Cancun

Cancún is located in Quintana Roo, Mexico, and the clear waters of the Caribbean surround it. It is characterised principally by it´s beautiful beaches, where the sand is fine and white. It´s sea of transparent waters possesses some mesmerising shades of colour, ranging from emerald to turqoise, which make you reconsider the meaning of clarity.
 
Here you can also find ruins, which offer a glimpse of the Mayan culture, such as the El Rey archaeological site or the Temple of the Alacran (Yamil Lu'um) or indulge in the spectacle of the water in Xel-Ha which is considered a natural aquarium.
 
Visiting the  Secret River will give you an appreciation of the passage of time and you will feel the Xibalbá in your own flesh. Xcaret, located between the Mayan jungle and the Caribbean sea, is the most significant eco-archaeological park in the country. For this reason, Trip Advisor declared Cancún the second most attractive destination for summer holidays in 2016. It´s night life, one of the most lively in the country, along with the contrasting tranquility of the underwater art museum through which you can access while diving is a small sample of the array of options offered in the city.

Clima en diciembre

Mes Dic.
Temp. máx. abs. (°C) 33.5
Temp. máx. media (°C) 28.6
Temp. media (°C) 24.5
Temp. mín. media (°C) 20.5
Temp. mín. abs. (°C) 12.0
Lluvias (mm) 86.1
Días de lluvias (≥ 0.1 mm) 9.8

Monuments and important buildings

Fuente Diálogo Norte-Sur

 It was built originally in October 1981 to commemorate the Meeting of Heads of State for the "North-South Summit". Before the construction of the monument as it stands today in Cobá and Tulum avenues, the original was comprised of a set of geometric figures of iron. There it was known as "Insectronic". It was dismantled in October 1994.

Fuente "Fantasía Caribeña"
In 1994, the municipal government of Benito Juárez launched a call for national and international artists to create a new monument. The New York sculptor Lorraine Pinto won the contest with her fountain "Caribbean Fantasy". It derived from this, and due to its peculiar form, it is known by the Cancunians as the "Ceviche Fountain".
Monumento a la Historia de México
Designed by the Cuban sculptor Ramón De Lázaro Bencomo, better known as José Delarra. It was inaugurated in 1981 by the president of the republic, José López Portillo, it enhances the national history through engravings of the most important historical figures. Due to its shape, it was popularly known since its inauguration as "Monument to the Blender".
Monumento a José Martí
The first monument designed by José Delarra outside of Cuba, in 1978. Alluding to the Cuban poet, the people of Cancun baptized him with the name of the monument "Los Plátanos". It is worth mentioning that this famous artist (who died in 2003) has ten sculptural works abroad: five in Spain, two more in Cancún, one in Angola and one in the Dominican Republic.
Fuente de Kukulcán
A colorful fountain that gives its name to the main boulevard, it consists of six heads of the Kukulcan feathered serpent, replicas of the monuments of Chichén Itzá, representing the wind god of the ancient Mayans. These heads are oriented towards the four cardinal points, symbolizing in the same way the importance they have in the Mayan culture.
Explanada de la Bandera
President Ernesto Zedillo was in charge of the first hoisting of the monumental flagpole, on January 23, 1998. Located at kilometer 5 of the Hotel Zone, the flag is so large that you can see its wave from the center of Cancun , and even from Isla Mujeres. The flagpole measures at 103.7 m, the flag has an area of 1,424 m² and weighs 120 kg. The texture of the fabric with which it was made is similar to that used to make the parachutes.
Palacio Municipal
Seat of the Municipal Executive Power, it consists of the different departments that make up the head of Benito Juárez. On the entrance plaque it is noted that he had the honor of having the presence of the National Symbols on August 5 and 6, 1985. Radio City Hall 105.9 FM, inaugurated on the 25th, is also in operation at its facilities. November 1980, by the President of the Republic José López Portillo, accompanied by the President of the Dominican Republic, Antonio Guzmán Fernández and the municipal president of that time, Felipe Amaro Santana (the commemorative plaque is also detailed at the main entrance of the palace). In the front there is the iron of the Plaza de la Reforma, an esplanade used for civic events, such as parades and local fairs, using the illustrious figure of Benito Juárez in a statue.

Places of interest

Parque Ecológico Kabah
This urban park was created with the intention of protecting the endemic species of Cancun, giving them a home, and preserving a large green area as a protected area. It was declared as a protected natural area with the category of urban park on November 10, 1995. It is one of the main attractions of this destination for local residents and tourists alike, as in its 39 acres you can observe varied plant species and wild animals, some of which are in danger of extinction. It is located towards the southwest of the city and adjoins to the north with the avenue of the Forest, to the south with the Nichupté and to the east with the Av. Kabah.
 
