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Cancun Mexico

A Week at the Beach in Cancun Mexico

We’ve talked extensively in past posts about Cancun Mexico being a haven for all-inclusive resorts and perfect white-sand beaches. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love putting their feet up on postcard-worthy stretches of sand? In this post, we’d like to take some time to examine a few different options for getting the most out of your time in this exotic locale. Here are some insider tips on how to enjoy a week at the beach in Cancun, Mexico.

Where to Stay in Cancun Mexico

Resting in the northeast corner of the Mexican Caribbean, there are many all-inclusive resorts in Cancun. Several of these resorts are actually located on The Island of Cancun, which is connected to the mainland by two bridges, with one each in the North and South. Though it’s worth noting that many of these 3 to 5-star all-inclusive resorts can be quite pricey. As an alternative, there are more affordable hotels in the city center, surrounded by shops and restaurants.

While there is accommodation available for all tastes, for us nothing matches the convenience of a Cancun timeshare. Not only can one save a significant amount of money, but these luxurious properties have more space, full bathrooms, and private kitchens, which allow you to eat in–undoubtedly a welcome break from the bustle of the restaurants in town. This is the best way to avoid worrying about booking reservations at pricey, cramped hotels and overcrowding during peak seasons. Timeshares offer the best of both worlds with affordability and plenty of space.

What to Do in Cancun Mexico

Let’s not beat around the bush: Most people desire time away in Cancun because of its reputation as paradise. We’ve said before that the immaculate beaches of Cancun and the white carpets of Caribbean bliss were the original draw for tourism to be developed in this beautiful land. And it’s still true. If you’re ready to make all your friends green with envy, post a few shots to your Instagram of your time on the sand here, and watch the likes roll in like the tide. Some of our favorite (and most picturesque) Cancun beaches include Playa Nizuc and Playa Caracol.

Hawksbill Turtle near Cancun Mexico

An even more exotic alternative to the white beaches is to visit the Isla Contoy, which is only about 25 miles off the coast of Cancun. But know that, following progressive conservation efforts, the Mexican government has required visitors to work with locally-supervised ecotourism companies to visit this wildlife haven. Still, it’s sure to be worth it. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by four species of turtle that find a safe haven for nesting on the beaches of the island, and the reserve is also a sanctuary to approximately 152 tropical marine birds. The Isla Contoy is considered the most crucial nesting place for birds in the Mexican Caribbean.

If world-class archaeological sites are on your radar, you won’t want to miss the short day trip from Cancun to the stunning Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. The crown jewel of this pre-Columbian city is the Kukulkan pyramid. Officially Designated by UNESCO as one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World,” Chichen Itza is one of those special places that doesn’t disappoint even those with the highest of expectations.

From the sands of pristine beaches to the ruins of Chichen Itza, where you’ll get in touch with your inner Indiana Jones, Cancun Mexico offers an adventurous and luxurious place to spend a week at the beach.

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Hacienda Tres Rios

Things to do in Playa del Carmen

As regular readers of this blog will know…. I. Love. Mexico.

In addition to amazing beaches, Mexico’s Riviera Maya offers warm Caribbean water to explore, thick jungle terrain and ancient Mayan archaeological sites to explore. There really is SO much to do in the Riviera Maya, it’s a shame to think many people travel here and never venture beyond the walls of their all-inclusive resorts.

So if you’re traveling to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum or anywhere in between, here are my favorite things to do in the area. Get out and explore, there is so much to see!

Here are some of my favorite things to do in Playa del Carmen and the surrounding area of the Riviera Maya.

Visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere

This UNESCO World Heritage site is best known as home to 23 archaeological sites, 336 unique species of birdlife including a large number of migratory birds, and some of the most pristine and untouched beaches on the Mexican Caribbean coast.

From anywhere along the Riviera Maya, it’s easy to visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere for a fun and active day trip. Explore Mayan ruins and discover the mangrove-lined coast by boat.

Sian Kaan Biosphere

The price for the 2-hour boat tour is between US $40 and $45 per person. If you’re lucky you will see dolphins and sea turtles during your boat tour!

Here are detailed driving directions and everything you need to know for a day of fun.

Rent a Golf Cart on Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is a small island off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. There are a number of ferries that run from the mainland to the island regularly each day. This is another great day trip if you’re staying in Cancun or Playa del Carmen.

Isla Mujeres Golf Cart Rental

Rent a golf cart on Isla Mujeres and spend the day exploring the safe, charming residential areas, a beautiful sculpture garden and a striking coastline.

Practice Yoga in Tulum

There is something almost indescribable about Tulum, Mexico. Of course Tulum has amazing weather and pristine white sandy beaches. But that alone does not explain why such a strong, and growing, yoga culture has sprung up in Tulum in recent years.

yoga tulum hotels

As one of the Tulum hotels I recently visited put it,“Tulum is indeed a perfect place to unwind and soak in the beauty of this ancient Mayan place with its pristine beaches and its healing energy.” 

I guess you’ll have to visit Tulum, practice yoga at one of these Tulum hotels listed below, and experience that healing energy for yourself!

Wander Around Playa del Carmen

To me travel is about exploring. Meeting locals. Dining at local restaurants. Seeing new places.

And that’s why I love staying in Playa del Carmem. This town has it all, from boutique hotels, to great bars and restaurants.

Getting around Playa del Carmen

Wandering around Playa del Carmen, including the bustling 5th Avenue pedestrian zone and the lively beach scene, is a perfect way to spend a day!

Find THIS Secret Beach

The water here is incredibly calm and clear, the sand clean and white. And if you’re adventurous enough to find this secret beach, you’ll likely have it all to yourself.

sian kaan biosphere

In addition to being remotely located within the Sian Ka’an nature preserve, this secret beach is protected by one of the largest natural barrier reefs in the world which helps keep the waters calm and protected year-round.

Pack a cooler with plenty of food and drink, and then follow these directions to find a remote, untouched beach and spend a day relaxing in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Dive Into a Cenote (… Like This One at Hacienda Tres Rios)

There are literally thousands of Cenotes dotting the landscape of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. But because they are technically underground sinkholes that fill with groundwater over time, Cenotes are not always easy to spot.

Hacienda Tres Rios

Hacienda Tres Rios, an all-inclusive resort and nature park, is home to one of these freshwater lagoons.

Working to preserve this delicate, yet important ecosystem, Hacienda Tres Rios has done an amazing job integrating the jungle into the property and protecting and educating people about it. Swim surrounded by ancient mangrove forests, including Red and Buttonwood Mangrove, and spot fish, crabs and other sea creatures. 

What else would you add to my list of things to do in Playa del Carmen?

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