A 1 Week Mexico Itinerary You Can Steal: 7 Perfect Days in Mexico

Ahh, Mexico. I’ve spent months of my life in this beautiful country, exploring several different states, and yet I still never feel like I’ve seen enough.

I can never keep myself from Mexico for long – its culture and natural beauty (and let’s not lie – its tacos) keep me coming back time and again.

There are an impossible number of ways to spend one week in Mexico, and of course, this is just one idea. Other ways to spend a week in Mexico include traveling to Puerto Vallarta and its small neighboring surf town of Sayulita, spending a week traveling up and down Baja California, or exploring the famous Riviera Maya.

This Mexico itinerary covers a little bit of everything in three different states in Mexico, giving you city vibes, cultural appreciation, foodie heaven, and of course — some beach time!

Thank you to Kristen Youngs of the blog One Bag Nomad for authoring this piece. Check out her stellar 1 week in Mexico itinerary below!

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Mexico is all too frequently checked off travelers’ “must visit” lists after spending a sun-filled weekend in Cancun for bachelorette parties, family vacations, and even romantic getaway. The entire country is often considered “seen and done” after hitting up its world-famous beaches (or stopping by on a cruise).

Of course, any savvy traveler knows a country is much more than just its tourist highlights, and that couldn’t be more true for Mexico — a country with more culture, diversity, and breathtaking scenery than most of its visitors will ever lay eyes on.

Mexico is perfectly well-rounded; it has an experience, city, or sight you’ll fall in love with, no matter what kind of traveler you are. Because of its sheer size, you could truthfully spend weeks or even months traveling around the country without feeling like you’ve truly “seen” it (if you’re lucky enough to work from your laptop, don’t be surprised if you find yourself considering staying in Mexico long-term).

Fortunately, with its solid network of buses and flights, you can still experience the beauty of Mexico, even if you don’t have a month’s worth of vacation days saved up.

This 1 week Mexico itinerary will take you from the city to the mountains to some of the most gorgeous beaches you’ll ever lay eyes on. Each day will give you a different taste of what Mexican culture is like, from one unique spot to the next. By the end, you’ll be raving about this country’s quaint mountain towns just as much as its white sandy beaches.

The Ultimate 1 Week Mexico Itinerary

Day 1: Arriving in Mexico City

Mexico City is a bustling hub for international tourists. With one of the biggest airports in the world, it sees countless people come through each year. While there are dozens of other airports you could arrive into, Mexico City will serve as both an easy entry point, as well as your first stop in this itinerary.

From the airport, you have several options for getting downtown. The metro is well connected and cheap, so if you’re watching your budget on this trip, it’s a great (albeit crowded) option. That being said, if you have a lot of luggage with you, it’s going to be a tight fit. Also, be aware that theft happens in all crowded cities around the world; Mexico City is no different, so keep an eye on your bags.

Alternatively, you can hire a taxi from any stand within the arrivals hall of the airport. You shouldn’t be quoted more than about $15 USD for the one-way journey. Considering the convenience of a door-to-door taxi, that $15 could be well worth it.

Either way, Mexico City’s international airport is only about 8 miles outside of the main part of town, so the trip shouldn’t take too long, depending on traffic.

Head to La Condesa, one of Mexico City’s most colorful and vibrant neighborhoods. Before you do anything, stop into a local churro shop and pair this sweet, deep fried snack with a traditional Mexican hot chocolate. El Moro is a popular spot for this mouthwatering combo — you’ll find both locals and tourists lining up. As long as you can find churros being made fresh and on the spot, though, you really can’t go wrong.

Arriving in Mexico City can be overwhelming because there’s just so much to see, do, and eat. Avoid the urge to jam pack your first day, though, and just spend a couple hours strolling through nearby Chapultepec Park, which feels like stepping into a green sanctuary after being surrounded by so much city.

Make sure to check out Chapultepec Castle while you’re there, which feels more like something you might find in Versailles, France, than in this vibrant Latin American country. The castle has a small entrance fee and is home to the National Museum of History, where you can get a great insight into Mexico’s past.

