Although many cities in Mexico have a substantially longer history, since the 1970s, Cancun has grown extensively around the tourism industry. This a destination which was largely developed around the car. Needless to say, airport transfers here are easy enough to come by. There are plenty resort shuttles travelling around and between the main hotel areas. However, no visit to Cancun can ever really do the area justice without also visiting some of the other coastal areas which are nearby and also venturing inland within the Yucatan Peninsula. In particular to visit the world heritage sites at Chichén Itzá.
It’s also worth pointing out that many of these historic sites can also be done as part of a packaged day trip, but they are much harder to do by scheduled bus. Although there are various different scheduled bus services to and from Cancun, there is no rail service in this part of Mexico.
Should you rent a car in Cancun? On balance, Cancun is the sort of destination where our advice leans towards getting a hire car, but it’s certainly far from essential – verdict yes.