After a few days in dreamy Tulum, we headed north for Playa del Carmen to enjoy another relaxing day on the beach. Although the beach in Playa is nice, we were more impressed by the massive shopping street that runs parallel to the beach, 5th Avenue. This busy street is approximately 3 miles long and just one block over from the beach. We found an amazing deal at one of the hotels on 5th Avenue last minute so were right in with all the tourist action! But there are endless options for restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, and street performers. There were several cruise ships and day-cruise ships docked at the end of the beach, so the streets were packed day and night. It made us feel like we were just arriving on vacation for the first time (as opposed to 5+ months ago lol). We also lucked out with some great eats — 2-for-1 sushi on ALL the rolls, not just the basic California or Spicy Tuna! We ordered 6 signature rolls for like $30! We felt like winners until we couldn’t even finish it all…oops
The next day we headed out for an all-day adventure at Xcaret. This park came highly recommended by my brother and sister in law as well as our B&B owner from Puerto Viejo. Xcaret is an ecological “theme park” located south of Playa — I say “theme park” because in place of rides or roller coasters, they have snorkeling lagoons, swimming with dolphins, boat excursions, beaches with natural pools, aquarium, and a full nature park with animals and birds. The park is incredibly beautiful! We started the day by storing all of our belongings in a locker and jumping into the underground river that wraps through the park. It’s almost like a lazy river that requires more swimming and flows through the jungle and into caves. We hopped out near the aquarium to see all the sea turtles, sharks, stingrays, and fish. There is also a full tropical jungle area where there are birds, like parrots and toucans, and animals in the wild. It was an exhausting day so we took a brief nap in some hammocks by the ocean and then got ready for the night time show. This was pretty amazing. The show was about 2-1/2 hours long, including an intermission, and went through the whole history of Mexico, the Yucatan, and the influence of the Mayan culture. The costumes, music, and overall production were really impressive! It made for a long day, but we were really glad we stayed until the very end 🙂 Sadly we have no pictures from the whole day since our belongings were in a locker and we were just in swimsuits. We do have some go-pro footage though, so stay tuned for that! In the meantime, here’s some photos from the website so you can at least get a feel for how cool this place is 🙂
From Playa del Carmen, we again headed North to Cancun to turn in our rental car and catch a ferry out to Isla Mujeres. If you are ever in the area, definitely check out this beautiful little oasis! You can easily make a day trip out of it or stay for 3 days like we did 🙂 The island is super tiny so you can walk around the north end (where the main beaches and town center are) or get a golf cart and travel around the whole island.
We spent most of our time on Playa Norte which was like a stones throw from our B&B. Absolutely beautiful!! The white-sand beach was lined with palm trees, hotels/restaurants, and the clearest and calmest water I have ever seen! No waves — It felt like we were swimming in a pool!
Every night we enjoyed the sunset from the beach while enjoying some local beers…ahhh so perfect!
Our last night in Mexico was spent apart…yep I said it, apart. Brandon found out last minute that a large group of his college friends were in town (in Cancun) for a bachelor party. He partied it up spring break style in Cancun while I had a relaxing evening at the hotel ordering room service and watching movies…guess which one of us felt like a million bucks the next day and which one of us didn’t 😉
Well Mexico, you were a dream! We will definitely be back! But for now, we’re on to happier places…and by happier, I mean the happiest place on earth…Disney World! We’re coming for you, Mickey!