Couples Getaway: Mexico (Baja,California).

I always refer to this region as Baja, California, because when we go we typically move through the peninsula. There are so many different cities you can choose to stop at. If you want to party and drink on the beach, Rosarito is your spot. If you want seafood (lobster), Puerto Nuevo is your spot. If you want wine, aesthetic views, and gastronomy, Valle De Guadalupe is your spot. Finally, there is Ensenada which is a stop on many cruises from the U.S. Personally, I would not take a cruise there, when you could drive there. Ensenada is full of adventures, from quad riding, to La Bufadora, there are a lot of options on how to spend your day there.

In this blog, I will highlight our recent weekend adventure into Baja. We did a day and a half, ideally if it is your first time I would carve out two or three days to explore the region. However, if you are a busy person this weekend guide will be perfect for you. 

 

The First Day….

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-My husband had to work, so I drove down to his work and from there we drove down together. We drove straight down to Puerto Nuevo to eat our first meal of the day….LOBSTER. I am obsessed with the lobster meals from Puerto Nuevo. This town is cute, and colorful, and full of 31 restaurants which serve a similar menu. My personal favorite one is Villa Ortega’s (it is all the way to the left, and end). This one has a beach view, and you can dine on the outside while you hear the waves crash and feel the sun shine down on you. We normally get Lobster for two and it comes with lobster, rice, beans, tortillas, and tortilla soup!

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You can walk around and explore the town, this is a good spot to shop for souvenirs, and get free tequila samples. There is also a really yummy ice cream shop and panaderia which has different kinds of bread.

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from there, I recommend driving to your hotel or AirBnB to check in! 

For our stay this time, we chose AirBnB and we had an amazing experience. I will link our stay below! We were nestled in the Valle De Guadalupe and we were so close to the wineries. My favorite part was the breakfast that came with our stay, it was fresh and cooked specially for us.

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/9202418?source_impression_id=p3_1582053997_zuI%2F5x%2FFOmuPJAhP

Bed & Breakfast located at Quinta Monasterio

 

Most things in the Valle close early like typical wineries they close around 7pm. There are two location which I recommend and are close to each other.

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-Casa Frida is open till midnight. You can get in without a reservation, but it will be for their outside lounge or the restaurant. If you want to go to their indoor terrace, make a reservation.

-King & Queen Cantina. We got here around 11pm and they weren’t seating anyone without a reservation, so we didn’t get a chance to visit.

 

The Next Day (full day of Mexico)….

This was our full day in Mexico, and I had the day planned out from stop to stop to strategically maximize our time, since everything in the Valle is spread out.

 

Stop 1: Bruma (reservation required)

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This is one of the most gorgeous and unique wineries. There is a beautiful tree in the middle which goes underground and above. The tasting is 17$ pp and includes a tour of the facility, with 3 wine tastings. A little overpriced in my opinion, but you pay for the photo ops. There is also a restaurant called Fauna, which I have heard great things about.

Stop 2: Finca Altozano

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(reservation strongly recommended, if you get there before 12 you can get seated, depending on your party size. Either way I would make a reservation). This restaurant is like no other, its beautiful and has amazing selections of food. The restaurant is situated on a large spread of land, so you can walk around the property and see their animals. There are also a lot of photo opportunities! Our favorite thing to order here is the Oysters, Lengua Tacos, and Seabass Chicharones. We’ve tried other things on the menu, like Octopus, Milanesa, and Tuna. If you are lucky you might even see the two pigs walk past your table. There are also 8 or 9 dogs which live on the property and their name and photo is pictured on the menu. Save some room for desert, there is an ice cream shop located here as well.

 

Stop 3: Casa Frida

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(reservation required). Even though we came here at night, I HAD to go back to explore during the day. We reserved the wine tasting experience, which was $40 for the both of us. Wine tasting is in a separate room that is immersed in art and paintings. If you do not do wine tasting, you can hangout at the restaurant, or hangout in their outdoor lounge which plays funky house music all day. Since we had extra time, we asked if there was space at their Mixology Terrace. I would highly recommend making a reservation for this area, there is a minimum consumption limit, but it is worth it. The views of the Valle are gorgeous, funky house music is playing, and there are delicious hand crafted cocktails to indulge in. Aside from the views, there is even more art to see and take pictures with. Make sure to check out the bathrooms for even more fun photo-ops. Basically this place is an Instagram heaven.

