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Culture and Relaxation?

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Perth, Australia
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244 posts
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Culture and Relaxation?

Hi!

I'm thinking of planning a trip to Mexico with my husband. I've always imagined traveling to Mexico and seeing some sites and culture but since moving to Canada people seem to go to Mexico and only stay in the resort.

We're wanting a relaxing holiday in a beach resort as well as hoping to see some culture - can we get that around Cancun or is this more of a resort only location? People also have said they don't feel comfortable leaving their hotel...I'm hoping this is not an accurate portrayal of Mexico?

This is the first time I've started looking into a Mexican holiday so any thoughts/comments are appreciated!! :)

San Jose, California
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1. Re: Culture and Relaxation?

I have not been to Cancun specifically, but my husband and I recently took our first trip to Mexico, visiting various areas of the Yucatan. We had 2 weeks and spent time in Merida, an area south of Merida called the Ruta Puuc, Chichen Itza/Valladolid, and Tulum. This was probably a lot more active of a trip than you are considering, but I mention it because we went a lot of places, stayed in several different areas, and never once stayed at a big resort - we never felt unsafe, threatened, or anything. We rented a car for most of our trip - once we left Merida, we had a car - and we drove all over. The roads are good, signage is good, the other drivers are pretty reasonable - there are some narrow roads with rather large trucks on them which can be unnerving if you are used to wider roads.

A lot of people really like staying at large resorts, but if that isn't what you are looking for, there are tons of other options in the Yucatan. On our 2 week trip, I feel like we barely skimmed the surface of this area and cannot wait to go back.

For the relaxing beach portion of our trip, Tulum was perfect for us - small hotels on the beach, laid back atmosphere, gorgeous beach, beautiful water. I would like to visit Tulum again, definitely. And while staying in Tulum, we visited the Tulum and Coba ruins. We had plans to visit some other things in that area as well, but we got rained out a bit and that put a damper on some of our plans - but there seems to be plenty to do in the Tulum area in addition to hanging out on the lovely beach.

Savannah,GA
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2. Re: Culture and Relaxation?

"People also have said they don't feel comfortable leaving their hotel.." It's natural for people who have never traveled much. It could be New York or Cancun or anywhere. I have been coming to this area for over 20 years with my wife & have never had an "incident" of any kind but good. Plenty of culture if you look for it. Plenty of day trips to choice from. My view on A-1 is at least the 1st time to go A-1. No worries about locating & then going out after a long day exploring or just sitting at the beach. If you want something a little different ( not as resort strip ) consider Playa del Carmen. Some nice hotels at the beach & a 5th Ave is stroll ( shopping area ) is great to walk off dinner. Or do not go A-I because of all the restaurants at Playa that are easy to get to on 5th Ave.

Edmonton, Canada
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3. Re: Culture and Relaxation?

My favourite place to relax is on a bench in the square in Merida. It's Real Mexico™ in much the same way that Cancun isn't.

Detroit, Michigan
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4. Re: Culture and Relaxation?

What they said! I've been going for years and after my first year at an all-inclusive resort I didn't feel comfortable staying AI any longer. I wanted to get out, sightsee, meet folks, see and walk the towns and villages. Do the popular and also the off-the-beaten track activities. I wanted to try all the different restaurants from hole-in-the -wall to Italian white tablecloth to food carts.

I think you may feel more comfortable in Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, Akumal or any of the other "larger" places that have hotels. I personally feel Cancun is kind of like staying in a large North American city (Chicago, Toronto, etc.) all highrise, glass, nightclubs, etc. Though this is not neccessarily thru and there are many options, I still suggest a "Riviera Maya" destination. Or perhaps Cozumel?

Perth, Australia
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5. Re: Culture and Relaxation?

wow thanks for the quick response - I definitely am really keen to plan a trip to Mexico. I think I'll plan a mix between a bit of a resort stay so I can relax on the beach and also get off the beaten track. I've traveled a lot to other places in the world so I'm not too worried. I was just more concerned about other people's opinions but clearly they were not accurate!

I'm looking forward to planning!!

Isle of Wight...
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6. Re: Culture and Relaxation?

Definitely DON'T go all inclusive if you want culture and relaxation! Don't know about Cancun, but I found Playa Del Carmen to be quite touristy. Akumal and Tulum were lovely and I would visit these places again. As for safety, I've travelled to many countries and felt safer in Mexico than most. Hope that helps?!

Detroit, Michigan
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7. Re: Culture and Relaxation?

I think Isla Mujeres is a great combo of both worlds. It is very easy to get to. The only drawback is because it is an island, you are a little father from a lot of the attractions.

8. Re: Culture and Relaxation?

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