If you’re still feeling up for more adventure, spend the next couple hours wandering around Condesa, popping into the street markets, stalls, and vendors you see along the way. Or, if you’re a museum buff, stop into the National Anthropology Museum or the Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacán — both world famous and easy places to spend an afternoon.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure to finish off your evening with some authentic Mexican tacos. You’ll have no trouble finding them in and around Condesa, but a solid option if you’re nearby is El Pescadito, which serves up a mean fish taco.

Day 2: Exploring the City

After getting your bearings, spend your second day in Mexico exploring the sights downtown. Before you hit the pavement, though, start your day with another Mexico City staple — chilaquiles — which are comparable nachos, but softer, and eaten with a fork for breakfast. You won’t need to search hard for these. In fact, I suggest simply stopping at the busiest food cart you find in the morning; they’re almost certain to serve good chilaquiles.

Afterwards, jump on the Metro and get off at the Zócalo stop. From there, spend some time wandering around the giant Plaza de la Constitución. Also check out the Museo de Templo Mayor, just a few minutes walk from there, where you’ll find ruins from an ancient Aztec temple — uncovered less than 50 years ago during planned construction work.

If you’re up for more museum time, you’ll have tons of options to choose from around the Zócalo; Mexico City is simply bursting with them. Alternatively, head a few minutes walk farther to the Palacio de Bellas Artes, where local shows and performing arts are held. Whether you see a performance or not, the building itself is stunning.

To wind down the day, grab another meal of authentic tacos from any of the well-reviewed restaurants around the Zócalo. You’ll pay a bit more here, but if you’re at all a foodie, you won’t be disappointed; this city thrives on its culinary scene.

Day 3: Head to Guanajuato

If this massive city of 20 million feels at all overwhelming, your next couple of days in this 1 week Mexico itinerary will certainly slow things down.

Guanajuato is a small, picturesque town sitting at the base of surrounding mountains. Shaped like a bowl, this city’s brightly colored buildings and houses climb up the surrounding hills, making nearly every view a memorable one.

You can get to nearby Del Bajio International Airport in Léon, Mexico via direct flight from Mexico City in about an hour. One way flights go for as low as $40 if you’re looking at the right time (here’s a great guide on finding cheap plane tickets if you aren’t able to uncover any good deals), making the trip cheap and quick.

Alternatively, you can take the 5-6 hour bus ride via coach from Mexico City directly to Guanajuato. Primera Plus is a clean coach line that operates like you would expect a national train line in Europe to function. It’s quick and efficient, and tickets are around $25 one-way. If you have the extra money to spare, however, the plane ride is easier and faster.

If you decide to fly into Guanajuato, you’ll need to take a taxi from the airport into town (about a 45-minute ride). You can pay for an official taxi up-front (in pesos or USD), before you even exit the airport arrivals area. Or, if you’re arriving via bus, you’ll be dropped off outside the city, but you can easily hail a cab from the terminal. The cost to your hotel should be no more than $2 USD.

Once you’re inside the town and settled in (don’t worry, hotel recommendations are coming later in this guide), you’ll want to grab some lunch and coffee from Santo Café, where you can sit on an outdoor archway overlooking a cobblestone pedestrian street. Order the fajitas and relax while the street performers serenade you from below.

Afterwards, spend the rest of your day wandering around this fairytale town. You’ll find lots of walking-only streets with cafes spilling out onto lush squares and sidewalks. The city literally twinkles at nightfall, and a cold beer and outdoor seating are the perfect way to wind down.

Day 4: Mummies or Mountains

You probably weren’t expecting to see mummies in this out-of-the-way Mexican town, but it’s something Guanajuato is well known for. Over 100 real mummies were discovered in a faux-cemetery nearby and have since become an international point of interest. In fact, some of Guanajuato’s mummies travel to exhibits all over the world.

The Museo de las Momias is located a bit outside the city, up a hill. The easiest ways to get there are by public bus or taxi, neither of which should cost more than $2-$3 USD. You can take either option from the center of town.

If you’re not into mummies, the mountains are right there for the taking. I suggest booking a tour for either a hike, mountain bike ride, or horseback ride, which you can easily do from the city. Beware, the sun is intense in Guanajuato, so if you’re opting for an outdoor adventure, lather on that sunscreen.

