Riviera Maya…simply magical!

Riviera Maya  View

Jungle View in Riviera Maya

I recently returned from a visit to the Riviera Maya area of Cancun and you know you had a fantastic time when you come home dreaming about your next trip back!  It was my fourth visit to Cancun but my first time staying in the Riviera Maya.  Many people forget about this Mexico gem and it’s truly a wonderful and budget friendly alternative to a Caribbean getaway.

Cancun sits on the far most southern tip of Mexico, with non-stop flights offered from Los Angeles and many other destinations.  Cancun has evolved over the years from being known as a “party city” over a decade ago, to really becoming a sophisticated resort destination attracting both couples and families.  I was able to travel with other travel agents and become specialized in Cancun to recommend the best places to our customers.  The scenery is breathtaking with white sandy beaches for miles and turquoise clear water.  The allure of Cancun goes beyond its natural beauty (although that can be reason enough to visit), as the Yucatan Peninsula is home to amazing jungle wildlife (you’ll see plenty of iguanas and monkeys!) and ancient ruins left by the Mayan civilization.  The Riviera Maya is about an hour drive from Cancun airport on a well paved highway where there is lush vegetation on either side of the road and is a great option for families or those wanting to experience a tropical setting.  The resorts are predominantly all-inclusive with a wide variety of cuisine to choose from, excellent spa services, and many activities to keep you occupied during your stay.

If you are seeking fun and adventurous excursions, the Riviera Maya has a diverse collection of attractions to experience.  During my trip, I had the opportunity to visit the town of Playa del Carmen which is lined with shopping, restaurants, night clubs and features live music. Some areas are definitely geared for tourists, but locals also have their area and you can find a nice local spot (which I did) and I had some of the most amazing street tacos I’d ever had!

If you are curious about Mexico’s ancient history, a visit to Chichen Itza and Tulum are a must see.  Although I did not visit these sites on this trip, I had been there a few years ago and was amazed at the ruins left behind and how advanced and skilled the Mayan civilizations were!  Another great day tour to consider is Xcaret, a beautiful eco-aquatic themed park where you can enjoy water activities (swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and more) and see a lot of the plant and animal life that live in the jungle environment.  It’s a great place to bring the family for an incredible adventure!

Most of my trip was touring hotels and getting a great overview of resorts that I can recommend to clients.  I visited 12 resorts during my stay and I have highlighted some of the standout resorts I toured:

Garden View at All Inclusive Dreams Tulum

Dreams Tulum


Dreams Tulum: Is one of the furthest hotels from the Cancun Airport (about an hour and a half) but close to the Mayan Ruins in Tulum.   Being the furthest away added to its appeal as it felt like a getaway with a very relaxing ambiance.  The architecture is a very upscale Mexico Hacienda style with a stunning beach and exuded a welcoming feel to both couples and families.


Secrets Capri and Secrets Maroma: Incredible choices for those looking for upscale adults only resorts.  The resorts were smaller in size which allowed for more ocean view rooms and a more intimate feel.  These resorts really cater to honeymooners and anniversary couples or for those looking for a romantic escape.  The beaches in front of both resorts were some of the most pristine I saw. The beach in front of Secrets Maroma was recently named one of the best beaches in world.

Beach at All-Inclusive Secrets Maroma

Secrets Maroma Beach


Ocean Maya Royale:  A gem for adults only that offers great upscale ambiance with competitive rates. The landscape and gardens surrounding the resort were some of the most creative and well kept.  The atmosphere at the pool area was very festive.  This could be a great choice for couples looking for a more lively resort.


Aerial View of Dreams Puerto Adventuras

Dreams Puerto Adventuras

Dreams Puerto Adventuras:  A great family all-inclusive resort that is budget friendly.  They have a dolphin aquarium on site where guests can kayak or interact with dolphins.  They also have family room accommodations which are over sized rooms that comfortably fit a family of 5 traveling.

All of the resorts themselves were beautiful and had so much to offer.  However, what makes these resorts so great is the natural beauty around you.   Cancun offers so much diversity with its turquoise water, sandy white beaches, jungle paradise and rich culture,  I would absolutely recommend a vacation here for families, singles and couples to enjoy. After four visits to Cancun, I can truly say it holds a special place in my heart, and as a specialist,  I would love to assist customers with booking an amazing Cancun vacation package!



Lisa Perez
Cancun and All-Inclusive Vacation Specialist
11885 Carmel Mountain Road, Suite 906 | San Diego, CA | Google Directions
Toll-Free: (800) 795-0720
E-mail: lperez@carefreevacations.com

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