5 days in Cancun

Old Jul 26th, 2002, 02:45 PM
  #1  
Clara
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5 days in Cancun

Hi all...

My husband and I will be in Cancun for about 5 days (Aug. 3-8). We're staying at Le Meridien and we're very excited about the beautiful beaches and the lovely people we keep hearing about. Our main priority for this trip is R & R...which we know how to do However, we're looking for tips on things we to do and where to eat. We may just stay at the beach, but if there's something we absolutely must do while in the Cancun area, let us know!!!

Also, we love to eat..all different kinds of food--as long as it's truly delish! If possible, please give us an idea of price points at your restaurant recommendations.

Please write and....
Thank you thank you thank you
 
Old Jul 28th, 2002, 06:35 PM
  #2  
beachbabe
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5 days? just relax!
As for food, I say go to La Habichuela
(very romantic and wonderful food..get their specialty in the coconut shell) and Labna--owned by the same people but homier and cheaper but just as delicious. Have a great time Clara!
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 06:12 AM
  #3  
Sant
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Excellent! Glad to see someone else praise Labna. I've been singing their praises since May. Excellent, authentic Yucatecan food and attentive, friendly service. Los Almendros is the other place I always like to tell people about.

Clara: we stayed at Le Meridien this past May. We really enjoyed our stay. When you check in, ask for a room on the right hand side facing the beach. I think the view is nicer. Also, ask for a room as close to the beach as possible. Aioli serves very good food for dinner but it is quite pricey (we spent around $150). However, their breakfast buffet is a good bargain. Le Merdien's spa is a little pricier than comparable services in the States but we really enjoyed it. There's a little store down the road on the right from Le Meridien's entrence that's convenient for buying bottled water, fruits and snacks, etc.

The best place I found for buying quality Mayan arts and crafts is the gift shop of the meuseum next to the pier where the ferries leave for Isla Mujeres. It's on the second floor of the shopping center right next tot he pier.

Have fun and if you have any other questions, let me know.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 09:55 AM
  #4  
Cool Ranch
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I'm thinking of going to Le Meridien too, and any info would be great! How's the beach? Do they have beach umbrellas or cabanas like the Ritz-Carlton?
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 10:18 AM
  #5  
Sant
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Cool:

Yes they have beach umbrellas and cabanas. I like the pool arrangement at Le Meridien better than the Ritz (and JW's even better). The Ritz is two doors down on the left from Le Meridien and JW Marriot is two doors on the right. So they are all on the same nice beach, essentially. There's are surf/waves (not calm waters) but that's how I like it.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 10:39 AM
  #6  
Nancy
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Clara,
I agree with La Habichuela and Labna, and would add Maria Bonita and El Pescador (which is also in downtown Cancun).
You might think about a day trip to Playa del Carmen, down to Akumal or over to Isla Mujeres.
Unless you are very into ruins, you might not want to spend the day going to Tulum or Chichen Itza (although I'd highly recommend one or both if you were staying a week or more.)
Have fun, and be sure to venture out of Cancun if you can drag yourself away from the beach/pool. There is so much more to the area than just the "Hotel Zone."
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 11:53 AM
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Cool Ranch
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Thanks Sant. One question, If I find that the beach is a little rough, can I go to the beaches on the other part of Cancun? I hear it is a lot calmer. Will the hotels let me get on the property?
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 12:58 PM
  #8  
Clara
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Hello beachbabe, Sant, Cool, and Nancy!

Thanks so much for posting a reply and all of your great suggestions! I do have a few more q's...

Sant: My friends stayed at the Ritz and I heard they paid for their umbrella and cabana (which i thought was outrageous! ) Do guests of Le M have to pay extra for that as well? Also, did you try "the fifth element" dessert at Aioli? just curious

Nancy: I definitely want to venture out of the hotel zone for dining but is there other cool stuff to do downtown?

Also, how far are La isla mujeres and Playa del carmen and what do they have to offer that Cancun doesn't?