Day 5: Head to the Yucatan Peninsula

After you’ve explored Mexico’s biggest city, and then spent some time around the mountains, it’s time to head to the beach.

The Yucatan Peninsula is home to places like Cancún and Cozumel — hot spots for resort-goers. And while they each boast beautiful beaches, there are many, far more secluded shores to visit.

Your next destination on this 1 week Mexico itinerary is Isla Holbox, a small island with no cars, located about a 2-hour drive from Cancun. You’ll want to take a flight from Guanajuato’s airport (BJX) to Cancún, which will take about 2.5 hours nonstop and set you back as little as $30 for a one-way ticket.

Once you arrive in Cancún, it’s best to head straight to Holbox to make the most of your time there. The journey will take several hours, but I promise, it’s well worth it.

You have a few options for getting to Holbox if you don’t have your own car:

  • Take a taxi from the Cancún airport to Chiquila, where you can get the ferry to Holbox. This option will cost you the most, as taxis are notoriously expensive there.
  • Take a shared shuttle from Cancún airport to Chiquila. This option is a little cheaper; the company, Holbox Shuttle, offers the ride at $40 per person, with about a 2-3 hour travel time.
  • Take the ADO bus from Cancún center to Chiquila. This option is the cheapest (prices are around $15 one way), but it’ll take the longest. The bus journey itself is about 3.5 hours, but you first need to get from the airport to the ADO bus terminal.

If it’s within your budget, the second option is the best combination of affordability and speed. Once you’re dropped off at the Chiquila ferry, you can buy a ticket with either one of the two ferry companies there. Boats leave every half hour, take about 20-30 minutes to make the journey to Holbox Island, and cost around $8 one-way.

In total, from your arrival in Cancun to your arrival in Holbox, you’ll likely spend anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. With an early or midday flight from Guanajuato, that’ll give you the perfect amount of time to settle into your hotel, throw on some flip flops, and find a beach-side spot for some Mexican seafood and beer. Coquitos Beach Club and Restaurant, with palapas and loungers right in the sand, is where I suggest heading to catch the sunset.

Day 6: Beaches, Bikes, and Buggies

Holbox is small, so getting around isn’t tough. Your main modes of transportation will be: walking, biking, golf cart, or ‘taxi’ — a.k.a someone else driving a golf cart.

You know all the photos you see of people lounging in hammocks actually in the ocean? That happens at Hotel Villas Flamingos, and it’s just as glorious as it looks. Depending on how far away you are from Villas Flamingos, start your day by either taking an early stroll or golf cart ride over there.

The hammocks at Villas Flamingos fill up quickly, so it’s best to get there in the morning if you want to claim one for yourself.

Afterwards, take a short walk toward the main part of town (the island is so small, it’s easy to find).

On the way there, you’ll pass by bicycle rentals from shops and hostels. You can find rentals for as low as $1 per hour, and because there are no cars on the island, using a bike to get around is simple. Consider renting one for 2-3 hours and cycling to the nearby beaches. When you find an empty one, stop off and plant yourself in the sand for a while.

If it’s too hot to bike around, you can also rent your own golf cart; if you love the idea of having your own “buggy” all to yourself, you can rent one for a full 24 hours. Otherwise, just pick one up hourly from a shop in town. You’ll likely pay around $8 per hour (or less if renting for a half or full day).

While the beaches are spectacular, Holbox town itself is worth exploring, too. Walk, pedal, or cart yourself through the streets and check out all the famous artwork on the buildings. You’ll find vibrant, colorful street art all around the island — it’s well worth spending an hour or two discovering.

Day 7: Snorkel or Paddle Around Holbox

If you have the full day to spend on Holbox, there are lots of tours you can take from the island. One of the most popular is to go snorkeling with whale sharks, which are docile and harmless (albeit gigantic) fish.

Whale sharks are only spotted off Isla Holbox from May through September, and you can only find responsible whale shark tours in few parts of the world, so if you’re there at the right time, take the opportunity. Prices for these tours aren’t cheap (the tour operator, Holbox Whale Shark Tours, offers trips at $130 per person), but the experience is truly unbelievable.

