Cancun: Beyond the Resorts

So you’re planning a trip to Cancun and realize the appeal of an all-inclusive resort isn’t your cup of tea. While there’s nothing wrong with being a beach bum with unlimited margaritas, maybe you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous and off the beaten path. There’s so much more to sea than the beautiful turquoise waters (pun intended)!

I highly recommend staying in an Airbnb on the main strip. It’s very safe since the strip is mainly hotels, and I stayed in a gated home community on the strip- I felt like royalty! The house was gorgeous along beautiful canals and much cheaper than staying in a hotel. Crazy, I know! Just be sure you read the reviews to make sure it’s the right fit. If you’re like me, you read every. single. one. -twice!

Our host was the best, there’s no other word to describe it. While I do speak fluent Spanish, (thanks mom!) he spoke fluent English. You can easily notice this as well from the interaction and messages on Airbnb. They helped us get a taxi to the airport, drove us around the private community, and showed us the nearest convenience store and how to navigate the strip. Talk about getting your money’s worth!

The first day my boyfriend and I explored the strip and went to Mandala Beach Club which was a lot of fun. There is an entrance fee, but you can use that money towards food and drinks, so it’s a win for all! Even walking on the strip with a frozen daiquiri, from Surfin’ Burrito, es muy divertido! Cancun really is like Vegas, sans casinos.

The next day we rented a car to really start the adventure. Our next stop? Chichen Itza. We got an amazing breakfast at Natura, their chicken chilaquiles are to die for! The ancient Mayan Ruins are worth the 2 hour drive. It is one of the seven new wonders of the world after all. While many hotels offer tours for Chichen Itza, it’s nice being on your own schedule. With that being said, make sure you fill up your tank before you leave Cancun, and before you leave the Yucatan…more about that on a different post!

Since we had the rental for another day, we decided to drive to Tulum. What a dream! We stopped along the way at a cenote which they have signs for everywhere on the road. We knew there were some in Chichen Itza, but we spent most of our time walking around the ancient ruins. We decided to do the tour, which I highly recommend. As much as I love the water, having a professional guide made me feel much more at ease while swimming inside an underground cave. It was definitely worth the stop!

Back in Cancun we took a ferry to Isla Mujeres. There are multiple ferries a day and it’s a short trip over to the small island. We rented a scooter which was inexpensive and easy. This is also a great island to lay out on the beach and get some great food in little streets and alleyways off the beaten path. If you like to shop like me, you’ll also enjoy all the street vendors. If you’re like my boyfriend, not so much!

Mexico is a beautiful country with a lot to offer, and I’m not just saying that because it’s my Motherland! The great thing about Mexico is that it’s fairly inexpensive to visit and Cancun is more than just all-inclusive resorts. Go beyond the resorts!

Make sure to comment below if you have any questions or want more information!

4,518 Comments