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Where to stay and what to do in Cancun on a low budget. We stayed in downtown Cancun for a month 2013 and 2014 and did not spend very much money. The downtown hotels near the bus station are older buildings, but clean and economical. We ate at local downtown restaurants and avoided the hotel zone. Our favorite restaurant was practically across the street from our hotel. The entrees were around 50 pesos and large enough for my husband and I to share. You also get taco chips while they make your meal, so all around a good bargain at La Gran Gula. Another nice restaurant on the same street is Gory Tacos, slightly more expensive, but good food. Both are located at Parque de Palapas, a pedestrian street goes between the park and Tulum Avenue and they are located there..There are many small restaurants and shops in the area.

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  • Thrifty Traveller

8 Places

7 City Tips

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8 Places

Playa Delfines

Beaches

Gran Gula

Restaurants

Interactive Aquarium

Aquariums

Hotel Plaza Kokai

Hotels

Hotel Parador

Hotels

El Rey Ruins (Zona Arqueologica El Rey)

Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites

Scorpion’s Temple

Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites

Museo Maya de Cancun y Zona Arqueologica de San Miguelito

Speciality Museums

mrscleo's City Tips

  • OXXO - This is a store like a 7-11 at home. If you are looking for a quick inexpensive lunch have their hot dogs. When we were there they were 2 for 20 pesos. That with a bottle of lemonade makes a good lunch.
  • Riding the bus in Cancun is an inexpensive way to get around. R1 will take you between downtown and the hotel zone. All the buses have their route printed on the windshield and their number. R2 will take you from the hotel zone to Wal-mart. If you ride the bus use Pesos, as they will take American dollars as fare, but in Pesos it ony costs about 75 dents a ride.Have your bus fare in hand when you board so you are not holding up others.
  • Transportation from the airport can get expensive. We like to take the bus that goes to the ADO central bus station downtown. Our hotels have always been within walking distance of the bus station. This makes it very easy to come and go reasonably.
  • Las Perlas Public Beach - this is closer to downtown and the water is still. It also has palapas, and restrooms. It is probably better swimming for small children.
  • Playa Delfines is a public beach about 17 km from downtown. The R1 bus will take you there. It has palapas (thatched sun shades) lifeguards,restrooms and showers. The waves are strong there but it is a gorgeous beach.
  • Chederaui - This is a large grocery store in downtown Cancun, and also there is a new one in the Hotel Zone, but the prices are cheaper downtown. Fresh baked bread and pastries are very reasonable. We always bought water here by the gallon and put it in smaller bottles to take to the beach. It is more like a department store than a grocery store.
  • Palapas Park, which is one block away from Avenue Tulum usually has some kind of entertainment in the evening. Families go there to eat and walk around or ust sit and watch people. The entertainment is free, we have seen Mexican wrestling, Carnival Cancun, and the Yucatan Philharmonic Orchestra. There are many food stands around the park, craft booths, and a carousel and bouncy houses for the kids. There are also little battery powered vehicles you can rent for small children to drive around the park. Very little children have cars which parents can control with a remote.
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    Playa Delfines
    Beaches
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    mrscleo Says:

    Gorgeous public beach. We took our lunch and stayed all day. Not as crowded as the hotel beaches. It is a short bus ride from downtown.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Get there early if you want to get a palapa (sunshade).
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 163 things to do in Cancun
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Playa Delfines 26/05/2018
    • Beach 21/05/2018
    • Playa Delfines
    Address:
    Boulevard Kukulkan
    Zona Hotelera
    Cancun 77500
    Mexico
  • Save
    Gran Gula
    Restaurants (Italian, Mexican, European, Hungarian)
    mrscleo Says:

    Love this restaurant, excellent food. Dinners are substantial, my husband and I could always share a meal and be satisfied.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    From the community
    Ranked #335 of 900 restaurants in Cancun
    • A taste of Hungary in Cancun 16/04/2016
    • One of the best Hungarian Restaurants I've ever tried 10/03/2016
    • Gran Gula
    Address:
    Parque de Las Palapas
    Cancun 77500
    Mexico
    Other:
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    Interactive Aquarium
    Aquariums
    See more photos
    mrscleo Says:

