Everything that we dreamt about Mexico turned out to be the exact same. Turquoise beaches, amazing food, luxury resorts & nothing more than a relaxed fun-filled holiday. I was always super excited about this country and had been planning to visit for 2 years but for some reason it never worked out. And finally, when it did, we were so overwhelmed! We did a 10 day road trip around the Quinatana Roo & Yucatan Peninsula. To make it sweeter , it also happened to be my 50th country all up!
Day 1-3- Playa del Carmen
We flew into Cancun International Airport with direct flight by Alaska Air operating direct every winter out of Seattle. If you’re traveling to USA & want to combine Mexico, you may also find a good connection from Miami. We rented our car from Avis at a very cheap price however, please ensure you buy the insurance along with reservation. We ended up paying more than the rental for insurance but we highly advise to get a good one here. We checked into our hotel in Playa del Carmen late evening & headed out for dinner.
We decided to keep the initial days very relaxed. We chilled in the pool, at the bar, in the jacuzzi & got us an amazing Massage in the downtown of Playa del Carmen. The downtown is really cute & beautiful with lots of local shops & restaurants. Evenings are very lively too & it is so close to the beach. We also went Parasailing together for the first time & those views just amazed us with sunshine and turquoise water!
The next day we drove to the archaeological site of Tulum but we were quite unfortunate as walking around was closed for that day as many turtles had come on the shore.
We decidend to explore the Tulum beach which was gorgeous and enjoyed some Margaritas at the local restaurants with our favourite Chips & Guac! For those wanting to get exchange currency, we were able to get the best offer in Tulum.
Day 4-5- Chichen Itza & Rio Lagartos
These tow days were action packed but we thoroughly enjoyed each & every moment of it. We had great breakfast enchiladas and started driving towards Chichen Itza. On the way, we stopped by this colourful town of Valladolid. As per the google maps, we landed on a back road where you will find some people asking you to pay about 70$ which would include entry tickets & parking and no line to enter. However, we didn’t go with that option & simple turned back & followed the road signs. We had packed some sandwiches from our hotel which we had for lunch with some Ice-cream on the warm sunny day & headed straight to the ruins. If you want it to be super empty you got to be there very early morning when it opens. Very close to it is the Ik Kil Cenote, again a crowded place but a gorgeous cenote. You can find many on the way too when you drive from Playa del Carmen.
We reached the little town of Rio Lagartos late in the evening. It’s like a small fishing village with just 4-5 hotels & restaurants but felt very homely and reminded us of our childhood days when we would visit our natives. We met a local guide who agreed to take us on his boat next morning. We went for a boat ride at 7 am to spot some birdlife & some big crocodiles!
Then he took us to a secluded shipwreck beach which we really loved. It was so passive & just us.
Later on, we drove to the most awaited spot of our trip- the PINK LAKE. It is located at Las Coloradss which about an hour’s drive from Rio Lagartos. It is actually a private property of a large salt producing factory.
Unlike few years ago, they made it compulsory to enter with a local guide paying 50 pesos who would explain you about the place. You are not allowed to carry anything inside except your phones- not even cameras.
How are these lakes pink?
There are red/pink coloured algae called planktons that thrive in this salt water & as the concentration of these organisms in the water goes up, the colour of the lake starts turning pink. Also, the flamingos feed on these algae, they also adapt to the pink colour. If you want the brightest photos, the best time to visit would be when the sun is right above.
We then visited the nearby beach too & couldn’t believe the colours. We found the beaches here more beautiful than in Cancun! We drove back to Cancun for our next leg of the trip
We woke up to a beautiful view next morning & took it easy with all the travel we did in last 2 days. We stayed at Hyatt Zilara Cancun & all the rooms are sea-facing. We decided to again chill in the pool sipping some drinks & munching on local bites. That’s the fun about All Inclusive vacations.
We walked around the Cancun downtown and went to Hyatt Ziva for a sundowner date. They also have some dolphins in the hotel and you can spot them as you walk around the hotel.
The next few days had been very romantic for us with lots & lots of dates!
We also explore XPLOR- an interesting park where we could zipline not just from one tree top to another but also ziplined landing in water which was quite cool and the first time for us.
We drive amphibious vehicles, went rafting & swam in an underground river. Everything we couldn’t imagine of ever doing. It was just a fun filled day and we highly recommend this park.
On some holidays, we just love to take it light, relax & enjoy time with each other. We are really fond of staying in different hotels especially while we are beach tripping, we love luxury! We booked ourselves in Secrets The Vine Cancun.
Our room was extremely beautiful with a big terrace out there & the next morning they laid a beautiful romantic breakfast for us. Our experience didn’t quite start off well here with the food. But they ensured the rest of our stay goes perfect & they made it happen!
These two days we did nothing but lazing on the beach, in the pool & only did one half day activity which was the Jungle tour- most recommended by our fellow travellers. We drove our own private speedboats & then snorkelled in the Punta Nizuc Reef which has some amazing underwater statues.
We were so lucky that we even spotted a bit Sting ray looking at which Shobhit was highly scared. But for me, it was so dreamy as despite diving in many locations in the world I could see so much in this snorkel trip.
Before we could leave for home, the hotel ensured we were fully relaxed and happy. Both our evenings were beautifully set-up & we ended our trip with the most amazing spa at the hotel before hopping on our flight back home. And not to forget, picked up some amazing Salsa & Tequila back home.
This trip was not less than a dream & we would like to relive this dream again & again!
Hotels we stayed at:
Playa Del Carmen: Senses Riviera Maya by The Artisan
Rio Lagartos: Hotel Tabasco Rio
Cancun: Hyatt Zilara & Scerets the Vine