Cancun is a city in Mexico, located at the paradisiac Caribbean Sea on the Yucatan Peninsula. With a car rental at Cancun Airport you’ll be able to see it all. As with every touristy destination, Cancun offers two sides to the story. On the one hand, you have the glitzy hotels with its white washed sand beaches, classy restaurants and clubs while on the other hand, you will taste the Mexican reality with small taco joints and nearby wild beaches. If you’re on a low budget, don’t forget to try all the street food offer as the real Mexican vibe includes just that – delicious street food!
Also, if you’re a sports fan, Cancun is a great place to be – a car rental in Cancun will bring all the activities closer to you! Don’t forget about scuba diving and snorkeling, as Cancun is home to the second biggest barrier reef and a truly amazing place to be exploring the wild sea life. Have fun!
Basic info and car hire in Cancun
Location: Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Population: 722 800 in 2014
Official language: Spanish is the official language in Mexico. The Maya language is still the native tongue of many Mexicans so Spanish is their second language. English is however widely spoken in the touristy areas, but some basic Spanish vocabulary will be a more then helpful.
Currency: Mexican peso (MXN) but everyone will accept American dollars (USD)
Weather: Cancun has a great tropical savanna climate where the seasons are distinguished into rainy and hot season and dry season, when the temperatures are somewhat lower. The best time to visit Cancun is between November and April, during the dry season, when the heat is not that hard on the tourists. Having that in mind, expect higher prices during the dry season and if you’re looking for a cheaper vacation, everything from flight prices to accommodation rates drop during May – October.
Public holidays in Cancun: In order to be certain when to engage into a car rental in Cancun, check for the public holidays in Mexico.
Internet coverage: Internet cafes are still popular in Mexico, especially in the rural areas. However, hotels and modern restaurants in Cancun offer WiFi. Check for more tips on internet coverage in Mexico.
Road conditions: You can be completely relaxed with a car rental in Cancun. Mexicans rarely speed, as a minor offence can lead to more troubles for a Mexican. As far as the roads are concerned, driving in Yucatan has changed enormously since the construction of new highways has begun, so rest assured your car rental in Cancun will be a great experience.
Driving in Cancun
Be careful with the speed bumps or as Mexican call them – “topes”, as they are practically everywhere and can damage your car quite severally. You are also not advised to drive during night and take care not to pick hitchhikers or pull the car off at obstacles on the road, as they can be fixed there to stop you. Cancun is generally a safe area, but being careful is part of prevention and avoiding troubles. Just to let you know, when stopped by police, chances are you’ll be asked for a bribe, or “La Mordida” as they call it. A handshake and a 20 will fix lots of problems.
- Age limits: In Mexico, the minimum age is 18 years, however most rental car agencies will ask for a minimum of 25 years and will additionally charge you a young driver’s fee.
- International Driving Permit: Check with your car rental agency if an international driving permit is required, but our general suggestion is yes, you will need one in Mexico.
- Additional papers: You are advised to translate your driver’s license into an international driving permit, available in 9 languages.
- Additional requirements: Don’t forget your travel insurance that must be issued in the name of the driver.
- Children in the car: Children less than 135 cm tall must be seated in the back of the car and babies must be seated in an appropriately fastened baby seats.
- Driving side of the road: On the right side of the road.
- General speed limits: with a car rental in Cancun, it is always a good idea to respect speed limits. The speed limits on a highway are 100 – 110 km/h, in a city 40 km/h and outside the city 80 km/h.
Parking suggestions: although you will have an impression you can park anywhere, don’t. Especially if there’s a crossed E letter traffic sign, which prohibits parking on that spot.
What to see in Cancun
Our favourite spots
Underwater Museum Cancun
If you’re into art and scuba diving this is a place for you. It is a misty place aiming to protect the coral reef surrounding Cancun. Status underwater is not something you experiance everyday.
A local beach free of charge, packed with restaurants and local bars. It is quite busy with ferry traffic and you can visit it on your way to Isla Mujeres.
Another great public beach, it is best to visit in the early morning hours. A picture-perfect beach with a famous Cancun sign, that can get pretty crowdy in high season.
From Cancun you have 200 km to the Unesco protected Chichen Itza. These Mayan ruins will impress you with the steep massive pyramids. A must-visit for everyone with a car rental in Cancun!
Hotels in Cancun
Hotel Adhara Hacienda Cancun
The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas Cancun
With a free shuttle to the beach, this hotel provides you with a smooth service and all the comfort you need on your vacation.
Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun
A beachfront hotel, with an excellent food and service and distinctive for its fashionable design. A great choice for families with small kids as the water is calm on the bay.
Holiday Inn Cancun Arenas
Another beachfront hotel just a few steps from the beach with lots of greenery as it is surrounded by gardens. With a poolside bar and a buffet-style restaurant.
Drive your rental car around Cancun
Cancun has some world known places nearby, waiting for you to find them. With a car rental in Cancun, travelling will be easier and smoother, just don’t forget about the driving regulations and the special tips we posted above. You can take a ferry boat from the Turtle Beach to the Isla Mujeres, an island surrounded by clear Caribbean waters and a perfect destination for everyone enjoy in the maritime wild life. A highly recommended place to visit is also Chichen Itza, the famous Mayan ruins, declared a UNESCO World Heritage, which are located just 200 km away from Cancun. You choose!
Where to eat, drink and party in Cancun
If you’re into nightlife with loud music and dancing scene, this will be your mecca in Cancun! Book a gold service, and you’ll be pampered while having fun!
An amazing experience in a dark setting, where you can get a glimpse of what vision impaired person would see. If you’d like to try something different, Black Hole is the right restaurant for you.
Clean décor with white chairs and blue decorations, this restaurant is famous for its great and royal service. Recommended!
Named after a district in Buenos Aires, this Argentinian restaurant offers delicious steaks with a view on the Carribean sea. A high quality service and excelent food!
Major events and festivals in Cancun
Independence Day16th September
The most important day for Mexicans commemorating the start of war against the Spanish. The event will start with a bell ring at the Government’s office and will continue with fireworks, big crowds and lots of tequila.
Dia de la Razamid October
A special celebration known in Latin America, dedicated to the Columbus’ discovery of the continent. Live music, bullfights, dancing and large processions will bring you the real Mexican spirit!
Viva Mexico in CancunSeptember
A festival that will entertain you with a number of traditional music events, art expositions and much more.
Day of the DeadNovember
In Mexico, unlike the rest of the western world, the day of the Dead is a celebration of life. Join the loud parade and experience this day with joy!