Cancun/Maya Riviera -- recommendations?

by Jourles 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • Jourles

    We are heading to warmer climates next month and I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what to do down there. We plan on hitting either Tulum or Chichensomethingorother to see the ruins, probably swimming with the dolphins, and not much else. We've narrowed our resort accomodations down to two places and it's looking like we will most likely go with Moon Palace(Dreams Cancun is the other). Otherwise, we were planning to stay at the Adventura Spa down near Playa del Carmen/Tulum, but the last hurricane that hit is keeping it closed until late Sept. for "remodeling."

    A 3+ day Moon Palace stay includes the tours to the ruins and a few other places, or else you have pay nearly $100 per person just to go see Chichen. Is there anything else worth visiting in town or in the surrounding areas? The wife really isn't a clubber, so a foam party might be out of the question(dang it!). We were even talking about staying at Dreams and renting a car to go see what we wanted to see. Plus we won't be stuck with a group tour - we can do our own thang and go wherever we want. I used to drive a lot in northern Mexico(TJ down to Ens) so Mexican roads and such don't really scare me.

    We're really looking for things to do that are not advertised or that you wouldn't find on a website. You know, less touristas. What do the locals do for fun?

    p.s. is the absolute best website in finding a place to go

  • kls

    Wow , sounds so great heres hoping you have the best time.

  • jeeprube

    Let us know how it goes. My wife and I are going to a U2 concert this December, and we want to fly off to Cancun right after. I've never been, so any advice you could gather.........

  • MegaDude

    I was there last year. I was on the island of Cozumel, one of my favorite places.

    When you tour the ruins, take an umbrella. You'll be the envy of all the other tourists who didn't bring one. It is very hot.

    What you will be close to, that I enjoyed, is the cenotes or underground caverns that are filled with water. You can snorkle or scuba but they are very beautiful and it is quite an adventure to go through them. You'll need to rent a wetsuit. The water is cold.

    More info here.

  • MegaDude

    I would also recommend asking questions on what to do here:

    there is a section called "North America" with a little link below called "Mexico." The forum has tons of people who are going to Playa and can give you great suggestions on restaurants and things to do, and hotel reviews.

  • Jourles
    underground caverns that are filled with water

    I saw a couple of pics of people doing that on tripadvisor. We might have to check that out....although I've never been scuba diving before. (my worst fear is death by drowning)

  • CaptainSchmideo

    If the Aventura Spa is the same as Club Aventuras that I went to in Akumal, don't bother. It's very remote, and unless you are coupled up with someone, it's not a lot of fun.

  • onintwo

    Don't miss Tulume! It's nearly as good as Chichenitza and a heck of a bus ride closer. Chich is almost half day each way, and a lot of walking when you do get there. Tulume is one hour from Cancun. Camera's of course.

    My favorite was the water park at Ixcarat. Underground caverns for swimming/snorkeling. (but they make you wear a life vest which makes diving nearly impossible). Also lots of snorkeling (without vests) in the rivers near the bay and in the bay itself. Saw a sea turtle nearly as big across as a man hole cover. My wife actually touched it. Water is very warm. Stayed in our swim suits all day. There is two very nice fine dining restaurants there. (many fast food outlets as well). Lockers available.

    Coco Bongo nite club is THE place to go! It's at the north end. Half circus, half nite club. Tremendous and exciting. People on trapeze's swinging out over the crowds, jumbo tron screens, bubbles from ceiling, bar tender's shows, and the usual girl stuff. Bar doesn't even open til 11pm. Goes til 7 am. It's too bad that your wife doesn't enjoy that sort of thing. It's very stimulating and exciting.

    Also, if you enjoy fine dining, don't miss The Plantation. It's on the lagoon side of the main drag through Cancun. Dine right out over the water. Wait til dark to go.

    I didn't like the city proper, the real city of Cancun. The locals don't seem to like you at all. It's hard to find your way around and if you ask for help, most seem to forget their English. But as you know the tourist's Cancun is out on the peninsula, and that's where most people stay, play, and shop. There the locals are all too willing to help. They fall all over themselves. (tips)

    As far as the dolphins go, it's probably fun. We didn't do it because at the time we didn't think it was worth it. (I think it was $100.00 per person for the thirty minutes they give you) But it doesn't cost a dime to watch others ride them, etc. Also, the golf didn't look too good in and around the city. Outlying areas we were told have better golf. The courses right near the hotels looked kinda hokey to me, and appeared designed for people desperate for some kind of golf experience.

    I'm very sure you and your wife will enjoy yourself. If you haven't been, be aware that it's very "American". Doesn't resemble older citys like Peurto Vallarta, Matzalan, etc. It's as if you asked American corporations to build a city in Mexico. That's kind of what it felt like to us. Still, it's fun!


  • G Money
    G Money

    I'd say Dreams as I had some friends from this board that stayed there (showed them around during their visit) and it is walking distance to the party zone in the hotel zone. A trip to Chichen Itza and the cenotes is also good. PM me and I can give you the inside scoop as I was the mayor of Cancun last year, there pretty much all year.

    Coco Bongo is a fun club and for after hours you'll wanna hit Club Nectar. For a real experience, if you like salsa go to Mambo Cafe in the city center at Plaza Americas or go to party on Yaxchilan Street.

    Take the busses every where for 6.5 pesos (62 cents US) as Mexico has an excellent public transportation system with busses running 24/7. Also taxis will charge alot and busses are cheap. Busses in el centro, or the real city of downtown cancun are cheap, like 15 pesos to go a long way so if you want to explore the city, take a bus from the hotel zone to the city and then get a cab cheap.

    Cancun centro taxis are cheap. Yesterday I paid a whopping 30 pesos to go from the bus station in guadalajara to the centro historico but I don't spend much time in Guad. Oh well. Gotta go back to Cancun to see my exes!


Share this