5 Things You Should Know About the Hotel Zone of Cancun

Quintana Roo has one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. But if you want to visit the beaches in the Hotel Zone of Cancun, there are some things you should know.

Cancun is Very Expensive

The first thing to know about the Hotel Zone of Cancun is that it’s very expensive. Cancun as a city is already one of the three most expensive parts of Mexico, and the Hotel Zone is by far the most expensive part of Cancun. Don’t expect to find any cheap street food trucks, Airbnbs or taxis in this part of town. Some of the hotels go up to several thousand dollars a night, and many of the beach bars impose a minimum spending limit (which kinda sucks if you don’t drink alcohol).

Hotel Zone of Cancun

The Hotel Zone is Far From the City Center

If you’re on a budget and thinking about saving money by staying in the city center, don’t plan to walk to the beach. The road to the Hotel Zone sandbar is 6 miles long, starting from the edge of the city center. Even if you want to visit some of the beaches closer to town, you’ll still have to walk a couple miles in humid, 85°F temperatures. Then again, if you’ve paid for a fancy hotel or resort in the Hotel Zone, you might have a shuttle to take you there from the airport or the city center.

There Are Two Buses from Cancun Center

If you’re staying in town and want to visit the Hotel Zone but don’t want to spend crazy prices on the taxis, you’ll need to get one of the two buses to the Hotel Zone. R1 travels down Avenue Tulum past the ADO bus station and then to the Hotel Zone. R2 makes a loop on Avenues Coba and Xcaret before going to the Hotel Zone. The buses come by every few minutes so you don’t have to wait too long, but you just might have standing room only on the bus.

R1 Bus in Cancun

There Are Nearly 100 Hotels

If you’re planning to stay in the Hotel Zone, there are nearly 100 hotels and resorts to choose from. Some of them are all-inclusive resorts with all kinds of excursions, some are barebones and dated, the rest are somewhere in between. The disadvantage of this is there aren’t really any public beaches in the Hotel Zone. Each section of the beach “belongs” to the hotel behind it. You can still use the beach, but don’t use any of their chairs or umbrellas without expecting to pay. At least the sandy part of the beach is wide, unlike Playa del Carmen to the south where the hotels are built right up to the water.

Cancun Beach

The Water is Better in Real Life

But the main thing to know about the Hotel Zone of Cancun is how beautiful the water is. The images and videos you see online just don’t do it justice. The first moment you walk down that parking lot toward the beach, it’s like walking toward some fantasy realm. The vivid aqua/turquoise blue water honestly doesn’t look natural. Sure, there are a few other places like that around the world with vivid blue beaches, and each one takes your breath away. Essentially, all the disadvantages listed above are fully worth it. The only thing better is going for a swim.

Cancun Water

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