Last updated on February 7th, 2017
We have some lovely news for you: we got married! The wedding took place in Mexico on the 29th of December and later we went to celebrate our honeymoon in Mexico: in Riviera Maya and Cancun.
I will have a separate post about getting married in Mexico and probably write a bit about our wedding, but in this post, I would like to focus on the honeymoon in Mexico. I must admit, that Mexico is a wonderful place for a honeymoon: it has so many amazing tropical destinations: from Oaxaca to Baja California, from Chiapas to Merida, from Acapulco to Cancun. We were planning our honeymoon just 2 weeks before it started, so we were limited in our options and the best flights were to Cancun. However, we didn’t want to spend all the honeymoon in one location, so we decided to split 8 days into 2 parts: 4 days in Riviera Maya including the New Year’s night and 4 days in Cancun.
That was a good decision because Cancun and Akumal (where our hotel was) are quite far from each other (2 hours driving). While staying in Riviera Maya, we managed to visit Tulum and 4 different cenotes. A cenote is a natural cave with the crystal clear water, where you can usually swim or snorkel and have a huge change to encounter bats (in case it’s a “closed” denote). The post about cenotes is coming soon.
There are various tours offered in the hotels, which include visiting 1-3 cenotes in one day. We decided to visit them on a budget, meaning: taking a public minibus, which goes from Playa del Carmen to Tulum and back (they go every 1-5 minutes), telling the driver where to drop us and paying 40-60 pesos (2-3 dollars) for both of us. This way is great if a cenote is really close to the highway, like Cenote Azul. In a case of Casa Cenote, we had to walk for 2.5 km only to see, that we don’t want to snorkel in a natural river (similar to Xcaret).
This time, we didn’t visit any parks like Xel-Ha or Xcaret (if you want to check our review of Xcaret, check this post), and stayed 2 remaining days (out of 4) in our hotel. Since we were choosing our hotel just 2 weeks before the honeymoon, and it included the New Year’s night, the prices were rocketing and there were only 16 remaining hotels. We chose Gran Bahia Principe Coba as the most budget-friendly option as part of our honeymoon in Mexico.
Gran Bahia Principe Hotel in Riviera Maya
Gran Bahia Principe was just enormous: it consists of 3 different hotels: Coba, Tulum, and Akumal. The guest of Coba are quite far from the beach and while the closest beach is the one from Akumal, it’s not allowed to use it. Thus, it makes sense to take a train to the beach of Coba+ Tulum. We didn’t like the ocean very much, as the entrance was full of sharp rocks and stones. The beach of Akumal was way better, but then again, it wasn’t possible to stay there.
I wouldn’t say that Gran Bahia Principe is a good hotel for a honeymoon – it’s too crowded, too busy and doesn’t look very romantic, unlike our second hotel, that was in Cancun. If you’re looking for a more exclusive honeymoon, you could check hotels Gran Palladium or Mayakoba, but the price for them is usually way higher. However, the New Year Celebration in Gran Bahia was really great, you could see it in the video at the end of this post.
Getting from Riviera Maya to Cancun
After staying for 4 days in Riviera Maya, we moved to Cancun. In order to get to Cancun, we chose the most budget-friendly option. We stopped a minibus in front of our hotel and got to Playa del Carmen. In Playa del Carmen we went to the bus station and bought 2 tickets to Cancun downtown and from Cancun Bus terminal we took a public bus number 1 to Zona Hotelera. Instead of spending 80 dollars on taxi and maybe even more, we ended up spending less than 200 pesos for both of us.
Hyatt Ziva Cancun
The second hotel during our honeymoon in Mexico was just fabulous. We stayed at Hyatt Ziva Cancun, that was built on 2 beaches, one of which was the most beautiful beach I’ve seen in my life. The hotel wasn’t as crowded as Gran Bahia and of course, it was way smaller. What we liked about Hyatt Ziva most is that it has an adult only tower, spa and an infinity pool with a separate lounge on the 3rd floor. While there were often no free beds on the beach, we were always able to find a comfortable double bed in the adult only zone upstairs.
The room was very modern, huge and had a spa bath on the balcony. What a view! Also, the hotel had room service free of charge, so it was possible to ask for the favorite cocktail anytime. We were surprised how good the alcohol was in Hyatt Ziva: they had the best tequilas and vodkas (Grey Goose, Belvedere) and could prepare really elaborate cocktails. My favorite was the cucumber Margarita from the Tequila Bar downstairs – it was just the best of the best.
There are not many things to do in Cancun (apart from staying in the hotel). The most interesting landmarks are located in or close to Riviera Maya. However, Cancun has a great nightlife and a huge Coco Bongo club (with some shows). Also, there are a couple of shopping malls nearby.
To summarize, I would say that I totally loved our honeymoon in Mexico, I just wish it was a bit longer, so we could finally go to Las Coloradas and Chichen Itza. If you want to know more about the difference between Cancun and Riviera Maya, stay tuned, there will be a separate post about it.
Check the prices for the hotels in Riviera Maya & Cancun now 🙂
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Check this video about New Year in Gran Bahia Principe Coba: