Not a Fan of Cancun

Let me amend that slightly: I’m not a fan of Cancun’s Hotel Zone. You know, that loooooong stretch of… peninsula? Man-made island in front of the main land? Strip of resorts?

Whatever the term for it, it’s definitely not my favorite place to be as a remote worker, and I’m happy I’m leaving for Playa del Carmen tomorrow. I guess you’ll find some duds here or there, even in the Caribbean.

So yes, this post is a bit of a rant – don’t take it too seriously. This is definitely whining at the highest level, but I figure there may be a few other digital nomads out there considering Cancun as a stop. If you prefer wide, empty beaches, yummy but cheap food, and a few more things to do within walking distance than eat, drink, and party, maybe opt for somewhere other than Cancun!

Honestly, my biggest pet peeve are the beaches. I love beaches. Walking down a beach barefoot, with the waves licking my toes is one of my absolute happy places. In Cancun’s Hotel Zone, access to the beaches is restricted by the hotels next to them; and even though they’re gorgeous with their white sand and turquoise waters, the fact that the hotels would be standing in the water if they were built any closer just puts a damper on things.

The only shot I managed to get without a wall of hotels to my left.

There are also very few restaurants with terraces or views over the water; I found a yummy Italian restaurant with a view over the “lake” as the locals call it; the stretch of water between the mainland and the hotel strip. I got the best seat in the house right on the water, there was a nice breeze and the food was incredible – but I had to walk 30 minutes in the boiling heat to get there from the hostel.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a few others around, but considering the Hotel Zone is built all along the water, it’s very disappointing. The resorts have all taken up that prime beach real estate. Plus, prices are incredibly expensive, for Mexican standards – basically Stuttgart prices for dinner with a glass of wine.

I do get why spring breakers love it here, though. Or if you’re a remote worker who loves to party, this could be a good stop for you. That’s just not me.

On the other hand, Nomad Summit Cancun 2019 absolutely exceeded my expectations. The speakers did a great job of presenting their interesting, relevant-to-me topics. Hanging out with people from the Summit was also a treat, and I definitely had a good time while it lasted. I also never made it into downtown Cancun, which may be a whole different story to the Hotel Zone. Mostly, I’ve stayed and worked from the Selina hostel. Which, you know, isn’t the worst place to work from, either:

My view as I’m writing this.

But now it’s time to move on. Playa del Carmen, here we come.

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