Why Cancun is the Perfect Fall Destination

Cancun is one of the world’s most popular destination. We recommend October as a time to visit and avoid crowds.

Photo by Gerson Repreza

Why is Cancun so popular?

Nestled in the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun is one of Mexico’s most popular destinations. It offers at 15- mile sandbar strip of hotels and all inclusive resorts. Adorned with beautiful beaches and coral reefs, it is the perfect place to decompress. The city offers a bustling nightlife that caters to its tourist audience with a variety of clubs, shows, and Mexican markets. The winter and summer months tend to be busy with tourists and are part of peak season. In particular, Cancun has become a popular spring break destination for many American college students. However, if you are looking to avoid crowds and lines, October is the perfect month to visit Cancun.

In recent years, Cancun has become a popular destination due partly for its beauty and affordability. It offers something not matter what type of budget you have. The variety of activities has something for everyone from the thrill seeking traveler to those seeking to simply relax . Cancun’s popularity has earned it the second most visited travel destination in the world, according to ForwardKeys, a consulting firm that analyses travel patterns. October offers a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of spring breakers, summer tourists, and snow birds on vacation.

I recently traveled to Cancun with my cousin, and although a bit nervous about traveling in the fall, it was the best decision. We were able to book a resort, flight, and excursions at cheap prices because of the slow season. Because we are both military, we were able to receive additional discounts on our flights and hotel stays.

History of Cancun

Cancun is located in the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico. The name Cancun is derived from the Mayan language and it roughly translates to “place of the golden snake.” Although this is only one of many translations, for the name Cancun, many linguists believe that its origin has something to with snakes. Snake symbology was very popular in Mesoamerica and Mayan culture. Although originally filled with Mayans, after the Spanish conquered Mexico, only small settlements of indigenous and other people remained in the area presently known as Cancun.

The inception of Cancun and of creating a city on the coastline of Yucatan was planned. City planners and other Mexican officials wanted to specifically cater to tourists. The idea to create this city started in the late 60s and came to fruition in the early 70s. Interestingly, the government had to fund the money for the first nine hotels due to the weariness of investors. It is also interesting to note, that the inspiration to create Cancun came from the resorts in Hawaii and other parts of the Caribbean. The Mexican government wanted to replicate this experience in the Yucatan peninsula. Fifty years later, Cancun has blossomed into an incredible tourist destination.


One of the many reasons why Cancun is so popular is because of its weather. Even though Cancun has a rainy and dry season, its temperature is relatively consistent. In its peak months or dry season(November-April) the temperature average is in the low 80s. In its rainy season(October-May), the temperature does not deviate too much from what is season during the dry season. The rainy season features thunderstorms but these usually do not last very long.

Although Cancun is on the side of the Atlantic where hurricanes travel, they are often very rare occurrences. In the years 2005 and 2007, Hurricanes Wilma and Dean hit Cancun. Despite the damage done, local government and the Mexican federal government where very equipped to support tourist and residents that needed assistance. However, Cancun enjoys mostly sunny weather. If you are traveling in the month of October, be prepared for the occasional thunderstorm. As mentioned before, even if it rains you can still find an activity at your resort or in the local area for entertainment.

Throughout our week long stay in Cancun, it did rain. However, the rain did not last long and we were able to enjoy some sunny time. Having traveled to Cancun in the summer, the climate is much nicer in the fall. Temperatures were pleasant and we were able to sit pool side and not worry about extreme heat or dehydration.


Cancun has a 15-mile long sandbar in which many hotels and resorts offer private beaches. Cancun’s beaches are among the best in the world. During peak-season beaches can become incredibly crowded, but if you travel in October the beaches can offer calm and relaxation. If you are looking for more of a party scene, October is still great month to travel to beaches in Cancun. Often you can find discounted tickets to visit private beaches. We also offer exclusive deals to resorts that have some of the most picturesque beaches.

Photo by Anna Sullivan

If you are looking to visit Cancun, here is the list of some of the most popular beaches to visit:

