Riviera Maya Travel Tips
Modern Mexican: Gitano
One of the hautest spots on this part of the Yucatan, this nosh spot boasts an open fire grill and wood burning oven. The menu includes snacks like luscious Gorditas made from oaxaca cheese and epazote. Small plates like Grilled Avocado seasoned with aromatic salt, ponzu and almonds. Large plates like whole roasted fish with tomatillo salsa and cilantro. Desserts include guava cheesecake with amaranth graham cracker crust and raspberries. If you think this sounds delicious, wait until you experience the intoxicating atmosphere (and we’re not talking just the drinks). You’ll dine outside in a magical, open-air setting with the flora as your ceiling. Sparkly lights are hung from the trees, the drinks are stellar and the vibe is effortlessly chic.
Tres Chic: Tulum
Least you think Tulum is just a boring lot of dusty ruins, you’d be wrong. This iconic edifice on a towering cliff has jettisoned into a haven–a backdrop–for hipsters the world over. You can thank many New Yorkers who have come in and converted a wild tangle of roots and trees into eco-boho-crunchy mecca aka Soho in the Jungle. Gourmet nosh spots, toney boutiques, green smoothie stands, and yoga pants aplenty can be found in this tropical earth heaven. Bike riding is also the thing to do here and how everyone gets around.
Cool Off: Beach Below the Ruins
After you’ve made the trek all around this imposing, vast Mayan complex and learned about all the half-human, half-animal deities, marveled at the meticulously sculpted corners of buildings and watched the iguanas bravely guard their scaly harem, you’ll be very happy to head down the stairs to the beach just below the ruins. The water is pure heaven: clear blue, perfect temp and refreshing beyond words.
Live it Up: Day of the Dead.
Day of the Dead, otherwise known as Halloween most everywhere else, is a big, big party here on the Riviera Maya full of festivals and parades. But it’s not like your typical trick or treat thing: it lasts from October 31st to November 2. October 31 is All Hallows Eve and the children make altars and invite spirits of angelitos (the dead children) to visit. November 1 is All Saints Day and the adults come to visit. And November 2 is All Souls Day when families go to the graves to decorate the graves and tombs of loved ones. But it’s far from somber. All over this tropical wonderland, you’ll see faces painted, people in costumes and shrines set up to honor those they’ve lost.
Hunt for Treasure: CEDAM Museum
Beaching with the kiddos is always a blast, but sometimes with their limited attention spans, you might need some help. Enter shipwrecks, sunken treasure and mysteries of the deep at the CEDAM Subaquatic Museum. Here your munchkins can become engrossed in artifacts recovered from ship wrecks around the area that were discovered by early pioneers of diving, along with coolio relics from pirates, wenches and marine warfare.
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