We recently celebrated our 20th anniversary (woohoo!) with a trip to Playa del Carmen, on the Riviera Maya coast of Mexico where it meets the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. It was an amazing trip on so many levels, and we look forward to returning, both with the kids and without!
This was our first time in this part of Mexico, and we definitely came away with some favorites: five, in fact.
Coconut Ice Cream
- Coconut ice cream. Where have you been all my life?!? This stuff is seriously amazing. So refreshing and delicious, and natural-tasting! (though I’m sure it had plenty of sugar…) Our all-inclusive resort had a scoop-your own ice cream area open all day, and I’m afraid I took advantage of that too many times. Why do we not have this where I live??
Moonlight on the Caribbean
- Moonlight on the Caribbean. Wow. Gorgeous and calming and relaxing and awe-inspiring. What a glorious, beautiful world gifted to us by our Creator. One night we had an idyllic moonlit walk, barefoot on the soft white sand of the abandoned beach. All was quiet except for the waves lapping against our ankles. It was surreal and romantic. Then the wind began and thunderclouds erupted! We had to hoof it back to our room, laughing as we ran hand-in-hand, becoming completely drenched in the downpour. Fun (and funny) memories!
3. All-inclusive resorts. These are very common (perhaps the norm?) in the tourist, coastal areas of Mexico. And, we are sold on the idea. It made our trip so much more enjoyable to not have to worry about paying for anything once we arrived. Everything was prepaid (like a cruise), and we could just enjoy… non-motorized water sports, yoga on the beach, various activities led by sports and entertainment staff, nightly shows on par with what you pay to see in Las Vegas (trust us- we are Las Vegas natives). And, of course, outstanding food available in several high-quality restaurants as well as in-room 24 hours a day. Delicious, fresh food, including sushi, filet mignon, amazing fresh fruits, and did I mention the ice cream?! (Unlimited alcohol is also included, though we don’t drink and hence saved the resort quite a lot of $! I may have partially made it up in the extraordinary amount of bottled water I went through- thank goodness that’s included in Mexico!)
4. Seafood. This is really for Ben, as I, unfortunately, still have not developed a taste for seafood. But in Mexico it’s fresh and delicious and he enjoyed it almost daily (especially the unlimited included sushi). I did try some raw tuna and actually quite enjoyed it- for the first time EVER!
5. The service. I had heard this about Mexico, and found it to be true. The service by everyone at our resort and in the resort area was outstanding. All the staff at every level seemed genuinely happy in their roles and very eager to please. They were courteous, discreet, helpful, gracious. And some of the formality dropped when I started speaking Spanish to them! As we visited, we found that virtually all of the staff come from other parts of Mexico, where good jobs are hard to come by. They are happy to be employed in the stable and lucrative tourism industry and all considered it a blessing to live in Playa del Carmen. (The town definitely has a first-world feel to it.)
We look forward to experiencing our five favorites again on a return trip, and adding to this list when our children share in the adventure. Have you been to this area? What are your favorites? Comment below and feel free to share this post on Facebook.
You make memories. We make them last.
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