit more expensive but it is a lot faster.

Once you get away from the coast it will be friggin hot and humid in the summer. Get started very early like at sunrise.

Take lots of sunblock with you and use it several times a day. The sun is fierce and there must be a high tax on sunblock since even at places like Walmart it was very expensive.

Akumal has a great beach and snorkeling and turtles but it is a bit far from Cancun. You might keep that in mind if you can work that in.

On one of the trips we also did a snorkel trip in a cenote(cave) which was interesting and a pretty unique experience but it took some planning to do. I forget which one we did.

I have been down to that area a couple of times including Playa del Carmen but I have not been there in at least eight years. Since I have been there when there is news about the area I tend to notice it and they do seem to be having a lot more problems than 10 or 15 years ago while you should be fine it would be good to be a bit cautious. Here is what the state department says;

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... isory.html

Quintana Roo is only at level 2 and for comparison most of Europe is also at level 2 so it is far from being a "no go" zone.

That said forget the drug dealers and corrupt cops, your biggest concern should be the ocean especially if you have kids. The waves and currents are fierce and if you Google "drowning Cancun" you will get way to many hits. I don't know that the statistics are but it would not surprise me if several tourist drown there every month.

I would not try renting a car down there since there are just too many ways that can be a problem and taxis are cheap.

Also read up on what it is currently like at the Cancun Airport and know ahead of time exactly how you will be getting to your hotel. Back when we were there it is mayhem as soon as you get out of the secured area with people trying get you to take their van or tour or whatever. Once you get through 50 feet or so of mayhem it is OK.

Mcfly
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Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by Mcfly » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:15 pm

Take the Ultramar ferry over to Isla Mujeres. About 20 minutes across from Cancun. Rent a golf cart, hang out on north beach and eat some good food. Much less commercial. You probably won’t want to go back to the resort.

Topic Author
BillyV001
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:50 pm

Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by BillyV001 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:24 am

Thanks all for the great responses. Lots of great ideas.

If we survive Cancun, we'll be headed to Chicago in September! I'm serious.

One more question. I've read that there are some issues exchanging peso/dollars etc (getting screwed on exchange rates, some places not accepting dollars). For a couple planning to do some local sight seeing and traveling, how much Mexican money would you recommend we bring? Best place to exchange dollars/pesos??

Best,
Bill

daheld
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Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by daheld » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:53 am

There's essentially nothing to see in the hotel zone. It's all resorts and a few shops. You can go into town to the mercados to buy junk trinkets and haggle with people trying to hock their wares.

When we went we were on a honeymoon, and spent our time laying on the beach drinking too many caipirinhas, then waddling inside to eat too many nachos.

As I understand it, cenotes and ruins are the only interesting things nearby.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:58 am

oxothuk wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:40 pm
Trader Joe wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:27 pm
BillyV001 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:19 pm
Hey All,

First time to Cancun. Family vacay and staying at the RIU Riviera Maya.

I'm not a lay-on-the-beach-guy so I'm wondering what interesting things some of the Bogleheads who've been to Cancun, have found to to do near-by.

Also wondering best place to buy good cigars.

Best,
Bill
Cancun is dangerous. I will not travel there. Be safe.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nat ... 071436002/
If you read that story (from last year) you will see that it has nothing to do either with tourists or the hotel zone.
OP does not want to lounge around on the beach, so it stands to reason that he will likely leave the hotel zone, no?

7eight9
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 7:11 pm

Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by 7eight9 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:17 am

BillyV001 wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:24 am
Thanks all for the great responses. Lots of great ideas.

If we survive Cancun, we'll be headed to Chicago in September! I'm serious.

One more question. I've read that there are some issues exchanging peso/dollars etc (getting screwed on exchange rates, some places not accepting dollars). For a couple planning to do some local sight seeing and traveling, how much Mexican money would you recommend we bring? Best place to exchange dollars/pesos??

Best,
Bill
We went to Cancun and Cozumel last December. Used a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking® Account debit card at an airport ATM. The only problem we had was the ATM didn't have English instructions. Ended up tipping a couple of dollars to one of the taxi touts who helped us navigate it.

RastaToo
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:30 am

Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by RastaToo » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:18 am

Lot's of RIU resorts...is this one in Cancun or Playa Del Carmen? Isla Mujeres is a great day trip. I also like Puerto Morelos which is even easier to get to (no ferry). ADO bus is super easy and inexpensive if you want to go down to Tulum to the ruins/town/beach (I like the little beach you can walk down to right at the ruins if you just want a quick beach stop). Akumal is an easy stop along the way as well.

Godot
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:44 pm

Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

Post by Godot » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:52 am

Trader Joe wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:27 pm
BillyV001 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:19 pm
Hey All,

First time to Cancun. Family vacay and staying at the RIU Riviera Maya.

I'm not a lay-on-the-beach-guy so I'm wondering what interesting things some of the Bogleheads who've been to Cancun, have found to to do near-by.

Also wondering best place to buy good cigars.

Best,
Bill
Cancun is dangerous. I will not travel there. Be safe.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nat ... 071436002/
"The State Department travel advisory for Mexico does not include any tourist or beach areas and reaffirms that all major tourist destinations in Mexico are safe," a spokesperson for the Quintana Roo Tourism Board said in a statement.
“Estragon: I can't go on like this. | Vladimir: That's what you think.” ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

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