 

Stop 4: Bar Bura @ Cuatro Cuatros

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(reservation required, or take your chances on waiting to get an opportunity to ride the shuttle to the top). Bar Bura, is located on the top of Cuatro Cuatros, and it is the most picturesque bar I have ever been to. You pay to ride the shuttle to the top of the mountain and you get to choose between a soda, water, or beer. You immediately feel like you are transported to somewhere in Greece. I always strategically plan the reservation around sunset hours, the sunset here is breathtaking. You can also order food here, I love their Ceviche. If you need some coffee, there is also a coffee truck at the top, which would be great for your drive home.

 

GETTING HOME

Crossing the border can be a nightmare, because of the waiting time. We’ve waited as much as 8 hours before. On average I would say it takes 4 hours to cross back on a weekend. Just recently on this last trip, it only took us an hour and a half on a Holiday weekend, because my husband figured out how to enter the Ready Lanes! Watch this video and save yourself time! Warning: on the weekends there is a higher volume of traffic, which makes it harder to enter the Ready Lanes, just drive back further and enter in. OH AND YOU CANNOT GET AWAY WITH GOING THROUGH READY LANES WITH NO PASSPORT. Technically you should not even risk going without a passport, however people do many times, in the ready lane they don’t mess around because they use RFID technology to process you faster.

 

 

Thanks for reading! Hope to see more of you venture off into Mexico. If you would like to book a tour, click on my Guide to Valle De Guadalupe Blog, which has my favorite company linked!

xoxo

Jess

Guide To Exploring Valle De Guadalupe (Baja California MX’s, Wine Region)

Viva Valle

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Lately I’ve been seeing a lot more friends venture into Valle De Guadalupe and it makes me so happy. I’ve managed to plan epic wine tasting adventures in Valle and show the beauty this area possesses to people who may have never had an opportunity to get down there. Visiting Vinicolas (Wineries in Spanish), has become a fun adventure as we get older, and I live for going to the wineries in Mexico (especially if I get lobster at Puerto Nuevo on the way down)/

Please for the love of God, come with a passport! I cannot stress this enough, border patrol agents and people in your car do not want to deal with any issues. Avoid any mishaps and pack your passport or make sure you get one before coming down.

If you live in Southern California, the drive is manageable and quick, especially if you are coming from Temecula or San Diego.

Driving Tip 1: Set your GPS to your location before driving into Mexico. Make sure your GPS works down there or someone else’s in the car, typically T-Mobile gives the best coverage in Mexico.

Driving Tip 2: Bring Cash and Change for the Toll Roads. When driving on the 1D you will make 3 toll stops which can only be paid in cash dollars or pesos.

Driving Tip 3: Drive safely, follow road directions that you would in the U.S, and be cognizant of speed when driving.

Driving Tip 4: If you don’t feel comfortable driving/staying down there, there are tour companies that pick you up at the border and take you back. There are also tour companies that pick you up at your hotel or airbnb and take you back. I have a reputable company I have used on two occasions, once for 17 guests and then another trip with  12 guests. They provide excellent service and go above and beyond, bring cash to pay and tip your driver 🙂

 

Valle De Guadalupe Tour Recommendation: Ruta Del Vino Tour

https://www.yelp.com/biz/ruta-del-vino-tours-valle-de-guadalupe-4

  +52 646 113 8246

I prefer to contact them through WhatsApp! I have had Carlos and Jacinto as drivers and they were both amazing. You contact them, let them know how many people are in your group and what wineries you want to visit. If you don’t care which wineries, they can plan the day for you. They also plan a spot for you to stop and eat at (Typically Finca Altozano which I dream about going to constantly). Once you figure out how many people are in your group, and how many hours you want to be driven for, they will give you a rate.

You can also drive from winery to winery if you would like, your GPS typically works and you can map your day out. If you plan on getting tipsy I would recommend booking the private driver through Ruta Del Vino, save yourself the hassle and enjoy more of the day.

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Favorite Spots to Visit

 

1.Cuatro Cuatros

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Location:El Tigre, carretera libre
Tijuana-Ensenada Km. 89 s/n
El Sauzal de Rodriguez,
Ensenada B.C., México

 Phone Number: 646) 174 6789

This is one of the most beautiful locations I have ever been to, its so dreamy and you feel like you are transported to another side of the globe. I’ll start out by saying that if you want to go to the top for the view and bar, you have to make a reservation. You can take your chances and put your name down when you arrive, or if you do not make a reservation try getting there when they open. My favorite time to visit is an hour before sunset. The most magical views happen at the top when the sun goes down. You can order food at the top and drink from a wide menu of cocktails and beers. If you want to do wine tasting, that is downstairs when you park and wait for the bus that takes you to the top. You also get a complimentary beer, water or soda when going to the top.

