This past weekend I’ve done something I’ve never done before; booked flights on Thursday and flew out less than 24 hours later on Friday.
I decided to go to Cancun, Mexico! Here is my Cancun Mexico Travel Guide!
My mom, grandpa, sister, and my sister’s boyfriend were all there celebrating her birthday. My boyfriend and I had planned to go months in advance, but after the travel warning was released we backed out. When my mom and sister arrived, they said everything looked very safe, so we booked our tickets and flew down on Friday!
We had let my mom know that we were coming down, but we wanted to surprise everyone else. We totally surprised my sister, and I wish I could show you her face when we got there! She started crying right away.
I wish we could have stayed at least an extra day to relax, but we had to get back for school. Below is our itinerary and must-dos for a short trip in Mexico!
We bought our tickets online through Google Flights and found an insanely cheap deal on United. The nice thing about living close to DC is that there are 3 close airports, so usually we can find a direct flight to wherever we want to go. I’ve also been using the app Hopper to check out flight prices, but that is better if you’re planning your trip in advance since it will help find the cheapest deal.
Day 1: Friday
- We left around 5:30am to head to the airport (which meant a 4am wake-up call!) Our flight was at 8:30am but since it was an international flight, we had to be there 2 hours before. The flight is pretty easy, around 3.5 hours long. I caught up on some TV on my iPad and read John Green’s new book. We landed around 11:30am Cancun Time (they are an hour behind).
- Once we landed, we headed to our hotel to check in. We stayed at the Ritz Carlton and it is absolutely gorgeous. I totally recommend it if you’re staying in the area. Our room wasn’t ready, so they held our luggage and we changed into bathing suits and cover-ups, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and headed over to the Westin Lagunamar where my family was staying, and totally surprised them.
- We hung out at the resort for awhile with them just catching up by the pool. We all headed to lunch at Tacos y Tequila across the street, which has the BEST Tacos al Pastor. It’s a must-do if you’re in the area.
- After lunch, we swam and spent more time by the pool. Around 6pm my boyfriend and I headed back to the Ritz to check in to our room and clean up before dinner.
- For dinner, we met my sister and her boyfriend at Thai Lounge. They have these beautiful tables over the water and amazing food. You can order from their sushi restaurant too. It’s also a must-do in Mexico.
- After dinner, we headed back to the resort for bed. We got back around 10pm, and I was exhausted since we had been up since 4am.
Day 2: Saturday
- On Saturday, we woke up around 6:30am to have breakfast and head over to meet my family.
- We had a private taxi take us to Xelha, around 1.5 hours away from the resort region. We recommend Xelha to anyone who is going to Cancun, it’s totally a hidden gem. It’s an eco-park that is all inclusive – unlimited food and drink all day. You can snorkel, float in tubes, swim, cliff jump, zipline into water, head down a water-slide, etc. It’s our favorite thing to do in Cancun, and my boyfriend and I always dream about going back. Earlier this year when we went, we ran into Guy Fieri there!
- We stayed there from 9am-6pm. It was my favorite day of the trip and a great place to go if you have a big family, or are just a couple.
- We headed back to the resort and went to sleep around 9pm because we were so exhausted. We planned on meeting up for dinner, but we were so full and so tired that we just crashed.
Day 3: Sunday
- We woke up around 7am and had breakfast. Our mom walked over on the beach and we sat with her talking for about an hour. It was so nice to spend the morning on the beach catching up.
- Around 9am we left for the airport. It was so hard to leave the beautiful weather knowing that we would come back to 40 degrees and rain.
- Our flight took off around 11:30, and we made amazing time coming back because of the tailwinds. When we landed, we picked up Captain and headed back. We were so tired from our trip that we went to bed around 8:30pm! I definitely got back more exhausted than I was when I left, but it was worth it. We used every minute of the weekend we had and I am so happy that I went.
Cancun Mexico Travel Guide Round Up:
- Stay: Ritz Carlton or Westin Lagunamar
- Eat: Tacos y Tequila, Thai Lounge
- Activities: Xelha or Xcaret Parks
As you can see, we really used all the time we had in Mexico! I have probably been around 6 times because it’s so easy to get to, and the US Dollar goes really far. It’s safe if you stay by the resorts and do the touristy things, so I’ve never had to worry about safety while I was there. If you go, I do recommend packing Imodium. I got sick on Friday, so this was a necessity that night! Whenever I leave the country I always pack it with me, since you never know if you will eat something that might not sit well with your stomach! I was a bit hesitant to go to Mexico because of the travel warning, but I have seen such an increase in security that I felt safe all the time. I wish we had stayed longer so I could do more that was on my wishlist, but I guess I will just have to go back! Below are some more activities that I wish we had done, and things I would recommend for someone going to Mexico.
What I wish we did:
- If we had an extra day, I totally would have gone to Isla Mujeres and spent the day at Garaffon. It’s a new park and I’ve been dying to see it. Isla Mujeres is a great island to explore because it’s safe, and you can rent golf carts and explore the island and beaches all day.
- We are dying to go to Hotel Xcaret since we love the company, and we would love to visit their other parks. Xelha is just the best though, so that’s always on the top of our list. The parks are all around 1.5 hours away from the resorts, so it would be nice to stay at their hotel which is around their parks.
- I would have loved to just spend the day on the beach and the pool relaxing and reading a book. I typically love to be moving and seeing everything on vacation, but I try to spend at least one day doing nothing laying around.
- I am dying to visit Gran Cenote. I have seen pictures on Instagram, and this is on the top of my list when I go back.
- While I ate everywhere that I was dying to, I wish we had dinner one night at one of the Ritz’s restaurants. Last time we went we ate at Fantino and it was so dreamy.
I hope you enjoyed my Cancun Mexico travel guide!
Have you been? What are your favorite must-go places? I’m already dreaming of when we can go back!