Recently a few of my co-workers are flying down to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico and have asked me to give them a few pointers of where to go and what to do when they do down there... Since I was raised in Chetumal, the capital of the State of Quintana Roo (where the city of Cancun is), I do know of a few places in the area that people should have on their to-do & to-go list... And since I`m a natural born foodie with a taste and liking for the best... Restaurant recommendations will always be in any of my lists of any of the places I've visited.
Here's the list I've put together for them:
Tulum Ruins: Tulum is a resort town on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, around 130 km south of Cancun. The 13th-century, walled Mayan archaeological site at Tulum National Park overlooks the sea. It incorporates the clifftop Castillo, built as a watchtower, and the Templo de las Pinturas, with a partially restored mural. Inland, the Cobá archaeological site has pyramid-shaped temples with views over the surrounding jungle.
Once in Tulum, you could check out The Hartwood restaurant. It’s all about the food, local market, local grown fusion style of restaurant that has gotten rave reviews...
Cetli restaurant. It's a Mexican food restaurant... Be ready to be blown away by the exquisite Mexican cuisine that the real Mexico has to offer (No Hard Shell Tacos OR Taco Tuesday)
You could also take the time to travel down to Playa deal Carmen, do some walking along the Main Street and do some shopping. There's lots of options for shopping little nick-nacks and souvenirs.
Silver will always be a great thing to buy in Mexico as it is the number 1 metal to be found in Mexican mines.
Once you're done shopping and worked out an appetite, head down to explore the restaurants...
If the time and the day allows you, head out to Cozumel Island. They have boats making hourly trips back and forth from Playa to Cozumel. They do have an early start and a late finish, make sure you check the times for the last boat back to Playa if you're making the trip.
If you go up to Cancun, you have to go Party at Coco Bongo... But you also have to check El Cambalache, it's an Argentinian Style Steakhouse located in Plaza Coco Bongo (Hard Rock Cafe Plaza) and you definitely have to try Los Almendros for authentic Yucatecan Style food... Don't trust the hot peppers. Hot peppers in Mexico are actually HOT. (Not very white people friendly) Remember, you're in Mexico, you're by the sea. Try the seafood! It's fresh and delicious.
Also, check out the ancient Mayan Ruins of Chichen-Itza. There's lots of Mayan/Mexican history in that part of the country.
Fair Warning. No matter what the slogan says or what your friends have said in college, Not Everything Is Legal in Mexico. We do have laws and we ask tourist not to behave as an 'American Idiot'. Have fun, be safe and have a great time.
Carlos Cuevas. #TravellingCanExican