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Where to stay in Cancun


Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico -  Beautiful Caribbean beach Playa Norte or North beach on the Isla Mujeres near Cancun, Mexico

With cool, Caribbean seas, sandy beaches and warm weather, Cancun has been welcoming travelers from all over the world since the 1970s. The ancient Mayan civilization of the Yucatan Peninsula has been slowly replaced by all-inclusive resorts and sunburned tourists exploring the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.

Cancun hotel and resort options continue to expand, making it hard to choose where to stay in Cancun in 2023. We’ve pulled together the best areas of Cancun and nearby resort towns to help you narrow down your options to the best location and then decide on the best hotels for your travel taste and budget. Wondering best place to stay in Cancun all-inclusive? There are plenty of options below.

We will cover off all types of Cancun accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Cancun hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Cancun Mexico, the best Cancun hotels, best places in Cancun to visit, the best places to stay in Cancun, hotels near Cancun attractions, Cancun neighborhood guide and many more.

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Hotel Zone – Where to Stay in Cancun for tourists

Sometimes called the Cancun 7 for the “7” shape of the island jutting out, the Hotel Zone is the best area for tourists on their first visit to Cancun. The narrow island is 22 kilometers long and is lined with Cancun All-Inclusive resorts and hotels. With more than 70 hotels in the hotel zone, there are different kinds of resorts for every traveler. If you want to know where to stay in Cancun with family, there are tons of family-friendly activities along the strip.

The Hotel Zone of Cancun is also home to the area known as the party zone. The Cancun All-Inclusive resorts vary greatly from hedonistic party scenes to relaxed, family-friendly resorts, so it’s important to choose your resort carefully, especially if you are visiting during the American Spring Break period during March and April. Each resort in the hotel zone has a private beach, so you’ll never have to worry about beach access if you stay here. 

Hotel Zone Cancun also encompasses Punta Cancun. The tip of the Cancun 7 is Punta Cancun, which is the best area to stay in Cancun for nightlife. Technically part of the hotel zone, this subsection is known as the Party Zone, with over two dozen nightclubs where travelers can dance the night away.

The Riu Cancun is pretty much Ground Zero for Cancun’s party scene, so if proximity to nightlife is important to you, choose a hotel near that area. Most nightclubs will charge a fairly steep cover charge, from $50 to $70 USD which includes open bar, with upgrade options available.  

Best place to stay in the Hotel Zone Cancun

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in the Hotel Zone
Stay Green 16 Hotel
Hostel Natura
Mayan Monkey Cancun
Nirvana Hotel & Hostel – Cancun Hotel Zone

Budget Hotels in the Hotel Zone
Bed & Beach & Fun Cancun Hotel Zone
Sotavento Hotel & Yacht Club
Grand Royal Lagoon
Selina Cancun Laguna

Mid range Hotels in the Hotel Zone 
Hotel & Museo Casa Turquesa
Flamingo Cancun Resort
Hotel NYX Cancun
Grand Park Royal Luxury Resort Cancun

Family Friendly Hotels in the Hotel Zone
Sunset Royal Beach Resort
Park Royal Cancun
The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas & Spa, Cancun
La Villa du Golf a Cancun

Affordable Luxury Hotels in the Hotel Zone
Hyatt Zilara Cancun
Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach
Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun
Canopy By Hilton Cancun La Isla

Aerial panoramic view of Cancun beach and city hotel zone in Mexico. Caribbean coast landscape of Mexican resort with beach Playa Caracol and Kukulcan road. Riviera Maya in Quintana roo region on Yucatan Peninsula


Downtown – Where to stay in Cancun on a budget

If you want to know where to stay in Cancun on a budget, downtown Cancun, or Centro, is a great option. Being 20 minutes from the beach means there are loads of budget-friendly accommodations to choose from. Downtown Cancun also has a distinctly more “authentic” feel than the Americanized resorts of the hotel zone.

Not only are the hotels less expensive, but it’s easier to find cheap delicious street food that Mexico is famous for. Even if you don’t choose a hotel here, plan to spend one evening strolling the streets of downtown Cancun. 

Best place to stay in Downtown Cancun

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Downtown Cancun
La Luz Hostal Cancun
Hostel Ka Beh
Nomads Hotel & Rooftop Pool Cancun

Budget Hotels in Downtown Cancun
Hotel los Girasoles Cancun
Suites Cancun Centro
Maria De Lourdes
Hotel Xbalamque Resort & Spa

Mid range Hotels in Downtown Cancun
Kabah Boutique Hotel
Hotel Blue Star Cancun
Grand City Hotel
Oh! The Urban Oasis

Family Friendly Hotels in Downtown Cancun
Hotel Kavia
Suites Gaby Hotel
Eco-Hotel El Rey Del Caribe
Casa Blanca

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Downtown Cancun
Villa Sofía Holiday Accommodations
The Quetzal
Four Points by Sheraton Cancun Centro

 View of the market at the Bahia Principe Hacienda Dona Isabel in the Riviera Maya.


Isla Mujeres – Where to stay in Cancun with family

Another quiet escape from the chaos of Cancun is Isla Mujeres, just a few kilometers north of Cancun’s hotel zone. To reach Isla Mujeres, you take a 20-minute ferry from Cancun, and most people get around the small island on golf carts. Several beaches surround the island, from calm sandy beaches to stunning coral reefs perfect for snorkeling.

