When I first arrived, it was only for a three month stint. I had originally planned to start here and then work my way south, spending three to six months in various cities and working my way through Latin America. While I did pursue that to some degree, life took a couple of turns and I have since spent an amazing three years in the “city beyond the hotel zone”, otherwise known as the “Mexican” Cancun. However, our time here is coming to a close and we are moving on to the next destination where we will spend six months or so: Playa del Carmen. With that in mind, I’d like to reflect on some of the things that have made this town such a special place for me. Read More
Live Like a Local
(Or Becoming the Cheap Bastard My Friends Love to Tease)
One of the recurring themes throughout all of my publications (and most other “how to live a life abroad” posts, articles and books by other travel bloggers) is how to live cheaply. I’ve talked about it in regards to transportation, in regards to open markets, in regards to negotiating for accommodations, using discount days at the supermarkets, discount days at restaurants, and two for one days at the movie theaters.
I’ve picked up a lot of these habits over the years, which have led me to leading a frugal, down-to-earth existence where I don’t purchase things unless they are absolutely necessary, and even then, only doing so if I can get the best deal…even if I can afford to buy it at full price. Consequently, this has also led to me becoming known as the “cheap bastard” to some of my friends, and the “white Mexican” to others, and “mexicano” to my wife and Mexican family/friends. Read More
As I’m fond of saying, if you do a Google search of Cancun the only thing that shows up in the search results are pictures of naked people shit-faced drunk on the beach celebrating Spring Break, as well as plenty of photos of the beaches and all-inclusive resorts, condos and hotels. But what about the mainland, the city that exists beyond the pristine walls of the all-inclusive compounds and their English-speaking staff and American restaurants, plazas and Starbucks?
We live in the real Cancun. That is, the city beyond the tourist attractions. The mainland city where the workers who keep the all-inclusive zone functioning live and breathe and where hundreds of thousands of everyday, middle-class Mexicans have homes, cars, schools, hospitals, grocery stores, parks, plazas and yes, even subdivisions and mortgages and the same style of life that every other Western civilization has. Today’s article takes a look at the local streets and neighborhoods that make up the actual pueblo that has become renowned the world over as one of the top beach destinations for vacation. Read More
There’s good, bad, expensive, cheap, greasy, organic, home-style and chain restaurants to choose from when visiting Cancun. If you stick to the Hotel Zone you’ll only ever come across the American-style chains like the Hard Rock Cafe, Outback Steakhouse or Applebees – tired options that you can have any day of the week while back home. If you are looking for real Mexican food while enjoying a vacation in the tropics, you have to get out of the tourist zone and enjoy some of the places that we eat on a daily basis since we live here. Such as Ya Estas! here in the heart of downtown Centro. Read More
Fresh fruits and vegetables, spices and herbs, fish, pork, beef, chicken, duck, farm-fresh eggs, hand-made goods, soaps and shampoos, cheeses and beyond, Market 23 is the only open-air local market in Cancun. While it’s located in Centro and is sometimes frequented by tourists, the vast majority of daily traffic here comes from the locals. If you are looking for fresh produce for the table, this is the only place you want to be. Read More