For first time international travelers and those looking for specific tips, we’ve compiled a short survival guide to having an awesome time during your stay!
Before You Go
Please check your travel documents. Let us know if you’d like to add optional travel insurance to your booking.
What to Pack
Overall, we suggest beachy casual and semi casual clothes. Whatever you would wear to a nice restaurant at a tropical beach resort will be appropriate attire for the wedding. Depending on the climate you are accustomed to, the weather will be hot but bearable. Bring a poncho or rain jacket as rain is very common in this tropical location. Also, if you are headed away from the beach area, mosquitoes may be a problem so bring bug spray. Bring books, games and other entertainment in case the weather keeps you inside.
Arriving at the Cancun Airport
You will need to go through immigration, get your baggage and get through customs. You after your luggage is scanned through customs, you will be asked to press a button. If the light turns green, you’re free to go. If the light turns red, your bags will be checked by the officer. I’m not sure of the system of red light, green light or the dog that is allowed to rome around the travelers, but here are some tips to avoid paying customs upon your arrival:
The full list of allowable items is detailed on the customs entry form that you must sign at the port of entry. Allowances are subject to change without notice, but detailed below are the principal items followed by some tips about entry to Mexico.
Personal Luggage: including new and used goods for personal use to include clothes, footwear, personal hygiene and beauty items which, according to the form: ‘reasonably respond to the duration of the trip and that due to its quantities may not be used for commercial purposes’;
Two photographic or video cameras and twelve rolls of film or videotapes;
Two mobile phones or pagers;
One used or new laptop; one used or new printer; one projector;
Two used or new items of sports gear;
One CD player or portable music player; one DVD player;
One musical instrument;
Three surfboards; four fishing rods; a pair of skis;
Twenty packs of cigarettes and twenty?five cigars OR 200 grams of tobacco (over 18’s only);
Three liters of liquor AND three liters of wine (over 18’s only);
There is a US$300 tax exemption on items you import (in addition to those already listed above) when you enter the country by means or air or maritime transport; the exemption is reduced to US$50 if you travel in by land, except at Easter, Summer Holidays and Christ? mas time, when the land exemption limit is increased to US$300.
Tip: See the Mexican Customs Web site at www.aduanas.gob.mx for full details about customs allowances and see the helpful websites below.
After you walk through customs, walk right by all of the guys in the airport that are trying to sign you up for tours and
transfers. They can be sneaky; don’t listen to what they say and just walk straight ahead through the doors leading outside to the parking area. This is where Apple or Olympia transfers will be waiting for you.
Things to Do — Pre-book your excursions here!
Playa Paraíso Golf Club, a championship golf course, has hosted the Canadian Tour Riviera Maya Open and is the annual site for the PGA Tour Monday Qualifier. The unique design boasts extreme vertical movement, distinctive rock work, deep bunkers, narrow fair? ways, undulating greens and beautiful views at every turn. Just 30 minuets south of Cancun’s International Airport, this world?class lay? out is conveniently located for guests staying at one of our seven resorts within the Riviera Maya.
However, if you are feeling adventurous, the Mayan Riviera also known as The Riviera Maya and Maya Riviera abounds with exciting things to do. These “attractions” are spread out over a vast expanse of jungle and coastal shoreline. Costs for attractions are on par with attraction costs in both the USA and Canada so you can expect to spend the same for a day’s outing, as you would there. Regard? less of where you are staying on the Mayan Riviera you will have to travel to any attraction you wish to visit. You can either use the services of a tour company or you can travel to the attractions on your own.
There are a number of great snorkeling locations along the Mayan Riviera. Xcaret, Xel?Ha and Ya Kul Lagoon all have snorkel equip? ment for you to rent so you do not have to bring your own. Also most of the cenotes have snorkel gear for you to use and some have diving as well.
The best diving is closer to Cozumel so most divers generally stay on Cozumel Island when diving although there are numerous dive shops and tours that will take you out from anywhere on the Riviera. Dive shops are located all along the Mayan Riviera and at most hotels/resorts.
Other activities to consider in the area include:
- Tres Rios Ecopark is located 10 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. Explore nature in this tropical reserve.
- Xcaret is like an Eco Maya theme park. We just love this place. It is a paradise for children and you can spend the whole day there. Some of the attractions include a re?enactment of a traditional Maya ball court game, butterfly pavilion, traditional Mexican dance and music, small zoo and much more. The swimming here is excellent and the water theme parks rival Disney World; in fact we think they are better.
- Xel?Ha is a great place to go snorkeling or swimming. It is a fresh water bay that meets the ocean. Many sea creatures make their home in the bay and its tributaries and a snorkel around the bay will simply blow your mind if you are not an avid diver or snorkeler. It is well worth the price of admission and a great place for kids. There are many well?trained lifeguards on du? ty.
- Aktun Chen: Beautiful underground dry caves with stalactite and stalagmite formations and a spectacular fresh water cenote. You might even be lucky enough to see spider monkeys. Poisonous and non?poisonous snakes can be seen at the serpentari? um. Located in the jungle between Akumal and Xel?Ha.
- Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve: Just south of Tulum, the reserve has an abundant amount of flora and fauna and several dis? tinct natural ecosystems. The reserve contains unexcavated Maya ruins, freshwater canals, cenotes, mangroves, lagoons and inlets. The fishing village of Boca Paila is within the reserve. The town of Punta Allen is the end of the Maya Riviera found at the southern tip of the reserve.
NOTE: The roads in and out of Sian Ka’an can sometimes be treacherous [road repairs are infrequent]. When you rent a car, quite often the clerk will ask you where you are planning on taking the car. Some car rental agencies will not let you take a car to Sian Ka’an because of the possibility of damage being inflicted on the car due to the rough road conditions.
HOWEVER, the road is sometimes no worse than some country roads in the US or Canada. Just tell the car rental guy you are go? ing to Tulum, which is not a lie. Make sure you have a full tank of gas, take food and water with you and do not bring any valu? ables. Or take a tour.
- Xaman?Ha Aviary: Home to exotic birds including scarlet macaws, flamingos and herons. Xaman?Ha is in Playacar which is [south] right next to Playa del Carmen.
- Punta Laguna: Spend time with spider monkeys and howler monkeys in their natural habitat. You can trek in the jungle and travel Punta Laguna by boat. Birds, deer, turtles and crocodiles are among the other wildlife to be seen. Punta Lagu? na is northwest of Coba. There is also a Mayan ruin site here.
- Nohoch Jungle Crossing: Snorkel into one of world’s largest discovered subterranean river systems. In this ancient natu? ral miracle, you will experience its spectacular geological formations and crystal clear fresh water.
- Leave a copy of your travel itinerary and passport with someone at home
- Take a photo of your passport and email it to yourself — This is a great tip for lost or stolen passports.
- Always put at least one change of clothes in your carry on — In case of lost luggage, you’ll have something to wear to dinner or on the next day.
- Of course, don’t forget your passport and travel documents!
Precious Nuptials & Destinations (888) 763-2933