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“Donr read the reviews just go!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Cancun

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Hotel Riu Cancun
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 9, Manzana 50, Lote 5, Cancun 77500, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #28 of 178 Hotels in Cancun
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Donr read the reviews just go!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2009

First off I will like to thank the staff at the Riu Cancun for there kindness and hard work in making this stay amazing. This is my second review on Trip Advisor and I am always honest and fair with my reviews so I hope this review is helpful. My friend and I both 23 living in Toronto Canada arrived at the Riu on the 29th of December for a one week stay. We were looking to lay back, drink lots of tequila and have a good time which we obviously did plus more! After staying at another all inclusive resort and understanding the whole deal about how it works, we didn’t expect much but in fact this vacation exceeded our expectations. I can imagine a lot of things are true what people say about this hotel and others but I came to the conclusion that some people want everything and more but don’t want to spend a lot of money or open there wallets. If you’re looking for piece and quite, exotic foods and drinks and beach service that you can only dream of then don’t go all inclusive! Better yet stay home if that’s what your mind set is going on an all inclusive vacation. The beds are “hard” so what…call the front desk and they will bring you up a cushion. It is easy to fix a bed that is hard but to fix a bed that is to soft would be almost impossible. Why do I have to wake up early to make a reservation? Maybe because there are almost a thousand people in the hotel and they can’t seat everyone during dinner time so the only way to do this is have a first come first serve policy. Plus it’s free and if you’re so stubborn go across the street and eat at the one of thousand restaurants. I learned that money talks in Mexico and that if you rely want something just tip the person and you will receive what you couldn’t get before. I’m sorry for the above comments but I had to get it off my back.

Now to why I loved the Riu Cancun. The hotel is very big and has a Spanish landscape theme which is a plus if you enjoy that. Everything is open and they utilize the outside a lot with the bars and restaurants. I had my breakfast every morning outside and was steps from one of the four pools plus the beach. The hotel looked like to be one of the nicest hotels from the strip looking from the outside. There are a lot of chairs lining the pools and beach and if you are up by 10am not “8am” as other people say you will be fine. If the chair wasn’t in the sun then we would pick it up and move it which is as simple as that. The reviews are correct that the sun disappears by 3-4pm due to the position of the hotel. There is a point on the beach where you can enjoy the sun longer but most likely all the chairs will be taken so either find a chair in a different spot and move it yourself or give the beach/pool boys 20 pesos to bring you one. As you will notice in my review that giving tips will take you a long way here in Mexico. Just know that even if the sun is not directly on you that its still warm enough to enjoy all the water activities. Speaking of water activities the entertainment crew has things going on all day so if your up for playing pool games and what not then definitely jump in. There is no bar on the actual beach but you can either take a 20 second walk to the bar beside the stairs or again tip one of the waiters to bring drinks right to you all day. We ran into a couple who said they didn’t like the hotel because there was no beach service and I thought to myself you must be so lazy that you cant walk twenty seconds to the bar to get it yourself. This is another example of people who expect the world on a tight budget. All the party/drinking people like me would usually congregate at the swim up bar and hang out there for most of the day. There is another pool where there’s no bar and is very quiet for the people who are looking for that environment.

