Cancun's Hotel Zone has been the crown jewel of the Mexican Caribbean for 50 years now. As much as it's grown and been through there is no way those turquoise waters fail to take your breath away.
Boulevard Kukulcan is the Caribbean equivalent to the Vegas strip, 27 km long this boulevard showcases the best hotels and attractions in the whole city and it's equipped with bike and pedestrian paths that make it easy to go for a morning run or to bike around and enjoy the scenery.
Known for its many faces, Cancun's hotel zone has an endless list of activities to entertain and fit all kinds of travel needs.
The coast consisted of unexplored mangler, virgin jungle, and beaches. You’ll be surprised, but Cancun was initially called “Kan Kun”, which means “nest of snakes” in Maya.
It was in 1969, Mexican president, Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, commanded the National Bank to create a National Plan of Tourism.
The initial objectives of the project were to open up a road from Puerto Juarez to the island, design a Master Development Plan, and build a provisional airstrip (located in the area designated for city development, at the site of present-day Kabah Avenue, in front of the Ecological Park).
Cancun Downtown is home to some really nice Boutique Hotels and small hotels and Airbnb's as well as nice trendy bars for locals. The center of Cancun has a great variety of restaurants with excellent prices, it also offers bars with a fabulous atmosphere and with the best atmosphere.
Wondering what to do and where to go in the Hotel Zone? We’ve got you! We made a list of the must-see places for shopping, food, and drinks. Make the most of your stay in the Cancun Hotel Zone, and make every moment count. So if you’re staying near the hotel zone in Cancun, you’ll want to step out and see what Cancun has to offer, from museums to water activities, here’s everything you need to know about where to go in the Cancun Hotel Zone.
When to visit Cancun
Cancun weather and the surrounding area really shouldn’t worry you about the weather, it’s almost always with great sunshine during the whole day 365 days a year… But sometimes there can be rain, wind, or clouds. As a tropical destination, if it rains, it will more likely rain for some minutes and then the sun will be out soon again, or it can even rain with the sun out. This happens all the time in the Mexican Caribbean.
Things to do in Cancun
Let's start with our amazing turquoise sea, if you visit Cancun you must go to one of these wonderful beaches!
Right in front of the flagpole by Km 5 playa langosta’s shallow waters and calm waves make it a good option for those with young children since our little ones will have the chance to enjoy a good swim. A playground and floating water park are also available, making this a family-friendly public beach.
Blue Parrot Beach/ Forum Beach
This beach is located at Km 9.5 of the hotel zone, and it's one of the most recommended beaches for tourists and locals. It offers pristine waters and lots of fun. It is a very famous beach in Cancun.
Playa Caracol is one of the most famous beaches during spring break, having more than plenty of beach space to party and sunbathe to achieve an enviable tan to take back home. This beach has some restaurants and bars so it won’t be hard to find a nice place to grab a bite and keep relaxing.
This is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in the area. The waves here can get a little wilder but if you´re a good swimmer and you are up for some fun this can be a good spot to enjoy some light surfing. The beach was recently remodeled giving it extra space to lay down your towel and enjoy the sun. Just across the beach, the famous Kukulcan mall offers some shopping and dining options to complete your day.
Everyone's absolute favorite beach is Delfines, the stunning view makes it a go-to place if you´re looking forward to capturing all the shades of blue the Caribbean sea offers. With the palm tree palapas and a few bars selling ice-cold drinks, this offers the ultimate Cancun experience.
Nightclubs and bars
This bar is in the heart of the party zone, right next to all the clubs and yet it has its own energy, Abolengo has the Mexican cantina vibe with a modern twist. The terrace and indoor area have enough room so you and your party can dance to retro music and bachata songs. All cocktails and drinks are served in mason jars which will make it easy to hold your drink while you dance and will look great on your social media feed.
This bar/club has built a reputation of its own and has become the party zone´s main attraction. You´ll be able to take pictures with The Mask, Coco Bongo´s most famous dancer, and enjoy pop star impersonators that will make you feel like you´re at the actual concert. A night full of dancing, cocktails, and great music that will become the highlight of your Cancun adventure.
The go-to place for spring breakers and worldwide known for it´s Yard glasses Señor frogs is the party animal sanctuary. Señor frogs say they´re saving the world from boredom and they couldn’t be more right, they´ll do everything in their power to keep the party going.
Ventura Park is a family amusement park in Cancun with fun for everyone. It’s the ideal activity as everyone, kids and adults always has the best time. Ziplines, waterslides and more are waiting for you.
This eco-park is where you’ll be able to see some of Mexico's Intangible Cultural Heritage. There is something for everyone; for nature lovers, an underwater river, an aviary, a butterfly pavilion, and an orchid-bromeliad museum. It also has great areas to swim and snorkel while zipping a margarita. In addition, as part of the cultural offer, it has Mayan ruins replicas, a hacienda, a Mayan village, a Mexican cemetery, and the greatest Mexican show you will ever see.