Thanks again everyone!
Clara
the countdown is on! only 5 days to go!

 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 03:56 PM
  #9  
Nancy
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Ha, Clara. It is so neat to hear how excited you are. You are going to have so much fun!
Downtown Cancun (not the Hotel Zone) is not particularly interesting other than some of the restaurants. The hotel zone is all bars and restaurants, with some pretty good shopping at the 3 enclosed malls.
Playa del Carmen and Cancun are like night and day. It is about 45 min. down Hwy 307 via a wide modern highway. Yau can rent a car or take a cab. PDC has one of THE most beautiful beaches I've ever seen in the Caribbean, and it is full of neat little shops, wonderful restaurants and tequilerias. It is VERY laid back and casual. (Reminds me of Key West.)
A day trip to Isla Mujeres is fun too, but it was a little too quiet and the snorkeling site we picked was really not good. It's good if you want to escape the craziness and commerciality of Cancun.
I might also recommend taking the ferry over from PDC to Cozumel. It's kind of a combination of PDC and Cancun - one of my favorite places. Or, for less time invested, you could go on down to Akumal (not too much further down from Playa del Carmen.) It's another neat little town with a great beach, restaurants and snorkeling.
As you mentioned, the people are wonderful, and one of my favorite things about traveling to Mexico.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 08:49 AM
  #10  
Sant
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Damn! I typed out this big reply to Cool and Clara and for some reason it didn't post! *&%$&$#@

Cool: All Cancun beaches are public. Try the area between hotels Camino Real and Presidente Intercontinental. As long as you look decent I don't see why the hotels wouldn't let you inside. If they stop you tell them you are scouting hotels for your next visit.

Clara: the cabanas ans umbrellas are free. The Fifth Element was amazing, like nothing I'd had-- or seen-- before. Even if you don't have dinner at Aioli-- and I think you should-- you should have dinner there. Ask for a table next to the window so you can gaze out at the ocean while you eat.
 
Old Jul 31st, 2002, 07:49 PM
  #11  
Clara
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Sant, thanks so much for the replies! You too Nancy. I'm so excited. Only TWO DAYS TO GO! I will make sure to post my trip report when I get back.

New Question: I'm thinking of going to Playa Del Carmen for a day. I hear its worth it, but I want affirmation. What's the best way to get there? I hear you can take a ferry from PDC to Isle...something. Is that worth it as well? Thanks in advance guys.
 
Old Aug 1st, 2002, 04:53 AM
  #12  
Nancy
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Clara,
A day at PDC is definitely worth it.
It's down the road from Cancun about 45 min to an hour.
It's got a gorgeous beach and a bunch of neat shops and restaurants - easily enough to keep you busy for a full day.
You can take the ferry over from PDC to Cozumel for more shopping and great diving/snorkeling. It's a 45 minute trip over.
You may be thinking also of a day trip to Isla Mujeres from Cancun. I would recommed PDC or Cozumel over that, but many people really love IM, so it's up to you and what you want to do.
All packed?
 
Old Aug 1st, 2002, 05:40 AM
  #13  
Clara
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Packed! Not even! I'm still looking for a bikini Do you know any good places to shop for one while I'm there? Also Nancy, did you rent a car to get to PDC? I'm a little weary about driving in Cancun.
 
Old Aug 1st, 2002, 06:22 AM
  #14  
Nancy
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Clara,
I always have my bikini "wardrobe" lined up in advance
There are 3 nice enclosed malls in Cancun, so I'm sure you would have no problem finding something really nice - and the prices are good. If you don't minding shelling out the big bucks, there is probably a little boutique at your hotel. (Maybe prices would be better right now since it's off season.)
It is very easy to rent a car and go to PDC. The hotel can fix you up and deliver the car right to you.
The hardest part is getting out of Cancun - a little crazy with the taxis/buses - but Hwy 307 is wide and new. It's a little hairy because everyone drives REALLY fast, but if you just pull over a little, tailgaters will go around you. It's nice to have the freedom to come and go on your own, but it's also more convenient (to me) to take a cab. It's not much more expensive, you don't have to worry about driving/parking, and you can have all the Margaritas you want
It's easy to get a cab back to Cancun from PDC.
 