Now to one of my main concerns about a hotel is the food! I have stayed at a 5 star resort in Cuba where the food was just down right gross and we basically starved the whole week. This was totally the opposite here at the Riu. I literally gained 10 pounds by the end of the trip. There was every type of food you can imagine and it tasted good! Breakfast had all the standard things that included a chef making eggs to your preference, deli & cheese bar, 20 types of cereal, a fruit juice bar with ladies making custom drinks and a huge selection of fruit and coffee/cappuccinos. Lunch time was out of this world. Everyday I either had pizza,wings,nachos,cesar salads, pork chops and get this they had bbq ribs! There was a lot I didn’t even get a chance to try and that was just at the lunch buffet. We expected to get cold sandwiches and hamburgers but boy were we wrong. Dinner was in the main room and it was more formal so make sure you bring some casual clothes. For dinner I had lamb,steak, stuffed lobster tail,shrimp,lasagna and the best ham I have ever tried. We basically would eat like kings there and we never went hungry. I don’t know how people complain about the food because there was such a huge selection. If you didn’t like it then I suggest you either go to a 5 star hotel that’s not all inclusive and pay for the same food or get a condo with a kitchen where you can make your own food. Just a side note, a lot of food is deep fried and salty so you will get real blotted and if you’re the lucky one constipated hahaha so bring some laxatives or Metamucil! I think this just happened to me because I was eating more then I usually do at home. There is a ton of restaurants on the strip and I think its worth checking out at least one time. We went to the taco factory after a night out of hard drinking and it was great.
Now the entertainment. We like to hit the bars and clubs so we basically went out every night with the entertainment staff. Every night we would all meet up in the lobby at 11pm and you pay $45.00 American and they take you to a different club and its unlimited drinks! But if you want to be served right away just tip when you get there and you should be good for the night. All the clubs and bars are a 5 minute walk so don’t get suckered into taking a cab on the way back. Oh ya and if you go with the hotel the group gets there own section and bottle service. The party scene kind of sucked at the hotel during the day because there were a lot of families and couples and not enough young people. We figured this was because it was the holidays and it’s a time where families go on vacation. We talked to the bartender and they said come after March and its all young people. Lots of girls to! Yes there were a lot of loud people on the resort but it was not only the Americans but Canadians and British to. Because of the lack of the party crowd this was the only downer but everything else makes up for it.

We will definitely be coming back but this time for spring break/summer time. This is definitely a good family and couples hotel during the winter and holidays season. The Riu Cancun rocks!


  • Liked — Location and Food
  • Disliked — The rooms got a bit muggy but it wasnt that big of a deal
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2009

We stayed at the Riu Cancun for 7 nights in December. Our room was clean and large with a wonderful ocean view. This was our first time at an all-inclusive and although we were a little apprehensive, there was plenty of choice (Mexican and world cuisine) at all the buffets, even for fussy eaters like ourselves. The staff, like other Mexicans we met, were helpful and pleasant and most of the guests were well-behaved and friendly.

We initially booked tours for Chichen-Itza and Tulum/Xel-Ha before we left for Cancun with Grayline Cancun. We received a confirmation e-mail from them stating our tours had been booked and confirmed. However when we clicked through to the link it failed to access our reservation password. They had already debited payment. We then tried to contact them by e-mail and by phone (4 times over 2 weeks) and they were unhelpful and failed to confirm our tour details. We eventually received an e-mail stating that Grayline Cancun was being operated by a new franchise, and the original booking would not be honoured with no guarantee of a refund. We therefore changed our booking to go with Thomson and really enjoyed these days out, especially Chichen-Itza. Tulum was worthwhile, as was Xel-Ha although water was not always clear. It is probably better for novice snorkellers like ourselves.

We also booked a Coba and Aktun-Chen tour through Dolphin Discovery which was excellent, especially as we could climb the pyramid at Coba with the amazing jungle view.

We had a wonderful trip and would heartily recommend a trip to Cancun and the surrounding area.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, WV
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2009

The Beds are TERRIBLE, hard as a rock. If you ask and they have enough you can get a little pad to go under the sheets and this helps alot. We went three days before we found this out, three sleepless nights. We had a water leak in the ceiling which took three days to fix also and had to keep asking for towels to mop up the floor. After the leak was fixed and pad added to bed the room was ok. Was clean and they did a good job of cleanning everyday.

There was a refrigirator in room that was suppose to be stocked daily, that happened once during our 7 night stay. Food was very good and they through a great News Year Eve party. They staff for the most part was good. Beach area is very crowded and because of past hurricanes there is not much beach left. LOTS of toppless sun bathing, not an ideal place for kids. My wife and I were by ourselves and despite all the above we still had a good time. Would I stay there again........maybe but only because of the great food.

