DAY 1 - RELAX AT HOTEL POOL & EXPLORE 5TH AVENUE:
We based ourselves in a hotel called 'Magic blue hotel' not too far from the famous 5th Avenue. 5th Avenue is the main street in Playa del Carmen that is filled with all the stores, restaurants, and bars. If you are staying in the center of Playa Del Carmen then you are surely going to walk around here to explore.
DAY 2 - CHICHEN ITZA, CENOTE IK KIL & VALLADOLID:
We took a day trip from Playa del Carmen to the Chichen Itza which included also the Ik Kil Cenote and Valladolid.
It is one of the new seven world wonders of the world. It is no surprise that it is Mexico's top attraction. It's believed to be the former Mayan city that dates back to as early as 550 AD.
You could rent a car and drive there - this isn't the option we took but it is the best one since we always prefer to go on our own. There is enough parking around the area for free. If you'd like to pay for parking in order not to have any damage on your rental, you can park right on site, which costs only 2$.
We took a tour with Sayvin México tour since we had really bad weather in Playa del Carmen and didn't want to drive in the rain. The tour is from the 8:00 until 18:00 and it inculdes Chichen Itza, Cenote Ik Kil and Valladolid.
•Entrance Fee: 232 Pesos per adult (about 13 USD). Bring cash because they do not accept credit cards.
•The best time to visit: Best to go early in the morning when the gates open, or after 3 p.m. when sunlight bathes the pyramid’s main staircase and the crowds usually start to clear out. It typically takes about two to three hours to tour the complex. What to wear: Make sure to bring comfortable shoes, the path is rocky, the complex is huge and there is so much to see. Also do know that there isn't much shade here so wear sunscreen and hydrate.
Cenote Ik Kil:
What is a cenote? a cenote is a natural pit/sinkhole, resulting from the collapse that exposes groundwater underneath. The cenotes were sometimes used by the ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings. Cenote Ik Kil was our favorite Cenote that we've been to, but do know that there are those that usually get disappointed by it because it gets very crowded. You're unlikely to get photographs without lots of people in them unless you come very early. From Ik Kil Cenote we headed towards Valladolid but we had really bad weather.
DAY 3 - GRAND CENOTE & COBA:
️We took a tour that included Grand cenote and Coba. Coba is an ancient Mayan city. One of Coba's main attractions is the Ancient Pyramid which, unlike Chichen Itza's Pyramid, is still open for the public to climb its 130 steps up to the top of the site. Nohoch Mul is also known as the Great Pyramid. It reaches a height of 42m, making it the second-tallest Maya structure on the Yucatán.
Climbing the old steps can be scary for some since the steps are steep. There is a rope in the middle to help you hold us as you climb up but since I am 1.5m' short, I kind of crawled up the pyramid and it was well worth it because when you reach the top, the view is breathtaking. Try to arrive early because it gets really hot and really busy in the afternoon.
DAY 4 - TULUM:
We rented a car and drove to Tulum to see the Mayan Ruins and relax at Parasio beach.
Tulum Mayan Ruins:
Tulum ruins are located 60km south of Playa del Carmen and is considered the most beautiful of the Mayan Ruins sites in the area. It is small but beautiful. Situated on the fifteen-meter-high cliffs, it gives you a gorgeous view of the beautiful blue and turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
In Maya, Tulum means "Wall", and the city was christened thus because it is a walled city; one of the very few the ancients ever built. Research suggests it was formerly called Zama or "to dawn" in its day, which is appropriate given the location.
Parasio beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Tulum. We really enjoyed it but sadly the year we visited had a really bad case of seaweed.
DAY 5 - CENOTE EDEN, CENOTE AZUL & AKUMAL BEACH:
On the second day with the car, we drove to the Cenotes first and then to Akumal. We saved money by buying our own snorkels as appose to renting ones every time we go to Cenote or the beach. Cenote Azul was way prettier in my opinion. DO NOT go on Saturdays or Sundays, the Mexicans also enjoy the cenote and it will get massively packed. Akumal is a beach known to have a lot of sea turtles. Besides having these amazing creatures everywhere, the beach happens to be really really beautiful. I would spend more time at this beach and give up on Paraiso beach in Tulum. We were in the water for about an hour and saw about 5-6 turtles it was so amazing, GO! GO! GO!
This was probably our favorite beach in the Tulum/Playa del Carmen area! Snorkeling with the sea turtles at Playa Akumal was a highlight of our trip. We opted to hire a local guide on the beach after we paid the entrance fee. There are agents there that will tell you that you need to book a tour with them in order to see the turtles, but that is not true. We brought our snorkel gear and saw about 9 sea turtles!! They have free lockers to use with a 5 USD deposit.
Please DO NOT chase or disturb these beautiful creatures; just watch.
DAY 6 - SHOPPING, CASINO, AND MOVIE:
Plaza Las Americas Mall:
If you are looking for a local mall and not a touristy one then this is it. By taxi, it is about 10 NIS from our hotel to the mall. In the mall, they have a Casino called Winpot and a movie theater.
The Cinepolis Movie Theater:
Cinema chain in Mexico that is really great. Huge screens and comfortable seats were clean and the Mexicans weren’t too noisy even though the hall was full. The movie theater is located in the mall. We decided to see a movie since we love movies and like to check out movie theaters in other countries. The film was 73 MNX (3.6 USD) per person, 2 huge popcorns (1 regular and 1 caramelized ) and 2 giant sodas were altogether 237.8 MNX (11.9 USD). It was too much. We had a lot left over.
DAY 7 - XCARET:
Sadly I was very sick so we missed the Xcaret park. But let me explain about them.
This park is a mix of Mexican culture and water. We decided to go here and even had tickets but I got very sick. They have a cool underground river, wine cellar, caves, archaeological sites, scenic tower, night shows & activities for kids.
This Park is mostly extreme sports such as zip lining, Rafts, Jeeps, and stalactite river swim - if you're a thrill seeker this is for you.
Most people go here it's more like a water natural park. they have a Scenic Lighthouse with water slides. River Tour where you float down the river in an inner tube, Zip-Lines, Snorkeling, Mayan Cave – considered a sacred place, this is covered cenote, Cliff of Courage – cliff jumping, Cenotes, Jungle trails, Bike rides & Activities for children.