International travel is fun and exciting, but it requires planning and some questions that need to be answered before you hop on that plane. When travelers from the US go to resorts in Mexico, they sometimes don’t think about the outlets that will be used in the hotels. This can be especially true when traveling to a Cancún Resort.
Do Cancún resorts have US outlets? Most of the time you do not need a converter when traveling from the United States to Mexico. The voltage is basically the same with a difference of 7 volts, so you will be okay to use the plugs for most things.
A few details about outlet usage in Mexican vacation resorts are important to look at before you go on your vacation in Cancún. The types of outlets, the volts, and what electrical items can be used where.
Understanding Cancun’s Electrical System
Cancun, a prime tourist destination in Mexico, has an electrical system that might differ from what many international travelers are accustomed to. Like the rest of Mexico, the city operates on a standard voltage of 127 V. This is in contrast to many countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, where the standard voltage often ranges between 220 V to 240 V.
The frequency in Cancun is 60 Hz, which is consistent with most of North and South America. This frequency determines how many times the current changes direction per second. It’s crucial to note this because some devices, especially those with motors or clocks, might malfunction if they’re designed for a different frequency.
Additionally, the power outlets in Cancun predominantly belong to types A and B. These outlets are designed with specific prong shapes, making it essential for travelers to ensure their devices’ plugs are compatible or to have the necessary adapters.
Being aware of these electrical specifications is not just about convenience; it’s also about safety. Using a device with the wrong voltage or frequency can lead to malfunctions, damage, or even fires. As such, a clear understanding of Cancun’s electrical system is paramount for every traveler wishing to have a hassle-free and safe vacation.
What Outlets Does Cancún Have?
The available outlet type is less critical than the amount of voltage an outlet can handle without blowing or catching on fire. In Cancún, the standard voltage, which could be different depending on the resort, is 127 volts.
The standard outlet voltage found in the United States is 120 volts. This makes traveling to Mexico and using electrical outlets much less stressful. That being said, it would be wise to check with the specific resort you will be staying in to ensure you will not need a converter.
Types of Outlet
Outlet types are not about voltage but about what kind of plugs they can take. In the United States, we see type A and type B outlets all of the time. Those are our standard outlets. There is a difference and you will need to know what type of outlets the resort has in the rooms. This will determine which appliances you will be able to use without an adapter of some kind.
- Type B is the outlet we see in North America that has the grounding prong. Type B plugs can only be used in these outlets but type A plugs can be used in type B outlets.
- Type A is the other common outlet type in the United States and other North American countries as well as some Central and South American locations. Type A plugs can be used in type A and type B outlets with no issues. This variation of wall outlet has a lower voltage and may need a type of adapter to work your appliances and chargers properly.
Do I Need a Power Adapter in Cancún?
Whether or not you need a power adapter in Mexico when traveling from the US will depend on which resort you stay in. Most resorts do have type B outlets which will not require an adapter on any kind for United States travelers but some do have type A. That type may need an adapter for appliances and chargers that require a higher voltage.
We usually stay with Karisma. This is a photo from our room on one of our recent stays. You can read more about the Karisma properties on these blogs:
Can I Charge my iPhone in Cancún?
Chargers for iPhones, or any other cell phone for that matter, to get the required voltage to charge properly will need a type B outlet. If your phone has a greater voltage range then a type A may work just fine, however traveling with a multi-port converter would be beneficial just in case.
To find out if your phone has a wide voltage range you can either call customer support or look up the information for your model online.
Can I Use my Hairdryer in Cancún?
Because the electricity in Mexico may cycle more slowly than in the US your hair dryer may not function properly and possibly overheat. Even though the outlets will work and the voltage is similar, it is still a good idea to take an adapter to protect your hairdryer and the hotel’s outlets.
Also, keep in mind when traveling that many resorts or nicer hotels will have hairdryers in the rooms for your use. These are great questions to ask and details to have lined up pre-travel. If you can’t find an answer about the hairdryer go ahead and take yours but don’t use it if the hotel has one. This will protect your property in the event the outlets cycle slowly.
What About Traveling from Another Country?
If you are traveling to Cancún from a country that is not in North America or Central America, then it is likely that you will need a travel adapter to be able to use and cell phone chargers or electrical appliances. Because Mexican resorts use standard outlets and voltage that is common in the United States and other North and Central American countries, European plugs just can’t be used.
European Countries use several different types of outlets depending on the country.
- Type C outlets, while largely used in Europe, are not used in Ireland and the United Kingdom. They are common in South American as well. These outlets take round prongs and run 220-240 volts.
- Type E outlets are another European outlet type but are mainly used in more Eastern European countries and select parts of Africa.
- Type G is the most common outlet in the United Kingdom and other countries that have a history of British colonization. Type G plugs will only work in Type G outlets unless you have an adaptor.
If you are traveling from any of the countries that use different outlets and plugs than the countries in North or Central America use, make sure you have travel adaptors. Traveling is a fun event, and sightseeing is a must but to do that, you need a photo-taking device. Whether it is a phone or a camera, you need to be able to charge them for the next day.
Making sure that you are able to charge your devices or plug in your laptop is a must when you are jet-setting to Mexico, or anywhere else for that matter. Not being able to take any pictures or stay in touch with family who will wonder if you are okay can make an otherwise relaxing vacation stressful.
Likewise, if you need to do some work for your job remotely while you are there, or if your job is travel writing and your laptop can not be charged, the lack of a power adaptor may cost you more than just a stressful or off-the-grid getaway.
Can I Buy Power Adaptors in Cancún?
What happens if you get the resort in Cancún and find out that the outlets will not work with your plugs? Or that your devices will not charge effectively because of electricity cycling too slowly? If that happens and you did not bring an adaptor with you, can you buy one in Cancún?
There are electronics stores in Cancún and many other large cities in Mexico that you may be traveling too but that doesn’t mean that you will be able to find a power adapter or even be able to get to a store when you are there. While it is likely you will be able to get everything you need that you didn’t bring when you get to Mexico, it would be wise to just take what you need with you.
There are some major stores that you know and recognize in Cancún. We wrote a handy blog about Costco in Cancun and you can read it here.
If there is a chance that you will need a power adaptor for any reason then get it before you leave. They are very inexpensive and easy to find. If $5 will be the difference between hitting the sand immediately or spending a large amount of time searching for an adaptor, go ahead and spend the small amount of money to keep stress at a minimum.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) Related to Cancún Electrical Outlets
Q: Can I use my US appliances in Cancun without any issues?
A: Yes, Mexico uses the same outlets as the US. However, always check the voltage compatibility.
Q: What type of plug adapter should I buy for my trip to Cancun?
A: A Type A or Type B adapter should suffice for most travelers.
Q: Do Cancun hotels provide converters or adapters?
A: I wouldn’t count on the hotels to provide this. If you’re traveling from Europe or Asia, you’ll like want to bring your own. Easy peasy, just buy the adapter for US outlets and you’ll be good to go.