Our last real stop in Mexico was the lovely island of women, Isla Mujeres. There’s a few theories on the name, but I’ll leave that to your research.
Isla Mujeres is a 4 mile stretch of land just a few miles off the coast of the Yucatan.
The island is much more laid-back than Cancun, and it’s a common day trip for folks staying in the hotel zone.
The day before we planned to go, I asked the concierge at the Westin for some information on getting to the island. She kindly handed me the UltraMar flyer, and pointed out all the stops throughout the hotel zone. $19 US round trip.
It was time to move onto the next phase of our trip: from hiking through ruins and swimming in ancient cenotes, to relaxing on the beaches of Cancun. Normally, I’m a very busy traveler.
Can’t stop, won’t stop, right?
However, we planned the last few nights at the Westin in Cancun’s hotel zone to take advantage of the resort scene, even if it’s not my usual cup of tea. Plus, I had all those SPG points to burn anyway. I have to say, my son and girlfriend liked being pampered for a bit, even though I was completely out of my league. And the Westin isn’t even top-notch, compared to some of the spots around here…
A trip to the Riviera Maya wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the little beachside town of Akumal. Travelers make their way to Akumal for those very same beaches, not to mention the turtles. I’m happy to report that we weren’t disappointed with either.
Akumal is about a 30 minute ride north of Tulum on highway 307. The entrance on the south side of 307 leads you straight down to Akumal Bay. Akumal is really made up of three parts: Akumal Bay, Half Moon Bay, and the Akumal Pueblo.
Total trip, we were in the Yucatan for 8 nights, and the first 3 of those we spent in a great AirBnB in the town of Tulum. On a tiny side street, it was quiet enough to get some sleep or plan out our next day, but still close enough to walk into town and sniff out whatever smelled best for dinner.
Although the beachfront is dominated by hotels, similar to Cancun or Playa del Carmen, the town is pretty slow-paced. Staying in town allowed us to feel at least a bit more local, which I love. If you want a spot to take it slow for a bit while traveling the Riviera Maya, Tulum is a great option.
If going slow isn’t your thing, still stop by Tulum. It has some great ruins, beaches, and is in the perfect spot to explore other nearby sites.