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Help for newbies - arrival procedure at Cancun

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Calgary
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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Help for newbies - arrival procedure at Cancun

Thought this might be another topic worthy of putting into the Top Questions box.

Cave Diving in Mexico
Nature & Wildlife Tours, Other Outdoor Activities, Scuba & Snorkeling, Water Sports
Calgary
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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1. Re: Help for newbies - arrival procedure at Cancun

When you first land at Cancun, you will be processed through Immigration where you will present your passport in the usual fashion, along with the card that you were given to fill out on the plane. Your passport will be stamped and part of the card returned to you. Do not lose this little chit of paper, you will need it when it's time to leave Mexico. (If you do lose it, it's not the end of the world but you may want to allow some extra time at the airport when it's time to come home and be prepared for some additional cost.)

The line ups at Immigration can be pretty brutal, so be prepared for that.

After Immigration, you go through to the baggage hall where you'll reclaim your checked baggage. Easy peasy.

Next is Customs and this is where they appear to be changing things up on an ongoing basis but typically, there will be one of two possible procedures:

- either you put your bags, including hand luggage, onto a conveyor belt to be x rayed and the you'll be directed to push a button (one per family/couple usually but the agent will break you into smaller units if necessary). If you get the green light, you're on your way; if you get a red, you will be directed to a side table where your luggage will be subjected to a [cursory] hand search. So long as you're not bringing anything illegal into the country, you've nothing at all to be concerned about and will be on your way in a minute or two;

- or you will do the button press and then if you get the red will be directed to the conveyor belt where your luggage will be x-rated.

I've only ever experienced the first procedure. X-raying EVERYONE's luggage takes time, so you may experience long lines here too. Other posters who've gone through the second version report that it's much faster. As I said, they appear to be flip-flopping on this a bit, so be prepared for either.

OK, after the Customs area (regardless of procedure) you will pass through a set of doors and now you're in the "shark tank". This is absolutely nothing to be concerned about at all, not even a teensy bit ...... PROVIDED you are cognisant of what's going on - i.e. that everyone here is selling timeshares. Some of them can look quite "official" and may claim to be from your airline, your resort, your transfer company and I've even heard of them asking to see passports. It's all a crock and you can either respond with a polite "No" or just ignore them completely and stay focussed on the exit doors immediately opposite where you came in.

Once you're outside the shark tank, it's perfectly fine to ask for directions or assistance (for obvious reasons, it's not recommended that you ask ANY questions when inside the tank).

Your private transfer will be waiting for you OUTSIDE in the fresh air, either straight in front of you or slightly to the right.

If you're on a package that includes ground transfers, then look for your company rep over to the left (they will be holding a tall sign with the corporate logo on it).

Happy travels!

Calgary
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2. Re: Help for newbies - arrival procedure at Cancun

If you want to familiarize yourself with the cards you will be given to fill out on the plane, here are a couple of links (thank you Mapchick!):

http://www.mapchick.com/mexican-tourist-card/

NB - you CANNOT print this forms out and fill them out ahead of time; you MUST use the actual cards supplied on the plane (or at the arrivals area of the airport).

Remember to have a pen handy (flight attendants do NOT supply them and even if they do, they sure won't have enough to go around the whole plane). Also, make sure your passport is easily accessible because the number needs to be noted on the forms.

Edited: 9:00 am, August 17, 2013
Fort Mill, South...
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3. Re: Help for newbies - arrival procedure at Cancun

Why not just use the search option , there's umpteen thousand threads to find this info. Not everybody uses the website , some find TA's app much easier to use. As for as I know there is no Top Question in the app.

Calgary
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4. Re: Help for newbies - arrival procedure at Cancun

Kevin - if you're looking at Trip Advisor on a mobile device, you can't see the "Top Questions" box on the right; you have to be on a computer to get the full experience of TA!

You're correct, a person could do a search - but if people actually did that, the forums would pretty much grind to a halt since most questions have been asked and answered ad nauseum.

The search function on TA isn't the greatest and the idea behind this thread is simply to provide a link that can easily be found via the aforementioned Top Questions box.

Fort Mill, South...
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5. Re: Help for newbies - arrival procedure at Cancun

Llisa- ok

west virginia
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6. Re: Help for newbies - arrival procedure at Cancun

"or you will do the button press and then if you get the red will be directed to the conveyor belt where your luggage will be x-rated." X-Rated? Hmmm? I would like to see that!

Fort Mill, South...
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7. Re: Help for newbies - arrival procedure at Cancun

yourkillinme

Some people obviously like the " full experience "

U.S.
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8. Re: Help for newbies - arrival procedure at Cancun

To the original poster...

As a recent first timer:

Llisa gives some good advice:

1. Do not forget to fill out the top AND the bottom section of the card.

2. Watch and follow the flow of traffic to and thru customs/immigration... If I am remembering correctly, it is also easy to head off towards the baggage pick-up??? So, watch for that.

3. Once you have your baggage and are clear, do not make eye-contact or get side-tracked by anyone who seems to be official or helpful... They are neither...

4. Once you are out those doors and see daylight/fresh air... this is where you will find your transportation.

Hope this helps!

Edited: 11:04 am, August 17, 2013
Vancouver
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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9. Re: Help for newbies - arrival procedure at Cancun

A great post - thanks Llisa

Will use it if I may in some other forums

Union, Mo near St...
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10. Re: Help for newbies - arrival procedure at Cancun

I interact with the sharks a bit, just to put a burr under the wife's saddle. My priority is to get outside and buy a beer, but a little "fun" along the way just adds to the experience.

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