Riviera Maya – Luxury + Adventure

The Yucatan Peninsula really encompasses the best of BOTH worlds when it comes to luxury, relaxation, adventure, and fun.

  • Adults (18+) only unless you stay elsewhere
  • Option to rent a car, take tours, or a taxi cab
  • Best prices when you book your resort + flight together – you truly save a crazy amount of money doing this.
    • We booked through Expedia and confirmed our reservations with the resort and airline. There are other sites that do this, too.
    • We chose to rent a car for the freedom to explore on our own timeline. If you rent a car, the gas stations may try to rip you off. Count out your bills one by one as you hand them to the attendants. They are tricky!

Accommodations: Valentin Imperial Maya – all inclusive, adults-only resort

Car rental: VW Golf from Tulum Car Rental

The Resort – The Valentin Imperial Maya (VIM) is the most luxurious place I have ever been! By day you can participate in various activities, swim at the pools, hit the beach, get in a sweat session at the gym, visit a few of the bars, eat a delicious breakfast and lunch, and just walk around the resort. You can take out kayaks from the beach and ride on a small sail boat. It was included with the stay when we were there. At night, there’s a nice selection of restaurants, bars, and different special events, too.

Off the Resort Activities:

  • Mayan Ruins of Coba – We rented bikes for $2 or $4 USD each and pedaled around the ruins. Occasionally we would overhear snippets from other tours, but mainly we read the plaques and read more online after the fact. You can still CLIMB A PYRAMID – Nohoch Mul! This is a MUST DO!
  • Mayan Ruins of Tulum – You can take tours here as well. We opted not to because the weather was hairy. There’s also a gorgeous beach here.
  • Snorkeling – There were multiple excursion options for snorkeling. We booked one that was open cenotes, closed cenotes, and where the fresh water meets the salt water. A cenote is a cave. My advice – get biodegradable sunscreen and wear a lightweight long sleeve shirt. I got really bad sunburn.
  • Downtown Playa del Carmen – Shuttle buses run to and from the resort. I believe they are still free. Downtown Playa is a must see.
  • Xcaret and Xel-Ha look amazing, though I’ve never been. There are also lots of other excursion options available to book once you arrive at the VIM.


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