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5 Extra Costs Tourists Need To Remember When Visiting Cancun

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Cancun has long been a popular vacation destination for travelers from around the world and this year expects to see more than 25 million tourists. Its pristine beaches, luxury resorts, and perfect weather attract visitors year-round, with December – April being the busiest months. As we approach the peak travel season for Cancun, tourists need to be aware of these 5 extra costs.

beachgoers in cancun get some sun

Quintana Roo's Mandatory Tourist Tax

In April 2021, the Mexican government implemented a mandatory tourist tax for any international travelers entering the state of Quintana Roo. Quintana Roo is home to some of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations, including Cancun, Cozumel, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen. While the Visitax fee is only $12, it applies to every passenger over age 4 entering the state and can easily add up for families or large groups traveling together.

Visitax website screenshot
Image Courtesy Of: Visitax

Although Visitax has now been in existence for 18 months, many travelers are unaware of their requirement to pay this fee. The tax can be paid online or at the Cancun International Airport. Travelers planning to pay the tax online should take caution – several unofficial websites charge unsuspecting tourists as much as $42 per person to pay the tax. As Travel Off Path reported last month, there is only one official sight to pay the tax online, and that can be found at:

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a flyer uses a kiosk at an airport

Visitors to Cancun who chose to pay the fee at the airport can do so at any of the Visitax payment modules at Cancun International Airport. The modules are located in terminals 2 and 4 and are open Monday to Sunday from 8 am to 6 pm. When enforced, travelers will need to show proof of Visitax payment to airport security before departing Cancun.

Airport Transportation Costs

We recommend that Cancun tourists pre-book airport transportation prior to arriving at the Cancun International Airport. If you are staying in Cancun’s Hotel Zone, it is suggested to take a taxi or arrange transportation directly with the hotel. A private taxi will cost around $25 each way, depending on the exact location of your hotel, and it is recommended to book this in advance.

Sign for airport taxis in cancun

First-time visitors to Cancun International Airport might feel overwhelmed upon landing when trying to find transportation to their hotel. Often there are people engaged in high-pressure sales for ground transportation and timeshares. Tourists should know that all pre-booked transportation will wait outside the airport. Therefore, it is recommended to walk past these people and straight outdoors, where you will find taxis, hotel vans, and public buses.  

cancun airport sign

Beware of ATM and Foreign Transaction Fees

Every international traveler needs to be prepared to pay extra fees when withdrawing local currency from ATMs. Visitors to Cancun should have cash on hand for shopping, dining, and tipping – withdrawing from ATMs will give you the best exchange rate. ATMs that are attached to or associated with reputable banks will be more reliable and have lower fees than privately owned ATMs found on the street or inside businesses.

a woman uses an atm

ATM fees will likely start at $1.50, and your own bank might also charge a foreign transaction fee. Travelers should always contact their home bank prior to their vacation to let them know where you will be traveling (so that they don’t disable your cards) and to determine any foreign fees that may be charged at ATMs.

Hotel Resort Fees Can Be Hard To Find

A hidden cost that is becoming more popular in Cancun is the resort fee. Resort fees can be sneaky and often won’t show up when looking at hotel pricing. It is always wise to check the fine print or contact your hotel to determine if you will be charged a resort fee. The Fairmont Mayakoba charges a $27 resort fee per adult, and according to Expedia, the Grand Hotel Cancun has a resort fee of $50 per night.  

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Don't Forget To Tip!

It is customary for tourists in Cancun to leave cash tips for service workers – including bartenders, hotel housekeeping, luggage handlers, and wait staff. Tipping well is a good practice, given that wages in Mexico within the service industry are often quite modest. On average, tourists in Cancun should tip $1 per drink from a bar, 10-20% for good service at a restaurant, and $1-$5 per night for housekeeping attendants in your hotel. Working in the service industry isn’t easy, and tourists should always budget extra travel money to reward good service while on vacation.

a hotel worker makes the bed

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Friday 28th of October 2022

My biggest beef right now is the "Visitax" There are no straight answers. It's being enfored, it's not being enforced or its enforced one day & not the next. You can pay by cash, you cannot pay by cash. There are kiosks at the airport a person can use to pay, there are no kiosks to use. "Tax Collectors" are likely not authorized. It isn't any wonder people have the attitude "well, if I can get away without paying, that's what I'll do". Telling people to pay when they get home is assinine. Who in their right mind would pay when they got home? Cancun best be careful...taxing left right & center will in time drive tourists away.


Thursday 20th of October 2022

The insurance companies you have on here do not insure people over the age of 70yrs old, sounds racism to me. We older people travel and spend money. So what gives.


Monday 24th of October 2022

@Dennis, you mean ageist?

"The problem with stupid people is they don't know that they are stupid"