All posts tagged: mexico

Eight Things to Do at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

I recently stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, an all-inclusive resort from the world famous brand. While it may not have been an obvious choice of resort for me personally, I have to say that I had a great time. My short stay there actually changed my mind about the brand. I’m happy to report that I would definitely stay at an all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel again given the chance. Not only is the property stunning and elegant, but it also offers a number of features you’d be hard pressed to find in other all-inclusive resorts in Cancun and Riviera Maya. If you’re looking for awesome things to do in Riviera Maya, Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya will probably have you covered for at least 3 days of your visit. That’s because the hotel offers so much  eight things you should definitely experience when staying at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya: Stay in a Deluxe Platinum Sky Terrace at Heaven If you’re not traveling with kids, Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya’s adults-only section, aptly called Heaven, is definitely the way to …

Feed Your Wanderlust with Flea Market Finds, Part One

Indulging on delicious cuisine, meeting people, exploring new places, opening your eyes to other cultures and going on epic adventures are probably the top reasons why we love to travel. They’re certainly a few of mine. But there’s one other reason that keeps popping in my head whenever I’m planning a trip or choosing my next destination: SHOPPING! Visiting a new country means a fantastic opportunity to buy indigenous, artisanal wares that you’ll be hard-pressed to find in your own country or city. You don’t know how many times I’ve started obsessing about a country all because of an Instagram photo (of a beautiful rug from Marrakech, a colorful bag from Cartagena or a darling hammock from Nicaragua.) Often, when I’m not traveling, I keep myself sane by means of retail gratification (aka shopping!) Luckily, our flea markets here in Los Angeles are bubbling with products imported from Mexico all the way to Ghana, and it’s the perfect place for me to feed my wanderlust without having to leave home and spend a few thousand dollars. Here are some of the imported, artisanal …

Hotel Review: The Royal Playa del Carmen, Dressed Down Yet Elegant

A tranquil courtyard, green and decorated here and there with unusual metal sculptures, led arriving guests from The Royal Playa del Carmen‘s enormous lobby to the pools and the beach beyond. Standing there, it’s quite easy to fully appreciate the resort’s allure. Six or so elegantly beautiful Mexican hacienda-style structures, painted white for a more modern flair, rise above you in their modest grandness, their doric columns and intricate iron railing balconies both intimate and inviting. Back in the courtyard, two paths on the opposite sides lead to the pool area, where two big pools sit, busy with guests enjoying their fruity cocktails and flanked with at least two hot tubs, possibly a couple hundred lounge chairs and several curtained cabanas, all arranged in a very appealing way. From here, you can hear the sounds of the waves as they kiss the beach, the famous Playa del Carmen beach, that lay just a few steps beyond. I was almost sad to leave the brilliant blue waters of Cancun behind, which was where I was until …

5 Places to Go If You Love Mexico

Mexico holds a special place for anyone who’s made the trek south of the border. There’s the history, pre-Colombian and post, the beautiful beaches and the natural wonders. There’s the food, the all-inclusive resorts, and, always a factor for vacation, the affordability. Mexico does not, however, hold a monopoly on these features and, if you’re looking for something just a little different, here are 5 fantastic alternatives that will make you want to quit your job and stay. The Ruins: Belize Some of the amazing discoveries in Mexico are the Mayan ruins that pepper the Yucatan peninsula. Even though the Mexican pre-Colombian sites are very well taken care of, if you journey to Belize, you’ll see an extension of the Mayan landmarks. These southern sights are different in one particular aspect. At a few of the different sites, you can actually climb the ruins. Check out Tikal to climb the tallest temple steps; or head over to Caracol, the largest Mayan ruins. Caracol is so large, it’s still being excavated and covers an area twice …

Along Baja California’s Culinary Route

Driving down Baja California, past the towering border wall and the ever-busy Tijuana, a surprisingly arresting view of the coast greets us. Miles of hazel, fog-blanketed hills gently roll down unto the foamy shores of the blue Pacific. It’s a scene reminiscent of dreamy Big Sur, perhaps just ever so slightly browner, drier and less of a reverie. Even more surprising are the houses, Mediterranean- and adobe-style, that adorn this coast. Their reddish brown rooftops peek charmingly over Federal Highway 1D, the main road that takes travelers on a scenic drive from Tijuana, its starting terminus, to just a few miles north of Ensenada. Collectively, they add a captivating and busy detail to an otherwise serene panorama. It’s not at all how we imagined this part of Mexico would look. Most surprising of all is the food… the glorious food, the delicious and hearty dishes centered on the freshest catch of the day – tuna, abalone, shrimp, oysters and even lobsters. Living in Southern California, we have heard all about BC’s legendary tacos de pescado …

16 Under the Radar Spots for Families in Mexico for 2016

Fun and busy Cabo, adventurous Riviera Maya, and thrilling Cancun. These are everyone’s go-to destinations when vacationing in Mexico, the vacation spots mostly responsible for putting the enchanting country in the top ten list of the most visited countries in the world. Yet a large part of Mexico and many of its underrated places that are just as beautiful remain undiscovered by most families. This 2016, steer clear of the heavy crowds and lead the kids off Mexico’s beaten path to discover unforgettable gems – from small, colonial towns that take you back in time and exquisite beaches sans the clusters of beach umbrellas to darling hotels with lovely amenities and remote eco-lodges that take you on exciting outdoor adventures. Here are our 16 top picks of under the radar spots that families must consider visiting in 2016.   Archaeological sites along Ruta Puuc. While it’s hard to resist the archaeological complex of Chichen Itza, one of the New7Wonders of the World, and the cerulean waters of Tulum, the string of well-preserved Mayan sites (Labna, …

Why Touristy Riviera Maya is a Must-See Paradise

First, head to the beach, the glistening beach, with its fine sand and its lapping, deliciously warm, blue-green waves and the occasional half-buried boulder that hides a massive iguana blissfully unconcerned with all the foot traffic around him. The beaches here, every bit as “Caribbean” as their Caribbean neighbors, almost single-handedly makes the trip worth every penny and every hour sitting in an enclosed space thousands of feet above ground. Later, spread out and explore – the beach will be there when you get back. Upon closer look, you’ll realize there’s more to this popular vacation destination than its beaches and the overwhelming number of resorts. Mysterious cenotes – some too deep to reach the bottom, inlets, and lagoons offer unique swimming opportunities. Well-preserved Mayan ruins, built around 1200 A.D. atop a cliff in Tulum, transport visitors back to a once glorious time. Exotic wildlife, both on land and underwater, present a chance to interact with nature. Aquatic and cultural theme parks like Xel-Ha and Xcaret provide fun recreation for both kids and adults. And then …