We left around noon, and 24 hours later, this was our view. Transportation from the Cancun airport is pretty much a must–you can wade through the vendors as you exit the airport, but you’re going to end up paying the same price as a transport service, so you might as well do it in style. They’ll be waiting for you with your name on a sign, and with Canada Transfers, you can even arrange for a cold beer to be waiting. It was around $53 US round trip, to be personally chauffeured to your room.
And check this–we were in the Dallas airport when I realized that we would be getting in so late that we would be taking a chance on the restaurant at our timeshare being closed (9pm). I did not want to call Mexico and I wasn’t sure an email would be read in time, so I went to their site and saw where you could have them call you. Which I did, and arranged for them to also provide a meal for each of us on pickup. Subway sandwiches, $6 US each–problem solved. And the restaurant was closed–crisis averted.
In addition to movies, one of the options for entertainment was flight info. It was fun watching the number of feet change from 0 to 35,000 over the first half hour of the flight (that’s six miles, baby). And the outside temperature was -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thanks to Mapchick, we filled out our tourist forms online before we left the house. This is a real pain when they hand them out on the plane–poor lighting, find the passport, etc. With this link, you can fill it out at your leisure and print it to take with you. We just laughed when we beat everyone on the plane still filling theirs out as we passed them and were first in line at immigration.
Second day–City Tour
Since our timeshare has a full kitchen, the first order of business is to hit a grocery store to stock up on food supplies. The taxis charge by zone, and even though Walmart will have pretty much everything, there’s a closer (and cheaper) option. There is a Walmart downtown, but travel to Walmart will cost you about $10 US each way (at least from Coral Mar), but Chedraui stores are just about as good, and one is fairly close, more like $8 each way. These stores all over Cancun, so one is bound to be closer to you than Walmart.
I decided I would get up early one morning (and only one morning) to see the sunrise. I picked a good one, as you can see.
We’ve taken just about every tour that you can think of, but I had the bright idea to take the City Tour, partially so we could end up at Walmart for our grocery supplies. Bad decision–we didn’t see anything we hadn’t already seen. But we did get to have lunch at one of my favorite spots in Market 28 downtown, El Tejas. Delicious shrimp cocktailsare their specialty, and I had one.
The restaurant at Coral Mar is under new management, and for dinner, we decided to try the fried fish tacos–it was a good choice, and was only about $9 US. Between that an the cheese quesadillas appetizer, $6 US, that’s a pretty filling meal for two people. It also came with a delicious (and spicy) habanero salsa.
I’d read about a new restaurant that got pretty good reviews–Pik Nik, so we took a taxi downtown to try it. It’s a small, mostly outdoor seating place, located down an alley. Fortunately, we got there before dark, or I might not have been ready to venture down a side street in a foreign country. But, it was cool, the foods was good, and we noticed there was a fair amount of people walking up and down the street by our table. It turned out that down that street is a very popular hangout for the locals–Parque de Pallapa.
It’s a very nice park, and was very crowded, even for a week night. It was very much like a county or state fair here in the US. A wide open space for kids to place–they even had kids riding around in remote control cars (the parents controlled the speed and direction with a remote), a large stage, a small band playing, and lots of food vendors. The most popular was something called a marquesita. It’s a flour cake pressed in a griddle so it’s very thin, then folded into a cone, and ingredients like cheese and chocolate poured into the top.