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Mexico now has
a seat-belt law.
CANCUN INFO & TIPS
This page contains usefull Cancun information and tips relevant to vacationers.
Do not accept torn or damaged pesos bills. Mexican currency, damaged in any way will not be accepted by any merchants, money exchanges or banks. If somebody offers you a damaged bill, refuse to accept it.
ATM machines are all over Cancun hotel zone and there are a few in downtown Cancun City.
ATMs dispense pesos and receipts are in pesos.
It is advisable to carry lots of small bills and change because merchants never have change.
For more information see: Mexican Money
Water & Ice
You can purchase bottled water everywhere you go in the Yucatan except some of the long barren highways. Any road to any attraction, or ruin site will have stores along the way.
Every resort uses a water purifier. Some say that this water is okay to drink, some say it is not. We have drank it many times and have never become ill. This does not mean we have not picked up a parasite. Rule of thumb is if you're only staying for a short period you can find bottled water everywhere, so drink that. Use your hotel water for brushing your teeth if you wish and taking showers but drink only bottled water everywhere you go. Almost every resort and hotel offer 1 or 2 bottles of water per room per day. If not you can purchase it in the resort/hotel store or in a nearby store.
Ice is safe in the drinks. The ice that is provided to most restaurants and bars is produced in ice factories using purified water. Hotels and restaurants that use ice machines also use purified water. Even the guy's downtown selling home-made popsicles use purified water.
In the ocean:
April till November 80-82 F approx.
The majority of swimming pools in Cancun and the Mayan Riviera are not heated. We do not know why because from late December to February pool water temperature can be cold and EVERYBODY complains about this.
Mexicans by and large, are generous people. Tipping, regardless of the amount, is another means of "acclimatizing" yourself to the Mexican environment.
Who doesn't love a present? Money, neat stuff and practical items are all excellent things to give as gifts to anybody, regardless of the person's stature.
When tipping for service the average tip for servers is between 10%-15%, depending on the service.
In All Inclusive hotel/resorts rooms are assigned to staff thus you will probably have the same housekeeper for your entire stay except for their day off. You can either tip every day or at the end of your stay. If you bring gifts then you can leave a present on the bed every day and a cash tip on the last day.
You can either leave your tip on a table or hand it directly to the person.
Tipping rates for housekeeping staff:
2 - 4 day stay: $2.00 USD per day
1 week stay: $20.00 USD
Bellboys and skycaps at the airport can expect anywhere from $.50 to $1.00 U.S. per bag.
For more information see: Taking Gifts And Tipping
There is a sales tax of 15%. The tax applies to the purchase of most items and is paid by residents and visitors alike. Often this tax is hidden in the total cost of restaurant bills, store purchases, and tours.
Standard electrical service in Mexico is 110 volts [same as USA & Canada]. Hotels usually offer voltage converters for 220 volt devices. Some electrical sockets do not accept three-prong or polarized plugs. It is recommended that you bring your own adapter [you can often buy them in the hotel store].
Cancun is located at: Longitude, West 086° 53.212 Latitude, North 21° 02.091
Cancun time is six hours earlier than Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Daylight Savings Time begins on the first Sunday in April and ends on the last Sunday in October.
Phone calls from hotels can be very expensive due to Mexican taxes and surcharges. Before you call, make sure you know exactly what the cost per minute is.
It is advisable to go to a phone booth outside the hotel and make the call. You will need a phone-card to use the phone. You can buy the cards all over the place. Check your hotel lobby store.
Lower rates can be had by using LADATEL phone cards available in 30, 50, and 100 peso amounts. LADATEL phones are located along sidewalks and in malls.
The country code for Mexico is 52. The area code for Cancun is 998 and all phone numbers in Cancun are 7 digits. So, if you are calling Cancun from the United States or Canada you would dial: 011 [International code] 52 [country code] 998 [area code] and the 7 digit phone number.
From Cancun calling the U.S. or Canada, dial 001 + area code + local number.
Lower rates can be had by using LADATEL phone cards available in 30, 50, and 100 peso amounts. LADATEL phones are located along sidewalks and in malls. You can also get prepaid phones before traveling so that you always have a phone around.
In order to use your cellular phone in Cancun you must first contact your cell phone company and tell them you are going to Mexico and that you will require International Calling. You can purchase one month's worth. Depending on your service you will be charged a set-up fee. The per-minute cost generally runs $1.00 +.
If you are using a Nokia or Bell Mobility you need GSM and TDMA capability or your phone will not work in Mexico [Blackberries have the GSM card].
