Are all inclusive trip to Cancun still worth it in 2024 ?

Mexicano Errante Author
Author: MexicanoErrante

In this blog post we're gonna explore if an all inclusive trip to Cancun is worth it.
Cancun is the most visited hotspot in Mexico, with some people venturing around to Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Isla Mujeres.

But have you stopped to think if an all inclusive trip is worth your money ?

If its your first time in Mexico here are a few reasons why it might be worth it. If you're a more experience traveler like us, there are (a lot) of reasons why you might wanna skip the all inclusive and look for a different experience.

I'm going to Mexico for the first time, is the Cancun all Inclusive worth it ?

If its your first time in Mexico there are plenty of things which might be new to you, language, food, spiciness of the food, cultures and behaviour. The all inclusive is what we call a "soft landing" or "easy exposure" to the mexican way.

Most all inclusive resorts in Cancun are targeted at the American and Canadian tourist. They will offer excellent service, good to decent food, a very clean room, some international and specialty restaurants and usually some shows.

All-inclusive vacations in Cancun resorts are ideal if:

  • You are traveling with kids and don't want to worry too much about food or entrentainment.
  • You don't really plan on seeing many cultural things such as the Pyramid of Chichen Itza, Pueblos Magicos (magical towns) or want to explore other areas.
  • You are going for Spring break or a Bachelor / Bachelorette party.
  • You go to Cancun to relax only and don't want to move at all or even go through the trouble of thinking about what to eat.

Cancun Resort
Cancun Resort

But I am an experienced traveler, Is the all inclusive worth it anyway?

If you plan only on staying in Cancun and not moving at all then yes, all-inclusive can be a good and relaxing experience.

But if you're like us, and you want to try real traditional food not made for tourists and getting to know the history, culture and people then you will need to get out of the hotel at least once a day.

When outside the hotel you will be missing out on all those meals you've already paid for, so this is where the all-inclusive starts to lose its appeal.

So would it be okay to just stay in Cancun and then explore the area ?

Well, not really, the area in Cancun where the hotels are (known in spanish as "La Zona hotelera") doesn't really have much to offer besides the beach, resorts, a few restaurants and a few good parties at night.

So our suggestion is to stay stay in Cancun for a few days (3 to 4 days).

playa del carmen
playa del carmen

Day 1: Enjoy Cancun

Relax from the trip, enjoy Cancun, the beaches and your hotel.

Day 2: A visit to Isla Mujeres

You can grab a ferry to Isla Mujeres, which offers some of the nicest beaches around, you get to enjoy a stroll around the isle and enjoy some local food.

Day 3: Must do - Visit the Pyramid of Chichen Itza

This one is not so close, but it is worth every cent for the experience. There you will see the Temple of Kukulcan was named one of the seven wonders of the modern world

it is basically a day trip. While in Cancun you will see plenty of tour offers to Chichen Itza with varying prices, some of them stopping along the way for food and making a stop in Valladolid 'Pueblo Magico' (Valladolid Magical Town) and an optional stop to a Cenote.

Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza

I've already explored Cancun, Isla Mujeres, took a day trip to Chichen Itza and Cenotes. What's next ? (Day 4 and forward)

This is where our suggestion to skip the all-inclusive starts to make sense and the real adventure starts. You can explore the rest of the "Yucatan Peninsula" area, which includes amazing places such as Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel, Akumal and Bacalar.

These towns will provide you with a much better experience than staying at an all-inclusive hotel so be sure to rent a car and be willing to try some exotic foods while on the road !

Depending on how many days you have left you can mix and match different towns around. Each has its own quirks and unique vibes, all of them are very international so you won't have any problem even if you don't speak spanish.

Here are our favorites:

Playa del Carmen is a perfect place for its stunning white-sand beaches, lively atmosphere, and bustling Fifth Avenue filled with shops, restaurants, and nightlife. If you like to walk and see restaurants, shops and a lot of activities this is the place!

Bacalar, is more relaxing and chill, it has a Lagoon of Seven Colors, it is a well known gem. The lagoon's varying shades of blue and green make it a picturesque destination, perfect for kayaking, sailing, or simply enjoying the serene beauty of nature.

Akumal, Is best if you want to relax while avoiding crowds and big hotels. It has a laid-back atmosphere and pristine beaches, ideal for a tranquil escape and a chance to connect with marine life.

Tulum used to be beautiful, it blends ancient Mayan ruins with breathtaking beaches. The iconic Tulum ruins overlook the Caribbean Sea, providing a unique cultural and natural experience. Nowadays it is a very bohemian place, offering interesting and somewhat expensive experiences and it is aimed at a younger audience that looks for raves, parties and altered states of mind.

Holbox, is a car-free island, it is a very peaceful place characterized by sandy streets and vibrant street art. Famous for its bioluminescent waters and diverse birdlife, Holbox offers a tranquil escape from the bustling tourist destinations. Be sure to check the weather, because Holbox doesn't have the big infrastructure of other places so the island can get swampy during the rainy season.


You can find all the nearby locations we've traveled to when visiting cancun here: List of places you must go while visiting Cancun

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