In the Name of a Good Deal! Flashback Itinerary: Riviera Maya, Mexico

30 Mar

I love Mexico. The food, the people, the beaches, the music, everything. I’ve only been twice, once was regrettably on a Carnival cruise (don’t get me started…), but I had an amazing time both visits.

Tulum, Mexico


There’s something extremely exotic about Mexico. It is the closest gateway to Latin America, with Caribbean distance (for those on the east coast). It provides you with an adventurous-type of vacation without having to go very far. You can sunbathe on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, snorkel in crystal blue waters, learn about Mayan culture, visit awe-inducing ruins, hike through the jungle, and more. I’ve yet to visit any of the larger cities but they open the doors to a whole new wealth of Mexican culture- art, culinary delight, etc.

I recently stumbled upon some hard-to-pass-up fares to Mexico ($308 r/t!) that got me thinking about returning for a short visit. The good thing about Mexico, and how close it is, is that you can visit a new part of the country for 5 days at a time (or even a long weekend), without having to use all your vacation days! I was just there in December and have my big trip to Thailand coming up, otherwise, I totally would have jumped on this offer to Cancun.

For those looking to take advantage of these great fares in the spring, below is my itinerary from my December trip. Our budget was $1500 per person (including flights) and we were well within it. Keep in mind, this was during peak holiday travel season (just before Christmas), so you will likely get even better deals now!

Flashback Itinerary: Riviera Maya, December 2010

Travel Dates: December 18-23

Number of Travelers: 2

Airline: American Airlines with a connection in Miami (only on the NY-> CUN leg)

Fusion Beach Hotel Bar & Grill

Fusion Beach Hotel Bar & Grill

Hotel: Fusion Hotel

Calle 6  entre 5 Av. y la playa.

Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo

PH:  (+52) 984 873 0374

Total Cost: $540 for 5 nights

Hotel Notes:

–          This is a great hippy type of hotel, right on the beach in Playa del Carmen

–          They have live music on the beach every night: reggae, salsa, 80s, rock, etc. They sang it all!

–          Great food! People came to this hotel especially for their awesome burgers. We enjoyed lunch here twice and each time was delicious. The complimentary breakfast was less-than stellar (really, was just a basket of

Lounging at Fusion Hotel

mixed muffins and breads, all dry), but the actual breakfast menu was great- lots of fresh juice options! Best part about eating here? You get to sink your toes in the sand during any meal!

–          Good service (not the best, but not terrible either). One thing that did irk us was that the staff didn’t go out of their way to take care of hotel guests but instead those who gave them big tips to reserve lounge chairs on hotel property (even when they weren’t hotel guests).

–          Bare rooms: but what more do you need other than a bed, clean bathroom and a refrigerator? I guess a safe couldn’t hurt, although you could leave your belongings in the safe at the front desk (which we did).

Skeletons are all over Playa del Carmen


–          Cost: $100 r/t for two people

–          This was booked by the hotel concierge so we had to pay for the service in cash upon check-in

–          Note: we prefer to take care of our transportation needs prior to arrival (eliminate any headache, language issues, etc.), but you can EASILY find transportation right outside of the Cancun airport. There was literally a huge crowd of drivers waiting for tourists

–          We found this company to be great! They were on time, were perfectly pleasant (even after having to wait 2 hours at the airport as our flight was delayed)


–          Spa Treatments (we opted for massages at our hotel on the beach but these two spas get great buzz!):

o   Visit one of Veronica’s Massage Gold locations: Calles 24 and 26 or 5th ave between 24 and 26 ($50 for a 1 hour couples massage)

o   Jungle Spa in Puerto Morelos: Calle Dos Puerto Morelos. Call owner Sandra Dayton at 998 208 9148 to make an appointment ($60 for a 1 ½ hour massage- cash only). Note: Puerto Morelos is about an 1 ½ hours or so away from Playa del Carmen.

–          Full Day Excursion with Edventure Tours: 8am-6pm ($92 per

Snorkeling in the cenotes

Snorkeling in the cenotes

person- advance deposit of $40 via PayPaal is required)

o   Tour includes: snorkeling in Dos Ojos Cenotes, swimming with sea turles in Akumal, a visit to the Ruins of Tulum, and additional snorkeling in a lagoon.

o   Note: the tour also included a visit to “pet a monkey” near the Cenotes. We found this a little upsetting as both monkeys were tied up and treated like circus animals. The people who own the monkey, make their money off of tips from tour groups, such as this one. This isn’t uncommon in foreign countries, by any means, but it is not something that we would encourage people to participate in.


Snorkeling with the sea turtles in Akumal

–          Water Parks (great for families):

o   Xcaret: eco-park ($69admission)

o   Xel-Ha: eco-park; All-inclusive package: $71

Tulum, Mexico

The Ruins of Tulum

Tulum, Mexico

Beautiful Tulum

Noteworthy Restaurants:

–          Yaxche: calle 5th Avenue and 22nd avenue; delicious Mayan food! One of our best meals in Playa del Carmen

Yaxche Maya cuisine

Yaxche Maya Cuisine in Playa del Carmen

–          Wicky’s: 10th Street & The Beach; amazing burgers/sandwiches

–          Restaurant 100% Natural: Corner Quinta Av & Calle 10 Town Center; good for the diet-conscious

–          Carboncitos: 4th Street | Between 5th and 10th Avenues (great salsas!)

–          La Parilla. On 5th Ave. at Calle 10; typical Mexican tourist restaurant- equipped with a mariachi band, and all

Mariachi Band in Playa del Carmen

Mariachi Band in Playa del Carmen

Hope you get to experience the incredible Riviera Maya soon and if you do, tell us about it!


2 Responses to “In the Name of a Good Deal! Flashback Itinerary: Riviera Maya, Mexico”


  1. Wednesday Travel Deal Round Up! « eagerfortravel - March 30, 2011

    […] –      Check out our Flashback Trip Itinerary from our Playa del Carmen vacation:… […]

  2. Wednesday Travel Deal Roundup « eagerfortravel - April 6, 2011

    […] out this Flashback Playa del Carmen Itinerary to give you some […]

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