Cancún Travel Guide: Where to Stay, Eat, and Drink

Cancún Mexico

One of the most popular travel destinations around is Mexico. While a lot of the LGBTQ+ community flock to Puerto Vallarta, there are other areas that are as equally beautiful. Cancún is one of those places with its crystal blue waters, white sandy beaches, and tropical breezes from the Caribbean Sea.

These aren’t your everyday adventures. Read on and learn what Cancún has to offer outside of the normal tourist attractions.

Where is Cancún Mexico Located?

map location of Canc\u00fan Mexico

Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico

  • Cancún is located on the northeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo. Cancún is considered part of the Caribbean and is a population travel destination.
  • Time in Cancún is based on the Central Time Zone however they do not observe Daylight Savings and they don’t change their clocks.

When is the Best Time to Go?

Caribbean Sea from the hotel balcony in Canc\u00fan Mexico

A view of the Caribbean Sea from a balcony in Cancún Mexico

You can visit Cancún year round but temperatures and rainfall will vary according to the time of the year. During the months of October to June, temperatures average in the 80s while July through September average in the 90s.

Rainfall can occur year-round but is more frequent during the months of August, September, and October. A misconception is that rain will ruin the day however, it may just be a passing cloud.

Hurricane season is between June and November but while they may get several storms, hurricanes are actually rare in Cancún.

Important Things to Know

  1. Flying into Cancún Mexico is relatively easy and getting through immigration and customs is fast.
  2. As with any Mexico destination, there are several timeshare representatives and taxi drivers that will attempt to get your attention and time.
  3. It is recommended that you have transportation scheduled ahead of time through your resort or hotel. If they do not offer that, you can use a taxi service or you can Uber. If you use a taxi, find out how much the fare is before stepping into the vehicle. Oftentimes you can negotiate the price.
  4. What to pack when visiting Cancún will vary depending on the types of activities you plan on doing. If you use this itinerary as a guide, then we would recommend the following items for your stay in addition to your regular clothes:
    • Passport
    • Bathing suits and coverups
    • Sandals and/or flip flops
    • Cool and loose clothing
    • Sunglasses
    • Hat
    • SPF sunscreen
    • Small bag or lightweight backpack
    • Eco-friendly bug spray
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Masks (they are required inside Mexican airports and customs at the publishing of this article)
    • Dress clothes and shoes for dinner. Some restaurants require collars and don’t allow shorts, tank tops, or flip-flops.

Where to Stay

Aerial view of the JW Marriott Canc\u00fan overlooking swimming pools and the Caribbean Sea

JW Marriott Cancún

Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Cancún

JW Marriott Cancún Resort

Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 14.5, Lote 40-A, Zona Hotelera,
Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, 77500

Toll-Free: +1 888-813-2776
Local Phone: +52 998-8489600

The JW Marriott Cancún is a resort located in the heart of the hotel zone. Each room has its own private balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea and Nichupté Lagoon. Club 91 offers those looking for a more indulgent experience and offer a private club atmosphere giving you access to additional luxury amenities and services.

There are several gourmet restaurants on-site with amazing views and experiences. There are four swimming pools to choose from such as an adults-only pool, a family pool, an indoor pool, a whirlpool, and even an outdoor pool dive pool with an artificial reef.

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Where to Eat

two tacos on a black ceramic plate with a roasted habanero and grilled orange wedges.

Where to eat in Cancún

Sacbé Beach Shack

Lote 41 Marriott, Blvd. Kukulcan, Zona Hotelera,
Cancún, Q.R., Mexico 77500

Local Phone: +52 8812000

Sacbé is located just a short walk from the JW Marriot to the neighboring property, Marriott Cancún Resort, and offers a bohemian atmosphere with a beach view. Enjoy Mayan-inspired cuisine and cocktails while listening to a live DJ or the waves crashing onto the shore. Kick off your shoes and dig your toes into the sand on this beach property. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s definitely not a shack.

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Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 15, Zona Hotelera,
Cancún, Q.R., Mexico 77500

Local Phone: +52 998 690 0273

Chamboa is a lively and trendy steakhouse overlooking the Nichupté Lagoon. The moment you step through the doors, you walk through scenes of tranquility and nature. Chamboa magically combines gourmet food, cocktails, art, and entertainment into a seductive atmosphere that transforms your dining experience. Just about every night is an explosion of live music, fashion shows, and aerial dances all while enjoying your cocktails in the open-air dining room with cool breezes off the lagoon.

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Hana Polynesian Grill

Mz. 53 Lote 41, Km 14.5, Zona Hotelera,
Cancún, ROO 77500

Local Phone: +52 998-8812062

Located on the Marriott property, Hana Polynesian Grill encapsulates the essence of the Polynesian culture with a vibrant atmosphere complete with tiki cocktails and Polynesian-style dance shows.

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Where to Drink

diagonal image of various cocktails on a table.

What to drink in Cancún

JW Marriott Lobby Bar

Located in the lobby of the JW Marriott

Sure, every hotel and resort has a lobby bar but do they have a wall of tequila with recipes for 150 different margaritas? Well, this one does. The uniquely crafted cocktails feature tequilas and mezcals from all over Mexico. Try as you may, you will never make it through all of the flavors in a one or two-week visit, which just means you will have to keep coming back until you make it through the entire collection. Then maybe, just maybe, you’ll return and start the process all over again.

Kasai Izakaya & Ramen Noodle Bar

Located on the JW Marriott Resort property

Local Phone: +52 998 881 2056

This may be a ramen noodle bar but you need to come here for the hand-selected sake and have a sake tasting maybe even through in some Japanese Whisky. While you’re at it, you may as well nibble on some tapas, sushi, and sashimi.

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Things to do

underground cavern cenote with clear bluish green water

Things to do in Cancún Mexico

Puerto Maya Cancún Mayan Tours

Boulevard Kukulkan Km 16.2 Hotel Zone
Cancun, Quintana Roo 77500

Toll-Free: +1 888-208-2213
Local Phone: +52 998 3870342

If you’re looking for a great water adventure, take a guided speed boat and snorkeling tour. Before you begin your journey, get blessed by the Mayan ancestors and learn a brief history of the Mayan culture. You’re your own captain in this two-person speed boat as you navigate through mangrove canals and snorkel in the beautiful Punta Nizuc Bay. Experience the tropical fish, and live reefs, and perhaps stumble upon underwater sculptures. End the adventure with a lite lunch and refreshments.

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Bali Bed Beach Cabana Rental

Located on the property of the JW Marriott Resort

Relax and unwind in a cabana on the beach as you listen to the waves crash. Lounging without a care in the world. No need to lift a finger as food and drinks can be ordered and delivered to you. Take a nap, read a book, or just enjoy the scenery.

Spa Treatments at JW Marriott Spa

Located on the property of the JW Marriott Resort

Choose one of the several spa treatments including massage, saunas, and pools in order to help your body relax, rejuvenate, and release tension and built-up stress. Let this award-winning spa pamper you as you sit in solitude listening to soothing sounds.

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Cenote Zapote Ecopark

Av. Ruta de los Cenotes km 19,
Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Local Phone: +52 998 1147658

Cenotes are underground chambers, natural pits, and natural sinkholes where groundwater exists. The Yucatán Peninsula is home to several cenotes that were used as water supplies by the ancient Maya. Today, you can swim in them, jump into them from diving platforms, or visit the caves and explore the underwater caverns. These cenotes are prehistoric and date back tens of thousands of years old. After the tour, you are treated to a buffet of tacos, sides, and Mexican refreshments.

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Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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