Travel Review of Riviera Maya, Mexico

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If you read my latest post, A Snapshot of Our First Year of Marriage, then you know that my husband and I recently celebrated our one year anniversary. Woo hoo! 🙂 A few months back, as we were thinking about summer plans and how we should celebrate, we decided the perfect gift to give each other would be a trip somewhere… or a second honeymoon, of sorts. We had the hardest time choosing where to go next, but I’m so glad that we discovered Riviera Maya. If you are thinking about taking a trip soon, I highly recommend it!

Traveling To & From

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One of the things that we loved about our honeymoon in Montego Bay, Jamaica was how quickly we got from the airport to the resort. I remember hopping on the bus, seeing a few sites and arriving at the resort in just a few minutes. This was not the case in Riviera Maya. The closest airport is in Cancun, which is about an hour or so away. Also, because we’re travelers on a budget, we used a shared shuttle which meant lots of stops. All in all, I think our trip from the airport to resort took about an hour and a half and it wasn’t a scenic route. Instead of seeing the city, the people and the culture on our way, we rode down one road that had huge resorts down the whole stretch. All in all, it was fine because it gave us some downtime and some time to talk to our driver about the area, but it was a little longer than we expected. The flight was super easy though. I think it was around the same amount of time as our flight to Jamaica and you cross over time zones, so you get an extra hour on the way in!

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Where to Stay

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Y’all already know I’m a fan of all-inclusives! There’s something so great about paying for your trip ahead of time and then once you arrive, having all of your food, drinks, entertainment, etc. included. This time we stayed at the Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa. It was beautiful and huge! My favorite part of this resort was their dedication to conservation and the environment.

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While you’re there, you really feel submerged in it since there are unique plants all around the resort and even cooler animals! The food was decent. Not as good as when we stayed at Secrets, but Secrets has four or so resorts in the area, so those are good options as well. The pool was tons of fun, with a swim-up bar and in-pool chairs.

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We don’t have kids yet, but if you do, there’s tons for them to do. All in all, we liked the Grand Palladium, but seriously, every big name resort is on one stretch, so you have your fair share of options!

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Things to Do

I know some people love to go to all-inclusive resorts so that they never have to leave, I’m not that girl (I’ll be posting soon about why you should always book excursions on your trips – so be on the lookout)! Our excursions were our very favorite part of our trip.

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We used Expedia to book with a company called Aventuras Mayas and they were amazing. If you book with them, make sure you ask for Gabby, she’s even more amazing! On our days away from the resort, we went rappelling, ziplined over the jungle canopy, went snorkeling in a beautiful cenote and visited the ancient mayan ruins of Tulum. We even got to eat at a local restaurant and enjoy authentic Mexican food, which was delicious!

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If you haven’t experienced a cenote, I highly recommend it. They are underground bodies of water that were known for being sacred and having healing powers. Nothing can explain how beautiful they were inside or the feeling you have after swimming in them.

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There were so many things to do in Riviera Maya, that we didn’t have time to experience them all. I’d love to return some day and visit Chichen Itza (one of the 7 new world wonders), the Akumal Monkey Sanctuary, and all of the other beautiful things there are to see.

If you haven’t been to Riviera Maya yet, I definitely think you need to add it to your travel list. Have any questions? Ask me – I’d love to help you plan your trip!

Adios!

C’est la vie,

Anna

 

 

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