It's finally time to give you a glimpse into my wonderful trip to the enchanting land of Margaritas.
My boyfriend and I welcomed 2016 in Mexico and spent 6 unforgettable days between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Scroll down to discover more!
Riviera Maya is as enchanting as you'd imagine it to be; palm trees, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters as far as the eye can see. Not to mention the beautiful, exotic animals wandering around us; think pink flamingos, colorful parrots and even black spider monkeys!
This was my first-ever trip to an exotic destination, hence you can imagine my childish excitement to discover all those beautiful sceneries and creatures. One of the trip's highlights was certainly our visit to the Xcaret Eco Theme Park, which is basically a man-made jungle and archaeological park.
Just like all those theme parks, Xcaret can get very touristy, but if you pick the activities wisely (I strongly recommend swimming in the underground rivers and visiting the Butterly Pavilion), you will end up having an overall wonderful experience. I also found it to be a great way to see the geology and culture of the Yucatan.
Unfortunately, a nasty food poisoning kept both my bf and me in bed for the last 3 days of our trip (a very comfortable bed to say the least and gotta thank Viceroy Riviera Maya for that), so we didn't have the time to tick-off everything from our to-do list.
The list included a tour at Mayan ruins in Tulum, an excursion at the great Mayan city of Chichen Itza on Yucatan Peninsula and of course a visit at the famous Gran Cenote.
I can't say that I didn't enjoy the trip as it was (I was in Paradise for Christ's sake!), but I still wish I had managed to visit all those magical places I had dreamt of going for such a long time! I mean I was so close, yet so far away.
I totally encourage you to plan a visit to all of the above whenever you find yourself around. It's supposed to be a once in a lifetime experience. But anyway, let's try to focus on all the things we did, instead of whining about all the things we didn't do, right?
Some general tips from me to you:
PLAYA DEL CARMEN
The area as a whole is not worth visiting (nothing traditional or too exotic to see), but since it was close to our resort, we ended up spending a couple of our nights there.
We only had the chance to try a couple of restaurants;
- Almirante Pech, a lively, hip place in the heart of Playa with an impressive drink list and delicious bites, and
- La Cueva del Chango that serves locally sourced Mexican cuisine.
I definitely recommend both of them, for both their food and overall ambience!
We had our NYE dinner at Casa Jaguar; a super sophisticated restaurant located in the jungle (duh?) with great food and extremely friendly staff. Even though it was quite overpriced even compared to New York (!) standards, we enjoyed it to the fullest.
Other than that I recommend the following:
- Grab a drink at Gitana or Arca.
- Have lunch by the beach at Coqui Coqui and make a stop at their perfumery before you leave. The interior of this place is everything!
- If you feel like partying a little bit, go to Papaya Playa or Casa Magna (a place full of history as it was Pablo Escobar's summerhouse).
Last, but not least:
- If you want to explore the entire area, it's better if you rent a car instead of taking taxis everywhere. But make sure you make all the arrangements prior to your arrival, in order to guarantee good rates and getting the car of your choice.
- Always drink bottled water, even on good restaurants or resorts and try to skip the ice, unless you ensure that the water is filtered before frozen.
- Always carry cash! Do not expect from local stores/restaurants to accept cards and even if you rely on the closest ATM machine to make your cash withdrawal, I gotta tell you that most of them were not working, neither in Playa not Tulum. So it's better to be safe than sorry, right?
You can shop all my Mexico wardrobe essentials in the slider below.
P.S. Will also be sharing with you a review of our stay at magical Viceroy Riviera Maya shortly! Until then..
- Nat x