While in Cancun, you can also take a Tequila Tasting class and learn more about this drink. Not only that but in most of the tastings, a delicious meal is served to accompany your drinks and have a better experience.
El Rey/ The king
Del Rey of The King ruins was discovered in 1909 by British explorers and it´s said to have been an important maritime trade port and fishing spot. For those with a short time to venture into the rest of the peninsula, El Rey may not be as tall but it gives us a fair idea of the Mayan culture grandeur.
San Miguelito Mayan site along with El Rey was the epicenter of prehistoric Cancun commerce. This archeological site was one of the main cotton, honey, and salt producers being this area one of the most prolific. To access these ruins you´ll have to pass through the Cancun Mayan Museum first, making it a great chance to feel like Indiana Jones and learn the most out the Mayan civilization one of the most advances in Latin America.
More Places to sightseeing
Cancun's Mayan Museum
The Cancun Mayan Museum showcases different exhibitions on Mayan artifacts found through the ages of the Yucatan Peninsula. This avant-garde museum is the entryway to San Miguelito ruins. If you enjoy the culture and are looking for a different activity while on vacation, we guarantee you´ll enjoy this museum.
"La Gran Rueda"
One of Cancun´s most recent attractions, it´s 130 feet high so you´ll get perfect shots from the lagoon, the ocean, and Kukulkan boulevard. This is located in La Isla shopping village so it makes it a great excuse to do some shopping.
Where to stay
The Ritz Carlton Cancun
Neutral-colored decoration with classical touches and mahogany stained wood furnishing will make you feel like in a royal retreat. While on vacation this resort´s mission is to keep entertained and relaxed with hydromassage by the beach, their unique cooking lessons, and shows. This 9 floored complex and its 7 dining options showcasing international cuisine specialties can satisfy even the most refined palates.
Riu Palace Las Americas
This adults-only resort´s decoration combines classic elements from the old world such as columns, hand-carved furniture with modern ones, and wifi in all corners to keep you connected. Riu Palace las Americas has one of the best beaches to go for a swim plus 3 pools with a swim-up bar so you don’t have to go out to reach for your favorite cocktail.
Located in km 9.5 of Cancun's hotel zone in the middle of some of the most expensive hotels in the area. This hostel is a home away from home, the rooms are cozy and you can choose from private, girl-only, or mixed rooms, depending on your travel style. The terrace bar has hammocks and lounge chairs where you can enjoy the nichupté lagoon and make new friends. Natura Hostel is an affordable option to stay within the hotel zone without losing an arm and a leg in the process.
Selina Cancun Hotel Zone
With a very millennial minimalist decoration, this hostel will give you great value for your money. You can choose between lounging by the pool or by a palapa by the lagoon. If you´re ready to party, Selina is 5 minutes away walking distance from the famous party zone. For the early risers, the bar is open and ready for breakfast and rental bikes are available to cycle down the boulevard.
Mayan Monkey Cancun
With a very industrial-like vibe as if we were staying in a remodeled fishing villa. You can choose to stay in an 8 or 12-shared room or if you want to enjoy the party carefree vibe but you do enjoy some privacy, we suggest the double room or the suite, all options will cover your breakfast. The itinerary of activities at the playroom and the pool area goes from table football tournaments to spring break pool parties.
Hotels For Couples
The Sun Palace has the signature quality of all Palace resorts but with a much lower amount of rooms. These 252-room adults-only hotels are a great option if you´re planning a couples getaway with your better half or your honeymoon. The infinity pool becomes an extension of the Caribbean with comfy day beds and lounging spaces that will help you finish that book you were looking forward to reading. For the active couples, we suggest going for a swim or taking part in the water volleyball tournaments by the pool.
Nizuc Resort & Spa
Nizuc Resort & Spa is just 10 minutes away from Cancun International Airport in Punta Nizuc. The Complex was built to be an oasis in the hotel zone surrounded by mangroves to highlight the exoticism. All suites and villas are spacious and make privacy a priority so you and your partner make yourselves at home without being bothered. This luxurious resort offers top-notch cuisine experiences that will exceed your expectations and make this a memorable experience.
Secrets The Vine
Secret´s divine sumptuous decoration will set the mood for a one-of-a-kind honeymoon getaway. Italian porcelain floors complement the turquoise scenery. Newlyweds can lounge by the infinity pool, the beach, or if they wish not to be bothered at all, at the wraparound terrace of the honeymoon suite. High-end mixology and international a la carte restaurants promise to make your taste buds tingle with joy.
SeaDust Cancun Family Resort
Parents' main concern while on vacation is to make sure their kids will have fun while on vacation. The family suite can accommodate up to a family of 6, you can rest assured knowing your kids will have their own space and enjoy the child content while you relax. The pirate island waterpark will keep little ones busy and if you travel with teenagers the fun bar offers lots of activities to keep them entertained. All restaurants offer kid-friendly menus and high-end dishes to delight and pamper parents as well.