Old Aug 1st, 2002, 08:16 AM
  #15  
peg
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What is the Fith Element and where do you get it?
 
Old Aug 1st, 2002, 01:41 PM
  #16  
Clara
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Hi everyone

Nancy: You are the authority on Cancun! It sounds like you've been there countless times! Unfortunately, I don't have an "on-call" bikini wardrobe so I'll check out the malls as you suggested. Have you been to Cancun in August? Is it any cooler in the evenings? Too hot to wear capris? Also, is there snorkeling in PDC or Cancun? (amateur snorkling--I can barely swim!) Thanks again Nancy!
By the way, where are you from?
(I'm a NYer)

Peg: The Fifth Element is a decadent chocolate dessert (with strawberry sauce i think) that I keep hearing about. It's a specialty at Aioli--the French restaurant at Le Meridien hotel. Sant, (previous poster) stayed at Le M and recommends it with rave reviews
 
Old Aug 1st, 2002, 03:06 PM
  #17  
Nancy
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Hi Clara, Thanks for the kudos.
Here is a link to historic weather by month in Mexico. Just click on the city. It will also give you a forecast at the bottom of the page via a quick link for your vacation dates.

http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/city.php3?c=MX&refer=

August is very hot, but there are usually sea breezes. If you have planned to take any poly or nylon stuff, leave it at home. Capris are fine as long as they are cotton or linen and looser-fitting is better. Many of the restaurants are open air, and a meal is quickly ruined if you are sweating and miserable.
You can find snorkeling in Cancun and PDC, but the best is on Cozumel. (You really don't have to be able to swim well at all.) Some places have snorkel tours on a catamaran that are really fun. They give people inflatable vests, and the salt water is very buoyant, so there is not any problem seeing lots of neat stuff and just floating easily along. There is nothing out there to harm you, so go have fun. (I'd try to find a tour that has a smaller group going as the big groups are too chaotic and they scare off all the fish!)
I am from NC. I really enjoy helping people find fun things to do on their trips - especially when they are as excited and enthusiastic as you are!
Countdown continues...
 
Old Aug 2nd, 2002, 10:40 AM
  #18  
Clara
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less than a day to go!

Nancy, I'm getting ready to do laundry and pack! YIPPEE!

About my day trip dilemma:

Is it possible to do PDC and Cozumel in one day?
or
PDC and Akumal in one day?

or is it an injustice?
thanks again

p.s. should I buy a guidebook for my trip? if so, which one?
 
Old Aug 2nd, 2002, 11:49 AM
  #19  
Nancy
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Whee! (I'm jealous
What you could do is go to PDC early in the morning (it gets VERY hot there) and poke around the shops and stroll the beach for an hour or two.
Then you can take the ferry from PDC over to Cozumel (45 minutes, and they leave PDC almost every hour - spring the $ for the fast ferry, and sit on one of the upper decks if you're prone to seasickness.)
Depending on what time you get to Cozumel, you can eat lunch downtown (where the ferry lets you off) and just shop, or you can catch a cab right there at the ferry dock to go to Chankanaab. It's about a fifteen minute cab ride. It is the COOLest park where they have a beautiful palm-lined beach with chairs and shade palapas. There are lockers, but we've never had our things bothered leaving them on the beach. The snorkeling there is easy, shallow and very exciting for a beginner. They have statues and things sunk and there are LOTS of fish. They rent snorkeling gear/vests. They also have two nice restaurants that serve good grilled seafood.
You can also do PDC and Akumal in one day as they are just down the road from Cancun. I'd suggest a.m. in PDC and on to Akumal. Nice beach bar/restaurant called Lol Ha. Beach is also nice there. Have fun!
 
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