The allure of Cancun, Mexico, is hard to resist. The city’s official travel information website paints a picture of beauty: “Warm white powdery sand beaches and turquoise crystal clear waters together with the famous Mexican hospitality make this a place like no other!”
A visit to the popular tourist destination could prove that vacationing in Cancun may be as disappointing as a piñata that won’t break open, even after multiple whacks with a Whiffle bat.
Location, Location, Provocation
Upon arrival at the hotel in Cancun, my wife and I were pleasantly surprised. The resort was as the brochure promised, a stunning, modern facility with all the amenities. Our first evening on the Yucatan peninsula was magical, complete with island drinks and authentic cuisine.
The next morning, we woke to the sound of ocean waves, birds singing, and the roar of a bulldozer digging the foundation for the luxury hotel next door. Looking out our window, we saw dozens of workers with pick axes and shovels clanging about in the hot sun.
The sound was loud, unending, and relentless. It continued for days.
Before booking your stay in a Mexican resort, it would be wise to check the surrounding areas for possible construction. If not, the alarm clock on your peaceful holiday in the Caribbean could very well be a jackhammer.
The cliché “Don’t drink the water” was taken seriously. It was not until mealtime, however, that the difficulty of the advice was realized.
According to MDtravelhealth.com, travelers to Cancun should not drink tap water unless it has been boiled, filtered, or chemically disinfected.
So we constantly worried about the water. Can drinks be ordered with ice? Should tap water be used for brushing teeth? Are salads safe to eat?
My experience suggests that the answer to all three of these questions is a resounding “NO.” I contracted a stomach bug that was miserable.
Other guests also made bad water decisions, as the hotel pool was littered with more Pepto Bismol bottles than margarita glasses.
Visitors to Cancun should consider food and water restrictions before booking a trip to an area known for Montezuma’s Revenge.
For a side trip, we decided to take a tour to Chichen Itza to visit the Temple of Kukulcan, a pyramid of great importance to the Myan civilization. To save money, we booked the excursion with a discount agency, instead of one recommended by the hotel.
Our bus was a rickety mess. As we headed down a winding road, it began to rain. When the windshield wipers were turned on, only one worked: the one on the passenger side. Terrified, we prayed our destination would be reached safely.
Before arriving at the pyramids, we stopped at a souvenir store, which I surmised was owned by the bus driver’s brother. We stayed long enough to give everyone a chance to buy T-shirts and sun visors.
The ride back included lunch at a roadside restaurant. The tables and chairs looked like they fell off Fred Sanford’s truck. The food: cold and tasteless. We couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel.
Lesson learned: Book an excursion through a reputable agency and avoid an unpleasant day trapped with a less than desirable operator.