The vegetation that it contains is the remnant of the subperenifolia median forest, which existed prior to the construction of the city. Species variety for vertebrates was estimated at 46 species, of which 3 are amphibians, 10 reptiles, 21 birds and 12 mammals. In order to encourage and reinforce the knowledge of natural resources, guided tours, ecological activities and workshops of each one are offered, tailored to one´s educational level. The park has several attractions, exhibiting the Mayan house, first built in Cancun, where the promoters and developers of the Cancun project stayed. This house has been converted into a historical museum today. Other attractions are the chiclero camp, the Mayan site and the nursery. Along the trails you can see the various species of mammals, reptiles and birds, including coatis (nasua narica), crocodiles and spider monkeys. The park also has recreational areas and playgrounds, surrounded by vegetation and tranquility in the middle of the urban center of Cancun. Many citizens use the park for jogging, cycling, or simply to escape from life in the city for a while, indulging in the flowers and wildlife of the place.
 
It is part of the reef barrier called "Great Western Atlantic Reef Belt" (also known as "Great Mayan Reef" and belongs to the "Mesoamerican Reef System") considered the second largest barrier reef in the world. The marine park is divided into three polygons, each of which faces the coasts described in the same name as the park. The reef formation of the Punta Nizuc polygon extends south to the adjoining Arrecife National Park of Puerto Morelos. Daily tours are organised in various marinas for underwater exploration. Of the three polygons that comprise it, two are located in the coastal area of Cancun:

 

Polygon 2, Punta Cancún
The second polygon is based in the commercial heart of the hotel zone whose name is precisely Punta Cancun, it is posible to Access the north via "snail beach" and the east by "Chac-Mool beach" and "blue seagull beach".   It is in this polygon where the islets whose use is exclusively dedicated to scientific research are found, in the coastal area of the polygon, beach activities are prevalent, as well as the use of non-motorized boats such as kayaking and windsurfing. The most important activities of this polygon are the autonomous diving and snorkeling, hence why it is advised to be reached by motorized boats from the nautical clubs located in the lagoons of Nichupté and Bojórquez through the channel Siegfried and Nichupté channel, or from the same beaches of the hotel zone. The best-known reef areas are caves, the flag, barbones, chitals, from the north side of the point, and from the west side the shoemaker, brincos, rejollada, soraya, san toribio, blue wells, barracks, aristos, loss, crystal , wall of Sara, long and the short one.   The Mexican Navy made a donation to enable the formation of artificial reefs, the gunboat "Juan de la Barrera C-55" on October 25, 2000, and the gunboat "Anaya C-58" on May 28, 2000. In September 2004, the hurricane Ivan that crossed the Yucatan channel closest to the island of Cuba that the peninsula, carried with it so much force that the Anaya was split in half.
Polygon 3, Punta Nizuc
It is located in the southern part of the hotel zone in Punta Nizuc, land access is complicated and so beach activities and non-motorized sports are only provided by service providers located in hotels within the area.
Despite the reef barriers in the area, they are the most visited in all of Cancun and the most popular way to access is through the use of motorized boats of one or two seats, from the nautical clubs located in the Nichupté lagoon crossing the mangroves (" travel through the jungle ") and going out to the ocean through the Nizuc channel, to practice snorkeling. The diving practice is also done at the point known as "the buoy of the crazy people". This polygon of the park is the closest to the International Airport of Cancun and only 10 km crossing the road 307.
Zona Arqueológica El Meco
The portion of the site currently explored includes mainly a square of clear ceremonial and political function, as well as a series of palatial and administrative structures distributed in its surroundings. In the square, Structure I stands out for its monumentality and height, traditionally known as El Castillo, which is a quadrangular basement with four bodies, topped by a tripartite entrance temple, which shows the typical East Coast style construction. The excavations of Peter Schmidt, first, and of Luis Leira later, demonstrated the existence of a substructure conformed by a smaller basement, wherein the upper part a temple of a single access and more modest architecture was conserved. The intervention carried out between 1997 and 1998 by Leira, showcased a good part of the posterior portion of this basement, as well as the excellent preservation of the stucco plaster that still covers it.
Yamil Lu'um
It is a Mayan archaeological zone located at km. 12 of Boulevard Kukulcán. It has access to the beach through a hotel next to the main temple. It has been the subject of controversy due to the construction work carried out by a hotel chain in its surroundings. 39 The main monument is known as the Temple of the Scorpion, and this name is given due to the remains of a structure of the arachnid that was found in one of the walls of the temple, which rises on a base of vertical walls with a staircase of four steps limited by two dice-shaped rafters; In the upper part, a platform was built to support the single-chamber temple, whose interior is accessed through three gaps formed by two columns. The flat roof that covered it was formed by an architrave of wood and a series of butts placed one very close to the other; the walls show a slight outward inclination; the frieze is limited between two cornices and is crowned by a single inclined plane. All the construction was plastered and painted, of which at present no vestige remains. The chronological location places it in the Late Postclassic period (1200-1550)
Zona Arqueológica El Rey
Located at km 18 of the Hotel Zone, it is the most notable archaeological settlement in the island area of Cancun. The explored portion, which includes forty-seven structures, includes a religious and administrative area in which important ceremonies were carried out and the characters of higher status lived in the political life of that region. In some of the palatial structures that can be visited today, fragments of mural paintings are preserved that allude to gods and iconographic elements related to the religious life of the post-classic Maya of northern Quintana Roo.
 
