Riviera Maya, Mexico
I can't wait to go on a vacation again, and since it won't happen for a while, I decided to jump back in time to my last tropical vacation in Mexico.
This amazing trip happened in February 2015 when it was freezing cold in Canada. I went for a week and stayed at an amazing bed and breakfast place in Puerto Aventuras with my boyfriend at that time (we are no longer together). Although I booked a room at Villas Picalu (the bed and breakfast place), we were given a condo instead. I believe they thought we were on our honeymoon, and decided to treat us. The place we were staying at apparently just finished being renovated and we were the first people to stay there.
I cannot describe how beautiful that place was. We were given an actual furnished apartment with everything you need to live there for a little while, except for food. But there was a supermarket close by where you could buy a variety of stuff.
If you are curious to know how we got around from places to places, we rented a car. If you are not terrified of driving in a new country and having a chance being stopped by police just because you are a tourist, then I would recommend renting a car. If you do get stopped by a police, say that you're Canadian or American and they will most likely let you go easily. Try not to drive late at night, and have your car insurance and your driver's licence with you at all time.
Just across from the place we stayed at there was a marina with yachts and a sea animals world attraction. There were sea lions, dolphins, etc. I remember how calming it felt just walking there and seeing all those yachts and animals. Along the marina there were also many restaurants with different cuisines from different countries around the world. The restaurant we visited the most was the one that made Mexican food, of course. Mexican food is by far one of my favorite cuisines.
The Marina at Puerto Aventuras
On our first night there we went to the beach that was a 10 minute walk from our condo, and that's when I saw one of the most beautiful scenes I've ever seen. I wanted to stay in that moment forever because of how special it was. You can see a picture below.
The amazing sunset on the Puerto Aventuras beach
On the second day, we visited Playa Del Carmen which was a 15 minute drive from Puerto Aventuras. I would recommend going there if you want to just shop around. At night, many of the restaurants become pubs and clubs. The most famous place in Playa Del Carmen is the 5th Avenue street which is where all the shops and the restaurants are located. You can find anything there, from high end brands like Calvin Klein to small souvenir shops with hand made goods.
Puerto Morelos is another great town I highly recommend visiting. The beaches are less populated there, they have great restaurants, and you can also go snorkeling there. We rented the snorkeling gear I believe from Wet Set Diving Adventures and went on a tour with other people. The entire experience is about two hours, and they also provide snacks. I was exhausted by the end of the tour. Who knew that snorkeling can be such a great workout?
Puerto Morelos Beach
Puerto Morelos Beach
Puerto Morelos Beach
What does a normal person think when they see a boat? "Yeah, let's take a picture"
Once you start taking them..there ain't stopping
Missing this view so badly
The following day we decided to go to Tulum. We made a mistake with the navigation and ended up arriving to the park Xel-Ha, which we first believed was Tulum, and then realized it is actually outside of Tulum. So then we decided to just spend the day there. It cost us $90 for each, but it was so worth it. You only pay once to enter the park, and the open bar, the two buffet restaurnts and the snorkeling gear are all for free (they're included in the ticket price). A great deal or what? Especially if you like to drink and eat ;) This amazing park was built inside a jungle and is surrounded by water.
The park entrance
You wouldn't believe how much money it costs to get your picture taken with that parrot
How can this be a trip to Mexico without seeing some Iguanas?
Part of the park. Do you wanna go there yet?
Walking in the middle of the jungle is always fun
Grateful to be in this place
Small cenote at the park
Another town that was by far my favourite is Akumal. It is more populated and touristy than Puerto Morelos, but less crowded than Playa Del Carmen. The beach at Akumal was also my favourite because the water was so clear and beautiful. There are more restaurants on the beach at Akumal than at Puerto Morelos, and the food of course is to die for. We spent almost an entire day there swimming with turtles, snorkeling, eating, and just chilling on the beach.
My view from lying on the beach
The next day we drove all the way near Cancun, to a place called Salvatica where you can do bungee jumping, and more. It's located in the middle of the jungle, and it's not so easy to find it, but after three hours of driving, we finally got there.
The last full day was spent in Tulum. We finally found the actual city, walked the ruins which are located pretty far from the centre of the city, and then we just walked the main street of the city where all the little shops and restaurants are. I found some cute things for my family, and so did he. I also had there the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life. All the ingredients were fresh and locally grown. Oh man, if only I could describe the huge difference between a store bought tomatoes, and real tomatoes grown on a farm. My tummy was in heaven.
That moment you try to take a cool picture and a photographer decides to make an appearance in your frame...
This famous thing
The following day I was already on a plane back to Canada. It was so hard to leave this magical place, and I cannot wait to go back already!