  • Playa Delfines or “Beach of the Dolphins”- has private beaches as it is located between to resorts. It is a quieter location; isolated from the business of restaurants and other distractions.
  • Costa Mujeres or “Coast of Women”- This is in a private gated community which requires special access and a 30-minute drive from the Cancun airpport
  • Tulum Beach-Tulum is approximately 2 hours away from Cancun and it is one of the most popular beaches around Cancun. Tulum has risen to popularity in recent years due to its natural beauty. It is filled with jungles, Mayan ruins, and plenty of cenotes or sinking holes for swimming. Tulum is one of my favorite beaches. I have traveled there with family and the water is beautiful.
  • Playa Del Carmen- Originally started as a fisherman’s village, Playa Del Carmen now is a popular beach destination. It is located 45-minutes from Cancun and offers a more relaxed vibe than Cancun. While Cancun attracts younger tourists and the spring break crowd looking for a party, Playa del Carmen offers a more laid back feel for those wishing to relax. Playa del Carmen is a close second. The beach can often feel a bit crowded and some areas are rough to walk on.
  • Playa Chac Mool-Often underrated compared to other beaches in Cancun, Playa Chac Mool offers a quiet spot for relaxation on par with other beaches in Cancun. This beach is popular for diving; often described as having perfectly jewel-toned water.
  • Playa Maroma- This beach has Cancun’s most exclusive resorts, to include El Dorado Maroma. They have the only overwater bungalow rooms in Mexico. Maroma has a small marina where tourists and visitors can go fishing and snorkeling.
  • Playa Norte- Play Norte offers a good mix of crystalline waters and picturesque views to bustling streets filled with souvenirs and shopping. It is located on Isla Mujeres which is located off the coast of the state of Yucatan.

Mayan Ruins

If you are a history buff, the Mayan ruins in Cancun are a must-see during your trip. As noted earlier in this blog, the meaning of the word Cancun comes from the Mayan language. Contrary to what may be associated with Mexico, Cancun was actually Mayan territory. Cancun loosely translates to “place of the golden snake.” Some other interpretations of this name may be “place of the enchanted snake.”

Photo by Mario La Pergola

The Mayans have well known architecture and in fact build over 40 cities in Mesoamerica and other parts of southern Mexico. In many parts of the Yucatan peninsula, there are still descendants of the Mayan people. The language has also managed to survive and it is taught to the younger generations.

We urge you to visit the Mayan ruins during your trip to Cancun. Many hotels and resorts offer excursions. If you travel in the fall, there is likely to be less people. I have visited two of the ruins on our list. Make sure that you are well hydrated, bring sun block, and comfortable shoes to walk in. There was a lot of walking included in our excursion.

These are the most popular ruins to visit:

  • Chichen Itza- this the most popular Mayan excursion and it features the icon Mayan pyramid seen in many travel brochures. It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This was one of the largest Mayan cities according to archeologists. They no longer allow for tourists to climb the stairs of the pyramids due to safety reasons.
  • Tulum- Already on our list for its beautiful beaches, Tulum also sports some impressive Mayan ruins. It is the only coastal Mayan city. Interestingly, it is walled off; probably due to the high volume of sea trade that took place.
  • El Rey- This is a smaller suite of ruins but it is conveniently located in the southern end of Cancun’s hotel zone. You can catch transportation from any bus in Play Delfines and walk to the ruins.
  • Ek Balam- This is a new suite that was recently excavated in the 1980s. Archeologists are still working to dig most of the city. A neat point to his site is that you can climb some of the exposed ruins.


Cancun offers impressive opportunities with nature. From snorkeling to diving, if you are a nature lover Cancun has it all. It has various parks and unique sinkholes called denotes.


You may be wondering what is a cenote and why would I want to visit it? Cenotes are naturally occurring sinkholes or pits. They occur from the collapse of limestone rock which exposes groundwater. Cenotes are sometimes linked to cave systems. They provided potable water for the Mayan population in the Yucatan peninsula. Surprisingly, the Yucatan Peninsula does not have many freshwater sources and the Mayan societies built their communities around these natural wells for survival.

Photo by Earth

The process in which cenotes are formed is called karst. Aside from providing water for survival, cents were also used to pay tribute to the Mayan gods. Archaeologist have found human skeletons in cenotes, indicating that human sacrifices took place in these natural wells. Mayans also believed that cenotes were a gateway to the afterlife. It was not uncommon for Mayans to throw valuable items into the denotes in special rites.

Cenotes Modern Day

Cenotes these days are used for both entertainment and research purposes. If you visit Cancun, you must visit a cenotes. Although they have meters and meters of water, there are different excursions with different activities. You can go snorkeling or scuba diving in cenotes. If you are a nature enthusiast, we suggest that you check out one of the cenotes on your Cancun expedition:

  • Cenote Ik Kil- This cenote is located in Chichen Itzá and it is one of the most popular cenotes in the area. If you are booking an excursion to Chichen Itza, bring your bathing suit so you an experience this natural well.
  • Cenote Azul- The literal translation to this is “the Blue Cenote.” It has a cliff that can be used to jump into the water and amazing turquoise waters to swim in. This cenote is approximately an hour and fifteen minutes away so make sure you book roundtrip transportation( which is usually included in any excursion).
  • Ruta de Los Cenotes- If you are interested in spending your day in more than just one cenote, you can travel on the Ruta de Cenotes. It translates to “the route of cenote,” and it delivers exactly that. If you drive on this route you can visit 10 cenotes and the different ecosystems in each one.


