The World Traveling Guide

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Cancun

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Cancún is a coastal city in the tourist destination called The Mexican Caribbean, i.e., the state of Quintana Roo, on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It is a popular vacation spot on the Caribbean coast. There are two possible meanings of Cancun, according to the Mayan language, the first translation is “nest of snakes or pot.” The second version and less accepted is “place of the gold snake”.

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Peak season in Cancun tends to run from December to April. Prices in both airfare and hotel increase dramatically during these times, while dropping in the summer and early autumn months. Late June is especially hot, so come prepared or try the off season. Hurricanes can be a major threat in late summer and autumn

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Downtown Cancun, especially once you get away from the ADO bus station and nearby hostels and hotels, is a real Mexican city. There are many restaurants (La Parrilla, Los Pericos, Los Arcos, El Timon de Cancun, Va que Va; all of them are really good restaurants, and the best much cheaper than Hotel Zone, and Mexican cousin), shopping centers (Plaza Las Americas, Plaza la Isla in Hotel Zone, Plaza Outlet), markets (Mercado 28 y 23) and clubs in the downtown area that you can visit during your stay (Cocobongo, Dady’O, Palazzo, Mandala).

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Like most resort areas in the Caribbean, Cancun gets hit with a really severe hurricane every 10 to 20 years. The last really bad one was Hurricane Wilma in 2005, which obliterated many of Cancun’s famous beaches.

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Thousands of hapless tourists spent their precious vacations jammed into hurricane shelters waiting for Wilma to pass, then waited days in the humid tropical heat (with no air conditioning) for transport home.

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As a result, from 2005 to 2008, most of Cancun’s tourist traffic went to Cabo San Lucas (triggering a massive construction boom there) while Cancun painstakingly rebuilt its resorts and dredged the ocean to bring the white sand back to its beaches.

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The moral of this story is to buy really good trip insurance if your trip is scheduled during hurricane season, have a backup vacation (or staycation) plan, and cancel promptly if a hurricane is forecast the week before your trip.

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