By Vince Font
In the quest for spring break vacation bookings and beyond, Riviera Maya hotels often play second fiddle to the staple Mexican vacation spot: Cancun. But this diamond on the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, like its sister just 40 miles north, has been an unfortunate target of a few silly myths that have given some people cause to second guess their vacation plans. Here’s where we dispel the rumors once and for all.
Myth 1: Riviera Maya hotels are for spring breakers and couples only.
The idea that the Mayan Riviera is no place for families, and in particular children, is another common belief about the region that’s been spread through unfortunate misinformation and most likely one or two fictional movie portrayals. The fact is, you’d be hard pressed to find an all-inclusive vacation spot more geared toward family fun. Many resorts here cater specifically to families by offering educational activities like day trips to the architectural sites of Chichen Itza and Tulum, hiking and biking tours, and snorkeling. Many regularly feature playgrounds and kid-themed activities to keep your youngsters too busy to feel the pangs of homesickness.
Myth 2: Mexico hotels in the Mayan Riviera only serve one type of cuisine.
While this isn’t true, ask yourself this question: Would this necessarily be a bad thing if they did? If that’s the case, sorry for your troubles — more food for the rest of us. The fact remains, there is a great diversity of food available at Riviera Maya hotels that offers a departure from the norm. The Playacar Palace, for example, has two fine dining restaurants that serve Italian and Asian, as well as a cafe with an international menu capable of satisfying a broad range of palates.
Myth 3: All-inclusive vacations on the Riviera Maya are incredibly expensive.
Wrong again. Well, perhaps that myth could do with a bit of clarification. The truth is, you can find some incredibly expensive Riviera Maya hotels if you don’t know how to look. Likewise, if you don’t opt for an all inclusive vacation and decide to pay for everything separately — your flight, hotel stay, activities and meals — you could feasibly double up on your expenditures pretty easily. If you take a look at the packages available, you’ll find that by paying the average nightly rate for many resorts you’ll spend more money than you would for the flight and hotel together. Example: the El Dorado Royale’s nightly rates hover around $500, but a five-night stay including round trip airfare averages out to around $325 per day, proving in this scenario that all-inclusive vacations are actually the cheapest way to go.
The key to saving is in planning ahead. Don’t forget to consider all possible expenditures when you do, and make sure that you book your flight, hotel, and any rental cars at the same time to save as much money as possible.
Vince Font is a freelance writer born in Puerto Rico and currently escaped to Utah. When not dreaming of interstellar travel, he’s on the hunt for weird, wacky, and off-the-beaten-track vacation destinations. Next stop: The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast.