General information on Cancun

General Information
BANKS  CUSTOMS  DOCUMENTATION   ELECTRICITY  MEDICAL FACILITIES   MARRIAGES  TELEPHONES

*Location
In the State of Quintana Roo, off the northeastern end of the Yucatan peninsula, directly south of New Orleans.  Approximately 1.5 hours flying time from Miami.

Currency
       
Mexican peso. The rate of exchange against the US dollar fluctuates daily.

Population 
       
350,000

Languages

Spanish, but English is spoken in most areas

Climate                                                                           
Semi-tropical with an average temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for Cancún: January-March, 68-86°F (20-30°C); April-June, 71-89°F (22-32°C); July-September, 75-91°F (24-33°C); October-December, 68-87°F (20-31°C).

Time Zones
On Central Standard year round.

Electricity
Standard current is 110 volt AC, the same as in the US. However, three prong outlets are not widely available, so an adapter is a good idea.

Documentation
Visitors to Mexico need a valid Passport.  Travelers from other countries may need a visa. Minors traveling alone or with one parent need notarized consent from parent(s). In addition, visitors  must carry a Mexican Tourist Permit, which is issued free of charge after proof of citizenship upon arrival. This permit must be given to officials upon departure. If you lose your Tourist Permit while in Cancún, you can obtain a copy or permission to leave the country from the Immigration office located downtown. Departure Tax is approximately US $17 (before you leave home check with your travel agent or airline to see if the departure tax has been included in your ticket price.) Children under 2 years are exempt.

Banks and Currency Exchange Facilities       
US Dollars are easily exchanged into pesos in banks, major hotels, airports and exchange houses. Mexican banks are generally open from 9 am to 2:30 pm weekdays only. Exchange houses are open longer and offer quicker service. Most credit cards are accepted in shops, hotels and travel agencies. Major purchases are best made with a credit card. You automatically receive the bank rate of exchange, which is higher than the rates given in town or at the hotels.

Business Hours        
Most stores are open from 10 am to 10 pm daily in the Hotel Zone. Stores downtown may close between 2 pm and 4 pm for the traditional "siesta" and on Sundays.

Medical Facilities        
Mexico has a nationalized healthcare system and almost every town and city has either a national hospital or medical clinic. Most hotel have a 24-hour doctor on call. No vaccinations are need to enter Mexico from the US or Canada. Below is a list of local hospitals and clinics.

Hospital Americano
84-61333/84-6068 (24-hours)
15 Viento Street, SM4

Red Cross
84-1616 (24-hours)
Yaxchilan Avenue, SM21

Total Assist
84-1092, 84-8116 (24-hours)
5 Claveles Street, SM22

Handicapped Facilities
Most five star and Gran Turismo hotels are wheel chair accessible. Check with individual hotels for specific requirements.

Customs   
After passing through immigration, you must claim your luggage and pass through Customs. You must present a Customs form, which should be given to you at check-in before you leave the US or during your flight. You will be asked to press a button at a sort of traffic light: Green means go, red means your baggage will be briefly searched. You are allowed to bring up to 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars and one liter of alcohol into the country. Questions can be directed to the Customs office at the Cancún Airport at (52-98) 86-00-73.

Telephones         
From North America to Cancún: dial 011 (int'l access code) + 52 (Mexico's country code) + 98 (Cancún's area code) + the local number.

From Cancún calling North America, dial 00+1+area code+local number. Many US long-distance phone companies have access numbers that you can dial in order to use your phone card, usually through the Mexican telephone company public phones, LADATEL. Calls may be less expensive than direct-dialed calls from your hotel room. (Check with your hotel surcharges BEFORE calling.)

Getting Married in Cancún
Due to Cancún's popularity as a honeymoon destination, most major hotels are happy to arrange a wedding for a visitng couple, and will likely have a wedding coordinator on-site, or be able to refer you to a local company that provides those services. Consult with your travel agent or directly with your hotel about those arrangements. The LEGAL requirements for marriage in Cancún are as follows:

If previously married the parties will need to show the divorce decree or a certified copy of spouse's death certificate, if widowed.

(Information may have changed since this update)*

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