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Cancún International Airport Ranked Latin America’s Best

By Paige, Nicaragua, June 2011

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For the second year in a row, Cancún International Airport (CUN), Mexico’s second busiest, has been ranked the best airport in Latin America. Airports Council International (ACI), which presented the award on April 7 in Delhi, India, points to excellent service, a flawless layout, and a successful renovations among the criteria for the well-deserve accolades.

The airport’s three terminals (Terminal 1 is currently closed for remodeling) handle some 12.5 million people per year, a figure that increased 11.3% in 2010 alone. More than 50 airlines serve CUN, bringing in excited vacationers from all over the world; Virgin America has even inaugurated a Countdown to Cancún party flight from San Francisco, California, offering a festive atmosphere amidst luxury details including leather seats and an open bar. There are dozens of other destinations with direct connections to Cancún, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bogotá, Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Frankfurt, Havana, Lima, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, Munich, Paris, Quebec, San Francisco, Santiago de Chile, Vancouver, and Zurich, among many, many more.

The excellent, official airport website, also lauded by the ACI, offers easy-to-navigate information in Spanish and English about flights, security, terminal layout, and more. But there’s also a great unofficial website, packed with facts that you might also find interesting, such as hotel transfers, rental cars, duty-free shops, and even restaurants—yes, spring breakers, you can enjoy Señor Frogs one last time before returning to the “real” world.

Despite Cancún International’s lengthening list of awards, visitors should be aware that there are still problems that even the most astute officials haven’t been able to stamp out. For instance, it is illegal for private taxistas—who approach easy marks as they wander dazed through the airport, offering ridiculously overpriced fares—to operate. By law, you must use the official taxi stand out front, where fares are regulated in order to guarantee you, a newbie fresh from an exhausting flight, a fair deal. Unfortunately, scam artists still working the crowds on the sly; please report them to airport police.

Photo by Tony Hisgett

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