If you’re sticking to a strict budget, a great alternative is renting kayaks for the day and exploring the island on your own. Or, if you’d like a little bit of structure, join a kayaking tour to Holbox’s mangroves, where you can see flamingos, crocodiles, and other wildlife. VIP Holbox offers the tour for $45 per person, whereas a solo kayak rental will run you about $7 per hour.

Where to Stay in Mexico

Every spot included in this Mexico itinerary has a wealth of accommodation options for absolutely any budget, especially if you’re coming from neighboring countries to the north or south. In terms of cost of living, Mexico generally falls below that of Central America, South America, and definitely the rest of North America.

For convenience’s sake, these hostel and hotel recommendations will be broken up into budget, mid-range, and luxury categories:

  • Budget = $10-$20 per person, per night
  • Mid-range = $50-$100 per room, per night
  • Luxury = $150+ per room, per night

Mexico City

Budget: La Condesa and Roma Norte are the perfect neighborhoods to base yourself during your Mexico City portion of this itinerary. Not only are the neighborhoods artsy and full of local cafes, they’re also easily accessible to most of Mexico City’s highlights. Hostel Home, located smack dab in the middle of Roma and Condesa, is clean, comfortable, and affordable. While many hostels in Mexico City are known as “party spots,” Hostel Home truly does feel like a home. The relaxed furniture, common areas, and staff all give the place more of a family feel than that of a hotel. Whether you’re looking for a budget option or not, this is a great one.

Mid-range: Nearby Hotel MX Roma has a vibe that’s a little hard to explain; think rustic, chic, and modular living. The rooms are colorful and clean, with each section of the living space being separated in its own little cube. Sleeping in the bed almost feels like you’re in one of Tokyo’s capsule hotels (although a much larger version). Outside of the rooms, the entire hotel has its own unique flair with portions of exposed brick and lots of woodwork. It’s certainly unique, and will absolutely make for a memorable Mexico City stay.

Luxury: If you have a significant amount of wiggle room in your budget and really want to go all out, La Valise in the Roma Norte neighborhood will be worthy of your cash. Even the lowest accommodation level here is astounding, but if you’re lucky enough to book one of their “Terraza” rooms, you’re in for a treat. Not only are these rooms more like loft apartments, you can literally open the walls to the terrace and slide the bed outside onto the balcony (it runs on tracks). You honestly might have a hard time pulling yourself away from this hotel to go out and explore, but for a luxurious stay, this is the spot.

Guanajuato

Budget: Guanajuato is easily covered on foot (except for its many, steep stairs); the main part of town itself is pretty small. That means you won’t be too restricted when choosing the location of your hotel — they’ll all be fairly central. For a great budget option, book a couple nights at Casa Lupita Homestay. While their private rooms fall into the “mid-range” category, they do offer dorm beds at a lower cost. This is one of the nicest hostels you’ll find, where the accommodations are clean and modern, but still have a colorful touch reminiscent of Mexico. Casa Lupita is located just steps away from all the major attractions in Guanajuato, making it an easy home-base for your trip.

Mid-range: A great in-between option is Hotel de la Paz, situated down a small alley, right off the main square. The rooms are basic, but comfortable, are kept spotlessly clean, and even include breakfast (although you’ll have to walk a few blocks down to their neighboring hotel for it). The best part about this hotel is its rooftop area, where you can get a bird’s eye view of the town, with its brightly colored buildings crawling up the sides of all the surrounding mountains.

Luxury: Average costs in Guanajuato are much lower than Mexico City; your hotel options will generally give you more bang for your buck. Whereas a 4 or 5 star Mexico City hotel might cost $300 or more, the same quality hotel in Guanajuato will likely be half that. Hotel Boutique 1850 is a great example — you’ll feel like you’re getting complete luxury at a much lower cost than expected. Each of the 20 rooms in this hotel are all tastefully designed in different color schemes and styles. Some are bright and airy, while others have darker, wood tones for an extra classy feel. To top it off, there’s a bar on the roof where you can take in Guanajuato’s dazzling sunsets.

