Where to Stay in Cancun: Best Neighborhoods & Hotels

March 12, 2023 By:

Cancun Beach View in Mexico
Best place to stay in Cancun, Mexico
Cancun, Mexico

Heading to Cancun this year? Use my tips to plan your trip for the best places to stay in Cancun, including areas that fit your budget and vacation goals!

Mexico’s beautiful Yucatan Peninsula is home to beautiful sandy beaches and Mayan ruins. One of the most popular places to base yourself is the city of Cancun, known as the gateway to the Riviera Maya.

Formerly known as Nizuc or ‘place of grass’ to the Mayan inhabitants, the city now known as Cancun means ‘beautiful snake’ or ‘nest of snakes’.

But it is far from a snake’s mouth. Being the gateway to Mexico – Cancun is a wonderful city with sparkling water, white sand beaches, beautiful resorts, and a thriving nightlife.

The perfect location to explore the Mayan Riviera, Cancun is well connected to Isla Mujeres, Tulum, Chichen Itza, Playa del Carmen and more.

Your stay in Cancún will introduce you to Mexican food, nightlife, and street food. It will also be the perfect opportunity to go scuba diving, snorkeling, explore nearby Mayan ruins, go shopping, and participate in cultural experiences.

If you are looking for the best hotels in Cancun to enjoy your stay, read this free guide to the best areas in Cancun and find the perfect accommodation for your budget!

Mexico travel ban 2022

Mexico is open to many more travelers, including American tourists. However, you need proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result before you are allowed to enter.

Many hotels, attractions and private tours are open with new health and safety measures in place, but you still have to follow some guidelines.

You can find the latest updates at go to Mexico here.

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Best Places to Stay in Cancun Guide

Area in Cancun
Where to stay in Cancun

The highest city in Cancun

Zona Hotelera

Zona Hotelera is the tourist area of ​​Cancun where you will find high-end resorts that attract tourists. Staying here, you will find restaurants, shopping malls, and nightlife. Extends all the way from Puerto Cancun to Punta Nizuc. It is also home to some of the best beaches in Cancun.

El Centro (Downtown) Cancun

The place to be if you want to hear the heartbeat of the city. Watching the locals go about their day, eating street food in shops, or visiting cheap clubs and nightclubs. El Centro offers more affordable budget accommodation options than other parts of Cancun.

Costa Mujeres

To the north of the Zona Hotelera sits Playa Mujeres (Costa Mujeres) – the newly opened luxury resort area of ​​Cancun. Located near El Centro and Puerto Juarez, this area is not crowded with the Zona Hotelera. If you are looking for a bit of peace and quiet on your vacation with your family, Playa Mujeres is a top choice.

Puerto Juarez

Located about 2 kilometers from the center of Cancun, Puerto Juarez is another great place to stay in Cancun if you’re on a budget. It is quieter than the city center, but not as touristy as the Zona Hotelera. It is also the best place to stay if you are planning to visit Isla Mujeres, since Ultramar cruise ship go to the island leaving here twice in the hour.

Zona Hotelera – The place to stay for first time visitors

Hotel Zona Hotelera

Luxury Hotels in the Hotel District ($200+ USD)

  • Ritz Carlton Cancun – Winner of the AAA Five Diamond Luxury Award, the Ritz Carlton is within walking distance of the famous beaches of Playa Marlin and Playa Ballnas. Guests will enjoy 2 swimming pools, Kayanta Spa, 7 on-site restaurants, children’s club and youth group. Beautifully decorated rooms with amenities, Ipod docks, Egyptian bedding, private beach cabanas, what more could you ask for?
  • Nizuc Resort & Spa – Located on Boulevard Kukulcan in Zona Hotelera’s Punta Nizuc, Nizuc Resort is one of the best places to stay in Cancun. Guests at this acre beach resort can step into the best accommodations that cater to their every need. Enjoy access to 6 international restaurants, 2 pools, state-of-the-art fitness center, spa and wellness treatments, tropical experiences, free parking, free WiFi, and other amenities the best.

