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Riviera Maya from a College Student’s Point of View

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Written by Liz Hill.

Finals are over, what better place to celebrate than the beautiful Riviera Maya?

My colleague and friend, Danielle Artibee, and I were given the opportunity from Joy and Tom to check out the Riviera Maya, and see what it’s all about. I know what you’re thinking, “two college girls in Mexico, this is just asking for trouble!” However, Mexico is so much more than a spring break gone terribly wrong!

We stayed at the beautiful Iberostar Tucan, located in the town of Playa Del Carmen. The resort’s design, decoration, and landscaping is absolutely gorgeous! However, nothing can compare to the breath taking clear turquoise water of the Mexican Caribbean! Danielle and I fell in love at first sight with the white sand beach and clear stunning water. We spent as much time as possible just lying around basking in the sun. Although, I made sure we kept a constant supply of sunscreen slathered on our Michigan bodies (and we came home with no burns!).

A night time experience in Cancun was a must. We booked the “party hopper” excursion through the Apple Vacations representative right in our hotel lobby. We went to three Cancun bars with a small group of other party goers from around the world and an experienced guide. Our guide kept it completely safe and a ton of fun. After hours and hours of dancing we were glad to return to our large Iberostar beds!

After spending the day recovering from Cancun by lying on the beach and eating at every restaurant in the hotel, we decided to explore Playa Del Carmen. The town is just a short cab ride (or walk for those who can stand the heat) from the resort and full of excitement and safety. We absolutely had to eat dinner at Joy’s favorite restaurant, Yaxche, a traditional Mayan restaurant that encompasses the taste and history of the region. We also swung around at the Blue Parrott, a bar right on the beach that uses swings for bar stools.

We began day three by adventuring down to the Mayan ruins at Tulum. Pictures do not justify how incredible the archeological site is. However, I’m not exactly sure I would have survived as a Mayan in the excruciating heat! Thankfully the ruins are located right on the water, and a quick dip in the ocean rejuvenated Danielle and I for the 45 minute trip back to Playa Del Carmen. After more beach bumming we experienced the hotel night life. Danielle and I enjoyed the evening show and dance and also the hotel night club. The best part of the hotel night life was that it was all included with our stay at the Iberostar!

Our last day (that sprang upon us way too quickly) was spent, once again, soaking up the Mexican sunshine, margaritas, and guacamole. It was a short little vacation; jam packed with rejuvenation, relaxation, and exhilaration!