Vamos a Playa del Carmen. Last week I went to the most wonderful destination with my family and I couldn’t wait to share our adventure on this blog. Playa del Carmen is located along the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. It’s an understatement to say I was quite looking forward to it. Winter in Belgium can be very harsh and I was in a desperate need of a milk chocolate tan. Besides I could really use some quality time with my sisters. Since traveling is the favorite cure to winter sadness, a 10 day trip to Mexico it was. My sister Sofie looked up all the prettiest places and hotspots. She’s a journalist, so Sherlock is kind of her middle name. After all we were pretty prepared.
We stayed at the Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel in Playa del Carmen. If you’re looking for tranquility in an exclusive and contemporary setting, this really is the place to be. The hotel is located 40 minutes south of the international airport of Cancun. The resort is built along the Caribbean sea in a splendid tropical jungle full of waterways and typical Mayan cenotes. We didn’t even had to go on a safari as we could see all kind of monkeys, chameleons and coatis out of our room. Great food, the best service and amazing cocktails. As you can see, chilling at the pool wasn’t a big effort.
You can’t say Mexico without saying Mayans as well. The Yucatán Peninsula is well known for the remains of ancient Mayan cities. The most famous Mayan sites are definitely Tulum and Chichén Itzá. Although these are the most visited, there are other ruins that are equally as fascinating. According to the location of our hotel we chose to visit Cobá. Cobá has the tallest ruin in this area and unlike other Mayan sites, you can still climb this one. Although I’m a little scared of heights (maybe because my boyfriend let me jump out of a plane last year), the view from the top is definitely worth the climb. After this physical challenge we went to a typical Mexican restaurant where we tried some local dishes. A table full of homemade enchiladas, fresh tacos, traditional burritos and Mexican Sol beers. Yummy, Mexican party in my tummy.
Another beautiful Mayan site is Tulum. Tulum is the only site located on the Caribbean beach, so the views are outstanding. Besides Mayan ruins, Tulum offers a lot more. Since a couple of years Tulum has become the hipster mecca of Yucatán. With its white sand beaches, Bohemian shops, trendy restaurants and bars this place is totally Pinterest worthy. The wide selection of restaurants makes it really hard to decide where to eat. Luckily we had my sister Sofie. According to her we definitely had to go to ‘Gitano’. The perfect jungle setting, great ambiance and delicious homemade cocktails. What else do you need?
My youngest sister Louise really is an animal lover and the wild hotel monkeys weren’t satisfying enough. So we went to Akumal to do some snorkeling. In the old Mayan language Akumal means ‘the place of the turtle’ and if you’re lucky you might see a lot of sea turtles swimming next to you. The beach of Akumal definitely was the prettiest we saw on our trip and it wasn’t that crowded at all. Luck was on our side that day and we met some turtles who were almost as cute as my beloved pug Henri. Ok, not really, but this spot is definitely a must do.
On our last evening we went downtown Playa del Carmen, to 5th Avenue or ‘Quinta Avenida’. Quinta Avenida is this very long street full of local shops, restaurants and bars. This sure wasn’t my fathers favorite trip, but we girls had a great time. Since our boyfriends were at home enjoying the cold Belgian weather, we bought them some great souvenirs. I can’t tell you what we bought because Pieter will be reading this before he gets his gift.
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. Tanned, relaxed and feeling like locals we had to go back home. Hasta luego, Mexico. You were great.