Isla Holbox

Budget: Holbox is like a budget traveler’s haven. It’s hard to imagine you could find such affordable accommodation on this little slice of paradise, but you’ll definitely have options. Hostel la Isla Holbox is the first place I’d suggest looking. Private rooms are more expensive, but their dorm beds are a good budget option (although a bit rustic). The good news is, the rooms are just a couple minutes walk to the beach, so if you’re not into the “rustic” vibe, that might overshadow it. If you’re looking to save even more money and really want to live the “island life” for a couple days, Hostel & Cabanas Ida y Vuelta offers hammocks with mosquito nets under palm shelters outside for about $7 per night. It’s certainly not for everyone, but if you want to be one with nature, you’ll have the perfect chance there.

Mid-range: If you prefer a little more space and a little less nature, consider booking your stay at Hotel Villas El Jardin, which offers apartment-like accommodation for middle-of-the-road budgets. Each room is exceptionally clean and modern, with ensuite bathrooms, kitchenettes, comfortable living areas, and balconies. With the beach only a 2 minute walk away, you can’t really go wrong here. It’s comfortable, affordable, and convenient to the rest of the island.

Luxury: Just like there are more than enough budget options on Holbox, you’ll find just as many hotels catering to the luxury traveler. Ventanaiso Beachfront Hotel is a prime example. While this hotel isn’t flashy or overly luxurious in appearance, what really puts it over the top is it’s location — smack dab in the middle of a gorgeous, sandy beach. Ventanaiso offers high ceiling rooms with spacious balconies overlooking the ocean right outside. You can literally step from your room, straight onto the sand. Like in Guanajuato, the cost of luxury on Holbox gets you more than it would than in places like Mexico City. If you’re in the mood to go out with bang at the end of your 1 week trip around Mexico, this hotel wouldn’t be a bad place to do it.

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Got only 7 days in Mexico? This one week Mexico itinerary will bring you to the throbbing capital of Mexico City, to the quaint mountains of Guanajuato, and the lovely beaches of Isla Holbox. Experience the best of Mexico in just 1 week - read for suggestions on how to best plan your Mexico trip with this awesome itinerary.

About the Author:

Kristen Youngs co-operates two online businesses while traveling the world full-time. Visit her website, One Bag Nomad, to learn how to travel as long as you want and build a successful online business, completely location-free. You can also find her on Pinterest.

The Most Magical Things to Do in Bacalar, Mexico

Everyone flocks to the Yucatán peninsula for its truly stunning beaches. But ever the contrarian, my favorite beach in Mexico is actually not a beach at all.

It’s a lake, and it’s the most beautiful lake I’ve ever seen in the world.

Yes, I’m talking about quiet little Lake Bacalar. Not quite as coastal as it looks, Bacalar Lagoon is located inland in the very southern edge of the Yucatán Peninsula, close to the border of Belize.

Once a largely unknown lake, Instagram and the Internet age have catapulted it onto the radar of many, including — oddly though perhaps not surprisingly — a huge hippie population.

I’m not mad about it, though — I ate some of the best pasta I’ve had outside of Italy there.

Bacalar is a small town located about 5 hours from Cancun, 4 hours from Playa del Carmen or 3 hours from the other popular Yucatán hippie mecca of Tulum, popular destinations along the Yucatan Peninsula.

Not as frenetic as Playa and more low-key than Tulum, Bacalar Lagoon is truly a (not-so-hidden gem) on the Yucatán peninsula. It’s a must-see if you’re heading overland south to Belize, as it’s quite close to Chetumal, where you can easily catch chicken buses to Belize City to start your Belize trip. Check out my extensive guide on what you should do and see in Belize if you’re headed that way.

While there aren’t many things to do in Bacalar, it’s still a place you can easily while away the days. I spent my afternoons sipping Negra Modelos in a hammock overlooking Lake Bacalar, which is aptly named The Lake of Seven Colors. Though I think they’re selling themselves a bit short there — I counted far more than that.

Things to Do in Bacalar Lagoon

Admittedly, Bacalar isn’t the most exciting town in Mexico, but it’s not without its charms. Most of my favorite things to do in Bacalar revolve around its beautiful lake, but there are also a few other reasons to visit this lovely town.

