Cancun is still one of the best beach destinations in the world. Even as some parts of Mexico have been plagued by violence, the Riviera Maya and the Yucatán Peninsula have remained very safe for travelers. Once you know that it is safe and that you want to start packing you will soon start asking what type of vacation you would like to take. Some of the “all-inclusive” deals seem amazing, but are they really? In order to answer that question you need to take a few things into consideration so ask yourself a few questions.

How Much Time Will You Spend At The Resort

If you are only looking for a beach vacation when you travel to Cancun, then an all-inclusive package is a great idea. You will have your meals covered as well as drinks, entertainment, fitness, golf and maybe even a few tours of the area. That may seem like enough for you, but the one thing that you should know about the area is that there is a lot to explore. A traveler who is looking to really get to know the area may not spend as much time in the resorts as others

Some of the places that you may want to explore in the area including Isla Mujeres, Isla Holbox, Cozumel, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, X-Caret, Mérida, and Chichen Itza. All of those places have something that make them special and if you were to spend all of your time at the resort you would be missing out on a lot of it. Even if you are only looking to spend time at the beach you may feel that the beaches by the resorts are too crowded. You can find other beaches nearby which are just as beautiful, but a lot less crowded.

Chichen Itza


The food that you will get at most of the resorts is very good. In some cases you will get the refined version of the food in the area, so eating at the resorts is highly recommended. The one problem is that the food is too refined and overpriced; in other words the resort food is not the real Mexican food which the locals consume. An adventurous person may want to get a taste of the real Mexico and you can only do that outside of the resorts. The good news is that this is also a great way to save as you can get full traditional meals in town for anywhere between 3.50 to 5 dollars (sometimes even less at food stands).

Of course people will tell you that you should avoid food stands, but the reality is that the food from the stands is very traditional and few get sick from it. If you have a very sensitive digestive system then you should avoid them, but a regular person needs to try this food at least once. Make sure that you look for the stands which are packed with locals as those are the best and safest. The “comida corrida” option will give you a full meal which includes soup, rice, main dish and a drink with dessert sometimes also included. The most you will pay for this option at a traditional restaurant is 5 dollars, but in most cases it should be around 4.

Entertainment And Other Activities

This is where the “all inclusive” option does have an advantage as you will be able to go into a local golf course, have activities planned, scuba diving and sports fishing. That is a good deal especially if it includes drinks and you are in Cancun to party. However are you really going to do all those things? If you are then go with the package; if you want to do only one or two of those activities, then you can also get them by themselves, save money and have a more open schedule.

The Alternative

Once you decide that you want to explore the area you can decide to do other things. One good option is to plan your trip yourself by getting a travel guide-book or check some travel Mexican beaches websites. They will tell you information about hotels and things to do in the area. Cancun is a very central place, but you do not need to spend every night there. Spend a night or two in each site so that you can make the most of it. Some hotels are always booked, but you will more than likely find rooms unless you are traveling during Spring break, Easter or the December holiday season. You will get to know more of the real Mexico while still traveling to some of the best beaches you could find anywhere.

Do not be afraid of trying different things. The Riviera Maya area is actually safer than most places in the United States and the locals are friendly. A lot of the locals also are fluent in English.