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Had to include a picture of the bathroom, the most magical pee ever taken.

 

2. Finca Altozano

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Location: Carretera Tecate – Ensenada Km 83 Ejido,  Francisco Zarco, 22750 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico

Phone Number +52 646 156 8045

Whatever you do, save your appetite and make this your lunch stop. Whether you are driving there yourself, or request it as a stop on your tour, this is one of my favorite stops for lunch. The restaurant is GORGEOUS, wooden accents and open, you feel like you are on an hacienda in Mexico. Reservations are required, but you can always put your name down and wait. If you wait, there is a lot to entertain, from the wood barrel photo ops, to the livestock that lives on the property, to the ice cream shop. Another one of my favorite quirks about this restaurant, is the dogs that live on the property. There are about 9 dogs who live at Finca and spend their day lazily roaming the restaurant, you can find their name out on the menu. We’ve been here about 4 times, one time with a group of 17! The service is phenomenal and the food is delicious. We love the Oysters, Lengua Tacos, Sea Bass Chicharones, and Octopus. Be careful ordering uuuuun taco because you will get the whole cut of the meat which is 5 tacos (lol Aura).

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3. Bruma

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Location: Carretera Avinicola La Cetto fraccionamiento A-B P74, 22760 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico

Phone Number: +52 646 116 8031

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I found this winery through Instagram (typical), and it was such a tranquil experience. One of the most thought out and detailed wineries I’ve been to. What’s crazy, is that the roots and body of the tree go down to a room down under. The roots and body of the tree are enclosed in a glass cage and you do your wine tasting down there. Bruma also has a restaurant called Fauna. Make reservations for tastings, you won’t regret it!

4. Villa De Frannes

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Location: Camino Vecinal al rancho Cañada del trigo, 22750 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico

+52 646 688 1955

It’s extremely accommodating for large groups. They have an indoor and outdoor tasting section. The outdoor section is so picturesque and serene, definitely one of my favorite views and a good spot to admire nature’s beauty.

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We will be going back to Valle for Valentine’s Day this year and I will share the experience. This time I am eager to see Casa Frida Valle De Guadalupe, and also Vinicola Adobe Guadalupe. We will also be staying at a new location located in the heart of Valle De Guadalupe, and I am so excited to show you guys the new location.

I truly hope everyone finds a way to come down and visit Valle, the hospitality is so great and the aesthetics of the locations are so beautiful. This is a great birthday trip or anniversary trip, also a good idea if you want a tranquil and cute bachelorette.

 

Do you have any favorites or recommendations in Valle De Guadalupe? I would love to know, Share them Below ❤

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I love the Baja California region and frequent it often, so keep an eye out for more future blogs on the area!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ultimate Guide to La Riviera Maya (Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, & Tulum)

IMG_3096La Riviera Maya is hands down my favorite place to vacation to, because there is so much to see and do. I have been fortunate enough to travel there a couple times, and every time I leave, I am left wishing to come back and do something we didn’t have the opportunity to do. One of the best parts of traveling to this region, is the water. Cancun is located in the Caribbean Sea, so the water is warm and turquoise. There are parts of the Riviera Maya, where the water is nicer than others, the best water is closer to the Islands, such as Isla Mujeres & Cozumel.  Aside from the ocean, the Yucatan peninsula is home to more than 6,000 cenotes, each one is unique and an adventure visiting. The adventures are endless in La Riviera Maya, and this place is great to travel to for families, friends, but my personal favorite is with my significant other. This post is going to highlight some of the must see & do things while in the Riviera Maya, as well as food recommendations.

I’ll be moving down this list region by region geographically! When you fly in, you fly into Cancun so it is typically better to work your way down from Cancun -> Playa Del Carmen -> Tulum.

