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View Full Version : Things to do in Riviera Maya


JohnnyB
09-22-2008, 05:05 PM
Headed to Riviera Maya in mid-November with my Wife, two daughters (ages 9 and 5) and taking my parents, too (age 68).....parents are more than willing to hang out at the resort with the kids so my wife and I can do some things on our own.

What are some things my wife and I should see and do around Riviera Maya while we're there?

What are some things the whole family should see and do while we're there?

Renting a 7 passenger minivan is cheap @ $200/week....is it worth having a vehicle?

For those that have been to the area...give me the skinny.

Last time I was there, all I did was spend the nights at Carlos and Charlies and the days on the beach.....that'd probably still work for me :D

IIRC we're staying at the Mayan Palace

bigmac
09-22-2008, 05:22 PM
For the family, I'd recommend Xcaret. It's a Mayan interpretive center and very interesting. Xcaret has a swim-with-dolphins thing that your daughters would definitely enjoy, and you can inner tube the subterranean river there, which is kind of cool. Tulum is also very interesting and worth the trip.

If you scuba dive, consider a trip to dive the nearby cenotes...THAT is very cool.

I don't know about renting a van - I'm not sure that's necessary.

russlars
09-22-2008, 05:35 PM
We have been there 4-5 times. You will really enjoy it. Having the rental car is nice and makes it easier to get around. I would second the Xcaret and Tulum recommendation. The snorkeling is great at many locations on the Riviera and the diving is superb. You may also consider Chichan Itza. It is a bit of a drive, but if you like seeing ruins, they are one of the best. Playa Del Carmen is a fun place to hang out for shopping and restaurants.

bigmac
09-22-2008, 05:44 PM
My dive buddy bought a Rolex watch in Playa del Carmen. The guy started at $300, my buddy haggled it down to $80. He got it in a little plastic bag.

I know Rolex's, and for the life of me I couldn't detect this one as a fake. I was sure it was, but it sure looked good. My buddy was sure it was the real thing - right up until the day about a month later when the stem fell out.

russlars
09-22-2008, 06:44 PM
One more consideration about driving in Mexico. Make sure that you always have some cash on you (preferably pesos). If you are stopped by a cop they do take bribes (the voice of experience here):D
And like most other things in Mexico, the bribe is negotiable.;) And whatever you do, don't let them take your drivers license "back to the station".

TX.X-30 fan
09-22-2008, 07:30 PM
I love it down there (and here it is) BUT its nuts now the country is out of control. I would not take my family away from the resort, and I would not let my kids out of sight, Kidnappings go unreported. Violence is now throughout the country, and yes many resort areas.



http://www.topix.com/forum/source/long-beach-press-telegram/TLLE7V0OO1B82P88K

Slinkyredfoot
09-22-2008, 07:58 PM
Our family loved snorkling at the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum...very cool stuff....

Cozumel is a ferry ride, not sure if the kids would like it.. took a day trip here... pretty cool in the evening when we were there, the fishing boats coming in to the piers with lots of big Marlin to check out.. some beautiful, big, cool fish...

Personally, I would not rent a vehicle, taxi's are the way to go...local cops prey on American visitors driving.....

JohnnyB
09-22-2008, 08:04 PM
I love it down there (and here it is) BUT its nuts now the country is out of control. I would not take my family away from the resort, and I would not let my kids out of sight, Kidnappings go unreported. Violence is now throughout the country, and yes many resort areas.



http://www.topix.com/forum/source/long-beach-press-telegram/TLLE7V0OO1B82P88K

I've seen several news clips of these types of beheadings related to religious sacrifices by the drug cartels....

TX.X-30 fan
09-22-2008, 08:32 PM
I've seen several news clips of these types of beheadings related to religious sacrifices by the drug cartels....




Not trying to be a downer, guess with this stuff in our back yard it gets more press here. Your family will have a blast, do that Xel-ha thang for a day very cool.

JohnnyB
09-22-2008, 08:58 PM
Not trying to be a downer, guess with this stuff in our back yard it gets more press here. Your family will have a blast, do that Xel-ha thang for a day very cool.

I appreciate the warning to be cautious...your intention wasn't to make it a downer as much as make sure I have a heightened sense of the dangers that exist...that's reality.

You're right that my kids will not go out of my sight.

Is it possible to get a lojac implant in each kid???

TX.X-30 fan
09-22-2008, 09:07 PM
Cozumel is a ferry ride, not sure if the kids would like it.. took a day trip here... pretty cool in the evening when we were there, the fishing boats coming in to the piers with lots of big Marlin to check out.. some beautiful, big, cool fish...

..


Funny you mention Cozumel, I could see you really enjoying that island. :D

Slinkyredfoot
09-22-2008, 09:23 PM
Funny you mention Cozumel, I could see you really enjoying that island. :D

How could you see me enjoying Cozumel, he77 you don't even know me.....;)

Ron Grover
09-28-2008, 11:16 PM
Been to Riviera Maya last 2 years. Where are you staying. We stayed at Grand Oasis Riveria Maya and Dreams Tulum. Both south of Playa close to Tulum.

We enjoy getting away from the tourist traps and trying to experience the country we are in. Playa is where cruise ships come in and there are no bargains there, very touristy. Tulum is a normal town in Mexico. Hvae never felt unsafe there but we stay pretty much on the main drag. Thee is a very good restaurant in Tulum, El Mariachi and down the street from there is a great bakery.

My kids are all divers so they do a lot diving and say the diving is good. Last year they dived a cenote (cave/spring) and we snorkeled it. It was fun and different. Not good if you are clausterphobic and don't like diving in dark with flashlights. It was fun but kinda a one time thing for me.

Deep sea fishing is fun. Very reasonable and 4 hour trip is enough. Fishing boats only have to go about 1 mile from shore. If the sailfish and marlin aren't doing anything just tell captain you want to bottom fish and take snapper, yellowtail and grouper back to hotel and have them prepare it for you.

Chitzen Itza is a must see. Read up on the ruins before you go and you will be more amazed at what you see. Amazing civilization. Self tour is possible, signs are in english and spanish. You cannot climb the ruins at Chitzen Itza however you should go to Coba ruins also. You can actuall climb the ruins. Nothing like climbing a 14 story tall temple and looking out over the Mayan empire. Coba is back in the jungle and you can hike or take a Mayan Taxi, 2 person cart on the front of a bicycle pedaled by native Mayan.

You can see our pictures from both years at: http://flickr.com/photos/15120866@N05/sets/

Have fun, be careful driving. Rules of the road in Mexico are NOT the same as US. We have name and phone of good driver we have used 2 years if you change your mind about driving.