Riviera Maya

Tulum Ruins, Riviera Maya

Our final big adventure for 2016 has now begun…

We will be spending the next 4 months travelling from Cancun, Mexico to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We said goodbye to our family and friends and leaving our adult son and daughters in charge of our home and car again, set off back on our travels…

Cancun is an excellent entry point to Mexico and beyond with many low cost flights from the UK. We flew for 10 hours from Gatwick, using up a few more Virgin Flying Club points…

The ‘Mexican Riviera’ has many attractions including the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, the eco parks of Xel-Ha and Xcaret and the pulsating hotspot that is Cancun. From Cancun you hop across the Caribbean sea to visit Isla Mujeres for excellent snorkelling and participate in numerous activities such as driving a speedboat through the mangroves. Having done all of this on a previous fun-packed holiday Laura was keen that we start making our way down towards Central America. Indeed, with Mexico being relatively cost effective and easy to get to, exploring more of this lively and fascinating country is certainly something up there on our bucket list for the future.

Playa del Carmen


Cancun to Playa del Carmen

After arriving at Cancun airport at around 4.30 pm we took an ADO bus which delivered us  in air-conditioned comfort to the centre of Playa del Carmen about 70 km south of Cancun. You can buy bus tickets just before you exit the airport terminal and the ADO buses are parked outside and to the right. This journey took about an hour and cost $168 pesos (around £7.20 each).

Its not quite as busy or bustling as Cancun, however Playa del Carmen is still a popular tourist resort particulary for Americans many of whom travel the short distance south on a regular basis.

We spent our first day in Playa del Carmen taking it easy and adjusting back into ‘travelling nomad’ mode. We walked from our hotel along the soft powdery beach for about 30 minutes to the centre of the resort. The weather was hot and sunny at around 29 degrees.

5th Avenue, Playa del Carmen

Ticket touts frequent the centre of Playa del Carmen offering all manner of excursions and also ferry trips to Cozumel, a large island you can see on the horizon from Playa. While we were planning to visit Cozumel the following day we’ve become wise to the ‘buy-your-ticket-today…’ routine and decided to wait. (Our Cozumel adventures are documented in a separate post).


At night we walked along Calle Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue) through hundreds of margarita sipping, nacho munching holidaymakers to the sounds of loud colourful Mexican music and while we had to remind ourselves that we are not on holiday (as such) and we have to make our budget last for another 4 months, we did have a small splurge where we tucked into fajitas and enchiladas in one of the many quality restaurants.


Tulum Beach

Playa del Carmen to Tulum

After 3 nights in Playa del Carmen we travelled further south on another ADO bus for an  hour to Tulum where we stayed for 2 nights.

Tulum is home to a picturesque Mayan archeological ruin which sits on the cliffs where it has overlooked the turquoise Caribbean since the 13th century. Visiting this site was the main reason for staying in Tulum and we have a separate up-and-coming post on this.




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