Getting Around: Renting a car is the best option if you are up for driving in Mexico. You can either rent a car for your whole stay or for certain days of your trip. If you are driving in Mexico, it is imperative to make safety your priority. If you would rather not worry about driving there are private shuttles which can take you around. If you are staying in Cancun & Playa Del Carmen, a car is not necessary at all, you can walk to most places or take the local bus or collectivos. You can also take ADO busses from Cancun, to Playa Del Carmen, and to Tulum. Make sure to check their schedule at the station to plan your trip accordingly! Tulum is also easy to move around in, the best way is through bike rental!

Cancun

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Many people insist on skipping Cancun, because of how oversaturated it is with tourism, I strongly disagree and love visiting the area. Cancun actually has way nicer beaches than Tulum does. Tulum is more for the Instagram and Cancun is more for the nightlife/ beaches. Cancun is also located north in the Yucatan peninsula and it is most optimal to visit certain tourist spots from this area.

Chichen Itza

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Known as one of the 7 wonders of the modern world, Chichen Itza is a must visit. In my opinion, the most optimal way to visit Chichen Itza, is through a tour. The tour company will pick you up and take you home. They often pair this with a visit to one of the most beautiful cenotes.

Cenote Ik-Kil

This is my favorite cenote to visit. It’s huge and super refreshing, it is also very deep, so if you are not comfortable treading water, I recommend you grab a life jacket. You can also jump into the cenote from various altitudes if you are seeking some adrenaline.

Coco Bongo

You can’t visit Cancun and not go to Coco Bongo, the experience is worth every penny. It is not like a regular club, its an immersive experience that blows your mind. The performers go all out, there is acrobats, stunts, live covers of favorites from Queen, Michael Jackson and many more. The ticket also includes open bar so make sure to get there early and get a good spot because it does get packed.

Isla Mujeres

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If there is one place of the Riviera Maya, I could go back to today, it would be Isla Mujeres. Since it is an island, the water is the best in the region. The island is beautiful, I recommend staying there for a night, you can find many affordable hotels and air bnbs. Isla Mujeres is accessed from Cancun from the multiple ferry ports, the ferry is cheap and a nice ride itself (as long as its not raining lol). Now the first thing you need to do when you arrive to Isla, is to rent a golf cart. Pack a day bag and wear your bathing suits, you can drive through the whole island and make pit stops to hop into the beach. There are even bar stops along the way for you to grab a cold cerveza or coco. Playa Norte is the most popular region on Isla and has the best sunsets.

Where We’ve Stayed

-Real Inn Cancun

-Hotel Bahia Chac Chi (Isla Mujeres)

Both of these hotels are super affordable yet still nice and enjoyable!

Restaurants

While were in Cancun, we typically do tours which feed you, so I really don’t have many places to recommend for eating except one.

Mextreme- Located on the strip where the nightlife is, this place has really good mexican food and even better margaritas. The restaurant is also super fun and has live music and the workers get into it by stacking drinks on their head.

and now we work our way down the Peninsula to……….

 

Playa Del Carmen

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Playa del Carmen is definitely worth visiting, especially if you love shopping. They have a main strip with a ton of restaurants, bars, and shops, the decor is beautiful especially at night with all the twinkle lights. Playa del Carmen is the most centrally located and is a good spot to stay to visit the most in the area. Tulum is only an hour away by car and, the island of Cozumel is also a ferry ride away. The best part of staying in Playa Del Carmen, is how close the excursion parks are, such as Xel-Ha, Xcaret, and Xplor. Finally, Playa Del Carmen is also close to many beautiful cenotes worth visiting.

Getting around Playa Del Carmen via Collectivo

My best recommendation to visit the cenotes/Akumal, is to take the collectivos from Playa Del Carmen. I should explain what this is, a collectivo is a local shuttle van that picks up people in Playa Del Carmen to take them to various stops along the highway which ends up at Tulum. The locals take these collectivos everyday to get to work at the various resorts along the highway, so they are super safe, just be aware of their times of operation so you do not end up stranded. The collectivos are cheap make sure you have small pesos in hand. Collectivos can be found on Calle 2 between 20th and 25th avenues. 

Xel-Ha

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Xel-Ha, if I could live here, I would. The ticket comes with all you can drink all you can eat. Did I mention, it’s all you can drink ALCOHOL? The buffet food is also really delicious. This park blows any disney resort out of the water. From the snorkeling, lazy river, cliff jumping, cenotes, and much more, this places is for everyone. There are even hammocks for you to take a nap in post alcohol binge.

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This is the parent of the parks, its huge and best for families. There is a beautiful cultural show that will marvel the beauty of the Yucatan culture. To be honest, I haven’t been to this park yet, Ed and I always say we will come back to it when we have kids.

