When i went: february 2024

I didn’t go to Cancun for the vibes or the Señor Frogs, believe it or not. I went because it was February in NYC and I was desperate for some sun, but didn’t feel like spending a ton of money or spending more than a few hours traveling. So Cancun it was. If you’re looking for a cheap, easy escape from a dreadful NYC winter, Cancun’s an option. Otherwise, I would highly NOT recommend it. 

But alas, if you find yourself as desperate as I was, here’s how I did it: 

Where I stayed

I got a private room in the Selina, which is a coworking hostel. This is a pretty decent hostel chain and since it caters to coworking / digital nomads, it doesn’t tend to be a bunch of early 20s backpackers. The location was great, the coworking space was necessary for me, the vibes were good, there was free yoga. The room was meh but it got the job done. The food was horrible, so I ate elsewhere. I’ve stayed in many-a-Selina over the years so my expectations were set. 

How I got there

I always hire Cancun Vans when I’m traveling in the Cancun area! They’re super reliable and I like knowing a driver will be waiting at the airport to get me to the beach as soon as I get through Mexican customs. 

Where I ate

With a Hooters and a Señor Frogs, Cancun isn’t known for it’s authentic Mexican cuisine, so I went to the same couple of places on repeat:

Surfin Burrito

An amazing burrito spot that opens early for breakfast too. The breakfast burrito and tacos were AMAZING (and huge). They also have smoothie bowls. 

Tacos Chachalacos

This is a trendy taqueria that reminded me more of Tacombi than anything I’ve ever seen in Mexico, but it was delicious nonetheless. I came here basically everyday for lunch, and was getting arrachera gringas and al pastor tacos on repeat. 

Tacos Rigo 

This felt like more of a traditional taqueria, but definitely still had a touristy flare to it. Oh well. They had birria, so I was happy. 

What I did

Literally just went to the beach or sat by the ho(s)tel pool. If you’re not staying at a resort that has a private beach, Playa Chacmool is a good option. 

Logistics & stuff

  • You literally do not need 1 penny worth of cash. Everywhere accepts credit cards and it was a pain to find a place that actually wanted to break the larger bills that the ATM inevitably gave me.
  • When using your card to pay, make sure they always run your credit card using MXN instead of USD – the USD conversion rates are a total scam and your card likely has more favorable rates. Sometimes you have to specify this.
  • Uber is everywhere if you need to Uber up or down the hotel zone.
  • Don’t look at your weather app – I promise you it’s wrong. Cancun is prone to some cloudy days and rainstorms, but they usually pass quickly. 
  • Isla Cancun is a huge mall with anything you could possibly need, if you forget something or end up with a rainy day. I Ubered there to find some sweats for the nighttime because I packed all wrong (whoops).
  • Remember: I do not actually recommend Cancun unless you’re desperate for a cheap beach in the middle of an NYC winter.

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