Cancun & Riviera Maya
Cancun is located on the Yucatan Peninsula. Its international airport makes it a major hub for people looking to travel along the Caribbean side of Mexico. The area along the coast, south of the city is called “Riviera Maya”. There are several cities from Cancun to Tulum that give the region its authentic Mexican flare. They offer shopping, flea markets, Mayan ruins, beaches, snorkeling, endless seafood and plenty of sunshine. Riviera Maya has a variety of places to stay, from small boutique hotels, to all-inclusive resorts.
Cancun Flea Market 28 Photo Credit; Angela Hoseney – Journey Travel
The Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya is an all-inclusive resort, located south of Playa Del Carmen and North of Tulum. There are several things that make an all-inclusive wonderful and this resort had them. Upon arrival we received a wonderful fruit drink, so refreshing on a hot humid day. The staff was very welcoming and helpful getting us to our room. There we had a welcome note with a plate of fresh fruit and an authentic bottle of Mexican Tequila!
The choices for fun at this resort are endless. Swim with Dolphins, snorkel with sea turtles and tropical fish, lounge by the pool, have an ocean side massage, walk or bike the grounds, or have lunch by the Caribbean sea. One of our favorites; meet new friends in the spacious commons area where they serve refreshing cocktails, coffee, tea, and cookies all day long.
The resort had an amazing buffet, and options for A’-la-carte dining. Choices included; a Brazilian, American, or Japanese steak house, New Orleans, Italian, Mexican and Caribbean cuisine were also available. Our favorite was the Brazilian Steak house where they cut the meat at your table from large sticks that had been slow roasting. After dinner our evenings were spent mingling in the commons area where we met fellow travelers from all over the world. Around 9pm each evening a show was put on in the amphitheater by the hard working staff. My favorite being “Broadway Hits”! The costumes and performances were surprisingly well done. After the shows were over there was live music in the commons area.
Playa Del Carmen
On Sunday evening we ventured north by way of resort taxi to Playa Del Carmen. Known for its outdoor shopping, swimmable beaches and ferry rides every ½ hour to the island of Cozumel, this city has something for everyone. Cool off oceanside at Sr. Frogs taking in the beautiful views. The city had an authentic, yet international flavor. The dinning choices were endless with Mexican, Middle Eastern, Indian, American and Italian cuisine. The sounds of Mariachi playing wafted through the air as we meandered in and out of the shops on the famous 5th Avenue. Sales men pleaded for our attention as we noticed this gentleman quietly rolling cigars for sale. Be careful when you bargain prices, know what you are looking for, and looking at. Don’t be afraid to use your smart phone to look up suggested prices on products you are buying from the market. I bought our daughter a cute white dress with flowers embroidered on the front. I thought $20 was a fair price. I found the same dress in the airport for $56 – I was glad to see that I had gotten a good deal!
The region has a lot to offer. We really could have used about 2 or 3 more days to take it all in. The one thing I wish we had done was visit the Mayan ruins. Our concierge had suggested an early morning visit to beat the heat of the day. Somehow those late night shows didn’t lend themselves to early rising. Over all we had a wonderful time exploring this destination. I would certainly go again if the opportunity presents itself.
Thinking about planning a trip to Mexico? We would be glad to help.
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