  • Liked — Food
  • Disliked — Attention to problems
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2009

My fiance and I stayed at the Riu Cancun from 9th Dec - 23rd Dec 2008 and had an absolutely amazing time.

Rooms: Before travelling I read many reviews about the rooms themselves being dull, damp smelling and uncomfortable. I am happy to say that we experienced none of this. We stayed in room 1524 which is the very top floor of the hotel and had the most fantastic view of the sea and all of the pools. I would recommend a high floor. I have a soft, comfortable bed at home therefore expected these beds to be like rock according to reports, however i genuinely didnt think they were. However, we did get chatting to an older couple from texas who complained to us that they thought their bed was hard and i explained they could get a softer mattress cover from reception. Rooms were cleaned daily.

Drinks: Drinks on the whole were fine. I found the vodka to be awful and always asked for smirnoff however i am not convinced that it is actually smirnoff in the bottle. It still tasted almost like rum as the other stuff did and gave me terrible indigestion. Drink in the El Faro bar (outside and indoor cocktail bar - best from 3pm onwards). Also drink in La Fiesta - opens from 6pm and this is where they have the shows etc. This bar serves the best cocktails. Glasses during the day were poor - plastic glasses which possibly hold 100ml. I didnt like the pool bar - drinks here in my opinion were poor (warm and staff not as friendly). At risk of offending I think it important to mention that this is where the young student types from USA/Canada hang out and tend to get absolutely miraculous and fall about - splitting heads open or getting carted off in wheelchairs as they cant stand up. In saying that, it was nice to see them having fun - (remember they cant drink until they are 21 back home so it must be nice to come here and drink). 24 bar has internet access which is reasonable and you can get burgers/hotdogs/nachos/jalepenos here 24-7 as well as alcohol.

Pools/pool areas/beach: Pools were nice and kept clean (swim up bar was fine but after some reviews i read here i only went in once - didnt miss it to be honest. Some nicknamed it pee pee pool when we were there). The issue with the Riu Cancun is that you are chasing the sun all day long due to the positioning of the hotel. There was a sheer lack of sun loungers and if you wanted to have a lounger with any chance of sun you had to be down at pool/beach by 7am, everyday! It is for this reason that we have decided that when we go back we will stay at the Riu Caribe. Sun only stays at Riu Cancun from 7.30am - 3pm but you can bathe at Riu Caribe until 4.30pm.It is only 6 pesos on a bus from here and pool area is 4 times the size and much much better. The hotel itself looks just as nice inside which is why i cannot understand why it is considered the cheaper one. The beach was nicer here though and in fact we got engaged on the beach at the Riu Cancun at sunset.

Food: There are 2 buffet restaurants - one which caters mainly for more relaxed dining and the other for more formal dining however this one is also very casual (bright lights, buffet, no candles). You had everything to choose from and were never disappointed. At night the waiter brings the drinks for you however the rest of the day you get your own. Breakfast was fit for a king and you can have your own omlette made to order which whatever you wish inside. We mainly ate lunch at the buffet restaurant next to the beach - fajitas, pizza, pasta, burgers, salads, steaks etc. Fantastic. You have to book for the japanese and the brazilian however beware - you must be in the queue at 7am if you want a table - any later and no luck! We enjoyed both of these meals and just wished there were more waiter service restaurants as buffet style gets boring. So much so we ate out 5 times in the 2 weeks we were there.

Hotel: Very clean, staff friendly and always cleaning, sweeping, getting you fresh drinks, wiping table. They really cant do enough. Tips go a long long way here and you dont have to tip very much.
Resort/Clubs: My fiance and i went to Coco Bongos twice and Senor Frogs. Loved both however Coco Bongos was out of this world and is a must for ages 18-108! Dont pay the all inc price at the entrance however, book with the man who stands outside Riu Cancun hotel (he does look a bit dodgy but its fine) and you will get $10pp off door price roughly.