Mid-range hotels in the Hotel Zone ($150 – $190 USD)

  • Renaissance Cancun Resort – Located in the Puerto Cancun area of ​​the Zona Hotelera, the Renaissance Cancun is within walking distance of the Marina Town Center, restaurants and shopping areas. There is free transportation to the beach, sauna, infinity pool, beach club, and spacious rooms and suites with everything you need.
  • Marriott Cancun Resort – Set on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, the spacious rooms at the Marriott are perfect for a luxurious stay at an affordable price. Guests have access to 8 international restaurants including Japanese and Thai, free WiFi, a fitness center, and amenities. Daycare programs to care for children too.

Budget Hotels and Resorts ($50 – $100 USD)

  • Mayan Monkey Hotel & Hostel – Formerly known as Senor Frog, in the heart of the Zona Hotelera, the Mayan Monkey Hostel is within walking distance of the beach, restaurants and bars. You can choose from a single room, double room, or suite. Free WiFi, free parking, a bar, a lounge, a bar and a pool make this hostel perfect!

El Centro area – Cancun on a budget

Hotel in El Centro

Mid-range hotel in El Centro ($150 – $190 USD)

  • Selina Cancun Downtown – Within walking distance of Cancun Bus Station and Cristo Rey Church, Selina Hotel offers a pool, free WiFi and free parking. Pets are allowed for a fee, and guests have access to a shared kitchen, breakfast and an onsite restaurant, as well as access to work space. Whether you choose an apartment, a house or a room, you will enjoy your stay at this beautiful hotel.
  • El Rey Del Caribe – Located in downtown Cancun, this hotel has a hot tub, terrace, pool and garden area. They have solar heaters, recycle all waste water, and use a rainwater collection system. Just one kilometer from Cancun’s famous beaches.

Budget Hotels in El Centro ($50 – $100 USD)

  • Casa Blanca Boutique – You will love the bright and beautiful rooms and the El Centro bed and breakfast that caters to the begging pets. Guests have access to an on-site pool, continental breakfast, rooms with balconies, and friendly advice from an accessible host. And keeping his organic mantra even the coffee here is organic!
  • Gaia Theater – Rooms at Gaia have a kitchen, flat screen TV and private bathroom. Some rooms have air conditioning and/or a balcony. It is located in a beautiful area of ​​downtown Cancun, close to the family friendly park “Parque las Palapas”. They also offer airport shuttles for an additional fee.
  • Nomads Hotel – Featuring a rooftop pool and a large bar, this hostel is located 3 minutes from the bus station in Downtown Cancun. In addition to WiFi and free parking, this senior hostel offers access to a shared kitchen, lounge, and a great nightlife.

Puerto Juarez – Cancun’s Newest Area

Hotel Puerto Juarez

Luxury Hotels in Puerto Juarez ($200+ USD)

  • Dream Vista Cancun – A beautiful luxury resort in Cancun’s Puerto Juarez area, it has a private beach, a large pool, a children’s playground, a fitness center and free WiFi. They also have a spa, golf, and water slides.
  • Planet Hollywood Resort Cancun – This beautiful adults-only resort is just a 10-minute walk from Cancun’s Playa Blanca beach. The property offers free parking, an outdoor swimming pool, a bar, a spa and a fitness center. There is also an in-house movie theater.

Budget Hotels in Puerto Juarez ($50 – $100 USD)

  • Hotel Del Sol – Offering a free continental breakfast in their hotel, Hotel Del Sol is only 450 meters from Playa Blanca and the world of water activities. The affordable rooms include WiFi and air conditioning, and have the amenities of a budget hotel.

Costa Mujeres – Luxury Beach and Golf Resort

Hotels in Costa Mujeres ($200+ USD)

  • Secrets of Playa Mujeres – The adults-only resort offers Junior Suites and ocean-facing Master Suites. They have a private beach, beautifully decorated rooms, 7 international restaurants, a beautiful spa, a high-end fitness center and everything you need for an amazing vacation. It’s also pet friendly!

FAQ: Top Cancun Questions

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Where to Stay in Cancun, Mexico: The Best Areas, Hotels, and Accommodations on a Budget


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