Travel Guide: Cancun

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Honestly never in a million years did I think I'd be getting to go to Mexico this early in my life, so thank you Dad! It has kickstarted my love for traveling even more and I cannot wait to see where I go next. This vacation was beyond wonderful. So I hope you enjoy this travel guide of what I got to experience and some tips I have for you if you're planning on going to Cancun!

First off the weather. Hot and humid. 24/7. Now honestly it wasn't the worst. When we first got there I was in my sweats and t-shirt (aka the most perfect plane outfit) so the weather felt kind of awful at that moment, plus we got there around 12 o'clock at night and the humidity was still awful. However the second day was full of lounging and pool time. GO IN THE POOL!! You don't feel the humidity as much and you will feel a lot happier and more comfortable. Just remember to wear shorts, skirts, dresses, and tank tops. The less you have on will make you feel A LOT better!

So we stayed in the Occidental Costa Cancun resort. On a scale of 1-10 i'd give it a 6. I gave it a 60% because it's not a failing grade but it also wasn't the best resort. There were many pros and cons. Some pros: mini fridge was free and came stocked with beers (even though I don't drink it would definitely be a good thing for someone who enjoys beer) and sodas, all meals were included, GREAT entertainment! and had a good pool. Overall it was an average resort but there were enough cons that makes me not want to return.
Now the meals they offered were honestly really good. I'm a very picky eater but I can say I was always able to find something to eat. There was a buffet styled restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food they offered was always really good but the service, not as good. The first couple of days were no issues. We were a party of six so sometimes we had to be put at two separate tables which we understood, but typically we got to go near the window where a table of four and a table of two were pushed together. However one day we were sat at those tables and rudely told we were not allowed to put them together which made absolutely no sense.
The other restaurants we were treated well and had amazing service there so that was always a plus!
The beach was small and you couldn't go very far into the water. Also the beach itself was not that sandy white that other resorts (literally next door to ours) had.

Tuxedo mousse dessert with coconut ice-cream!
Breakfast options: french toast, donuts and fruits!
Lunch at the buffet offers a create your own pasta!
And one of the biggest cons I had was this thing the resort called "The Snack Bar." Now hearing it for the first time it sounds pretty good. Snacks opened 24/7! We quickly realized we would not be visiting the snack bar often. It had freezer burned chicken nuggets, not so fresh veggies, and random meat for hamburgers. The only things that were okay were the turkey sandwiches which just consisted of turkey, lettuce, and tomato. So when we came back to the resort late at night that was a pretty okay snack to have.

Next we went to two different adventure park sort of things. The Xcaret and Xplore. First I'll talk about Xcaret since we visited that first. The first thing we did was get our locker, bags, and life vests because we chose to do the river swim first. They have you put pretty much everything you bring into the locker and then the stuff you'll want after the river swim into a duffle bag of sorts that you'll get at the end of the river. Let me tell you this part was quite confusing but heres the easiest way to go about it.
1. The lockers are pretty small so I'd recommend 1 locker for every 2 backpacks.
2. Things to put in your locker: regular shoes (you'll want to wear aqua socks through the entire park), we also kept all our clothes in our locker since we knew we would just wear our swimsuits the rest of the day, hairbrushes, and phones if you don't have a waterproof case.
3. In the duffle bag they bring you to the end I recommend: SUNSCREEN! Phones in a water proof case just for safety, some pesos, towels that you get at xcaret, and bring one or two empty bags you brought to put your stuff in because once you get that duffle bag back you don't get to keep it.
4. Once you've gotten everything put in the designated spots grab your life vests and head to the river swim!

Now I can't lie, the river swim was terrifying to me! A majority of the time you can reach the bottom, if you're at least 5'3 you can comfortably stand I believe. The life vests makes it so you float so it's impossible to drown. The part that terrified me is there are pretty long moments you are in a dark cave with barely any light. The good news: theres no fish in this so I could rule out something randomly touching me. But I definitely recommend doing some research into this section of it if you are scared of dark or small areas.

The rest of the park was basically watching animals and snorkeling so it wasn't the most fascinating after the swim. We ate at the La Laguna restaurant for lunch which was another buffet styled restaurant. It. Had. EVERYTHING. Seriously from sushi to pizza, anyone would find something they'd like to eat in there.

Lastly for Xcaret we saw a show at the end of the night that was basically all dance of the Mexican heritage. Our shuttle driver recommended we see it but honestly it was not great. After about 20 minutes into the show my family was ready to leave. It was interesting but after a day in the heat and all you want to do is sleep, it wasn't the most attention grabbing show.

Next we have Xplore! and this was SO MUCH FUN! The idea was basically to explore different new adventures and they all led back to a heart center. Now that may sound confusing but honestly the set up is a lot better than Xcaret. QUICK REMINDER! In both parks if your sunscreen isn't biodegradable they won't let you take it in so make sure to check it out.
The heart in Xplore! is where the lockers, bathrooms, dressing rooms, and each start to the trail of each adventure. The locker system is the same, two regular sized backpacks will most likely fit in one locker. Then you choose where to go: ATV, rafts, or zip lining. There is also one buffet restaurant to eat at. After each thing you're led back to the heart so don't worry about getting lost. It is a lot of fun here so make sure you get a chance to check it all out!

Lastly I have to talk about the market places. I love these little flea markets because I think it is a really interesting experience. The big market if you're in Cancun is Market 28, so if you're in a taxi let them know thats where you want to go. It also helps if you can say it in Spanish so make sure to brush up on your language skills! As you can probably guess most of the vendors here are selling the same product so remember do not settle on the first place you see! Also remember your haggling skills! If you say no to their prices they will most likely bring the price down so try to find a good amount you think is fair. Also a lot of the places will take credit cards and american money, however they charge your card in pesos. We stayed safe and stuck to pesos.

All in all I had a truly fantastic experience in Cancun. I hope all of you get the chance to visit! If youhave visited before let me know in the comments your experience! Or let me know where in the world you'd like to visit in your life! 

If you've made it this far: YAY!! Thanks for your support and love! I hope you have an amazing day, week, month, and year! Remember to choose happiness!

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Rachel Lani đź’‹

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