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2014-07-16 09:27:08

Cancun is one of Mexico's most popular destinations for tourists, retirees, and students. But how do you find accommodation there? Find the answers here.

Like in other parts of Mexico, the best way to find accommodation in Cancun is by searching for one while you’re in the city. Although some rental properties are listed online, you can usually find better options by walking around and looking for signs that say “Se Renta”—For Rent. Therefore perhaps, your first step in finding accommodation in Cancun is to find a hotel for a short stay until you find a more permanent solution.

Choosing a hotel in Cancun

Cancun is divided into two zones: the hotel zone (zona hotelera in Spanish) and downtown. The resorts in the hotel zone are large, expensive, and impractical for an extended stay. Besides, there aren’t many rental properties in the hotel zone other than pricy timeshares.

Because of this, a good strategy is to book a hotel online in downtown Cancun for the first few days, and then look around for a more suitable place for a more permanent accommodation, such as an apartment. The central area in downtown Cancun is near the ADO bus terminal and a nearby park, Parque Las Palapas. Search for hotels around there for convenient access to transportation and other services like markets and supermarkets.

You can find good deals online by using Google Maps or travel booking websites, but be aware that the most affordable options do not have listings online. It’s best to visit them to get prices and also an idea of the neighbourhood. Before agreeing to take the room, ask to see it. Try the shower and check the air conditioning. If you plan on staying for a long time, ask for a discount.

Finding long-term accommodation in Cancun

You can find anything in Cancun: furnished and unfurnished apartments, detached homes, condos, and timeshares. Look in the classified section of local newspapers and free magazines that list properties. Also take a look at Airbnb.com and Craigslist.org, which are quickly becoming popular in Mexico.

Another strategy is to visit a local real estate agent, which is especially important if you plan on buying a property. Most real estate agents in Cancun and surrounding areas speak English.

Because Cancun is a popular tourist destination, rent prices will be higher than in other parts of Mexico. But they should still be cheaper than a comparable place back home, especially in the western world.

If you plan on staying long-term, don’t limit yourself to downtown Cancun. Explore nearby communities like Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, which may have a better and more affordable range of choices for accommodation.

Practical information

To avoid surprises during your search for accommodation in Cancun, you should:

  • start by staying in a hotel, so you can take the time to identify more appropriate accommodation according to your preferences and budget.
  • have a knowledge of Spanish to be able to better negotiate with owners, although many locals speak English in that region, due to the high percentage of tourists and English-speaking expats.
  • inquire about rent prices in other places in the neighbourhood before signing the lease. Try to meet some friendly expat residents for insider tips.
  • visit the neighbourhood at various times of day, including late at night, to make sure there isn’t a loud nightclub, barking dogs, or a busy highway nearby.

 Useful links:

Craigslist Yucatan
Airbnb
Metros Cúbicos (renting)
Zonaprop (renting)
Trovit (purchasing and renting)
Gomfy (renting and homestays)
Compartodepa (renting and flat sharing)

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.