Your flight to Cancun

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In flight paperwork

Typically, flight attendants will pass out the required Mexican forms to be filled out on the flight. Several times we have received the forms at our departure gate before entering the plane. Tip: Carry several pens with you to fill out paperwork.
• A Mexican immigration form is required for each person. A sample form is shown on our Immigration map and guide (next screen).
• Mexican customs declaration covers all members of an immediate family, so the head of household can fill out one form for everyone. A sample form is shown on our Customs map and guide.

Note: If you make a mistake on these forms, more are available after you exit the plane and enter the immigration area.

Approaching the Mexican coastline

Most arrivals aproach Cancun from the north and fly over the remote northern shore of the Yucatan peninsula. As you approach, you'll see a ribbon of white sand seperating the ocean blue from the green of the jungle. The water here is not as beautiful as the Caribbean (this area is the Gulf of Mexico), but it's still an incredible sight.

If you are lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of Isla Holbox, a narrow island located off the northern coast.Because of its remote location, it is still a quaint, quiet travel destination.

Jungle, jungle, everywhere.

Once you've passed over the beaches, you'll be looking down on miles of endless jungle. This area is very remote, with only one road that leads north toward Holbox island.

Cancun's hotel zone on your left.

Your first sign of Cancun will probably be the white row of hotels in the distance. Downtown Cancun will stretch in the direction of the airplane and be more obvious as you get closer. Below the airplane is still the green of jungle, but the area is beginning to develop as Cancun continues to grow.

Ready to get off that plane? Not so fast!

As your plane taxis along the tarmac, passengers beging getting excited about their vacation, and everyone is anxious to get off that plane. By the time the engines shut down, most passengers will be standing in the aisles wrestling luggage from the overhead compartments.

They'll be standing for a while. No one can exit the plane until an agent from immigration enters, checks flight documents, and makes a quick announcment welcoming you to Mexico. This usually seems to take hours, but in reality it is probably 10 to 15 minutes.

When those doors finally open...

A blast of warm, humid air will pour through the cabin. If you are coming from cold, northern climates, it's a welcome change and a sign you are about to actually begin your vacation. But wait a moment. There are still some hurdles that you'll need to jump through before you get your toes in the sand.

At the airport

Before you get to enjoy that beach, your travel day will still throw a few obstacles at you. Click on a title below for a detailed walk-through of each area.

Immigration (next screen). Immigration is a simple process, but lines can be long on peak travel days (most travelers arrive on Saturday).

• Baggage claim can be a little slow on those busy days, and finding the correct luggage carousel can be a bit confusing.

Customs walk-through. Once you have your bags, it's off to customs. This is also rather simple, but some people are randomly stopped for a quick inspection of their bags.

Exit to transportation. Your final step before reaching the hotel. There are several types of transportation available.

Click here for a detailed transportation information.

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