Iberostar Selection Cancún.
Iberostar Selection is located in punta Nizuc just before the famous Playa Delfines and Del Rey Ruins, this contemporary resort incorporates Caribbean elements into its decoration that will complete the vacation atmosphere. The wide pool, two swim-up bars, and kids are with waterslides. If you are up for some outing, Delfines beach is 5 minutes away, and the Mayan ruins and Ventura park can be good options to entertain the whole family.
Royal Solaris Cancun.
Royal Solaris is a family-oriented resort just a few minutes away from Cancun´s international airport and far away from the party zone. The location allows the guest to enjoy their family bubble and make sure all members have fun. The suites are designed to face the ocean or the lagoon and are spacious enough to make everyone comfy. The Mayan museum, ruins, and Ventura park are just 5 minutes away just in case you want to enjoy the rest of the day by the city.
Best Hotels for Friends
The Pyramid at Grand Oasis Cancun
Grand Oasis Cancun is a great all-inclusive option to travel with friends, the pyramid area is adults only and during spring break season it becomes a beach party day club. Equipped with 16 restaurants and 14 bars that serve fun cocktails and sushi by the pool, you will become your best friends while dancing and enjoying the open-air DJ concerts. The after-party treatments at the spa include 50-minute full-body massages and facials that will leave as good as new before going back home.
Hard Rock Hotel Cancun
Hard rock hotels will give you and your friends the luxury rock&roll treatment, with their hall of fame articles worn by celebrities and their staff´s tattoo sleeves. Incorporating the Caribbean shades into the decor with in-room double jacuzzi tubs will elevate the rock star experience. Thir exotic gourmet restaurant options and bars make it easy to wait on hand and foot while chilling on a beach bed or terrace.
Aloft is popular among young travelers looking for an urban and modern hotel to enjoy the Caribbean at a good price. This hotel may not be beachfront but it greatly compensates with a rooftop pool and bar that will be great for chilling after a night at the clubs. For those in love with the thrill, the location will allow you and your crew to visit all the main sports in Cancun’s hotel zone and the rest of the city since it's just 20 min away.
Luxury Hotels in Cancun
Le Blanc Spa Resort will be the ultimate luxury experience since the moment you check-in, of course, bubbly wine on hand. The in-room amenities go from double jacuzzi tubs to premium minibars with top-shelf bottles, snacks, and drinks that will round up your high-end vacay in the Mexican Caribbean. Both the lagoon view and the Caribbean view will walk you through the experience while lounging on the terrace pool or a cabana by the beach.
Where to eat
Cancun Hotel Zone Restaurants
Seafood, Puerto Madero
Puerto Madero is the place to be if you´re looking to be treated like a royal and the perfect balance between surf and turf high-end dishes. The classic fancy restaurant facade is complemented by the lagoon view, turning it into a cozy and intimate location to throw a romantic dinner or catch up with friends.
The chef recommends trying the grilled octopus with a glass of wine of choice to make the most out of your visit.
The Surfin Burrito
Brunch, seafood, burritos, bowls, and veggie
Just next to Chac Mool beach and famous for serving only fresh ingredients, we find The Surfin Burrito filled with the carefree surfer vibe. This small spot by Km 9.5 in the hotel zone and 10 minutes walking distance from the party area it's open 24/7, making it a great spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner on your way to partying. The kind of place where time passes slowly, leaving you time enough to enjoy some coconut shrimp with mango sauce, relax and have an ice-cold beer or coconut with rum.
Las hijas de la tostada
What would Cancun's hotel zone be without a fresh ceviche and tostadas restaurant?
There is no such thing as enough seafood when we are by the beach, it's easy and fun to eat and refreshing. Las Hijas de la Tostada offers a wide range of crunchy tostadas with toppings such as grilled tuna or fresh shrimp ceviche with red onions that will go great with a michelada. The main terrace overlooks Nichupté lagoon which will be great to do some bird watching while we enjoy our meal.
How to get around
If you want to go around the hotel zone or move downtown you can take a taxi but know that if you take a taxi in the Hotel Zone, they tend to be expensive. Taxis are an easy and practical way to get around quickly and by yourself. What it's worth, we recommend using a taxi if you are going downtown or somewhere out of the hotel zone.
Public transportation is the most accessible method of transportation in the Hotel Zone. You can probably find a bus stop outside of your hotel, or very close. The bus routes can take you along the hotel zone and they operate from 6:00 am to 10:30 pm. R1 is the one you'll probably want to look for to take you anywhere inside the hotel zone.
Private transportation services are suitable for travelers who want to spend time getting to know the hotel zone or Riviera Maya without having to wait for transportation or having to pay every time. Private transportation has the advantage of taking you exactly where you want to be without you having to worry about driving.
Another option to move around the city is car rental, this is a more independent way of transportation. For people that feel comfortable driving in a new city, and if you have plans of exploring, this is a great option.