Spring Break in Cancun, Travel to Mexico
By: Justin Jones Deitchman (justin) 2012.08.27
Is it safe to travel to Cancun for Spring Break? Travel writer Justin Jones investigates!
What is it like at a Cancun resort during Spring Break? Well, if it’s the Grand Oasis Hotel Resort located in the Spring Break capital of the world, it is this. It is huge – with an intoxicating maze of bars, clubs, and restaurants, all situated along a beautiful stretch of white sand and tranquil Caribbean waves. The centerpiece of The Grand Oasis is the massive pyramid, reminiscent of the Temple of Kukulkan at the nearby Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza (one of the New 7 Wonders of the world.) The resort even has a Cirque du Soleil style aerial show that includes technicolor Mayan Bird Deities soaring overhead while fantastically costumed monsters lumber through the crowd on all fours, with stilts on hands and feet.
A few travel writers and agents, including myself, were invited to visit this refurbished resort in Cancun. I had to wonder if part of the reason for the invite was also to show the world that this part of Mexico is perfectly safe for tourists.
It seems obvious that Cancun would want to keep its tourists safe. Without tourism, Cancun wouldn’t even exist. Back in 1970, Isla Cancun had only three residents, and the nearby fishing village of Puerto Juarez was home to only 117 people. Fast forward 40 years and Cancun has a population of over 600,000 and welcomes nearly 6 million tourists to its beautiful every year. That’s a lot of cervezas to be sold, amigos, and a lot of pesos to be made. So, the logic is simple: Keep the place safe, keep people happy with food, spirits, and fun - and everybody wins. I can personally attest that at the Grand Oasis in Cancun, I felt completely safe, the fun was always flowing, and the entertainment was top notch.
The performers at the resort seem to be always working, whether they’re cruising by the pool in a decked-out golf cart, rocking LMFAO tunes and performing exaggerated, pelvic-thrust dance moves, or serenading tourists with comedic renditions of classic Mexican songs. They even have a (vaguely offensive but overall hilarious) bit where one performer dresses as a sheik and wanders around with a harem of bikini clad women.
And the Spring Break party scene in Cancun? Yeah, it’s still going strong. Flocks of teenagers and college students from around the world still pack Blvd Kukulcán each night, lining up outside Señor Frog's, Dady'o, and Coco Bongo. Back at the Oasis, you can always find a good party going on at the Coyote Bar, with DJs and live bands nightly. And if you’re up for getting down, head to The Up and Down Club for their weekly foam party, where things are guaranteed to get slippery!
All in all, The Grand Oasis Hotel Resort offers a really fun experience, especially for a budget-minded all inclusive resort. And above all, it was safe.
But was is safe outside the comforts of a resort like the Grand Oasis Hotel, or even in the city of central Cancun itself?
After my stay in touristy area, I took some time to check out the Parque las Palapas area where a different breed of tourist resides. This is a lower rent part of Cancun, where many working locals live, and there are a few cheap hostels where you can get a bed in a dorm for less than $10USD per night.
Surely, if there’s danger in Cancun, it’s here, right?
Well, if there was danger, I didn’t find it. I cruised the streets, but all I found were friendly locals, vending quesadillas, and trinkets from brightly painted stalls, and concrete walls covered in fantastic, sprawling murals. It’s a nice escape from the touristic frenzy of the hotel strip. In Parque las Palapas, you’ll meet a lot of smiling locals, you’ll smell the fresh tortillas being cooked, and you’ll find a bit of culture, a bit of music and art. But you won’t find danger – At least I didn’t.
People come to Cancun for the party. They come for the sand beaches, the clear blue waters, and tranquil, mojito-sipping days.
So if the The US Department of State has a travel warning for any Americans considering visiting Mexico, where do they say it is dangerous? I found through my research the violence is limited to border towns like Juarez and other crime-ridden cities where cartels have raged bloody battles. But Mexico is a huge country, with diverse regions spanning mountains, gulfs, and thousands of miles of highway. The culture and vibe of regions like Michoacán, Baja California Sur, Veracruz, and Quintana Roo can vary drastically. Could the violence along the border really be symptomatic of an entire country mired in drug-related violence?
The recent headlines have caused a bit of a dip in tourism, but overall, major tourist destinations like Cancun and Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya are still flourishing. And the best news is the travelers and Spring Breakers are still arriving to take advantage of the sun, surf, and 18+ drinking laws! The Grand Oasis Hotel Resort can be found at (http://www.oasishotels.com/).
Justin Jones is a travel writer and the founder of World Travel Buzz. You can follow his adventures at JustinWasHere.com