Before you even start reading our city guide, there is one thing you must know before going to Cancun... How to dance Salsa!
Just kidding, no pressure! First advice is to listen to the playlist below whilst reading the top things to do like a local in Cancun. Then after that I'm sure you'll surprise yourself dancing in front of your mirror or watching some youtube tutorials on how to dance Salsa. No judging here, just Olé!
WHAT Mexican food to try?
Any sort of Tacos for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Because you will barely see a menu in english if you are dowtown, here is what you need to know:
The best tacos are the ones you eat from the street or in friends' houses!
Don't even try the ones in the Hotel Zone, they won't taste any good. Eating these tacos in the street may not be the healthiest (depending on what you order) that's why it's called "comida chatarra" aka junk food. Up to you to order Chicken Tacos or Guacamole Nachos etc..totally healthy! As a variant of tacos or toasted tacos, try the quesadillas (tortillas with ham and cheese). Seafood is a must if you go for a restaurant by the sea. They are called 'Mariscos' and you have all sorts. Lobster, gambas, oysters, catch of the day etc. Try the 'Ceviche' of fish or prawns. Marinated with lemon, coriander, tomatoes and onions, all served in a toasted tortilla, it is so fresh and delicious especially during the hot season. You can order it as a starter or to share with friends whilst having drinks.
We thought we'd make this travel guide a bit special as we lived in Cancun for 6 months, plenty of time to experience this beautiful city and its surroundings.
If you plan on spending a couple of weeks in Cancun and the area, here is all you need to know:
What to order at the bar?
Tequila: Make sure it's 100% agave, that's how you recognise bad to good tequila. Mix it with grapefruit soda and you just made a Paloma!
Cuba Libre or Cubeta: rum and coke
Piña Colada: order it by the liter, it's too delicious not to!
Micheladas: this one is for the more adventurous! Any Mexican would tell you it's the best drink on earth...Not so fast young man....Read carefully what's in there! A michelada is a Mexican drink made with beer (cerveza), lime juice (limon), and a lot os sauces, spices, and peppers. Again, locals order it by the liter, with variants or Tamarindo, Mango or Strawberry. Why don't you try from your friend's before ordering one for yourself! Apparently it is good for curing a hangover. Yeah right...
Note well: Cancun and the area is well known for their 2x1 offer, the kind of happy hour we have in Europe or America. So from a time period you get two drinks for one. Another one not to miss either is "Ladies Night" usually on Tuesday (don't ask why) and ladies drink for free from 8pm to Midnight! How amazing (and dangerous!)
Where to dance reggaeton?
Okay okay... I hear you from here "What!?! Reggaeton...No way!" Yeah right...Let's talk in two weeks time when you return from Cancun. Of course you may see some people dancing Salsa or listen to some Mariachi serenade, but let's be honest. Between you and I, all you going to hear in the clubs is Reggaeton from Puerto Rico..Don Oma, Daddy Yankee etc! So let's get you in. The best clubs to experience great music and venue are: Mandala & Palazzo. Don't even consider Coco Bongo, it's a rip off and not an enjoyable night ahead, trust me!
Where to go shopping?
Mexican culture is very similar to the US culture when it comes to Shopping. Because it is so hot outside, locals love their malls and their Air Conditioning. So be ready to freeze your ass off in one of these malls! Isla dorada Shopping Mall, Luxury Avenue and Plaza Las Americas. Luxury Avenue is the luxurious of these three and is with Isla Dorada located in Hotel Zone. Plaza Las Americas is more popular and more for the locals than the tourists. Same boutiques though as well as food court and cinema.
Where to work out?
Early in the morning when the sun has not risen and the temperature is not too hot start from Km 0 at the Hotel Zone and run or power walk along the laguna or the sea side. There are outdoors work out machines that can get busy by mexican ripped guys! The Malecon is also great for a nice walk on a sunday. You will see young Mexicans on a date there or some families playing with kids.
Where to find the best beaches?
The Beaches of the hotel zone are not private and do not belong to any hotels. You can go to any beaches of the hotel zone but you may not want to share you space with sunbeds. Best one to go to is the Coco Bongo Beach (with lounge music and beach club) or Playa Marlin Km 12.5.
If you want to snorkel and enjoy the great reef barrier, get up to the Club Med hotel entrance and walk all the way until the end of the beach to reach the barrier.
Another experience I recommend you do is swim with a Whale shark (Tiburon Ballena). It's a one day trip on a boat in the turquoise sea with gigantesque but peaceful whale sharks. Included in the price of the tour, a Ceviche at the end of the trip.
Cancun is also a great place to get your scuba diving licence as it is part of the Great Reed Barrier in the Gulf of Mexico, plus it's cheap!
Learn Mexican Slang in 5 minutes
Un chavoA guy
¡Hijole! Jesus Christ!
No manches! Unbelievable!
¡Me vale madres! I don't give a fuck!
¿Qué onda? What's up?
Como no! Of course!
A huevo! Hell yeah!
No hay pedo! No problem
Son Mamadas! That's Bullshit
¡No mames! No fucking way!
Estoy crudo(a) I am hungover
A la verga Fuck this
Esta cañon It's awesome
Que mirrey He's cocky
Donde esta la peda?Where is the party?
Que estas haciendo guey?! What are you doing dude?