How to travel to Cancun with very little money


For some, individuals, becoming more acquainted with Cancun is a fantasy and truly it is justified, despite all the trouble. The first occasion when I visited Cancun was in 1994, around then the main sea shores I had known were those of Acapulco, 2 hours from Mexico City. My desires were not exceptionally incredible, yet when I began to ride the transport along the road that goes through the inn zone of Cancun these were developing gradually as the inns let me glimpse the turquoise blue of the ocean.

Following a 15-minute drive, a companion and I landed at Plaza Kukulcan, got off and crossed the road, entered a sandy street towards the sea shore and in the wake of climbing a little slope before me I had the most staggering sea shore I had ever found in all my years. The ocean was a shade of blue among turquoise and light blue and the sand was delicate and white. My companion and I (who by the way had never known the ocean) were astounded to such an extent that for a couple of minutes we didn’t talk. We removed our shoes and just went into the ocean.

Around then to have that experience cost us roughly 2 dollars, (what we pay to go in the transport round outing). I’m going to praise 20 years of living in Cancun and as a neighborhood I can give you a few hints with the goal that you also can become more acquainted with and appreciate Cancun on a little spending plan:

Where is Cancun?

To begin with it is necessary that you know a little about the geography of Cancun, its location and how to move easily and what interests us: with little money. Cancun is one of the most expensive tourist destinations in Mexico, both for living and visiting.

Cancun is located about 70 kilometers north of Playa del Carmen in Quintana Roo, practically at the northeastern tip of the Yucatan peninsula. The tourist area comprises about 22 kilometers of beaches that run parallel to the avenue known as Boulevard Kukulcan. Most of the view and entrance to these beaches are blocked by hotels. However there are several points along these 22 kilometers where there is direct access to the beach area and even some have infrastructure such as bathrooms, palapas and showers.

How to get there

This is something that you should definitely decide in your place of origin. What would be the cheapest way for you to move to Cancun, bus, plane or car. You should investigate on your own because I don’t know where you are reading this from, but what I can do is give you some advice:

If you travel by plane: Be flexible about travel dates and travel with little luggage (less than the airline recommends), remember that in addition to avoiding paying for excess luggage when you return you can bring some souvernirs with you without worrying about exceeding the limit. This post can help you more.

If you travel by bus: If you travel with students or you are a student (Mexican) in the holiday season these have discounts, also if you travel with people over 65 years, recommend them to process their INSEN credential in the latter case the discount on bus tickets can be up to 50%.

If you travel by car: Check on the Internet the toll costs and what you can spend on gasoline. This last option is sometimes not the cheapest, but maybe you live near Cancun and want to take it into account.


The hotels located at the entrance of the hotel zone are regularly the cheapest (from kilometer 1 to 4 approximately) their beaches are good although they are among the quietest. The hotels built here are also the oldest. If you are not demanding you can stay in one of these hotels, some are all inclusive, others include breakfast and others only the room. I would recommend you to opt for a plan with breakfast included at least since in this part of Cancun there are not many restaurants and you have to move to another place to be able to find where to eat if you do not want to do it in the restaurants of the hotels. Choosing a package with breakfast included will let you enjoy the beach early without worrying about the breakfast of the day.

Beach or City?

Staying in downtown Cancun can also be an excellent option especially if you are always looking to eat out. The downtown hotels are surrounded by establishments, supermarkets and shops where it will be easier for you to eat or buy what you need to prepare your food. The only drawback is that to go to the beach you will have to do it in one of the points marked as public beaches along the 22 kilometers of the boulevard kukulcan. But do not worry! On this map you can see all the public beaches of Cancun.

As a comment if you realize Cancun is an island in the shape of 7, the quietest beaches are those located at the top of this number, while the moderate to strong waves are in the longest part of it, which incidentally in this last area are the most spectacular.

How to move around the city

In terms of transportation if being thrifty is the cheapest thing in Cancun are the public transport buses that go from the city to the hotel zone and vice versa. Within the hotel zone you will not have problems as there are buses practically all day round trip. In the city buses stop running around 11pm. The price of these is almost 1 dollar (8.50 Mexican pesos as of July 2013).

If for example you want to go to Isla Mujeres the cheapest thing for you would be to go to Punta Sam, in the hotel zone there are buses that take you to the pier of Punta Sam, but they are very few and you may take up to 1 hour waiting for one. The best thing is to go down to tulum avenue in the center of the city and wait for the urban transport (6.50 pesos) that goes to Puerto Juarez or Punta Sam. In Puerto Juarez the crossing is done through modern ferries, whose round trip ticket costs approximately 100 pesos, while in Punta Sam is done through the ferry of goods and cars, this is cheaper but a little later, although if it is worth venturing. Schedules may vary according to the season but you can check the schedules here.

If you want to travel to a point near Cancun such as Playa del Carmen, Merida or Valladolid, the best option is to take a bus directly from the terminal in downtown Cancun (ADO), there are first, second and third class buses. Depending on your plans and budget this is left to your choice, or can a book a transportation from cancun airport to playa del Carmen with etransfers, a local Company that offers service in cancun and Riviera Maya.

Another great option, if your budget is a little larger, is to rent a car, since you can travel more places with greater comfort without going out of your budget. A company that I personally recommend is to Rent a Car in Cancun with City Car Rental.

Sightseeing and Tours

If you are adventurous you can do all the tours on your own. But here I would recommend you to hire them in a package. The truth is that all the parks in Cancun and the Riviera Maya have fixed rates, so the best thing is to negotiate with travel agencies to contract package tours and improve a little the price we would get if we contract directly with Xcaret or Xelha for example. These can give you a slightly better rate since they earn based on a percentage of the sale, which is known as “commission”, and obviously it will suit them to sell you a complete package of 2 or 3 tours with your respective discount.




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