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Planning to visit Riviera Maya Mexico? Get off the beaten path in Mexico and visit Lake Bacalar, the lake of seven colors. Bacalar is 3 hours from Tulum and makes a perfect place to visit in Mexico if you want something different. Here are the best things to do in Bacalar!
Planning to visit Riviera Maya Mexico? Get off the beaten path in Mexico and visit Lake Bacalar, the lake of seven colors. Bacalar is 3 hours from Tulum and makes a perfect place to visit in Mexico if you want something different. Here are the best things to do in Bacalar!

Stand-up paddleboard at sunrise

There are two partner hostels in Bacalar, The Green Monkey and The Blue Monkey, both of which offer stand-up paddleboarding tours daily leaving just before sunrise. For 400 pesos (approximately $20), you’ll get a guided paddleboarding trip through Bacalar that lasts about 3 hours, including a guide and paddleboard rental.

(If you’re planning a budget Mexico trip, check out this roundup of some of the best hostels in Mexico)

You’ll visit the sandbars with their many white birds, the Black Cenote, and El Canal de los Piratos (the Pirates’ Channel), where you can jump from the remains of a ship into crystal clear waters! This was definitely my favorite thing to do in Bacalar Lagoon.

paddleboarding is one of the best things to do in Lake Bacalar
Jumping into the water a great thing to do in Lake Bacalar

Kayak to the Black Cenote (Cenote Negro)

The Black Cenote is just a short kayak ride away from the Blue Monkey. In a matter of feet, the water goes from a peaceful turquoise to an inky black, where a limestone cavern has collapsed into itself to a depth of 90 meters.

There’s a rope swing nearby where you can catapult yourself into the water if you’re brave! Spoiler: I was not, because I have the coordination of a drunk toddler and jumping off a rope seems like a recipe for me to test the generosity of my travel insurance.

Take a boat tour

If you’re not up for paddleboarding, you can take a boat tour that will take you to all the best spots on Lake Bacalar, including the Pirates’ Channel, the Black Cenote, Cenote Esmeralda, and Cenote Cocolitos, where you can see stromatolites — the oldest living organism on the planet.

They only can survive in highly salty bodies of water in a few places on earth, and Bacalar — living up to its designation of “Pueblo Magico”, magic village — just happens to be one of them. Pretty freaking awesome.

Check out boat tours here.

Enjoy the Zocalo and the Fort San Felipe

Zocalo is the word for “main square” which virtually every Mexican city or town has at its heart. Right near Bacalar’s Zocalo you can find a number of restaurants as well as the ruins of an old fort, Fort San Felipe, built in the 1700s after the town was sacked by pirates.  Now, it’s an open air museum.

When looking for a place to eat, don’t miss Antojitos Orizaba, where you can eat authentic Mexican-style quesadillas — hint the

Where to Stay in Lake Bacalar

Though Bacalar is a small town, there are plenty of places to stay depending on your budget.

Budget: I stayed at The Blue Monkey and had mixed feelings It’s got a good lakefront location and strong AC. However, the showers are cold water only and the wifi is absolutely horrible – I could barely log on most of the time. It’s a bit of a walk from town (25 minutes or a $1 taxi ride) but nothing outrageous.

Instead, I’d probably try one of the newer offerings in town; there are some boutique hostels that offer more comfort at good prices. Next time I’d pick The Yak Lake Hostel (rated 9.0 with over 900 reviews on Booking.com) for its in-town location, excellent design and reputation for cleanliness. They also offer paddleboarding and kayaking tours if that’s something you want to do when you’re in Bacalar.

Mid-range: If you want more privacy than a dorm affords, I’d recommend Casa Zazil (rated 9.3 with over 100 reviews on Booking.com), which is no frills but comfortable and private. Located in town, it’s a 10 minute walk from the lakefront. Kulu Tubohostel is an interesting concept and has good reviews though I’m not sure I could commit to sleeping in a tube!

Luxury: Bacalar is a pretty laidback beach town but there are a few affordable luxury options. Casa Bambu is the best option in town, with a 9.3 rating on Booking.com. Its lakefront location and private rooms look super dreamy and that hammock has views for days.

