Maps and Tourist Information
A husband-and-wife team creates outstanding and exhaustively detailed maps of Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Isla Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, and some inland archeological zones, sold at their website www.cancunmap.com. They’re as much guidebooks as maps, with virtually every building and business identified, many with short personal reviews, plus useful information like taxi rates, driving distances, ferry schedules, and more. Maps cost around US$10 and often come with a couple smaller secondary maps free of charge; if you don’t like the map, just return it for a full refund.
Most local tourist offices distribute maps to tourists free of charge, though quality varies considerably. Car rental agencies often have maps, and many hotels create maps for their guests of nearby restaurants and sights.
Most cities in the Yucatán have a tourist office, and some have two or more. Some tourist offices are staffed with friendly and knowledgeable people and have a good sense of what tourists are looking for. At others, you’ll seriously wonder how the people there were hired. It is certainly worth stopping in if you have a question—you may well get it answered, but don’t be surprised if you don’t.
Film, Photography, and Video
Digital cameras are as ubiquitous in Mexico as they are everywhere else, but memory sticks and other paraphernalia can be prohibitively expensive; bring a spare chip in case your primary one gets lost or damaged. If your chip’s capacity is relatively small, and you’re not bringing your laptop along, pack a couple blank DVDs and a USB cable to download and burn photos, which you can do at most Internet cafés.
Video is another great way to capture the color and movement of the Yucatán. Be aware that all archaeological sites charge an additional US$3–3.50 to bring in a video camera; tripods often are prohibited.
© Gary Chandler & Liza Prado from Moon Yucatán Peninsula, 9th edition