In Mexico, there’s so much to see and do. But instead of spending precious time travelling, staying in one place and carefully picking your excursions can give you a taste of the country’s attractions and aﬀord you more time to relax, enjoy and discover.
Staying at a ﬁve-star resort like Grand Velas – bookable through booking.com – on the Riviera Maya puts you in a great position to explore to your heart’s content, as you’ll have the comforts of an all-inclusive resort with elegant accommodation, wonderful gourmet dining, a world-class spa and family-friendly activities to retreat to when the energy and excitement of this colourful country get the better of you.
Read on to make the most of your stay at your luxury base on the Caribbean coast:
1. Take ﬁve
Enjoying some beach time should be high on your list of priorities. Playa del Carmen is around 10 minutes away, but if you head slightly further north, the less populated beaches will oﬀer refuge. If you prefer to relax waterside without setting foot outside the complex, try the hotel’s inﬁnity pool or the white-sand beach on your doorstep.
2. Shop and dine
Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue oﬀers a tourist-friendly shopping experience. Shops, boutiques and stalls oﬀer fashion and Mexican handicrafts, and the carnival atmosphere is infectious. It’s mostly upscale restaurants here, so if you’re looking for cheaper, authentic eats, stroll from the main street and you’ll ﬁnd local restaurants serving Mexican specialities. Alternatively, take advantage of the all-inclusive dining at the hotel for a gourmet experience.
3. Explore the depths
Whatever your skill level, you’ll ﬁnd diving and snorkeling options to suit. Isla Mujeres is a 20-minute ferry ride from Cancún (itself 60 minutes away) and has excellent oﬀshore sites. The Santa Rosa Wall at Cozumel – a 45-minute ferry trip from Playa del Carmen – is great for stronger divers, while the Columbia Shallows are ideal for snorkelers, allowing clear views of the coral formations. The hotel concierge can advise on and book scuba diving and snorkelling tours.
4. Visit remarkable ruins
The archaeological site of Chichén Itzá is a three-hour drive from the resort. This pre-Columbian city built by the Mayans is an intriguing mix of architectural styles. The Tulum ruins are also worth seeing. This ancient, walled, cliﬀ-top city is just 50 minutes away. Seek sanctuary at the end of the day at the hotel’s award-winning spa, with a hydrotherapy ritual.
5. Kayak through nature
The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, situated in the municipality of Tulum, is an hour’s drive from the resort. Kayak tours take you through the Caapechen Lagoon to see the natural beauty and ecological wonders of this Unesco World Heritage Site.