You will find a lot of web pages here on the internet listing things you should do while visiting Cancun, the Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen, but what about the things you shouldn’t do? Don’t worry, we’re here to provide you with that list.

1) Don’t blame the ice for your, eh-hem, stomach issues.
The ice is made with purified water. Yes, even downtown. Do realize that the fifteen beers and huge plate of nachos with extra jalapeños that you consumed yesterday may be causing your issues. The two shots of tequila didn’t help either.

2) Don’t yell “Alto!” at the bus driver when you want him to stop just because that’s what it says on the stop signs.
That isn’t how you say “Stop!” in Spanish. Do tell the bus driver what your destination is when you board or use the bell to indicate you would like to get off at the next stop. It’s a little more civilized and this way the locals won’t giggle at you.


3) Don’t fall asleep on the beach when you are lying in the sun.
Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it because of the cool ocean breeze, but the sun here is very strong. Do fall asleep in the shade. Wake-up well rested and not sunburned.

4) Don’t go swimming, especially in the ocean, when you are intoxicated.
One word: Dangerous. Do go swimming, especially in the ocean, when you are sober. One word: Amazing.

5) Don’t be frustrated if someone doesn’t understand you or speak English. You’re in a country where English is not the first language. Do have fun and try to practice your Spanish. The locals love it when you try and they don’t mind if you make mistakes.

no drugs

6) Don’t pay the first quoted price for souvenirs in the flea market. They are highballing. Do haggle. Then pretend to walk away when you are almost to the price you want to pay.

7) Don’t buy drugs. Can’t you wait until you get home? You probably shouldn’t be doing them in the first place. Do stay away from any and all illegal activities. The legal system here is based on the Napoleonic Code…guilty until proven innocent. Need we say more?

8) Don’t get so drunk that you don’t know what’s going on. You probably shouldn’t do this anywhere, but it is even more relevant when you are visiting an unfamiliar place. Do drink and be merry. You can still drink, but remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.


About the Author

Kristin Busse Kristin Busse is an American expat who has been living in Cancun, Mexico since 2001. A wife, mother, singer, salsa dancer and now writer, she has worked in many different industries but is currently enjoying exploring the Yucatan Peninsula and sharing her expertise and experience with readers around the world. Follow Kristin on Twitter.

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