    A fun aquarium to visit. We happened to go on a cloudy day when it was not good to go to the beach. The exhibits are very interesting and you can also swim with the dolphins here.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    From the community
    Ranked #47 of 163 things to do in Cancun
    • Amazing because it was our first time 22/05/2018
    • Sea Trek and Dolphin Swim! 15/05/2018
    • Interactive Aquarium
    Address:
    Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 12.5 Zona
    Zona Hotelera, La Isla Shopping Mall
    Cancun 77504
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 998 206 3311
    Price range:
    USD 14 - USD 14
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 19:00
    Other:
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    Hotel Plaza Kokai
    Hotels
    See more photos
    mrscleo Says:

    Plaza Kokai is a nice downtown Cancun hotel. It is about 4 blocks from the ADO bus station. A very easy walk. We stayed here for a month in 2013 and were very happy with the hotel.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Thrifty Traveller
    Tips
    • Ask for a room away from the stairway and elevators as sound carried up the stairwell. Also beds are rather hard.
    From the community
    Ranked #123 of 180 Hotels in Cancun
    • Great value near bus terminal 13/04/2018
    • You get what you pay for. 26/12/2017
    • Hotel Plaza Kokai
    Address:
    Avenida Uxmal 26 Sm 2-a
    Cancun 77504
    Mexico
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    Hotel Parador
    Hotels
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    mrscleo Says:

    Hotel Parador is on Avenue Tulum about two blocks from the ADO bus station. It is a nice clean hotel with a restaurant. Breakfast is included, toast, juice and coffee. Other food items can be ordered extra. The pool was clean and the water warm. The staff speak a little English so we were able to communicate.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Thrifty Traveller
    Tips
    • The bar at the front of the hotel can be noise at night, ask for a room at the back.
    From the community
    Ranked #169 of 180 Hotels in Cancun
    • Basic 28/04/2018
    • Good location Nice Pool 25/02/2018
    • Hotel Parador
    Address:
    Av Tulum # 26, SM 5. Mz. 5, Lot 1
    Cancun 77500
    Mexico
  • Save
    El Rey Ruins (Zona Arqueologica El Rey)
    Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    mrscleo Says:

    Good place to view Mayan ruins if you don't want to travel far. R1 bus will take you there, it is practically across the street from Playa Delfines. The ruins are interesting, not terribly large, an hour will get you through there. There is always an older gentleman there who would like to be your guide.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    From the community
    Ranked #37 of 163 things to do in Cancun
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nice surprise 24/05/2018
    • The ruins at the hotel were okay, but to get a real feel, book a tour. 21/05/2018
    • El Rey Ruins (Zona Arqueologica El Rey)
    Address:
    Blvd Kukulcan Km 17
    Zona Hotelera
    Cancun 77500
    Mexico
    Other:
  • Save
    Scorpion’s Temple
    Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    mrscleo Says:

    Ruins right on the water. We must have walked past this twenty times and did not notice it. The ruins are located between two of the hotels. You can talk to the guards at the hotels and they will tell you how to access the ruins from the road, or you can find a way to walk up from the beach. It is just a small temple, but interesting.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    From the community
    Ranked #77 of 163 things to do in Cancun
    • A convenient walk with beautiful views 05/04/2018
    • Great! 19/03/2018
    • Scorpion’s Temple
    Address:
    Punta Nizuc - Cancun 1835, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancun, Q.R., Mexico
    off Blvd Kukulcán Km 12.5
    Cancun
    Mexico
  • Save
    Museo Maya de Cancun y Zona Arqueologica de San Miguelito
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    mrscleo Says:

    This is a very interesting museum. There are a lot of jade pieces and pottery in the building. Outside you can walk around in the Mayan ruins. It is a nice cool walk through the jungle. There is an entrance fee, and they have lockers and restrooms.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Watch out for iguanas, they do bite and don't let go.
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 163 things to do in Cancun
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • San Miguelito - Hidden Treasure in the Heart of Zona Hotelera 21/05/2018
    • Nice Museum 17/04/2018
    • Museo Maya de Cancun y Zona Arqueologica de San Miguelito
    Address:
    Hotelera Cancun Quintana Roo Blvd. Kukulcan Km 16. 5
    Esq. Gucumatz
    Cancun 77504
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 998 885 3842
    Price range:
    USD 70 - USD 70
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    09:00 - 18:00
    Other:
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