Many people wonder if it is safe to take a bus out of the hotel zone in Cancún. And to my big surprise, I have seen a few that got very nervous when they realized they were leaving the hotel zone and got off the bus as soon as they could only to return. I hope that with this blog and the blog I wrote about safety in Cancún, I can take away some of the confusion and fear to leave the somewhat safety of the hotel zone into downtown Cancún.
The hotel zone is a long stretch of land designated to tourism. It offers all. Shops, malls, bars restaurants, water fun and entertainment both day and night. You do not have to leave the hotel zone and it is like a city and therefore many tourists think they are in Cancún when they stay there.
But downtown Cancún and Walmart are actually a totally different thing and you have to get on the bus or in a taxi to get there. Cancún has 3 Walmarts in total, but the buses leaving the hotel zone pass one. And it is safe to go there.
In the hotel zone busses, number 1 and 2 both ride on and off, all during daytime and some even at night. The price of the bus in 2019 is a maximum of 12 pesos per person, depending on the bus company. Some charge 10, others 12. You do not have to say where you are going, for these 12 pesos you can ride till the end of the bus line.
Most bus drivers will announce the Walmart stop, once you get off the bus it is just a short walk to the supermarket. When getting off the bus, cross the double street, pass the big white building, cross another street and the big building in front of you is Walmart. But people there will be happy to help you out if you are not sure.
Going back to the hotel zone you take the bus departing by the side of the supermarket or halfway the parking area at the sidewalk, there is an actual bus stop (bench with a little covering for shelter) Make sure you get on a bus either 1 or 2 that says Hoteles on the windscreen, it is usually very very obvious when a bus goes to the hotel zone.
It is about 20-30 minutes drive, depending on your location in the hotel zone and traffic
Just before the bust stop for Walmart, the bus stops for Mercado 28, a fun market with little restaurants and souvenirs. Do not be mistaken with downtown 28 where the bus driver stops, ask him to stop a little further down the road where he makes a turn, for the real Mercado 28 is just ahead from there, it is a circular building with a centre full of restaurants.
Again, when returning, make sure you hop on bus number 1 or 2 in the right direction
People will be very helpful and because I travelled long beyond downtown and the Walmart stop I got asked a lot where I was going and if I was lost. So do not be afraid to ask for help, either from the driver or other passengers. The only problem you may encounter is that people do not speak English.
To stop the bus, press the stop button there in the front of the bus, halfway in the bus on the handrailing and in the back of the bus, or just call: “Baja por favor!” or “Para por favor”
Each time when you enter a bus you pay again. so hop on hop off is rather expensive
Step by step taking a bus to and from Walmart from the Zona Hotelera:
In the hotel zone:
Go to s a bus stop, they are pretty obvious, or just wave down a bus to stop for you
get on, pay 12 pesos per person
mention that you want to get off at Walmart
make sure you know where to get off, Walmart is one stop from Mercado 28
go to the bus stop
wait for a bus number 1 or 2 (make sure it says Hoteles on the windshield) and wave them to stop
pay 12 pesos per person
get off at your hotel or anywhere you want to get off.
Enjoy your ride!!
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Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.