Tips from 35,000 Feet: Cancun

By: Katie Manning

January 10, 2013

It’s hard to believe that only four decades ago Cancun was a deserted island. There were no spring breaks, no nightclubs and no shops: just sand. When we touch down, it’s hard not to get into the party spirit straight away, and the best place to begin is Seor Frogs. You can’t really get a more lively bar than this, with its all-out party atmosphere and shamelessly cheesy music. We love that it’s known for its parties, refillable yard glasses and a waterslide. It is a tradition, incidentally, to end the evening at Frogs by sliding down this resident waterslide right into the swimming pool below! We just can’t help getting caught up in the fun whenever we pay a visit.
Seor Frogs | Cancun
Seor Frogs © Abir Anwar/Flickr

Apart from its reputation as the Vegas of Mexico, Cancun is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world (second only to Australia’s). We love diving and snorkelling the Palancar Reef with its deep will dive, snowy white sand slopes and clear water. We definitely suggest taking your underwater camera, as we always want to capture the angelfish and Bermuda chub swimming around the coral ravines. If, like some of us, you don’t fancy being in the water, there’s a glass-bottomed boat that’s the perfect way to see it all in total comfort.

Palancer Reef | Cancun
Scuba diving at Isla Mujeres © Visit Mexico

Mexico is seeped in the traditions and history of the Mayans, and when we stay at the Grand Melia Cancun you begin to really live it. This enormous hotel is placed right on the beachfront, but what’s unique about it is its architectural design, which mimics a Mayan temple. We love that the whole place is scented with jasmine and the ponds, fountains and vegetation are perfect for a luxurious and soothing stroll. If you’re feeling flush then you can upgrade to the Red Level Pyramid, which comes with a private secluded courtyard, a pool and two Jacuzzis!

Grand Melia | CancunGrand Melia Cancun © Grand Melia Hotels

When we’re looking for a meal that’s a little bit different in Cancun, we always head to La Habichela. In fact, it’s completely unique. Instead of a restaurant, it acts and feels like a family home when the Pezzoti family (who have lived there for 35 years) let guests dine in their spectacular gardens under the Mexican stars and sky. We love its twinkling fairy lights and candle-lit tables – it is really the most romantic place to be at night. They serve classic Mexican as well as Caribbean seafood – we always gobble down the shrimp curry in coconut sauce.

Sunny Shores | Cancun
Playa Delfines © Visit Mexico

Have you partied or played in Cancun? Tell us your favourite story from your trip!


Katie Manning

Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning

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