Getting to Bacalar Lagoon

Getting to Bacalar is quite easy and painless with multiple daily ADO buses. With wifi, AC, comfortable reclining seats, and movies, ADO buses are simply the best way to travel in Mexico. You can book online at clickbus.com.mx and show it to the driver on your phone.

For around 110 pesos ($6 USD) for a 3-hour bus ride from Tulum to Bacalar, in my opinion, it’s well worth the extra money to take a first-class bus. Second-class buses exist but may take up to twice as long to get to your destination as they will stop off wherever any passenger wants to be let off.

There are also daily buses from Playa del Carmen if you’re skipping past Tulum, but you’ll have to add on about another 1.5 to 2 hours for this trip.

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Planning to visit Riviera Maya Mexico? Get off the beaten path in Mexico and visit Lake Bacalar, the lake of seven colors. Bacalar is 3 hours from Tulum and makes a perfect place to visit in Mexico if you want something different. Here are the best things to do in Bacalar!

9 Reasons You’ve Got to Live the Palace Life in Cozumel

I’ll admit it… I was an all-inclusive skeptic. I never understood the point of traveling all the way around the world to stay in a resort where you never have to leave.

Well, now I get it. Travel can be stressful and taxing – and most people, particularly Americans, don’t have the privilege like I do of traveling around the world most of the year.

If you only have a week or two’s worth of vacation time, maybe you don’t want to spend them hopping around from sweaty bus to sweaty bus, frantically trying to see as much as possible. Maybe you just want to relax and be treated like a queen. I’m here to validate you: Ain’t nothing wrong with that.

While I would still argue that staying in an all-inclusive isn’t “travel” in the truest sense, it’s definitely the most relaxing way to vacation I can think of. And if you just want to shut down, unwind, relax, and be treated like a queen, you can’t really go wrong with the Cozumel Palace.

Here are 9 reasons why you should consider Cozumel Palace for your next resort holiday.

And if you’re not sold on Cozumel, there are also plenty of other Palace hotels in the Riviera Maya and Cancun – like the Grand at Moon Palace – not to mention many other great all-inclusive resorts in the world!

1. There’s a hot tub in your bedroom

File that under sentences I never thought I’d write. Literally every single room in Cozumel Palace has their own private Jacuzzi tub! Pairs perfectly with the complimentary bottle of red wine awaiting you in your room… or just about any other beverage you can dream up.

2. The pool comes with a ridiculous view

How many times in your life can you swim in a pool with a direct view of the ocean? I spent all my days lounging in my pink inflatable donut (tragically not included!) in their infinity pool, gazing at the sea, ordering mojito after mojito from the swim up bar.

3. The food is off the chain delicious

Cozumel Palace has four restaurants serving four different cuisines: Pan-Asian, Mexican (naturally!), Italian, and American. Full disclosure: I never made it to any restaurant outside of the Asian and Mexican ones because they were just so insanely tasty. If you can’t tell from the lust oozing out of these photographs…

4. Beautiful diving and snorkeling is right outside your back door

If you can peel yourself from your sun chair for a few hours, you can snorkel right off the dock of Cozumel Palace with free snorkel rentals! Or if diving is more your speed, Cozumel’s one of the best places on earth to enjoy the underwater world. You can even do your diving certification at Cozumel Palace – they even have their own training pool! Or you can arrange diving excursions with local companies and they’ll pick you up right at Cozumel Palace’s private dock.

5. You’ve got a hammock overlooking the sea

One of my favorite things in life is a hammock with a good view. And there’s nothing quite like swinging in a hammock on your own balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

6. The sunsets are off the hook

Most of the Yucatan peninsula faces east, so you’ll get beautiful sunrises but miss out on the sunsets. Not the best if you’re not an early bird. Not so in Cozumel! This island is far enough from the mainland that you get unobstructed views of glorious Caribbean sunsets. All the better when enjoyed from the oceanside pool (with a drink in hand, naturally!)

7. You can enjoy dinner with a view

Dine al fresco with the sea as your backdrop! Cozumel Palace arranges amazing romantic or group dinners at a private table right by the sea. For our last night, the thoughtful staff at Cozumel Palace treated Janet and me to an outstanding four-course dinner. We feasted on a mango and blue cheese salad, basil cream soup, lamb and beef filet with potatoes and spinach, and a dessert that was literally on fire!