Excursions: We went on the jungle tour twice (you drive your own speed boats through the mangroves into the sea and snorkel with the most beautiful and coral. I couldnt believe my eyes - this was my fiance's favourite. We went on captain hook cruise which was great although a tad over priced but when you are onl holiday who cares (again, book with a tout and not at door). (Oh i would also add that your reps charge more for trips - avoid them)

The catamaran was the best excursion i did. Free food and alcohol, snorkeling, trip to isla de mujures and a paradise beach club with Stunning views etc. You also have the chance to hire a golf buggy around the island (about $15). We did this and had a ball!

Lifts: We never had much to complain about with the lifts
Occasionally we had to ask for our mini bar to be restocked but again no big deal as you could get drinks anywhere in the hotel. We met a couple staying next door at the Riu Palace however they said no different in there that Riu Cancun and they couldnt understand why they the Riu cancun/Caribe guests couldnt use their facilities. We checked out the Riu Palace and would mark it as ouir least fav of 3. The lobby was very old fashioned and it seemed to have less character (perhaps more stuffy). This hotel also had a lot of shade. I have so much more info but feel i have bored you enough already. Feel free to contact me for more info. All in all this was a fantastic hotel however if you are a pool and beach person and they are a high priority i would choose the Riu Caribe just up the road. Depressed to be home now although it has been nice to give my liver and waistline a rest now ha ha.

  • Liked — Location, food, drink - everything
  • Disliked — lack of restaurants, sun chasing and lack of sun loungers
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
northants uk
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2009

We stayed here from the 27th Dec - 4th Jan, it was great, I agree not a 5Star but very good value,
great staff, very clean , to much food, you could never be without a drink if you wished, truly cosmopolitan with equal numbers of Canadians, American s and British, this added to the holiday, all there for a great time, which was had by all

Stayed December 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Ontario
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2009

PLEASE read my review before you go here! A group of us (11 people to be exact) were at the Riu cancun over xmas and were very disappointed. We have stayed at the Riu in other countries so expected the same type of quality but were sadly disappointed. Where to begin. Firstly, we had to wait an extra hr on the bus at the airport for them to take us to the hotel. Why you ask?? No clue! No one entered the bus but it seemed like they just wanted to take their sweet time. (it was already 11 oclock at this point) It is only 25 minutes to the hotel from the airport - but it took us about 40 minutes. Ok - not their fault - can't control traffic. Then got to the hotel and the check in was soooo slow. My poor kids were so wired by then that I was on edge right from the beginning. When we got to our room - again - dissapointment. Had requested a crib. No crib. And since it was 1:30 in the morning they could not get one. Then after all that the damn beds are so hard you might as well sleep on the floor! After coming back and reading someone else's reviews we found out that you could request a bed topper. What the *?! We eventually ended up requesting an upgrade to a suite and that was much bigger and more comfortable for us but the bed was still so hard.

The next day we thought we would change our moods and get some sun. Well, little did we know we had to catch it! The hotel is so high that the amount of sun around the pools was limited to about 3 o'clock. As a result people wake up at 7 to reserve chairs. Great! On the 2nd last day we found out that there was a solarium at the top of the other tower with a hot tub!

The other biggest dissapointment was the food. It sucked! Don't they know how to cook? My 7 yr old could make better pasta!
Thank god there were restaurants in the vicinity otherwise we would have been in trouble. The Japanese restaurant was just ok but very difficult to get reservations. We spoke to Christina - the manager and she got us the reservation otherwise who the hell wants to wake up at 7 am on vacation and stand in line to reserve a restaurant that sucks! We reserved the Brazilian too but did not go.

The service was the other HUGE dissapointment . No one said hello and no one came to clear tables at the buffet restaurant. Every morning it was like pulling teeth to get them to clear the table and bring coffee. I have never experienced this in all the all inclusive vacations I've been to. Usually by the end of a our vacations the staff knows my children's names and are friendly with us - but this time it was like no one cared!

