For Mary: Guide to the Mayan Riviera

Color me jealous – our fabulous D Spot reader, Mary, is headed to the equally fabulous Mayan Riviera in about a month with her main man. The Mayan Riviera was my first tropical vacation, and the first time Joey and I ever stayed at an all-inclusive resort and let me just say that Mexico is spectacular. But not as spectacular as Mary on 80s night, of course:

Debbie Gibson Eat Your Heart Out

(Sorry Mary, couldn’t resist! I thought people should get a proper introduction :))

Back on track now, there is so much to see and do on the Riviera. The best part about this portion of Mexico is that you can be lying on the beach drinking margaritas one day, and go exploring ancient Mayan ruins the next.  Here are some of my must-see, must-do things.
 
Must see: Tulum, one of the last cities inhabited and built by the Mayans. If the ruins don’t impress you (impossible), their location overlooking the most torquoise waters I’ve ever seen most definitely will. (There’s also Chichen Itza for Mayan ruins, but we didn’t get a chance to go there.)
 
 

Must do: Xcaret, an eco archaeological park. I will tell you that parts of this place feel very touristy, but the snorkeling more than makes up for it! Lots of big tropical fish, and caves you can swim into. We had a blast. There’s a similar place called Xel-ha that we didn’t go to. I remember someone recommended Xcaret to us over Xel-ha, but I’m sure you can’t go wrong at either!

Must-use: All Tour Native excursions. I read about this company before our trip, and it definitely lived up to my expectations. We booked an excursion through our hotel, and in one day we went ‘off-roading’ in the jungle, swam in cenotes and explored dark caves, ate lunch in a Mayan village, and kayaked out into the ocean to snorkel. They have a variety of day excursions and they’ll pick you up and drop you off at your hotel. Worth looking into!

One last piece of advice, be specific with your drinks at the resort! The best part about all-inclusive places is that you can eat and drink non-stop around the clock if you so choose. Some of the reviews I read online about our hotel said that “the drinks were watered down/not strong/not good.”  Someone responded saying, “All you have to do is ask for the kind of liquor you want.” I can say with certainty that’s absolutely true. We didn’t stay at a fancy resort, instead we opted for a longer trip at a mid-range place, but every margarita we ordered was a “Jose Ceruvo Margarita” and they were happy to oblige. If you don’t specify, expect the generic stuff.

Ok, I lied, one more thing. Don’t forget the sunscreen!!!!

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5 thoughts on “For Mary: Guide to the Mayan Riviera

  1. Holy crap I LOVE this post! Thank you so much for the shout out and you’ve given me such amazing ideas for our trip!! I will def make sure to specify my liquor:) And that photo takes me back to 1985…can we do that again soon? Please? Legwarmers + limo trip = BEST NIGHT EVER.

  2. We totally agree as u know. Visited the Riviera Maya 10 days in Feb. Also, our 1st time @ an all inclusive & had a great experience. Looking forward to returning next year. Food & cocktails were great; however, more importantly was the cleanliness of our hotel & the kindness of the staff. SLT

  3. Pingback: Randoms. « The D Spot

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