The Crown Jewel of the Mayan Riviera, Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is a popular, trendy destination in the Mayan Riviera. It’s location, midway between Cancun and Tulum, makes it the perfect place to stay to make the most of your visit to Mexico. This city has become the main tourist destination on the Yucatan Peninsula!
A unique feature of Playa, and part of it’s claim to fame, is 5th Avenue (or La Quinta Avenida). This main thoroughfare, a little over a mile long, runs parallel with the beaches and is a pedestrian only street. La Quinta allows for random strolling, no worries. You’ll find great shopping from high end to flea market type, fantastic restaurants and a big variety of nightspots all along the strip. Pub to club, there’s many to choose from. Watch out for the costumed street performers. It’s all fun and games, until they’re ready to be paid. I had some friends learn that one the hard way. Time to pay the piper!! (Their faces have been changed to protect the non-innocent!)
Well known for it’s beautiful beaches, take the time to bask in the sun, and gaze at the calm, clear Caribbean Sea. Relax and let your cares go out with the tide. Yes, they deliver the drinks to you. Awesome. When you’re ready to pull yourself away from your beach chair, you’ll find many watersports and golf venues to keep you entertained. In addition, this destination has some incredible day trips! You’ll discover the history of the Mayan people in some awesome settings.
Visit the Tulum Ruins, an abandoned city, high on a cliff, above the Caribbean Sea. If you are feeling adventurous… zipline over the trees, rapel down a cliff or swim through the caverns and rock formations of their cenotes, their natural sinkholes of crystal clear freshwater. Be sure to have your camera so you can take some of the incredible views home!
A day at Chichen Itza is based more on culture than adventure. This ancient capital of the Mayan empire’s biggest attraction is the pyramid known as El Castillo. This city boasts varied architectural elements of the Mayan people.
Playa del Carmen is the mainland port for Cozumel. A short 45 minute ferry ride, and you’ll enjoy a day of snorkeling in the most incredible, colorful coral reefs! Not a fan of snorkeling? Tour in a glass bottom boat and enjoy the amazing marine life from there!
An eco-archeological park. Xcaret Park blends historic ruins and adventure. You’ll enjoy an interesting mix of beautiful botanical gardens, an aquarium, the stables, and a butterfly farm. Bring your bathing suit and swim in the lagoon or through the underground river system!
A Wedding Venue Review @ The Royal, Playa del Carmen
My recent visit to the Mayan Riviera was focused on my son’s and daughter-in-law’s wedding. The wedding was held at The Royal. The ceremony took place in a beautiful gazebo overlooking the Sea. The cocktail hour was enjoyed on the beach, behind the gazebo. A sit down reception, complete with dance floor, set up in the sand a little further down! The wedding was amazing, the setting absolutely incredible! This is truly what a beach wedding should be, but…
there were a couple of cons you should be aware of if you or someone you know is considering this resort for a wedding. First, although this is an all-inclusive resort with very good restaurants, the food for the wedding was limited and awful. Luckily, the other factors of the wedding were awesome, so it didn’t matter too much to us.
More important to note.. this is an adult only resort. If you have any children coming to the wedding, you may want to reconsider the venue. While planning, the resort recommends that families with children book their ‘sister’ resort next door, The Gran Porto. It isn’t until later, you realize guests staying at The Gran Porto are not allowed on the grounds of The Royal aside from the exact hours of the cocktail party and wedding. It makes for a very uncomfortable situation, as people had come to be there for the wedding and were outcast from the events at The Royal during the week, even if they had a sitter for the kids… Other than that, both resorts had much to offer. The Gran Porto was very nice, but The Royal is definitely worth the higher price tag if you don’t have any children with you. There are more amenities, more restaurants to choose from and nightly entertainment.
I look forward to spending more time on day trips during my next visit to the Mayan Riviera! Oh, and I want to stay at the Rosewood Mayacoba! That place looks amazing!!
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