5 Days Touring The Mexican Riviera
The Mexico adventure began in Chetumal, Quintana Roo. I arrived at the ferry port directly from San Pedro, Belize. I didn't realize how convenient this ferry was only I took it, it cost about $20US and the ride lasted about 1.5 hours. My conclusion on this is: If you want to visit Belize and you do not have time constraints I advice that you fly into Cancun airport, then take a shuttle to Chetumal ($20 paid to Belize ferry), and then the ferry directly into San Pedro or Caye Caulker Belize Water Taxi | Belize Charter Boats - San Pedro Water Taxi. It will save you big bucks on flight if you're flying from either the US or Europe. Flying from LA, the flight savings for me would have been between $200-$500 if I chose to do this; however, since I came from Guatemala, this flight didn't apply to me this time.
I managed to arrange a shared shuttle transfer through Belize water taxi. They work with this shuttle company on the Mexican side to take between 6-8 people from the Chetumal port to their hotels in either Tulum, Playa del Carmen, or Cancun. My destination was Tulum. The bus ride to Tulum was about 3 hours. Our driver stopped half-way to give us a 30 minute lunch break at a local restaurant on the main highway. The shuttle dropped me off at my hotel where I finally got some rest and enjoyed the afternoon at the pool. I stayed at The hotel - Luna Llena Hotel - Tulum - Mexico, which was conveniently near the city center, was very private, comfortable, and affordable. They also provide access to their beach club, which is a few streets down from the hotel. You may also borrow bikes from the hotel and stroll down to the beach, which is just about 15 minutes away.
The next day I went to visit the ruins of Tulum. The entrance fee is $65 pesos ($4 USD) for tourists. I've gotta say, this is one of my favorite places in the Mexican Riviera and a must see if you are visiting the Yucatan peninsula. My archeological site visit was followed by a well deserved swim in the turquoise gulf waters. Finally, I ended my day by going to the beach club, enjoying a few drinks, relaxing, and having a seafood overload for dinner. Below are some pics of my day.
On day three the next stop was Chichen Itza. I had picked up a rental car in Tulum and this was the easiest way for me to visit all the sites that I wanted. Rental car cost me $35 flat for 4 days. I drove the 150km route in about 2 hours. Once there, I enjoyed the beauty of this wonder of the world and after a scorching hot and humid day I decided to go for a swim at cenote Ik Kil, which is about 10 minutes drive from Chichen Itza. Make sure to stay hydrated at Chichen Itza. I struggled so much with the humidity there but it was worth the visit.
The next stop was Playa Del Carmen (PDC). Since I'd already been to Playa a few years ago I decided to make a short visit this time; therefore, I only stayed for one night. I spent the afternoon at the beach soaking some sun and enjoying the view. I gotta admit that although I'm not a big fond of the town, PDC has some of the most beautiful beaches in the north of the peninsula. If you are staying at an all inclusive resort however, PDC is one of the most beautiful destinations. It is popular among honeymooners and there are several adventure parks nearby such as: Xcaret, Xplor, Xel Ha, etc. Prices on these parks are comparable to those in the US (around $100 US per person). I already did this in 2012 so I skipped it this time but I do recommend going to at least one. My personal favorite is Xcaret Park Cancun Mexico.
The next day I drove to Cancun where I spent two more nights. I took the Isla Mujeres tour which began at the Cancun ferry port. The catamaran took us to the snorkeling site "La Musa" (an underwater museum of hundreds of stone statues) in about 1 hour. There is an option to either snorkel or scuba dive there. I recommend the scuba dive if you have a license because the waters are deep enough to do so and you can get a close up of the statues. Since I don't have one, I opted to snorkel, which was a good experience also, and if you are a good swimmer you may be able to snorkel without a life vest which will allow you to swim deeper and be able to see the museum closer up. After the snorkeling tour we arrived in Isla Mujeres finally where we had a buffet lunch and later walked around the island. This catamaran tour is really fun, it also gives you the option to parasail if the weather allows and is an all you can eat all you can drink tour. I really recommend it! Find out more about it here: Isla Mujeres Activities - Fun in the Water.
Lastly, if you go between August and October there is a chance that you may be able to see and/or participate in the turtle release events, which usually take place at various locations and resorts in the evenings. My hotel did the release around 8pm every night. I was able to witness it on the first night; however, I was not able to participate on it the second night unfortunately. After an exhausting day of swimming and snorkeling my body gave up. Next time I'll add it to my list for sure.
My 5 day Mexican riviera visit was a success! The next flag to conquer is ... Cuba!