The shows at night were just mediocre. They started way too late for the children to enjoy - which meant we couldn't enjoy. You basically had to sit there 1 1/2 hrs watching them do nonsense until the show started which wasn't even worth it. A group us went to the Riu Caribe and said that it was much better in terms of food and their service but the rooms etc. were all the same. I don't think any of the Riu's in Cancun are worth it.

Overall - we did end up having fun because we were with family and made the best of our time and the nice weather. In terms value for money- sooo NOT worth it. PLEASE save your money and go elsewhere!

  • Liked — nothing
  • Disliked — The hard beds
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2009

I went to Riu Cancun with a friend of mine (both single professionals, female, 26 ad 28). We had a great time. The Riu Cancun was a mix of different ages and people including families, singles, and couples. We were in Cancun from Dec 25 – Jan 1, 2009. I have a high opinion of the Riu Cancun and would go back there myself or recommend it to a friend. Naturally, there were both good and not so good points;
The best part about Riu Cancun for us was the location!! We could easily walk to the major bars at night (including Coco Bongo, DadyO’s, Senor Frog, etc) in approximately 5 minutes. Just watch out for the cobblestones if you wear heels! There is also a shopping mall right across the street.
The resort itself was extremely clean – pretty much every time I went into the poolside bathroom, someone was sweeping or otherwise cleaning it....This was pretty much standard throughout the resort. Our room was cleaned well 6/7 days we were there.
The staff at the resort were very friendly and welcoming. They encouraged people to join in on the scheduled games/activities but were not overly pushy about it. When we requested something or needed something, they were always there (e.g. we needed bottled water in our room on New Year’s eve and they actually re-stocked our fridge within the hour even though they had a big gala going on and were still setting up!)
The food was decent; we did not get sick or have any problems with it. The buffet at Don Juan’s (the restaurant that does not require a reservation) was good and had a large variety of food. After a week though, the food became a bit monotonous, as they would have the same types of food every day. We tried one of the restaurants which required a reservation, the Japanese one, and it was decent as well. The biggest downfall regarding the restaurants that require a reservation was that you had to get up extremely early to make the reservation. Basically if you were not in the lobby for 6:50AM the morning that you wanted to go, you would not get a reservation. The hotel has it set up that guests can reserve an unlimited number of times as long as they get up everyday to do so. That, in my opinion, is unfortunate as it does not allow for all their guests to try the restaurants and instead, the same people (early risers) end up at the restaurants over and over again.
Similar complaints as others before me, the sun gets shaded by the building very early on in the day (~3PM). Try the solarium (on the rooftop of the smaller building) to get more sun. However, it only has a small Jacuzzi and no drinks/water available – bring your own. The solarium is also a good option if you have any loud Yankees around the pool as we did need the end of our stay.
The elevators are extremely slow – likely due to how busy the resort was during our stay. We stayed on the 6th floor and one of the four elevators did not stop at our floor. I believe they were having major kinks in the system during our stay but we made do and either walked down or waited.

Other than the resort, try Xel Ha – they call it a “natural aquarium” but that doesn’t quite sell it – it is gorgeous and if you enjoy being active on your vacation, this is a place to try. In addition, to snorkeling and tubing you can cliff jump, swing on ropes (only one cliff and one rope but fun nonetheless!) and swim in cenotes. If you plan on going to Tulum, do not do a full day excursion there as you will waste a whole day and once you have seen the ruins and taken pictures, there is not much else to do there (at least when we were there – the beach was closed).

  • Liked — Clean
  • Disliked — Elevator wait times
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Cancun

Address: Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 9, Manzana 50, Lote 5, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#24 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#25 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#27 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
#39 Family Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Cancun 3.5*
Number of rooms: 569
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in "Corazone", Cancun's resort area. 14-Storey main building and a 5-storey annex building. On the beachfront. Complimentary sun loungers on the beach. 20 M/65 ft. From a shopping centre. 10 Km/6.2 Miles from downtown Cancun. 20 Km/12.5 Miles from Cancun Int'l. Airport. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Cancun Hotel Cancun
Riu Cancun Mexico
Cancun Riu Hotel
Rui Cancun

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