5th Avenue

The best shopping in La Riviera Maya. From local artisan crafts, to chain stores like forever 21, you are bound to find your perfect souvenirs here. Pro-tip: buy your souvenirs at the local wal mart, you will find the exact same things at cheaper prices (we were told by locals).

Akumal Bay

Have you ever wanted to swim with sea turtles? This is the place to go. We took a collectivo for a couple pesos from Playa Del Carmen to get to Akumal bay. We also bought our own snorkel mask and stick from Wal Mart and brought it with us to swim with the turtles. You do not need a tour to do this, and you can save money by doing it on your own. Swimming with the turtles was a beautiful experience, just be cognizant and respectful of their environment.

Cenote Jardin Del Eden

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 Cenote Jardin Del Eden, is actually the first stop of 3 cenotes worth visiting. It costs 5$ to get in, if you have your own snorkel gear, bring it with you to see the fish and underwater life. You can cliff jump into this cenote & it has some of the most beautifully colored water.

Other favorite cenotes to visit that are close by, Cenote Azul, Cenote Chickin Ha.

Where We’ve Stayed Before

-La Pasion Hotel Boutique- WE LOVE THIS HOTEL and it is also super affordable, just researching the name right now and the hotel costs 50$ a night. It is in a perfect location super close to all the walking shops and restaurants. It has a rooftop pool, rooftop bar, and another pool in the hotel. You also get free breakfast (sit down, restaurant style), and the amenities of the hotel are pretty sweet.

-Grand Mayan at Vidanta- I only stayed here because my mom has a timeshare. This resort is freaking awesome. Its huge and there is SO much to do, it probably would take two days to cover and explore everything this resort offers. One of the best things this Hotel offers, is its proximity with Cirque Du Soleil, where you can watch Joya! We loved watching the show here, it was much more affordable than Vegas and you can order packages where you you get drinks and appetizers.

Restaurants in Playa Del Carmen ( we have two favorites that we always make it a mission to visit to when were in the area).

-El Oasis Mariscos Calle 12 (best seafood ever) So many options to choose from and it is not that expensive

-El Fogon (there are various locations) best place to go for quality mexican food like tacos, especially el pastor.

and finally we head down to Tulum!

 

Tulum

 

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Tulum is every avid Instagrammer’s heaven, people go for the aesthetic and are drawn in by beautiful photos shared online. Because of how popular it is, this region is also much more expensive but it depends on which side of the town you are on . Typically most tourists go to the Tulum Hotel Zone, and if you are only there for the day, this is the region you want to visit and stay at. If you are in Tulum for an extended amount of time and are looking for a much more affordable stay with gorgeous AirBnB’s look into staying in Tulum Town. The only difficulty with staying in Tulum Town, is getting to and from the Hotel Zone where most of the attractions are located. Some of the airbnb’s do offer bikes which make traveling to the Hotel Zone a fun adventure.

here are some of my favorite spots to visit in Tulum

Azulik Hotel

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This hotel is so dreamy, I dream of staying there one day. For now i’ll just visit the beautiful attractions they offer. In this hotel you can find Kin Toh (restaurant), Sfer Ik (immersive art gallery that changes), and suspension bridge walkway at Azulik.

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Pro-Tip: Dining at Kin-Toh is pretty pricey and tbh the food was alright in my opinion. I did enjoy their cocktails and & bread they brought, but the food was kind of average. It is extremely expensive to dine on the nets and birds nests, but most people stop in for a drink at their bar, hop on the net for a quick picture and head out.

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Matcha Mama

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By far the best Acai Bowls i’ve ever had! They sell Acai bowls, smoothies, coffee, matcha, juices, and my personal favorite immunity boosters made out of juiced ginger. I love riding bikes here, and making this a pitstop. Aside from all the delicious food options, it makes for a perfect picture stop.

 

Coco Tulum

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One of my favorite stops for a drink and some beautiful beach views. This is also a great place for groups, in particular bachelorette parties. It has an all white aesthetic and has a great vibe to it.

Other Places worth Visiting in Tulum

-Casa Malca (Pablo Escobar’s Mansion)- Been dying to go here, last two times I was in Tulum it didn’t work out. Super cute and trendy for photos, check out the restaurant so you feel comfortable hanging around since it is a hotel.

