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Visiting Cancun on the Cheap

Aug 17, 2007
With its whitewashed beaches and azure waters, the Mexican paradise of Cancun balances the peace of the beach with a fun and fabulous nightlife, including clubs such as Coco Bongo and My Place.

When you are not lazing or dancing, you can swim with dolphins, deepsea dive, and snorkel. Or golf, shop, ride horses, and drink in the ancient Mayan archeological sites.

In October of 2006, Hurricane Wilma devastated many areas of the Peninsula. But help has since rolled in from all over the world, and many areas of the city have been rebuilt. In some cases, they have been upgraded to higher quality hotels and wider beaches.

Best Travel Times

The hurricane season begins in September, so opt for cancellation insurance when booking flights during this time.

You might also want to consider planning your vacation during the off peak winter months, because airfares and hotel rates tend to be less inflated. Look for midweek bargains, which are generally most significant from Tuesday through Thursday. You can save a lot by shopping around for travel packages and discount air travel. Make sure you tell your travel agent about your budget and what kinds of attractions and experiences are most important to you. If you do not work with a travel agent, keep your eye on the major online travel sites to snag the best deals. Here is a web page that compiles and posts updated coupon codes from Travelocity, Expedia, Site59.com and CheapCarribean.com:
Keep your eyes and ears open for deals on the following popular hotels, in particular:

Le Blanc Spa & Resort
Royal Sands
JW Marriot Cancun Resort & Spa
Ritz Carlton Cancun
Hilton Cancun Golf & Spa Resort
Marriot CasaMagna Cancun Resort
Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun
Riu Palace Las Americas
Royal Islander
Riu Cancun

Surrounding Attractions

There are so many things to do in the Cancun area, you can afford to be selective. Plan ahead for day trips and go early, before the sun gets too hot and the crowds come out en masse.

Here are some popular attractions in the area you will want to consider:

Chichen Itza: Ancient Mayan archeological structures
MayaVenture: A labyrinth with treasure hunts
Plaza de Toros: A bullring that has bullfights every Wednesday afternoon
Cenotes: Deep, water filled sinkholes in limestone
Isla Mujeres: A small and charming island 8 miles across the baby from Cancun
Playa del Carmen: Small resort town about 40 minutes south of Cancun by car
Xcaret EcoPark and Sian Kaan biosphere along the Riviera Maya
Xel Ha: Archeological site and ecopark, located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
Tulum: Best known for its Mayan ruins. Tulum is also the starting place for much ecotourism and adventure travel.

Other Cancun Travel Considerations

If your primary goal is to visit Cancun on the cheap, the best advice is to find accommodations out of the "hotel zone" which is located right in the middle of the city. There are plenty of things to do there and lots of great places to visit but the hotel and restaurant prices can get pretty steep downtown.

Here is a checklist of items you will want to pack for your Cancun vacation:

Clothing: Several pairs of comfortable shorts, tee shirts, dress slacks, a sundress, sweater or light jacket, socks, undergarments, sandals, tennis shoes, plastic bag for dirty clothes

First Aid: Pain relievers, eyedrops, necessary medications and prescriptions, bandaids, neck pillow

Protection: Sunglasses, eyeglasses and/or contact lens, sunvisor or baseball cap, umbrella or rain poncho

Snacks: Peanuts, crackers or potato chips, gum, candy and bottle of water

Equipment: Camera, extra film, batteries, portable compact disc player with headphones, favorite book

Documentation: Valid passport, drivers license and birth certificate, emergency contact information, money and travelers checks, computer printout of airline ticket confirmation. (Make sure to write the name of your destination hotel inside and outside of luggage and be sure to have an adequate lock on each piece of baggage.)

Vacationing in Cancun need not be expensive because it does not cost much at all to lounge on the beach, swim, backpack, picnic, take photos, walk along the beaches and the streets, and to simply sit still and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city and surf.
About the Author
Jamie Jefferson compiles the latest online Coupon Codes including Mexico Travel Deals.
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