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Cancún is a tropical paradise, nestled along the palm-fringed coast – a popular destination for both families and young partygoers. It’s the unofficial capital of the Riviera Maya and is located in the Yucatán Peninsula, bursting with rich history and Mayan archaeological sites. Whether it’s nature, beaches, history, or culture you seek, Cancún has something for everyone.

Cancún is served by one main airport – Cancún International Airport (CUN). It’s around 21 kilometres from Cancún, or 13 miles. It serves hundreds of international destinations and connects Cancún domestically, too. There’s also an airport on the island of Cozumel, which is a bit further away from Cancún at 101 kilometres, or 62 miles, but it’s a great choice for people staying there.

Things about Cancun

Driving in Cancún

Getting around Cancún by car is an incredible way to enjoy this beautiful place and discover everything that’s on offer without limits. The landscape is incredible, and the views are out of this world. Being in the Yucatán Peninsula, there are tonnes of majestic Mayan archaeological sites to visit. Many travellers like to tick off all the big hitters on a multi-day road trip, including the Tulum Ruins, Chichén Itzá, Edzná Ruins, and more. Yucatán road trippers also get to see pink salt lagoons, white-sand beaches, and haciendas along the way.

The speed limit in Cancún varies depending on the road, so be sure to keep an eye out for the appropriate signage. Remember that speed limits are presented in kilometres per hour rather than miles per hour. On highways, the general speed limit is 100 kilometres per hour (62 miles per hour), usually dropping to 60 kilometres per hour (37 miles per hour) near residential areas.

Generally, toll roads (cuota) are safer and in better condition than free roads (libre) but they can be expensive. The toll booths are cash only and there are no ATMs along the highways, so be sure to carry enough on you. Make sure you keep a hold of your toll receipt for insurance purposes. You can check how much the toll charge will be on the Mexican government’s route planner website.

Things to watch out for on the road:

  • Keep an eye out for unmarked speed bumps (topes)
  • The roads are usually in good condition, but still keep an eye out for potholes – they’re an issue off the main roads and during the rainy season
  • Watch out for drivers turning without indicating – this happens a lot!
  • Slow down in remote areas – there are usually civilians walking along the highways
  • Always carry your International Driver’s Permit – it’s required by law
  • Be careful where you park – a sign with the letter ‘E’ and a cross through it indicates that parking isn’t allowed here

A brief overview of Cancún

Cancún is the second-most visited place in Mexico, after Mexico City. It was only introduced to the world in 1974, and prior to that resembled a desert island. But since it opened to the world, it cemented itself as a family favourite destination, but it has a wilder side. Often touted as the Las Vegas of Mexico, Cancún is a huge destination for Spring Breakers looking to let loose. There are some excellent adults-only all-inclusive resorts, offering all-day and all-night partying. Most hotels are located along Avenida Kukulcan, otherwise known as the Cancún Hotel Zone. At the end of the Hotel Zone, you’ll find the exciting downtown area.

Getting around Cancún by bus

The only public transport in Cancún is by bus, but they run 24 hours a day and depart regularly. In the Hotel Zone, the standard fare is 12 pesos, around 80 cents. Whether you’re going one stop or all the way, the fare will be 12 pesos. The Hotel Zone is a long stretch of hotels over 25 kilometres long, so try to remember which stop you’re at by memorizing a landmark. The bus goes all the way downtown, ending at the Ado – the main bus depot. If you fancy extending your journey, you can travel all around Mexico from the Ado – some buses even go to Belize and Guatemala.

Things to do in Cancún

Cancún is a paradisical island, so one of the most popular things to do here is simply relax on the white sand beaches. Playa Marlin, Playa Lancheros, and Playa Delfines are particularly beautiful. Scuba diving is a popular activity here – there’s even an underwater museum of 500+ sculptures standing on the ocean floor. If you get a taste for exploring the underwater world, Garrafon Natural Reef Park is famous for its vibrant reef and marine life.

Cancún is the unofficial capital of the Riviera Maya, full of Mayan temples and ruins to explore. Chichén-Itzá is one of the most famous Mayan archaeological sites in the country and makes for a great day trip from Cancún. Or stay closer at home and visit the El Rey Ruins. If you’re intrigued and would like to learn more about Mayan history, the Museo Maya de Cancún is a fantastic choice.

Eating out in Cancún

Most people visiting Cancún will stick to their all-inclusive resort at mealtimes. After all, why pay for food if you’ve got it at home? But there are some excellent traditional cantinas and restaurants on offer. Eating out doesn’t have to be expensive – there are taco spots and street food vendors on every corner when you make your way out of the Hotel Zone. The average price of a meal is from 10 to 45 pesos for three courses – a small price to pay for filling meals packed with flavour.


Car rental in Cancún can start from as little as $17 a day if you book in advance, even less when you use Enjoy Travel’s 5% online discount.

Cancún International Airport (CUN)

Cancún International Airport is the closest airport to Cancún, with excellent links worldwide and domestically. It also has an excellent range of car rental agencies.

Car rental agencies available at Cancún International Airport: Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, Budget, Enterprise, Avis, Europcar, National, Firefly, Alamo, America Car.

Cozumel International Airport (CZM)

Cozumel International Airport is a lot smaller than Cancún’s airport with only two runways. However, the airport has a surprisingly good selection of car rental agencies available.

Car rental agencies available at Cozumel International Airport: Budget, Alamo, Hertz, Avis, Thrifty, Firefly, Economy, MEXRENTACAR, Dollar, Blueway, Mas by Mex.

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FAQs about car rental in Cancun

Most frequently asked questions about renting a car in Cancun

Distance from Cancun to Mexico City is of 1,609 km.
Car rental in Cancun costs only $30.50 (CAD).
You can find a budget car in Cancun for $27.10 per day (by booking well in advance).
The most popular car for renting in Cancun is Honda Civic.
Start from one of the best part of Cancun, the Playa Delfines.
Must see places in Mexico

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