Cancun boats an impressive list of theme parks that you can visit with your family and friends on your trip. If you want a little more adventure than what the cenotes offer, book a trip to a theme park. Many of the parks on our list include zip lining, water slides, and adventures in the jungle. Like many of the attractions in Cancun, most resorts and hotels include day excursions available for purchase on site, if you want to visit.

Photo by Stephen Monterroso

Xcaret Theme Park

This theme park has over 50 natural attractions in addition to dance shows, jungle zip-lining, and beach area. Xcaret offers plenty of entertainment for all nature lovers that want activity. Conveniently, it is also part of a hotel and resort. You can book your stay here and enjoy the amenities. However, if you just want to visit the water park you can book a day excursion. Make sure you hydrate and bring sun block!


Xel-Ha Water Park

This another water theme park that is popular to visit. It was first opened in 1995 and it has not stopped attracting visitors. Most impressively, it also has a 30 meter tower( approximately 98 feet) that you can slide down from. It also has a popular lighthouse that is perfect for your Instagram and TikTok stories.


Xplor Adventure Park

This park gets its fame from being the most visited zip-line park. Located in the heart of the jungle, this park is full of zip-line adventures and epic views of Cancun. In addition to zip-lines, it had underground rivers and cenotes for you to visit.



If you were wondering if you can combine the party scene and nature, Xoximilco is the perfect place to experience that. This park has incredible gondola rides, carnivals, and exquisite Mexican food. Xoximilco is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and must see if you are looking to truly immerse yourself in the culture of Mexico.


Xoximilco-Photo by Sarah Barlow

Nightlife in Cancun

Nightlife in Cancun is one of the most talked about in the world. Aside from being an affordable travel location, Cancun’s lively parties and endless tequilas makes it an epic party scene.

Coco Bongo

This is Cancun’s most famous club. It is both a show and a nightclub combined into four hours of show and partying. Coco Bongo features acrobats, DJs, free drinks(depending on your package), and food for purchase. Coco Bongo has a variety of different performances from Michael Jackson to Beetlejuice. No matter what night you visit, entertainment is always present.

Most hotels and resorts provide transportation and tickets for purchase. If you are planning to attend Coco Bongo there are different packages. Prices range from $60 USD to $150 for more exclusive experiences and best seats. If you do not want to wait and line and want a guaranteed table and seat, we recommend that you spend more money on the VIP packages. The Coco Bongo is a must have experience. My cousin and I partied here and have no regrets. It is a safe environment. Our hotel took care of our transportation for pick up and drop off. The night I went the hotel dropped us off 30 minutes before show time. The line tends to form quickly so we were grateful for the early drop-off.

Once the doors open at 10, it takes awhile for everyone to enter the club. The acrobatics show started approximately 10:30pm and it was incredibly impressive. Performers fly through the air in suspension cables. Each show that we watched had a different theme. The Coco Bongo is definitely a Vegas quality show that all should experience. The club gets very crowded so make sure to snag a table on the floor as quickly as you can.


Photo Credit Getyourguide.com


If you are looking for less how and more club then the Mandala is for you. This Indian-theme club is in the party zone of Cancun near the Coco Bongo. It has an upscale vibe to it that makes all that enter feel like they are VIP. It is not as large as the Coco Bongo which offers a nice alternative to large clubs like Coco Bongo.

La Vaquita

This is one of Cancun’s newer club and it literally means the little cow. This club has go-go dancers and offers drinks by the liter which makes it a popular club with tourists. It is also located in Cancun’s party zone and not too far from Coco Bongo and the Mandala. La Vaquita is a good mix between a bar and a club. Its drinks reviews are great. If you visit let us know about their drinks!

Safety Concerns

In recent years, Cancun has gained notoriety because of its drug-related violence in different parts of the hotel zone and other areas of the city. Most recently, the State Department issued a warning for American tourists to practice extreme cautions when traveling here. As someone that has visited this area of Mexico three times, I felt safe visiting here. The resorts are heavily policed and exercise great security. For example, to enter the resort my cousin and I stayed, the driver had to give our names, present ID, and get verification before entering.

Similarly, when exiting our hotel to attend the Coco Bongo excursion, the hotel made sure that the driver verified who he was picking up and that he presented proper ID. Hotels and resorts only used validated and certified taxi drivers. They wait outside the hotel or resort and only enter when they have passengers to pick up or drop off. The hotel also took additional measures by having members of the Mexican national guard policing the resort.

The Party Zone in which most clubs are located also have a heavy police presence. Since the clubs stay open late into the morning, police officers are constantly on patrol. Overall, my cousin and I felt safe traveling. If you have any concerns about Cancun we encourage you to sign up for the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP). https://step.state.gov/step/

Cancun in the Fall

Cancun is a great destination to visit in the fall. Enjoy less crowds and all the amenities that it has to offer. We have exclusive packages for military personnel an offer discounted prices and cheap flights. Make sure to visit our websites for special deals to Cancun!https://www.militaryfares.com