The original name of the site is unknown, and only recently was it named "El Rey" because the upper portion of a sculpture representing a human face decorated with an elaborate headdress was discovered on the site. It portrays a high-ranking character. Today, the king's head is sheltered and exposed, in the archaeological museum of Cancun.
Museo Maya de Cancún
The Mayan Museum of Cancun shelters one of the most significant archaeological collections of the Mayan culture of Mexico, since it not only includes pieces of the greatest relevance that were found in the State of Quintana Roo, but also a selection of emblematic pieces of the Mayan sites of Palenque, Chichén Itzá, and Comalcalco, among other sites represented.
 
It is located at kilometer 16.5 of Blvd. Kukulcán, in the Hotel Zone of Cancun. Its design, designed by the architect Alberto García Lascurain, is avant-garde and emphasizes the linear image with concrete lattice walls, open air spaces that allow visitors to enjoy the climate of Cancun. It was inaugurated on November 2, 2012. It is located in the so-called San Miguelito forest, a few meters from the Nichupté lagoon and is integrated into the archaeological site of San Miguelito (Mayan city of 1250-1550 AD), which is visited together with the museum site, forming a total area open to the public of just over 80 hectares. The buildings of the Museum are eight meters high and include three volumes of exhibition pavilions.
 
Both the Museum and the archaeological site are operated by the National Institute of Anthropology and History. The visit to the site includes access to the archaeological zone of San Miguelito, which is composed of four groups formed by pre-Columbian structures, with a basement remodeled during the pre-Hispanic era, where the remains of a temple are preserved. The complex has managed to integrate the original vegetation of San Miguelito with the garden areas of the Museum so the visitor can take a comprehensive and highly rewarding tour.
El Mirador
This is also known as Playa Delfines. As its name suggests, it is one of the most important and spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea in Cancun. Both day and night, it is a frequent meeting place for the people of Cancun. On the east side, you can see the ocean, and on the west, a panoramic view of the Nichupté lagoon and part of the archaeological site El Rey.

Procedures for foreigners

The documentation required by the visitor to enter Mexico is:
  • Identification with photography (driver's license) 
  • The corresponding Visa, if necessary 
  • Passport
Migratory form of tourist.- 
This document has two parts: 
It is the authorization by the Mexican government to visit Mexico. It is issued free of charge, usually the airlines have them available at the time of registering for your flight, this migratory form can be extended for 180 days.
 
Some tips related to this document are:
Try not to lose the blue copy that will be delivered with the official stamp after passing the immigration procedures. You must hand over it to the authorities when leaving the country.
 Write down the number of your tourist migratory form and keep it in a safe place (.) 
 
Do not damage or mistreat your copy; remember to deliver it when leaving the country (.) Business visitors should take into account that since the signing of NAFTA, the Mexican government requires, instead of the tourist migratory form, a document known as F.M.N., which can be obtained at any Mexican consulate free of charge. 
 
Visas Obtained in Mexican embassies and consulates. It is valid for 90 days It can be renewed if necessary. Necessary for some countries. 
Visitors from the United States and Canada do not require a visa, however they must show proof of citizenship (passport expired no more than 5 years or birth certificate) Permits for tourists are valid for up to 180 days and can be obtained through the airline or the border, presenting proof of citizenship. 
 
Currency - The official currency in the country is the Mexican Peso. The daily price of the Peso fluctuates, however the average is approximately 18 to 20 pesos per dollar. 

Visas

They are obtained at the Mexican embassies and consulates.
They are valid for 90 days.
They can be renewed if necessary.
Obligatory for certain nationalities.

Currency

The official currency in the country is the Mexican Peso. The exchange rate fluctuates daily, however the average rate is approximately 18 to 20 peso per US dollar.

How to move in Cancun?

Buses
 Buses In Cancun there are 3 bus lines: Autocar, Turicun and Maya Caribe. To move within the same Hotel Zone you can take any of them without problem. The ticket costs November 2012 8.50 pesos, approximately 0.65 USD.
 
 The most common rides to downtown Cancun are to Market 28 or Downtown. To go to Mercado 28 in Cancún you need to take the bus marked as R-2, this will leave you a few blocks from Mercado 28 and some shopping centers like Wal-Mart.   
 
If you go to Tulum Avenue, say to the bus terminal, Parque de las Palapas, Av. Yaxchilán and surroundings, you can take the same bus R1 to reach the center.
Taxis
Taxisin Cancun are considered the most expensive form of transportation in the city. The rates in the Hotel Zone are different from those in the Urban Zone. You can check the taxi rates directly with your hotel concierge to avoid any unwanted surprises. Even the taxi drivers themselves must bring a table of rates that detail the cost that they will charge from one area to another. Keep in mind that taximeters are not used. In the hotels the taxi rates are usually at the entrance of the hotel, and if you are going to take a taxi it is preferable to pay in pesos since this will give you a better rate than dollars. They are useful when returning from clubs, going out in a group or if you are in a hurry.