Photo courtesy of AHQR.
Things to know before you go to Cancun
With a population of 450,000, the city of Cancun has a thriving downtown area. Avenida Tulum, the main street, is easy to reach by bus from the Royal Solaris Cancun.
The Cancun International Airport serves Cancun and the Riviera Maya, and is nine miles from the Royal Solaris. By air, Cancun is one and a half hours from Miami and three and a half hours from Chicago or New York City. Airlines serving Cancun are:
Entry Procedures and Requirements
During your flight you will be issued a customs declaration and a tourist entry visa to fill out prior to landing at Cancun International Airport.
On arrival you will pass through Immigration and present the visa form and your passport. Other acceptable proof of citizenship is a certified birth certificate, voter's registration card, naturalization papers or a notarized affidavit of citizenship.
Be sure to save your visa copy; you'll need to present it at the airport when checking in for your flight home. Parents traveling alone with children must produce a notarized letter of consent from the absent parent in order to depart from and return to their country of origin.
There are no exceptions to this requirement.
Weather and Customs
Cancun has a tropical and humidity weather. Once you pass through Immigration, you'll pick up your luggage and go through customs, presenting your customs declaration.
Then, you'll push a button on what looks like a traffic light; if the light is green, proceed through. If the light is red your luggage will be inspected.
The official currency is the Mexican Peso. Exchange rates are posted at the front desk and at money exchange booths throughout the Hotel Zone.
U.S. dollars are widely accepted, however, in some establishments the rate of exchange will be less than an ATM or money exchange kiosk. ATMs are easily found throughout the Hotel Zone, and credit cards are accepted at many locations in tourist areas.
Banks are open weekdays from around 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. All banks are closed during Mexican national holidays.
Cancun, in the state of Quintana Roo, is on Central Standard Time and practices Daylight Savings Time.
The lifestyle in Cancun is more relaxed and easy going than in the U.S. and Canada. You'll find the custom of siesta, or midday rest, alive in smaller towns outside Cancun, where stores and services may be closed between the hours of 1:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. depending upon the establishment.
Many of Cancun's shops and services are open daily with no break for siesta, especially in the Hotel Zone. In restaurants, it is customary to linger after a meal, and considered poor manners to present the check before it is requested. Ask for "La cuenta, por favor," and your bill will be delivered.
At Solaris Resorts, all gratuities and taxes are included, but at other restaurants it's customary to tip 10 to 20% of the check. It's common to tip tour guides, airport porters, golf caddies, fishing captains and crew. Tipping taxi drivers is discretionary.
What to Pack
Bring a sweater or jacket if you plan to be out on the water at night. Casual wear, shorts and T-shirts are appropriate for almost all occasions.
For evening dining men should bring along a pair of slacks and a shirt with a collar, for the occasional dress code. For women, pack shorts, lightweight tops, and dresses or resort outfits for evenings. Swimsuits are fine for the pool and at the beach but cover up when sightseeing, shopping and in restaurants.
Sunscreen, visors and hats are strongly recommended. Bring prescription medicines. If you plan to SCUBA dive, don't forget your certification card.
Royal Solaris is casual and very relaxed, but we do require resort wear at our Specialty Restaurants. No shorts, T-shirts or beach sandals, please.
The Solaris Resorts and all major hotels and restaurants in the Hotel Zone use purified water. When in doubt ask for bottled water.