Cancun Info

Cancun is divided into 2 main areas.  There is the hotel zone (La Zona Hotelera) and downtown Cancun (El Centro).

La Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone)

Cancun’s hotel zone is a 14-mile island which contains a long stretch of hotels, malls, restaurants, nightclubs/bars, and golf courses.   And, of course there are  14 miles of gorgeous beaches too!  Everything of interest to tourists is located along one main road, Blvd. Kukulkan (Kukulkan Boulevard).  Since everything is on one road, it is very easy to navigate the hotel zone.  Buses run throughout the hotel zone 24 hours a day and are very safe even in the wee hours of the night.  (Be careful when you board the bus though!  Drivers often take off before all passengers are seated.)  Taxis are plentiful too, but be aware that rates at taxi stands (in front of many hotels, for example) have set rates, whereas taxis on the street are more willing to negociate fares.

The hotel zone is shaped like the number 7.  The long part of the “7” is on the Caribbean Sea and the top part is on Mujeres Bay.  The water is very calm on Mujeres Bay and is a much better option for families with small children than the beaches on the Caribbean side.  Exceptions:   Dreams Cancun and Club Med Cancun usually have calm waters, even though they both have beaches on the Caribbean Sea.)

At kilometer 9.5, Cancun tourists will find “Party Center”, the area where most of the major nightclubs & bars are located.  Many people believe this area is “downtown Cancun”, but that is incorrect.

El Centro (Downtown Cancun)

El Centro is on the mainland and it is an actual city.  Cancun’s “City Hall” and other government office buildings are located in the downtown area.  There are several flea markets downtown.  Mercado 28 (Market 28) is the largest and the most popular with tourists and locals, alike.  There are 3 areas that are great for tourists to visit:  Avenida Tulum (Tulum Avenue)/El Parque de Las Palapas, Avenida Yaxchilan (Yaxchilan Avenue), and Mercado 28 (Market 28).  All 3 areas are within a 15-minute walk of each other.

Tulum Avenue/El Parque de Las Palapas have markets and “local” cuisine.

Yaxchilan Avenue has several blocks of small bars and restaurant that are frequented by “locals”.  You will find delicious food and excellent drink specials all along Yaxchilan Avenue. The bars on this street come to life early evening with people that want to unwind after a long day at work.  Later in the evening, the street is like Paradise for fans of live music.  Many bars have live rock bands which perform from around 11pm until around 4am (or closer to 7am on the weekends!).

In Market 28, you will find the typical fare for tourists…Cancun t-shirts, jewelry stores,  etc….but, since Cancunenses frequent this market, you will also find many services for “locals”. While at Market 28, you can have keys made, have your television or computer repaired, or get a tattoo.  There is definitely something for everyone at Market 28.