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Holiday-Heaven? - No-Way! Cancun is a cheap, run-down, over-commercialised resort specifically catering for americans everything is geared to the dollar, shopping mall upon shopping mall ,very overpriced gifts, food, drinks in fact everything, not to mention the locals offering all sorts of drugs for cash in the street.
We were lucky in that we booked an all-inclusive which meant that we were able to eat and drink at the hotel without having to venture out (and get ripped off in the process)if going to this resort on any other basis it would cost an arm and a leg.
The resort comprises of a huge hotel sector running along the beach front one side and along the lagoon the other side (where there are crocodiles in the beach water!)it is a very touristy area, and not what I expected at all.
Beyond this area, a short bus ride away (these run every miute or so) there is the old town, away from the brightly lit hotel area to a shabby, dusty place where there are precincts and flea markets, which I normally enjoy rummaging about in but these were something else.. it was difficult to find anything typically 'mexican' but a hoard of over-priced and gimmicky crap that was a complete waste of time.
As my husband is fluent spanish he usually chats with the locals and tracks down all the bargains etc, so one evening we ventured there to explore and hopefully mix with some real mexican culture, on entering the market this mexican greeted us with the quip "come in and let me rip you off" I don't think so. A little further into the market (a mass of t-shirts, oddments and 'silver') we turned to look at some of the local silver leaving our two teenage sons watching football on the video outside the shop next door,it was not until we were back at the hotel they confided that they had been offered cocaine, dope and my older son (17)two of the mexican shopkeepers' daughters(they had thought he was american - 6' & blonde)
In addition to the down-town markets there are endless American malls all selling the same touristy bits which again are overpriced and offering much the same goods as one would find at home or the duty free shop.
There are good beaches with clear sparkling water and the snorkelling is fun but the trips are expensive, and if the weather changes (which it often does there) then it can be a waste of money.
During our stay a volcanoe was exploding in Mexico city (christmas 2000)which produced a frightening storm which literally shook the hotel,flooded most bedrooms and generally caused panic and mayhem, it then caused the weather to cloud over for days, we had planned to take the boat over to the next island and swim with the dolphins but that was now impossible.
Locally there is a bull-ring but it is not to the standard of Spanish I am told and is very bloody and gory, women from our hotel left half way through, needless to say I declined the offer to go along.
The nightclubs usually operate by charging $20 which includes admittance and an open bar to drink as much as you like all night - Coco Bongos where the film 'Mask' was shot was across the road from our hotel, this along with some of the other clubs was the resort's redeeming feature.
If you want to go somewhere different and enjoy a lazy beach side holiday on an all inclusive basis, don't mind drinking the local drinks all the time, enjoy mexican type dishes (without any frills) and are not looking for a resort where it is possible to wine and dine cheaply locally or buy cheap local things then this could be for you - but we were not impressed overall particularly with the high cost of everything, from the organised trips (usually in the region of £30 each)to buying gifts, eating out, and definitely not impressed with the constant offer of drugs (in the shops, on the beach etc etc)especially when it was to my 14year old son- I can definitely think of many much nicer destinations to spend a holiday - but as I paid only £460 each for this all inclusive I can't complain. As someone once commented "You pays your money and you takes your choice"
I completely agree with your opinion. It is over commercialised to many money grabbers and also the drug dealers! It was great weather and hotel was reasonable but not a destination I would go back to! I went to Puerto Vallarta in '98 and I loved that holiday oyu do get a true feel of true Mexican culture at this side of the country! :o)
tracym 13.01.2002 22:00
Sounds a bit dodgy,definetley not a place to take the family,we will stay well away.Thanks :)
Pookie_Rabbit 11.01.2002 14:36
Sorry you had such a bad time. Having been to Cancun twice however I feel I must defend it a little. Firstly I am not sure I can think of a holiday resort that isnt a tourist trap really - if you dont want that you stay in a beach hut in Goa for £5 a night. As far as the origanized trips go - dont do em - sort it yourself with public transport. Cancun has lovely beaches (and normally good weather!) and if you want to get out and about there are islands, Tulum (which is a lovely location) and also Chichen Itza and much more. Like I say sorry you had a bad time of it but I would hate to see it put off people. Cheers.