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7 Things Travelers Need To Know About Visiting Cancun As Peak Season Begins

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Peak season is about to begin in Cancun, Mexico's number one destination and the most popular international destination for American travelers.

From now until late April, record-breaking crowds are expected to descend on the beaches of Cancun.

If you're planning a trip to Cancun in 2024, here are some important things to know before you go.

Cancun Hotel Zone

Be Prepared For Your Arrival At The Airport

Cancun has the busiest airport in Mexico, with as many as 600 flights arriving per day during the winter. This can lead to major crowds and long lines at immigration.

Be prepared to wait when you arrive at the airport — but you can speed things up slightly by ensuring you have your customs form filled out in advance and by having your passport and any other travel documents ready.

You may also want to pre-book your airport transportation to avoid waiting.

CANCUN, MEXICO - JANUARY 10, 2018: Unidentified people with signboard with names of tourist that arrived to the airort in Cancun at the enter of Cancun International Airport, Mexico

Choose Where You Stay Wisely

Cancun's Hotel Zone is a popular area to stay, but it can also be extremely crowded during peak season and have high prices to match.

The Downtown Cancun area is a more authentic neighborhood that is still not far from beaches, and it's usually a lot more affordable than the Hotel Zone. Another option is staying in Costa Mujeres, a quieter area to the north of the Hotel Zone.

Colorful Cancun sign

Book Tours And Excursions In Advance

There are lots of great tours and excursions you can take from Cancun. Visiting the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, swimming in jungle cenotes, sunset catamaran sails, and snorkeling or scuba diving are just a few of the activities you can do from Cancun.

If you're traveling during peak season, it's a good idea to book tours and excursions like this in advance to avoid the activity you want to do selling out.

Female Tourist In Chichen Itza, Yucatan State, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Make Restaurant Reservations

On a similar note, don't forget to make restaurant reservations for your Cancun trip! If you're staying at an all-inclusive resort, you'll probably have plenty of restaurants to choose from — but many resorts require that you still make reservations, especially for dinner!

The same goes for popular restaurants outside resorts in the Hotel Zone. These can get packed for dinner, so it's a good idea to make reservations in advance.

food in cancun

Be Careful At The Beach

Officials have recently urged tourists to be cautious when visiting Cancun's beaches this winter. But it's not for the reason you might think.

Cancun is a very safe destination, and this warning isn't about crime. The biggest threat to tourists actually comes from Mother Nature. After five tourists drowned in just two weeks, officials in Cancun have implored visitors to heed the colored flags that show whether a beach is safe for swimming.

Cancun beach

Make Maya Train Reservations In Advance

One of the most exciting developments in Cancun for 2024 is the long-awaited opening of the Maya Train. This ambitious project connects many destinations around the Yucatan Peninsula by train.

From Cancun, visitors will be able to explore destinations like the historic city Valladolid and the trendy beach town Tulum.

There's been some confusion about booking tickets for the Maya Train. The best way to secure your tickets is to reserve them online on the official website here.

Maya Train Tracks, Mexico

Head To Less Crowded Beaches

Finally, tourists who are visiting Cancun this winter may want to seek out less crowded beaches. These can be tricky to find, with how popular of a destination Cancun is.

However, there are a few beaches to check out within 30 minutes of Cancun, where you can enjoy fewer crowds, even during the busy peak season. And if you want to beat the crowds anywhere, show up to the beach first thing in the morning before too many people arrive.

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