Cancun

Cancun

NOTE: Temporally Closed
As some of you may know, Cancun was closed in 2005 due to hurricane damage. The village is scheduled to reopen toward the end of 2006. The village will no longer be 'adult only', but will reopen as a 'for everyone village'; meaning kids are allowed, but the are no special programs for them (MiniClub). This leaves Turkoise (Turks & Caicos Islands) as the ONLY 'adults only' village. Sigh!!! As I understand it, the annex restaurant was totally destroyed and is being completely rebuilt.


General:
This is a big Club, both physically and number of guests (about 850). This is a very nice village in terms of the number, ages, and types of people that come. I believe this is THE most popular village in the American zone. It's not a wild Club and it's not a quiet Club - it's somewhere in the middle and just about right. The activity (energy) level in the GMs is very high. For someone that has never been to Club Med before, this is where I recommend. The sports are good and plenty of them. It's just a really nice village, with plenty for everyone.

The village has ocean on three sides and wraps around a lagoon. There are small waves on the curved beach to the North, and none at all on the other beaches. The reef in front of the village is very nice for snorkeling. They do the water-skiing in the lagoon so it's nice and smooth; and available all year round. There are also crocodiles in the lagoon (no I'm not kidding). I guess this is encouragement for the water-skiers to not fall.

Rooms are grouped in separate buildings facing the ocean or the lagoon. If you want to guarantee an ocean view it will cost extra. The two buildings of preference are 'Dulce Hogar' and 'Opera'; both have fantastic views from their ocean sides. 'Dulce Hogar' is close to the center of the village and a short walk to the pool and main restaurant area. 'Opera' is the newest of the buildings (1985), but this may be a mote point since the completion of the renovation. 'Opera' is a bit of a walk, but is close to the annex restaurant, tennis, windsurfing, and has the best snorkeling right in front. None of the rooms at this village are close enough to the disco to be bothered by stray noise.

Get this. I actually met some people that were booked at both the Club and at a hotel up the beach. They liked the fancy rooms in the big hotel. So they would spend all day and evening at the Club, then take a taxi to the fancy hotel to sleep. Go figure.

Since everyone is curious about the new & improved Cancun village, I've got some thoughts and comments passed on to me from another ClubMed'er.

Cancun after the renovation (circa 1998)



Some Cancun pictures


Pros:
Things to do outside of the village.
This is a big plus for this location. Unless you are completely taken over by Club Med (like me) and want a little of something else, there are many, many diversions in and around Cancun. You could easily spend a week seeing the Mayan ruins in the area. If bar hopping is your thing, this is your place, there are several '$12US for ALL you can drink' places in town. The town is easy to get around by bus (it doesn't stop at the Club). Just walk down the beach to the next hotel (it's the ugly, pink Westin) and cut through the lobby and down their driveway to get to the bus stop and catch the bus for 3 pesos (about 40 cents US). If you want to rent a car (there is a rental desk next to the lobby), the roads are good (for Mexico) and there are few of them so it's hard to get lost.


Cons:
Physical size.
If you like to walk, this is the village for you (only Huatulco is larger). Walking is good for you, but it also uses up time you could be using for other purposes (relaxing, drinking, etc...). If you are staying in the building 'Opera' and you want to go water-skiing, you are looking at a 20 minute hike. On the other hand it does give the people enough room to spread out and not be in each others face all the time.

Wrist band.
They strap a plastic wrist band on you when you arrive, to identify you as a Club Med guest. This bothers some folk, but I find it a rather minor annoyance. Each week is a different color band. People from other hotels will walk down the beach to the Club Med property, especially snorkelers. All beaches in Mexico are public, but if the outsiders try to walk into the village or use the beach chairs, there will be a guard there promptly. This also reduces the people selling stuff. I noticed other hotels in the area have started doing the same thing.






NOTE: SCUBA divers
This village is NO longer offering SCUBA, they have dropped the program. They are replacing this highly popular sport with (gag) Kayaking. I've been told they will continue to offer the two diving excursions (Cozumel and Cenote Cave Dive); though I'm not sure how, without a SCUBA GO. I will retain the section on diving for a while, for historical reasons.
Some comments on this

SCUBA archive

Sailing
I'm pleased to say that the sailing program is back, after a long overdue absence. I'd like to add a few thoughts.

The reef area in front of the village is a National Marine Preserve; that means it's supposed to be protected. The local government has turned a blind eye to this and has allowed one of the local businesses, who's name I'll not mention (AQUAWORLD), to run motorized water bikes through the reef area. That company (AQUAWORLD) conducts 'Jungle Tours' several times a day, of two man water bikes in a convoy of 10 to 30. They travel down the inner lagoon of Cancun, through the mangrove swamp below Club Med, and then up to the reef area to tie off; then paddle about while attempting to snorkel. Their boats cut directly though the Club Med sailing and wind-surfing area with total disregard to boating right of way. The participants are basically told "follow the boat in front of you". They seemed to regard the Club Med sailboats as an intrusion and give them no leeway. I have seen many instances where the sailboat had to take emergency action to avoid a collision. If one ignores the noise and pollution this is causing the reef, it leaves a dangerous situation waiting to happen.


Weather
December to February is the nicest, but most crowded. The temperature starts climbing in the spring, peaking in May. The rainy season is June to September. Storms are common in the fall. Hurricane season is August to November.


Recommended excursions:
Chichen Itza. Everyone has to see Chicken Pizza once in their lives. This excursion is now done by bus. Do bring bug spray as you'll be in the jungle.

Coba & Tulum. This is a very nice, inexpensive, excursion by bus to two wonderful Mayan sites. It includes lunch and a swim in the pool at the archeological villa at Coba. Do bring bug spray as you'll be in the jungle.

For divers, do the Cenotes Cave Dive. I highly recommend it. Yeah it's expensive ($170US), but well worth it. Diving through crystal clear fresh water until you hit the 'halocline' and switch to salt water is something you just have to experience. Everyone that I've met that has done this excursion, just loved it. Do bring bug spray as you'll be in the jungle (where have I heard this before).



Most recent visit: Nov-97



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