Accommodation in Isla Mujeres options range from luxury villas to budget-friendly hostels, but the vibe is definitely laid-back.  Several adventure tours depart from the island if you prefer something more active than beach bumming. 

Best place to stay in Isla Mujeres

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Isla Mujeres
Itzé Hostel
Poc-Na Hostel

Budget Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Hotel Marcianito
Villas Coco Resort
Hotel Posada Del Mar
Villas Keh

Mid range Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Izla Hotel
The Mermaid and The Pearl Boutique B&B
Boutique Hotel Bahia Tolok
Hotel Bahia Chac Chi – Adults Only

Family Friendly Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Maria’s Kan-kin
Hotel La Joya
Hotel Berny
Casa Azul Maya

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Icaco Island Village – Adults Only
Isla Mujeres Palace
Zoetry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres Cancun – All Inclusive
Casa Coco by Coco B Isla

Relaxing Palapa in Caribbean sea - Isla Mujeres, Cancun - Mexico


Playa del Carmen – Where to stay near Cancun for couples

Wondering where to stay in Cancun for couples? About an hour south of Cancun’s hotel zone is the former fishing village of Playa del Carmen. Quiet sandy beaches and top-notch diving spots make this the best place to stay for couples traveling to Quintana Roo. Playa del Carmen is also a great location for exploring nearby Mayan ruins, of which there are several nearby. All-inclusive resorts abound here, and it’s quickly becoming a popular alternative to Cancun. The Malecon, Quinta Avenida, lines the waterfront with fun bars, restaurants, and shops. 

Best place to stay in Playa del Carmen

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Playa del Carmen
Lezzoto hostel Boutique 2,5
Hoste MXV Quinta Avenida
Wabi Hostel
Che Playa Hostel & Bar Adults Only

Budget Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Hotel All Riviera
Bosque Caribe Hotel
Hotel Kay Adults Only
Hotel Kinbe

Mid range Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Hacienda Paradise Boutique Hotel
Reina Roja Hotel
Holiday Inn Express and Suites
HM Playa del Carmen

Family Friendly Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Aventura Mexicana
Soho Playa Hotel
Hotel Aspira & Beach Club
Iberostar Tucan Hotel

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Resort
Thompson Playa Del Carmen
Hilton Playa del Carmen – All-Inclusive Adult Only Resort

Playa del Carmen. Tropical mexican beach and cenote panorama view from Punta Esmeralda in Playa del Carmen Mexico.


Puerto Morelos – Where to stay near Cancun for tourists

Between Cancun and Playa del Carmen is the sleepy town of Puerto Morelos. It’s fairly close to the Cancun airport and is a great option for travelers looking for budget-friendly accommodations outside of Cancun. Puerto Morelos has a botanical garden and several cenotes nearby to explore.

This is the best area for tourists who want the convenience of a major airport and easy tourist infrastructure, but want to get off the beaten tourist path just a bit. You won’t find as many large-scale all-inclusive resorts, but plenty of accommodation options for every budget. 

Best place to stay in Puerto Morelos

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Puerto Morelos
Hostel Humanity
Hostal Cuca Macuca

Budget Hotels in Puerto Morelos
Hotel Ojo De Agua
Suites SanRey
Abbey Del Sol
Suites Valentina

Mid range Hotels in Puerto Morelos
Hotel el Moro
Hotel Hacienda Morelos
Layla Guesthouse
Hotel Amar Inn

Family Friendly Hotels in Puerto Morelos
Corales Suites
Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort
Vela’s Condos Ocean Front
Hotel Arrecifes Suites

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Puerto Morelos
Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa
Dreams Jade Resort & Spa – All Inclusive
Grand Residences Riviera Cancun
Azul Beach Resort Resort Riviera Cancun

Puerto Morelos beach in Riviera Maya at Mayan Mexico


Cozumel – Where to stay near Cancun for divers

Off the coast from Playa del Carmen is the island of Cozumel. This Caribbean island is largely undeveloped but very popular with SCUBA divers. Cozumel is also a major port of call for Caribbean cruise ships, so prepare to be overwhelmed by passengers on cruise ship days. In addition to diving, the snorkeling in Cozumel is amazing.

There are also Mayan ruins to visit, both on the island and on the mainland. For convenience, you can even fly directly to Cozumel and bypass Cancun entirely if you wish. 

Best place to stay in Cozumel

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Cozumel
Amigos Hostel Cozumel
Blue Magic Hostel
Hostelito Cozumel
Hostel Tropico 20º

Budget Hotels in Cozumel
Hotel La Casona Real
Caribo Cozumel
Kinta Kan Boutique Hotel
Casa del Solar Centro Cozumel

Mid range Hotels in Cozumel
Hotel Villas El Encanto
Suites Colonial
Hotel Pal Cozumel
Hotel Puerto Libre

Family Friendly Hotels in Cozumel
Villas Las Anclas
Hotel Cozumel & Resort
Casa Mexicana Cozumel
Hotel Barracuda

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Cozumel
Cozumel Palace – All Inclusive
Presidente Inter-Continental Cozumel Resort & Spa
The Westin Cozumel
Grand Park Royal Cozumel

The tourist beach view with straw umbrellas and palm trees on Cozumel island (Mexico).


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Where to stay in Cancun  Where to stay in Cancun  Where to stay in Cancun

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!