-Coba Ruins ( you can climb these ruins, further away so you definitely need a car)

-Tulum Ruins (beautiful & by the water, there is also a trail that leads to a beach, can be accessed by bike coming from the hotel zone)

-Grand Cenote

-Cenote Calavera

 

 

 

 

since this blog is getting long, I will cap it off here. There are honestly SO many places to visit, you will love any region you travel to. These are just some of the highlights from the past times I’ve been. There is still so much I am yearning to see, I can’t wait to go back.

 

 

The Ultimate Cancun / Tulum Bachelorette

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Bachelorette Parties! My absolute favorite thing ever. There is nothing like celebrating your best friend with a girl squad with days filled of booze and wild adventures. This bachelorette is Nacho average Vegas rendez-vous (which I absolutely love). My best friend getting married wanted to do something different and more adventurous. We considered our options and it came down to Miami, Cancun/Tulum, or Cabo San Lucas. In the end Cancun & Tulum got the most votes so down the Riviera Maya we went. It was everyone’s first time visiting that region, except mine. I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Riviera Maya three times prior to this trip (shoutout to my mom). I took it upon myself to help with the planning because there is nothing my Virgo soul loves more than planning a sick and overly-detailed itinerary. I will admit we crammed a lot of adventures in the days we were there. I asked the girls and the bride what they wanted to see and I tried to piece it together as best as I could. If you’re more of the relaxing type this itinerary might be a wee bit overwhelming, but if your soul craves adventure and can run on little sleep this itinerary might work for you. Either way I grouped the traveling in the most strategic way possible to ensure as much could be covered in little time. This itinerary could also be used with couples traveling to the Riviera Maya.

Flight: I had been monitoring flights for a month or two before we came out with a good deal. Volaris typically has the best rates for flights to Cancun. If you live in Southern California, choose to fly out of Tijuana. Flying out of Tijuana will give you domestic travel rates and prices are always lower. We flew out of Tijuana and used the Cross Border Tunnel (CBX) which conveniently crosses you into the Tijuana airport directly. Book your tickets online, they can also be purchased with Volaris while you book your flight.

Currency: Pesos. Cancun will accept dollars but many of the tourist locations will value your dollar a lot less than the national average. If you are going with a group, I recommend you have pesos and change. Going out to group dinners are a lot easier, if everyone can throw down the exact cost of their food + tip, don’t forget to tip!!! Throughout time, I have found that my favorite and most convenient way to get pesos is to withdraw from an ATM at the airport. You get the best conversion rate and you only pay a small fee to withdraw money.

Length of Trip: We did my friend’s bachelorette during Spring Break so we flew out early Wednesday morning and came back late Sunday night, so 5 days.

Air BnB: Since it was a group of 8 of us we booked AirBnB’s and it was the best decision ever. I searched to find the best possible options. Our Cancun airbNb was huge, elegant, and in a perfect location. Our Tulum airbNb was eccentric, looked like a treehouse, and was so unique. I will link the two locations. Both of them had really great hosts, especially Allistair in Tulum, he went above and beyond to make sure our stay was amazing. I would recommend these airbnbs to groups for any situation.

Travel: We booked shuttles through the same agency. This shuttle picked us up from the airport, took us to our Cancun airbNB. It also took us down to Tulum from Cancun. Finally it picked us up from Tulum and took us to the airport. The company was great, and extremely reliable. When we were in Cancun we rode the public bus to get around because our airbNb was conveniently located. When we were in Tulum we took taxis around because our airbNb was located in Tulum town not near the hotel zone. Taxis were affordable especially since they were split by 4 each way.

I will include my google doc itinerary, in case anyone wants to model their trip a similar way, Enjoy ❤

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Day One: We booked an early, direct flight from Tijuana to Cancun. It was about 4 hrs and 35 mins. Safe to say most of the girls got sleep on the plane because once we landed in Cancun it was go time. Originally we had booked a private catamaran yacht for all 8 of us plus the captain. When we got there, there was a mix up between our scheduled yacht. Through some negotiations we managed to get on a boat with unlimited alcohol. We caught the sunset, had music blasting, and endless palomas. The ride was so serene, the water was clear. We jumped in the open ocean. Riding the boat was pure bliss and felt like the culmination of a bachelorette party in paradise.

