Day 1 – Trip Planning


We reserved this day to explore the city, things to do and places to eat. When I booked the trip, I was not very specific about being closer to the downtown or near airport as there was not much time available to do the research. We booked at Westin Resort that is only 5 miles from airport and is the first hotel that starts from the Kukulkan Boulevard. There is a bus service that runs every 1 minute all throughout the day. It costs very less 10 pesos a person. The bus goes all the way to downtown and it’s a two-way road that there’s less chance for you to get lost. So we were very comfortable with the bus service and hopped on & off the places we wanted to visit all the way to downtown be it a shopping or restaurants. I believe as you go towards the downtown the hotel packages are going to be expensive.

Cancun Map - Bus Route
Cancun Map – Bus Route

We did the All Inclusive package during our last visit to Los Cabos, Mexico. Based on our experience last time, we decided not to take the All Inclusive for the Cancun trip primarily to get a variation in the dining experience. It was boring to try the same type of food last time and since we don’t drink, the all-inclusive package did not help us much. So choose which is best for your family..

For the tour packages, Cancun is no way different from Hawaii or Los Cabos. There are plenty of vendors trying to sell their packages and watch out for the timeshare and other marketing tricks that come along with their promotional offers. It’s totally upto your family to try that out if you have plenty of time and willing to spend half a day with them to get those discounts on the tour packages.

We came across Walmart that had official ticketing center to book the tour packages. Based on the research that I did in online and other vendors, the pricing from the Walmart ticketing agency was decent and they offered a discount as we purchased 3 packages from them.

Places that we shortlisted on the activities that we wanted to do in Cancun:-
The pricing might vary between 30$ to 50 $ more depending on the vendor you are choosing. I have given the pricing below for a group of 2 adult and a kid.

1. Chichen Itza – One of the new 7 wonders of the world (200$)
2. Xel-Ha – Worlds first open aquarium where you can snorkel & plenty of water fun (325 $)
3. XCaret – Archaelogical park (325$)
4. Swim & Ride with the Dolphin – This is a separate activity and you can book this one when ur visiting XCart or Xel-Ha. Price ranges from 60 $ to 90 $
5. Isla Mujeres – Beautiful island with several activities to try from snorkeling to parasailing (19.99$ per person to ride on a jet tours). We took the Albatras company that had limited folks and a private Catamaran. We got this as a discount from the tour guys because we purchased the above packages from them. It costed around 100$ for 3 of us that included lunch, snorkeling, parasailing activity.

Other activities that you can try in Cancun:-
– Jungle Tours : you get a private boat that you can travel on ur own, make stops to do snorkeling. I heard this is a very popular one.
– Selvatica : One of the longest ziplines in North America
– XPLOR Adventure park
– Jungle Maya Expedition (includes 8 attractions from mountain biking to snorkeling)

There are plenty of restaurants available in the city of Cancun apart from the All Inclusive packages that many hotels provide. Couple of our favorites during our stay:-

1. Elephanta Indian Cusinie – we loved the taste particularly their appetizers and Dum Biriyani was awesome.

2. Thai restaurant inside La Isla mall – The ambience is beautiful and loved their jasmine rice quality.

3. Sea & Stones @ Westin Resort This is a place where you can cook your own seafood in the stone provided right in front of your table. We tried the Shrimp red curry at this place

Best Malls to see in Cancun
1. La Isla Mall – One of the famous Malls that has an aquarium inside the mall and loaded with food court, restaurants like elephant & Thai are located inside this mall.
2. Kukulkan Mall/Luxury Avenue
3. Flamingo Mall
4. Flea Market – local shops
5. Forum Mall

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