Riviera Maya, Mexico

This past July, I traveled to the Mayan Riviera in beautiful Mexico, with my boyfriend. I know what your thinking… Why the hell would I go to Mexico during the hottest month. The simple answer is this: traveling on a student budget requires some sacrifices. Despite the scorching sun, I absolutely loved my vacation! Having never been to a tropical beach destination before (other than Florida, no offence Florida love you), I had high expectations from what I imagined it would be like. As soon as I stepped off the plane, these expectations were met… I saw palm trees, and it was hot! Yay. My next immediate thought was, where’s the beach. And then, where’s my bikini.. and the rest of my luggage. Now I’ll spare you all of the boring details and jump to our resort experience.

Since this was my first time traveling alone with my boyfriend, we had to take extra precautions, and make even more preparations than usual. However, luckily we survived our first travel experience together!

Resort: 

We stayed at the Catalonia Yucatan. Like I mentioned, this was my first resort, and I am an easy girl to please, so I loved it. The restaurants were great (Japanese, Italian, etc), there were rooftop restaurants, as well as an all you can eat crepe cafe (I was there for breakfast, lunch, and dinner). The resort had two seperate pool areas, with huge in pool bars, which I drank margaritas at all day long with my new bartender friends. Seriously, they knew me by name.

If you like Pina Coladas... and laying out on the beach
If you like Pina Coladas… and laying out on the beach
My lifeproof case came in handy
My lifeproof case came in handy

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View from the ocean
View from the ocean

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Did I mention we were there during World Cup?!
Did I mention we were there during World Cup?!

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Activities:

During our 7 day stay, we accomplished a lot of different things. Aside from lounging, drinking, tanning, and stuffing our faces, we also took a bus into Playa Del Carmen for an afternoon shopping spree and walk around the city, took another party bus into Cancun for one of the best nightlife experiences I have ever had at Coco Bongo, swam with dolphins outside of our resort, as well as did an excursion (kayaking, hiking, rapelling, ziplining, swimming in an underground cenote).

Swimming With The Dolphins:
This was by far my favorite part of my visit! Dolphins are such beautiful, friendly, and intelligent creatures. I have always wanted to swim with dolphins, and see a dolphin do tricks up close and personal. One thing that really surprised me, was the texture of the dolphin, as well as their calm nature around humans. This was absolutely an experience I will always remember.

Dolphin Kisses
Dolphin Kisses

 

So friendly!
So friendly!
Ophelia the dolphin featuring Matthew
Ophelia the dolphin featuring Matthew

Playa Del Carmen:

I loved walking around Playa Del Carmen, especially because of all of the friendly stray dogs everywhere (seriously, they were walking into some stores with us). The best part however, was the unique shopping experience. I found multiple little boutiques and shops, and I ended up buying this adorable beach cover. It was pricey, but hey, I was on vacation and fell in love. Me and my boyfriend ended up strolling through the streets back to our tour bus, and passing lit up restaurants, as well as a huge mall with one of the biggest Forever 21’s I’ve seen.

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This is the bathing suit cover I splurged on in Playa Del Carmen... had to.
This is the bathing suit cover I splurged on in Playa Del Carmen… had to.

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These guys were everywhere. They were good shopping companions.
These guys were everywhere. They were good shopping companions.

 

Coco Bongo:

Now, onto the exciting stuff. Partying. Let me just say, if you have not been to, heard of, or plan on visiting Coco Bongo, reevaluate this decision! I had to beg, plead, and force my boyfriend to come to this amazing night club in Cancun with me. He was absolutely not sorry that he eventually gave in, because he ended up having a blast as well. There was so much to see! A huge stage featuring the best and most entertaining performances, such as impersonations of Christina Aguilera, Burlesque, Jim Carey and the Mask, Greece, The YMCA, Spiderman, Tron, Micheal Jackson, a man playing the saxophone pouring tequila into the audience’s mouth etc etc etc. The list goes on. At the end of the night, we hopped up on the stage with our new Mexican friends and danced the night away as the entire club rained streamers, and balloons. It was honestly so much fun! If you are looking for great nightlife in Cancun, Mexico, Coco Bongo will suit your needs.

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Those unlimited tequila shots certainly got the best of us
Those unlimited tequila shots certainly got the best of us

 

 

The excursion:

Our excursion package included swimming in an underwater cenote, ziplining, rapelling, climbing the mayan ruins, witnessing a mayan ritual, and hiking. Being an adventurous soul, this was right up my alley. I strongly encourage wearing good running shoes, as well as a bikini underneath clothes that breath. I also purchased a lifeproof case for my Iphone previous to this trip, and brought my cellphone with me everywhere, including my excursion. The pictures that the tour guides took were just so darn expensive! For my next big trip, I will definately be considering other options, such as a GoPro. Anyways, back on track. If you ever decide to go on a tropical vacation, I highly suggest partaking in the excursions, they are not too pricey, but you get to enjoy some off the resort exploring. This is a great aspect for those of you who not only like the vacation, but like to travel, and explore new parts of the world! The ziplining was one of my favourite parts, since it is so exhilerating, follwed by swimming in a cenote. The pictures I have of the cenote are kind of dark, however. (Makes my justification for investing in a new camera even stronger!)

 

We climbed the Mayan Ruins
We climbed the Mayan Ruins

 

Thew view was beautiful
Thew view was beautiful

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I enjoy cave exploring
I enjoy cave exploring

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made it to the top!
made it to the top!

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Exploring Exploring

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climbing the Mayan Ruins
climbing the Mayan Ruins
about to repel
about to repel
the cenote was steamy
the cenote was steamy

 

 

the underground cenote
the underground cenote
brrr!
brrr!
witnessing a Mayan ritual
witnessing a Mayan ritual

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local area
local area

 

Tip: 

Before my departure, I invested in some great lash extensions at ZippLash. I didn’t wear makeup, or worry about how I looked once my entire trip! No raccoon eyes from running mascara (and I, of all people, understand that mascara is a necessity). Lash extensions are wonderful for vacations, especially if you are going to be in the water frequently, yet still want to add that boldness to your lashes. P.S- vacations, and summer time are a great time to take a rest from face makeup! Let your natural glow show, and give your skin a rest:)

When the sun comes out, so do my freckles
When the sun comes out, so do my freckles

Well, that sums up my trip to the Mayan Riviera, Mexico. I hope you enjoyed, and gained some insightful information about the Catalonia Yucatan, and other fun activities in that area! Join me again, through my next adventure:)

Until next time xoxoxo

Sincerely, Jesseca

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