The choice between Cancun or Riviera Maya


We continue in our decision making, knowing that we go on vacation to the Caribbean area, specifically the choice has been the Yucatan Peninsula and all this through vacation package for the best relax / economy relationship. The time comes for determine the area of ​​the Mexican Caribbean in which we will finally be located, task not easy seeing the widest existing offer.

Quintana Roo was one of the six states elected in the late 1960s when Mexican authorities realized the potential Tourism of the Country. From there, in 1972 was born Cancun when a group of bankers who decided to set their sights on this geographical area to develop their tourist dream and the place that would accommodate us to the "family cotters" in full our first expedition back in 1996.

And it was like that because the concept of Riviera Maya It would not be born until 1999, when seeing the enormous potential of this coast, the previous idea would be expanded to what it is today, one of the areas of the planet with more visitors looking for that combination of beach and world culture

A third concept, the Costa Maya, from the previous one to the border with Belize and about 100km, it reserves 60% of its territory to the conservation of flora and fauna, and is oriented more towards adventure, archeological and sports tourism, and this is perhaps the main reason why we discard it from the beginning, since it does not fit the idea of ​​"head disconnection" of relaxation and beach initially raised.

Cancun, a place come to less

Would be that August 18, 1996 when we first stepped on Cancun, the city that reflected the potential tourism of the Mexican Caribbean. We were within a peninsula of complexes designed by and for tourists, with all kinds of facilities, services, discos, bars, restaurants, activities and entertainment options and visits.


However, time has passed, what was then a unique option derived from a coast of alternatives that relegated to Cancun on the dates we are going to a much more "American" environment. Does this mean that this is wrong? !!No way!! Cancun is still a choice of beaches, nightlife and pulserita, although of hotels built in height offering an image perhaps somewhat less "paradise".

It is possible that perhaps today, for Spaniards, there are much more adapted areas capable of satisfying our way of being and our dreams, and perhaps Cancun is no longer part of those, although this is still a very personal opinion.

Riviera Maya, one of the best areas of the Caribbean

Beyond 1999, a new tourist center was born in southern Cancun, Playa del Carmen, today the heart of Riviera Maya and on which a wonderful coast of luxury, paradise and relaxation has grown around.

Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, Peamul, Puerto Aventuras, Ipu-Ha, Akumal, Xel-Ha, Punta Soliman, Tankah, Tulum ... to Punta Allen in the south, or Xcalacoco, Punt Bete, Punta Maroma, Playa Paraíso or Puerto Morelos to the North ... ufs! ! many areas! What can be a good choice?

When we began to "investigate" where our "innkeepers" would fall from this long work season (hehe), we realized that what could initially be a concern, transportation, should not be. Dozens of vans communicate the entire coastline for just 35 MXN (approx € 2) with Playa del Carmen. Taxis, services of local agencies and public buses give us dozens of options to move or make excursions without the slightest problem.

So where does our decision go? It will be based on a beachfront complex (watch out for offers, which the "from" does not usually include these hotels, but some that are 5 minutes away which is not a bad option), all inclusive, that you have in your entrance stop of these vans or very close, and that is not too far from Playa del Carmen, which we will take as the base of "operations" (and also where the Maritime Terminal to Cozumel and other boat trips)

Among the multitude of complexes, large Spanish chains have been installed in really privileged places, such as the Barceló Maya Beach, which extends along 2 km of the most beautiful beaches of the Mexican Caribbean, with crystal clear waters and coral reef, with lush tropical jadines, beautiful roads and multiple restaurants, swimming pools and activities . !! We already knew what we wanted !! Our choice should be something like that.


It was time to choose our area in Riviera Maya

Akumal, Xel-Ha, X-Puhá, our decision

Although we must recognize that in the final decision a large percentage depends on the complex (and we will analyze it in the following article), having a clear set of geographic parameters can be of great help.

The Riviera Maya coast has a multitude of cultural areas, water parks and activities to do. Thus, except for Palenque, Uxmal or Chichen Itza, as well as visits that are usually made taking advantage of the route (cenotes, Valladolid, Merida ...), we find ourselves towards the South with the Sian Ka'an and Tulum Reserve, in the most remote area. A little closer if we go up the coast we find Xel-ha, Akumal beach (one of the most beautiful), Puerto Aventuras and Xcaret, and inland Coba. North of Playa del Carmen, Playa Paraíso, Puerto Morelos and Tres Ríos.


What will be our location? After much evaluation, we have restricted our search to area covering Akumal, Xel-ha and X-Puhá. Why? Just 30 km from Playa del Carmen and the departures to Cozumel, at the same distance from Tulum, and around Xcaret, Xel-ha, Coba, Akumal, etc., a true Mayan heart for our stay.

Now it is the most difficult, or easiest? That is to choose a complex that suits our pockets and that fulfills everything we have decided these days. In the meantime, Do you think it's a good choice? Tell us your opinion!

Paula and Isaac (and Silvi and Javi), just a few days away from "flying"