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Day 2: Chichen Itza Pyramids, Cenote Ik Kil & Coco Bongo

The next morning was an early wakeup call at 7am. Despite being hungover AF, we all pulled it together and made it to our pick up spot. Through previous experience, I booked through Cancun Adventure and have always found the best rates. The more tours you book at a time the greater the discount. They also pick you up and drop you off which is super convenient.

We started the day with Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The architecture is breathtaking and the photo ops are plentiful. From there, the tour took us to one of my favorite cenotes, Cenote Ik Kil. We had time to swim and eat lunch, which was included with our tour. On the way home, the tour also stopped through a picturesque town.

Our night consisted of a group dinner at Mextreme, really great food and entertainment for parties. They even brought out a midget stripper and did a little show for the bride. From there we walked to Coco Bongo for a club night like no other. We purchased bottle service, which I highly recommend because the club gets awfully crowded. Coco Bongo is like no other club, it’s a spectacle. There is live performances to iconic songs and tributes to bands like Queen. We all agreed that this was one of the highlights of the trip.

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Day 3: Tulum

Our previously arranged shuttles picked us up at our airbNb in Cancun and took us directly to our airbNb in Tulum. I wish I had pictures of the airbNb in Tulum because it was honestly a dream. It was big beautiful wooden house with 4 mini houses in one. It had a pool in the middle and at night lit up with twinkle lights. Although we were tired from the club night before, we rallied. First we went to El Camello Jr to get Mariscos, this restaurant is well known and was walking distance from our airbNb, warning the portions are HUGE. We decorated the air bNb for the bride and took a tequila shot and bounced to the “Hotel Zone of Tulum”.

We started out by visiting Azulik Hotel to explore Ik Lab and innovative and immersive art experience. From there we walked to the beach. Unfortunately, Tulum’s beaches have been covered with a lot of seaweed the past two times I have been there. You can’t visit Tulum and not ride bikes, its the thing to do and the best way to cover the most ground in the hotel zone. We stopped at my favorite pit stop, Matcha Mama and got acai bowls to cool down.

We went home and got ready for night time. The night life in Tulum, is different, its not like the clubs in the U.S. They hardly play hip hop, so if you are looking to twerk you’re in the wrong place. The music is super chill and the vibe of the nightlife is trendy. Drinks are super expensive so plan accordingly!

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Day 4: Xel-Ha

If there is one attraction you must do when visiting the Riviera Maya, it’s Xel-Ha. It’s the ultimate paradise and it includes all you can eat buffets and drinks (alcohol included). The park is beautiful and you can spend the whole day there. From cliff jumping, snorkeling, floating on the river, the adventures are endless. We spent the whole day at the park and then headed home to get ready.

We decided to explore Tulum Town which was conveniently close to us as opposed to the Tulum Hotel Zone. We found a bar that played hip hop upbeat music so the girls were happy.

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Day 5: Last Day

I could tell we were all tired, tired from the trip and some even tired of each other lol. But hey thats just the nature of traveling with seven other girls for five days. Our flight did not depart Cancun till 8:30 pm so we had a good amount of time to adventure one last time. It was also one of our friend’s twenty sixth birthday so we started out with a brunch to celebrate her and the bride. We did brunch at El Pez, unfortunately it was super windy so we could not sit outside. The view inside was still beautiful and the food was basic nothing special.

From brunch, we took a taxi to Grand Cenote. Make sure you have cash or pesos for admission. Even if you are not going into the cenote you have to pay. There are shaded hangout spots for those that opt out. If you are there though, please go in the water its refreshing and an experience like no other. You even get to swim under a cave with bats in it, total adrenaline haha. The water is teal and this cenote is a great location to get some gorgeous instagram shots. We got a taxi home and packed our belongings. Some of us walked into Tulum Town for a last lunch and it was by far the best seafood I had the whole trip. If you get a chance you must try the seafood at Los Aguachiles in Tulum Town. We boarded our shuttles to get to the airport and had a safe and smooth journey home.

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Even though this was my 4th time in the Riviera Maya, there is still so much more to do and uncover. I will definitely be making a couple more blog posts on this region because it is my favorite region to travel to. The culture is rich, the food is exquisite, the adventures are endless, you can’t go wrong!!!!

If you would like a PDF version of the itinerary please email me at jessicamarquez951@gmail.com or simply leave a comment below with your email and I will send you the information. Feel free to ask any questions !

Till the next adventure!

xoxo, Jess

 

Useful Links

To Book Excursions and Tours : https://www.cancunadventure.net/

Air bNb’s we stayed at