Hello and thank you for taking the time to read about me!
My name is L. Manuel Soriano, but I go by Cancun Manny, or just Manny. My father is Mexican and my mother is Cuban. Since I was born I have gone back and forth between USA and Mexico. I did my Elementary School and Jr High in Mexico, and my High School and University in USA. Basically I feel at home both in USA and in Mexico.
I graduated from Barry University in Miami Fl with a BS in Information Technology with specializations in software development and web design. Unfortunately for me, after graduation I stayed at the job I had which wasn't directly related to IT. When I finally decided to look for employment in the IT field I realized the market in Miami was saturated, and I wasn't able to find a well paying job because of the lack of experience.
I lived in Miami FL for about 9 years, and at the time my father was living in Cancun. Since the flights between Miami and Cancun are relatively inexpensive I used to travel to Cancun often. My father lives here and is retired, so when I visited I would do some of the touristy attractions like Xcaret, Xel Ha, etc, but being that my father was a “local”, he also started showing me the more off the beaten path spots, like the cenotes, lagoons, etc. I used to visit so often that I even made local friends that would also share with me their favorite spots for the weekend, watering holes, restaurants, etc.
About 5 years ago I found myself at a dead end job, providing technical support over the phone. This was right before the real estate crash in USA. I didn't like where my life was heading, so I thought hard about my options. The times I visited Cancun I noticed that most tourist ended up in tourist traps, and few go to experience the “real” Mexican culture. Being that I am bilingual, that I knew Cancun and Riviera Maya area relatively well, and I knew how to build websites, I decided to sell everything I had, and move to Cancun to start a tours business, CancunWithMe.com
For the past 5 years or so, I have been providing custom private tours via CancunWithMe.com. You can see our public reviews here. Since the beginning I have gone against the classic tours that include a bunch of tourist traps, the spots that pay us in the tours industry commissions or kick backs to take our clients there. My approach has been to treat all of my clients as if they were relatives or close friends. Instead of taking our guests to some generic buffet, we take them to authentic restaurants, the same ones us locals frequent. We also skip all the “markets”, which basically sell overpriced items to tourists, and you never find any locals there shopping for themselves.
Since I work in the tours business, I am not allowed to participate in most of the public forums like Trip Advisor, Fodors, etc. Because of that, I decided to start my own site/forum to help visitors get informed as to what the area has to offer, and how to stay away from companies that are only looking to get your money, instead of offering the best experience possible. Also, since I am a “local”, I can offer great advice for those that want more than the generic, overpriced Hotel Zone. Why eat at a Sr. Frogs or Carlos and Charlies, when you could visit a true local restaurant?
My goal is to always be 100% honest. I want to keep improving my reputation as someone that offers great advice even if it means talking you out of one of my services.