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A Travel Guide to the Resort Areas of Cancun/Riviera Maya

  • April 9, 2018
  • By Taylor, Social Media
  • 0 Comments
A Travel Guide to the Resort Areas of Cancun/Riviera Maya

Cancun/Riviera Maya is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Mexico, but here’s a secret – Cancun International Airport is actually a gateway to a number of unique resort areas, each with its own vibe. Think of it as six-destinations-in-one. Looking to stay at a luxurious oasis without ever having to leave the resort? No problem. Do you prefer to be close to the action with excursions around every corner? You can do that, too.

Here’s a quick guide to help you figure out which of the Cancun/Riviera Maya resort areas matches up best with your travel style:

Isla Mujeres

As you may have guessed by the name, Isla Mujeres is a small picturesque island that’s a 25-minute ferry ride off the coast of Cancun. The pace here is slow and tranquil so if you’re someone who appreciates a quieter kind of escape, this is a great option. Just offshore, the Manchones Reef and MUSA Underwater Sculpture Museum offer spectacular views from glass bottom boats, or scuba diving opportunities for beginners and pros alike.

Where to stay (families): Zoetry Isla Mujeres
Where to stay (adults-only): Isla Mujeres Palace

Costa Mujeres

Costa Mujeres is another option for travelers seeking a serene retreat. Calm waters, quiet beaches, and fewer hotels make it feel perfectly secluded. This area is fairly newly developed and was designed with luxury travel in mind, making it the perfect place for anyone wanting a Cancun vacation that feels truly exclusive.

Where to stay (families): Finest Playa Mujeres
Where to stay (adults-only): Secrets Playa Mujeres

Cancun (Hotel Zone)

If you want to be in the heart of the action, Cancun’s Hotel Zone is the spot for you. Days can be filled with down time at your resort, shopping, or watersports on the Caribbean. At night, head to Punta Cancun to one of the area’s famous nightclubs like Coco Bongo or Mandala. Here, you’re close to everything, including the airport, so you can get from plane to palapa in no time.

Where to stay (families): Occidental Tucancun (budget-friendly) or Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach (luxury)
Where to stay (adults-only): Golden Parnassus (budget-friendly) or Hyatt Zilara Cancun (luxury)

Puerto Morelos

Once a small fishing village, Puerto Morelos has never lost its old-world charm. It’s a short 20-minute drive south from Cancun and filled with all the quaint shops and eateries a person could hope for. If you’re the kind of traveler who likes to explore small towns in search of hidden gems and Instagram-gold, you’ll want to stay here. Oh, and the beaches are great, too.

Where to stay (families): Hotel Marina El Cid
Where to stay (adults-only): Excellence Riviera Cancun

Playa del Carmen

A little farther to the south, the town of Playa del Carmen is known for its fun-loving personality and enchanting pedestrian-friendly town square. The town is full of cafes, boutiques, and nightclubs, particularly along 5th Avenue which is definitely a stretch worth checking out. You’re also a short ride away from Xcaret – a popular natural adventure park, or a quick ferry ride away from Cozumel.

Where to stay (families): Riu Playacar (budget-friendly) or Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda (luxury)
Where to stay (adults-only): Ocean Maya Royale (budget-friendly) or Royal Hideaway Playacar (luxury)

Tulum/Puerto Aventuras

Tulum/Puerto Aventuras are other options in Riviera Maya and the farthest area from Cancun on our list. For intrepid travelers looking to get away from it all and experience some of Mexico’s authentic Mayan beauty, it’s well worth the drive. In contrast to many of the other resort-heavy places, this area is more laid-back with smaller boutique-style hotels. It’s also home to one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Mayans and we definitely encourage a visit to the ruins.

Where to stay (families): Barcelo Maya Grand Resort (budget-friendly) or Dreams Tulum (luxury)
Where to stay (adults-only): Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an (budget-friendly) or Secrets Akumal (luxury)

Hopefully, you’ve found a spot that fits your travel personality perfectly. Why not pair it with one of our Cancun travel deals, and start planning your next getaway?

By Taylor, Social Media, April 9, 2018 Taylor is the partner and promotional Social Media Manager at Sun Country Airlines. What she loves most? Sun Country’s love of all things Minnesota and the airline’s focus on making everyone – from crew to passengers – feel right at home. If she were hopping on a flight tomorrow, she’d be headed west to Portland or south to Puerto Vallarta.

Taylor, Social Media

Taylor is the partner and promotional Social Media Manager at Sun Country Airlines. What she loves most? Sun Country’s love of all things Minnesota and the airline’s focus on making everyone – from crew to passengers – feel right at home. If she were hopping on a flight tomorrow, she’d be headed west to Portland or south to Puerto Vallarta.

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