17 DEC 2018

ITINERARY

Your 7 Day Guide
to
Cancun, Mexico (CUN)

I recently had a last minute holiday to Cancun (CUN). The original plan was to go to Jamaica, but then decided on Dominican Republic (DR). But due to rainy conditions in DR, we finally settled with Cancun, Mexico a whole 24hrs before departure! These destinations are breathtaking and must-sees for any tropical holiday lover — I really wasn’t “settling” on anything aside from a clear decision.

I’m not gonna lie, I barely did anything in Mexico; and that’s not really my style at all. I’m all about relaxing and taking a mental (and physical) break from life, but there comes to a point where you’re just completely and utterly bored. I went with my mom and she was kind of opposed to doing anything. So I made an ultimate guide to 1 full week in Mexico for the “next time” I go to CUN. I had a bunch of these ideas for the trip but she vetoed every single one and was opposed to my going alone. I didn’t get a chance to even do a third of the things on the list, but this is definitely my “next time” list.

Transportation to and From Airport:
USA Transfers (LINK) and Canada Transfers (LINK) — This is significantly pricier than the norm, but it’s Mexico, so you might want to proceed with caution. I’m not even sure if Uber is allowed in Cancun, but I don’t want to be caught in the wrong, unethical side of the “taxi” business. Remember, your life is priceless.

Where to Stay:
For starters, I stayed at The Grand Park Royal (LINK) in the Quintana Roo area of Cancun. I had such an amazing experience here that I couldn’t not share. I spend the majority of my time in hotels, so I can’t even say that I’m easily impressed.

A wise man once said, “A first impression is a last impression.” Do you agree or disagree?

Above: My first impression, from the Lobby!

Step out of the lobby and into the pool/ocean!

As you can see, the lobby is spectacular… just absolutely breathtaking and serene. Want to hear something hilarious, though? I still wasn’t sold. And not because my standards are absurdly high, but simply because I’ve been to a lot of beautiful hotel lobbies with ugly, ugly rooms! The only un-serene thing about this lobby was that it took nearly an hour to check in. The wait, however, was 100% worth it. The hotel provided a complimentary cocktail (and recipe) that made the wait 100x more bearable.

What really sealed the deal for me though? A complimentary upgrade to the ocean view room! Thank you sooo very much to my friends at The Grand Park Royal for making this holiday so amazing. & No, this post is not sponsored.

An Upgrade to the Ocean View Room

This is what I did during my 8 day stay (LINK), but this is what you should actually do… AKA what I’m doing next time — without my mom.

Day 1 // Tan + Swim + Jet-Ski
Take a dip in all of the pools, sunbathe (with sunscreen), and relax under a palapa on the private beach. Eat. Drink. Sleep. Repeat. If you get sick of lounging around, go for a swim in the ocean and sign up for jet-skiing! The resort offers aquatic activities for a fee.

Whatever you do, do not forget to sign up for excursions at the tour office by the lobby. Sign up ends at 6pm. I highly suggest signing up for tours and day trips through the hotel. They are a bit pricier, but they’re super kind, professional, and much safer.

Another thing to sign up for? Dinner. In-person reservations (for non buffet restaurants) are mandatory at The Grand Park Royal and end each day at 2pm. You can make multiple reservations for the entire week. A dress code is required, but they’re not too strict. Just don’t look like a slob and wear proper clothes (e.g.: no bikinis/swim trunks to dinner).

Photo not edited: // Private beach area from "Ocean View" building

Day 2 // Cichen Itza — Mexican Pyramids
Bring comfortable shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and a bottle of water. Bonus: Join a tour that also takes you to the tequila factory or other destinations.

Day 3 // Tequila Tasting + Dancing

Fun Fact: Tequila is one of the most healthiest alcohol out there...
when consumed in moderation*

Yes, in that order. Head to Hacienda Tequila Cancun and become a pro acquainted with all of the crazy kinds of tequila! Hacienda is also a souvenir shop/restaurant/museum all in one little package, attached to a small shopping centre. When you’ve drank to your hearts content and picked up some gifts, head back to the hotel and join their dance session (days vary). The liquid courage will serve you well.

Never ever have I ever... ballroom danced in a pool!

Day 4 // Cenote Sink Hole
This place holds so much history, dating back to the ancient Mayans. It’s really, really incredibly cool. You can actually jump into the Sink Hole, but my goal is to scuba dive here next time! If you’re a certified diver, you need to have at least 6 prior dives in order to dive here.

Day 5 // Scuba Diving
This is something that everyone should do at least once in their life! It was such a wonderful experience and I still can’t shut up about it. I chose the Marina Punte Este (LINK) and highly recommend it. It’s conveniently located across from the hotel so I didn’t need to worry about transportation. It’s pretty much an all day event (8:30am – 2:30pm), so you can just lounge afterwards or head to a nearby restaurant.

Day 6 // Day Trip to Tulum or Dive with the Whale-Sharks
Diving with the whale sharks typically takes place between June and September. I missed it, but I’ll do everything I can “next time”. In case you were wondering, this is what a whale shark looks like. Yes, they are enormous (approx. 40 feet), non-predatory, and feed on mostly planktons and small fish/larvae. They don’t really bite, but they can accidentally suck you in if you’re not careful or in its way.

If you’re not up for being swallowed swimming with the whale sharks, take a day trip to Tulum. Brush up on your history by visiting the ancient ruins there. After that, you can go zip-lining, snorkelling, and even rock climbing (on actual rocks outside)!

Day 7 // Spa + Shopping + Parasailing
It’s your last day, so take advantage of the beautiful amenities one last time! Soak up the sun and engage in non-strenuous aquatic activities such as parasailing. When you feel your sun poisoning coming along, head to La Isla Mall and grab some souvenirs. If you’re not in the mood to shop, you can pick up a few things from the airport’s souvenir shop after passing Duty Free. You can’t buy absolutely everything there, but it is way better than your average airport’s souvenir shop.

End your vacation with a massage or facial from the resort’s spa. Remember, you want to look and feel rejuvenated.

 

What to Bring Back from Mexico:

White Vanilla Bean — For your favourite baker
Chilli Peppers — For your favourite cook or foodie
Hand Painted Magarita Glasses — For your friends from college or the friend that loves to entertain
Tequila — For friends or siblings
Hand Woven Baskets — Great centrepiece // fruit basket for your friend or family that loves to host
A Hammock — Great addition to your backyard especially if you have a pool.
Hats — The straw ones for the beach… or a sombrero if you’re feeling festive.
Saddle Coloured Leather Goods — Saddle coloured belts, wallets, and cross-body bags —
perfect gift for your significant other or sibling.
Decorative Rug — For the new home owner

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