The Mexican Caribbean enjoys over 300 days of sunshine during the year and the climate is hot and humid. Temperatures in January hit an average high of 27˚C/81˚F and a low of 19˚C/67˚C. Summer temperatures are higher and with 80% humidity, it feels even hotter. July and August are the warmest months with an average high of 32˚C/90˚F and nighttime lows of 26˚C/78˚F registered for July.
The rainy season runs from June to October and rainfall usually takes the form of short, heavy showers and thunderstorms. Tropical weather systems forming in the Caribbean may occasionally bring longer periods of rain and wind. Winter rainfall and lower temperatures are brought by nortes or northerly winds blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico. They usually last for two to three days.
110 volts. We recommend that you bring a voltage converter with you if you are using 220 volt devices.
A valid passport is required to enter Mexico. Citizens of the following countries may enter Mexico without a visa. (FMTTV): Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Island, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela. Citizens of all other countries may require a visa and should check with their travel agency and the Mexican Embassy in their country well before they are due to travel.
Minors traveling alone require notarized written permission from their parents.
The official language in Mexico is Spanish although English is widely spoken, especially in resort areas. Here in the Mexican Caribbean, some hotel and travel employees can also converse in French, Italian, German and Portuguese. You’ll hear Maya in many parts of the Yucatán Peninsula, one of 66 indigenous languages still spoken in Mexico.
Mexico uses the metric system so this means that distances are given in kilometers, heights and depths are recorded in meters, weights are in grams and kilos, and so on. Temperatures are given in Celsius
The official currency is the Mexican peso. Bills come in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 pesos. Coins are issued in 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 pesos and five, ten, 20 and 50 cents.
Dollars are accepted in Cancún, Playa del Carmen and other tourist areas but coin change will not be given. You can exchange your US dollars, Canadian dollars, Euros, sterling and travelers checks for pesos at banks and bureau de change. US and Canadian dollars and traveler’s checks can also be exchanged at the Front Desk in your resort.
The Mexican Caribbean is on Central Standard Time, six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.
Waiters generally receive 15% and sky caps and bell-boys $2 US per bag. The suggested daily tip for the maid who cleans your villa at Royal Resorts is $3 US for the suite and $2US for the room or $5 US when the villa is fully occupied.
You can drink the water at Royal Resorts straight from the tap. It is purified to US standards using the reserve osmosis system. Outside the resorts, however, we recommend that you drink bottled water.
If you are going to be in the sun all day on a trip to one of the archaeological sites or nature parks, make sure you drink plenty of water.
What to wear
We recommend that you bring cool, light colored cotton clothing and a pair of comfortable shoes if you are planning to explore the area’s archaeological sites. You will need trousers and long-sleeved shirts for jungle treks. Pack a light jacket or sweater or a shawl for the evenings, especially in the winter. A hat, sunglasses and plenty of sun block are indispensable.
Getting Around in Cancún & Riviera Maya
Taxis are available at all the Royal Resorts and you can also hail them in the street. Expect to pay more when you take a taxi from the resort or a taxi station. It is always a good idea to check the fare before getting into a taxi. You’ll find a list of the fares from your resort to a number of important destinations in the Cancún area posted in the motor lobby.
If you are staying at The Royal Haciendas, call the Bellboys to request a taxi 15 minutes before you need it.
In Cancun, the City buses are very frequent and at $7.50 pesos are a cheap way of getting around. Buses marked Ruta 1, Ruta 2, Ruta 15, and Ruta 27 and “Centro” all go through the Hotel Zone to Downtown Cancun. If you are traveling from Downtown Cancún out to the Hotel Zone, please note that not all buses go as far as the terminus at Punta Nizuc, check with the bus driver to confirm this.
Cancún’s buses are not air-conditioned and tend to become very crowded at peak times.
For buses to Playa del Carmen, Mérida and other destinations, go to the bus station in Downtown Cancún, located on the corner of Avenida Tulum and Uxmal.
The main bus station in Playa del Carmen is located on the corner of Quinta Ave. and Avenida Juárez.
Renting a car gives you added freedom to explore the area. There are car rental desks in all the Royal Resorts.
A free shuttle bus links the five Royal Resorts in Cancún; timetables are posted in the motor lobbies of the resorts. A limited shuttle service is also available between The Royal Haciendas and Playa del Carmen during the day. You must reserve beforehand in the Membership Office.
Thomas More Travel also offers a shared and private transport service between the Cancun resorts and The Royal Haciendas in the Riviera Maya on request.
Transport from the Airport
Cancún airport is the second largest in Mexico and one of the busiest in the Americas. Avoid the lines of people arranging and then waiting for transport to their hotel by pre-booking your airport transfer through Thomas More Travel. Save time, head straight for the beach at the Royal Resorts or The Royal Haciendas in the Riviera Maya and start enjoying your vacation right away.
Airport regulations stipulate that you must book your transport before you travel to Cancún and bring the printed confirmation and service coupon with you in order for Thomas More to provide the service. You may receive a call from one of the Royal Resorts Concierges to assist you with your reservation or you can book online at www.royalresorts.com or www.thomasmoretravel.com
Alternatively, call Thomas More Travel toll-free from the US & Canada 1-800-791-4496; Rest of the World: 52-998 885-1741 or 885-0254; E-mail email@example.com at least 24 hours prior to departure.
Yucatan Travel Tips
– Wear a hat, sunglasses and have a t-shirt or cover up handy. Wear comfortable shoes for exploring the archaeological sites.
– Apply plenty of sunscreen with the correct factor for your skin.
– Don’t overdo beach sunbathing! Be careful not to spend too much time in the sun at the beginning of your stay. You can gradually extend your tanning time.
– Cool off in the shade or water frequently.
– The hottest part of the day is between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
– Bear in mind that you can still burn even if it is cloudy or breezy.
– Sun products should be reapplied after bathing.
– If you do burn, apply aloe vera gel to cool off.
– Always use environmentally friendly, biodegradable sunscreens, especially if you plan to go snorkeling and swimming. The chemicals and oils in standard sun products are harmful to corals and other marine life. We also recommend that you wear a t-shirt when snorkeling.
– Apply insect repellent when visiting the archaeological sites and venturing into the forest. Long-sleeved shirts, socks and trousers are recommended for jungle walks.
– Drink plenty of bottled water.
– Snack on fresh fruit and vegetables.
– Afternoon showers and thunderstorms are common during the Yucatán summer, so you might want to take a light waterproof jacket with you.
– Don’t forget your camera and be sure to stock up on batteries and memory sticks.
– Binoculars and a bird identification handbook are indispensable if you are visiting the area’s nature reserves.
– If you plan to go snorkeling or diving during your stay, you might want to pick up a marine life guidebook. Some local dive centers and stores stock waterproof fish identification guides and underwater cameras.
– While most organized day trips include lunch, you may have an early start for some of them and may miss breakfast. The Royal Resorts Express Food to Go counters have the solution. Request a Box Lunch the day before you are due to go on your trip and your freshly made order will be waiting for you to pick up in the lobby.