Don't forget to update your roaming software [where applicable].
AT&T, Nextel, Telus and Verizon all work in Cancun [Mexico].
You must set up international calling with your cell phone provider. When calling out from Mexico you must dial "001 area code and phone" or you may not get a connection to the number you are calling.
Upon arrival in Mexico "update" your cell to locate tower *228.
If you are using Verizon you can add I-Dial to your number, which allows calls from Mexico to the U.S. for .99 per minute roaming charge. There is no charge for the I-Dial service. [Rate may change. Check before leaving.]
With AT&T when you get out of the airport turn your phone on and let it find that you are in Mexico. To call home press and hold the 0 (Zero) until you get the + than dial your number.
In Cancun addresses, "Sm" stands for Super Manzana [a group of houses]. Neighborhoods are classified with a Sm number [Sm 23, Sm 25, etc.]. Each has its own park or square, with calles [streets] fashioned around it.
Airport - City Bus
If you arrive at the International Airport then exit the front of the airport and walk to your right. There is usually a bus there but if not either ask a porter or just walk over to the bus stand which is right at the end of the front of the terminal. NOTE: Sometimes non-charters fly into the International Airport.
Just like the International Airport, International flights do sometimes fly into the Charter Airport. The Charter Airport has a shuttle service right out the front exit/entrance of the airport. You can also take a shuttle between the airports if you want to take the bus from the International Airport instead.
For more information see: Cancun Airport
Baby food is sold in Cancun supermarkets and convenience stores however they may not carry your baby's particular brand. Also baby foods found in the area tend to be "fruit".
There are three 1940 Navy ships at 85-90 feet available to divers on the Cancun coast.
There are lots of dive shops, dive tour operators and a hyperbaric chamber in Cancun.
Most if not all 4-5 star hotels/resorts have an Internet room which is a room of computers with Internet access. Internet is usually NOT included in the hotel package and you must pay separate. Internet rooms at hotels are the most expensive access points.
In Cancun City you can find dozens of Internet Cafes. Where ever your hotel or hostel is there will be at least one Internet Cafe within a short walk. All you have to do is ask somebody at the front desk of the hotel or hostel.
Prices can change dramatically from one computer place to another. There are also Internet Laundromats, Internet Delis, Internet Pool-Halls and many small hotels and even hostels have a single computer with Internet access now.
Skim, 1%, 2% and homogenized milk is available.
Cancun stocks some American brands [Marlboro and Camels], NO Canadian cigarettes.
A good Mexican brand is Montana White or Montana Red. If fact you may prefer these. You can't buy Montana cigarettes at Duty Free but you can buy cartons in the Charter Airport upstairs at a store in the food court.
You can buy American cigarettes and some Canadian brands [Players] at Duty Free in any of Cancun's airport terminals.
Cancun cigar stores carry a large variety of top Cuban Cigars. These cigars will be confiscated by returning Americans if customs find them.
For Canadians, you can bring back 50 cigars BUT you must have a sales receipt for boxes of 25. No receipt is necessary for boxes containing 23 cigars or less.
Cuban cigar boxes now come with holograms for added security however "in Cuba" the black-market guys are providing authentic looking counterfeit boxes with holograms as well as fake sales receipts.
For more information see: Cigars & Tequila In Mexico
Boat & Ferry to Isla Mujeres
The passenger ferry for Isla Mujeres officially leaves from Puerto Juárez every thirty minutes between 6am and 8pm with both fast (15min; US$3.50) and slow (45min; US$1.80) services.
To get to the ferry terminal, take a taxi or a bus [Ruta 13] heading north from the stop on Tulum, opposite the bus station [20min].
The car ferry [US$13 for car, plus US$2 for each passenger] leaves from Punta Sam, a few kilometres north of Puerto Juarez. There are five departures daily between 8am and 8.15pm, returning from Isla Mujeres between 6.30am and 7.15pm.
Aquabus (PHONE: 998/883-3155 or 998/883-5649), a Zona Hotelera water-taxi service, travels from the hotels to various restaurants and shops; the one-way fare is $3, a day pass is $15, and a week pass is $35.
For more information on Isla Mujeres see: Isla Mujeres Travel Information
The legal drinking age in Cancun is 18.
CANCUN HOTELSFor current Cancun hotel and resort information including rates, availability and secure on-line reservations please see:
Cancun Hotels & Resorts
Cancun Airport to Hotel Shuttle see:
Answers for many of your questions may possibly be found here:
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