8. All you can drink!

I don’t want to count up all the glasses of champagne I consumed, so I simply won’t, but let’s just say that the wine cellar at Cozumel Palace was probably quite a bit lighter after I was through with them and I don’t regret it one bit (my liver, maybe a little). And don’t get me started on how many mojitos I had too…

9. The desserts, oh the desserts…

A photo says a thousand words… so here’s 3,000. All of them nom.

Note: I received a three-night complimentary all-inclusive stay at Cozumel Palace in order to review it. All opinions expressed are my own – no BS, as always.

Gone Glamping: Serenity Luxury Tented Camp in Xpu-Ha

As much as I love the outdoors… god, do I love electricity. And wifi, and hot showers, and king-sized beds, and air-conditioning, and indoor plumbing. So when Serenity Luxury Tented Camp, Xperience Hotels’ newest property, invited Janet and me to visit their new eco camping lodge, I did a happy dance inside. I get to sleep in a tent in a jungle on a beach in Mexico’s Riviera Maya AND watch Netflix in a giant comfortable bed? I am so there.

And when I can take a bath outside in a private Jacuzzi tub under a sky filled with stars, that’s what I call winning.

 

Rooms

Whoever designed the Serenity Luxury Tented Camp rooms seems to have invaded my subconscious – or maybe my private Pinterest boards – to create my dream house (side note: my dream house is a yurt). The room is designed in gorgeous earth tones with pops of rich red, with a king-sized bed front and center. Definitely a step up from your sleeping bag and inflatable mattress!

The rest of the room is simply furnished, as befits a tent, except for this cute vintage desk which was a lovely touch.

The bathroom was amazing – mostly because who can say that they’ve used a flush toilet INSIDE of a tent? The rain shower was also super luxe and perfect after days at Xpu-Ha beach. And if an outdoor bath is more your speed, they’ve got you covered!

Food

One of the best parts of staying at Serenity Luxury Tented Camp was the delicious breakfast, which they will even bring right to your tent in the morning if you ask! Their fruit plates and egg dishes were so tasty and presented so beautifully: a perfect start to a beautiful beach day or day lounging by the pool.

Their tacos are similarly excellent, particular the arrachera (flank steak) and camarones (shrimp) tacos, with an outstandingly spicy homemade hot sauce. The only thing I can’t highly recommend are the pizzas, but hey, if you’re in Mexico and you order pizzas, you kind of deserve what you get!

Grounds

Serenity Luxury Tented Camp is just that – a series of tents set up amongst the lush greenery of the jungle. It takes cues from Balinese design as well as its camping theme, with simple landscaping to match. Its pool is home to a Buddha head waterfall and is the perfect place to cool off!

There are also lovely places to sit and eat either around the campfire (where you can roast marshmallows at night, because duh, what’s camping without marshmallows!) or under the tent. I loved the colorful circle of pillows surrounding the campfire – perfect for sipping a Victoria or a made-to-order cocktail as you dry off in the sun.

Even better – it’s a two minute walk from Xpu-Ha Beach, which is one of the nicest in all of Mexico, and has its own private beach club, Serenity Beach Club! How cute are these red umbrellas?

Xpu-Ha beach is located halfway between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, on the same strip of crystal clear waters and white sand. It’s a quick colectivo away from Akumal Beach, where you can snorkel with sea turtles in the Caribbean Sea!

There’s also a yoga room, a lounge with plenty of chairs, and all sorts of cute quirky decorative touches that make this place a photographer’s dream. I especially loved the Moroccan-influenced doors and this wall of brightly painted window shutters – such a unique touch.


Is this your type of camping?  Check out availability and pricing here.

 

Disclosure: I was provided with two nights of accommodation in order to review Serenity Luxury Tented Camp. All opinions shared are my own. This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may make a small commission if you use my link to book accommodations.

How does glamping in an enormous boho chic tent in the Riviera Maya sound? Find out my top pick for luxury camping in the Yucatan, Mexico!