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Help with Itinerary

Toronto, Canada
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Help with Itinerary

Hi everyone,

My friend and I are heading to Riu Playacar on Saturday. My friend is a non-swimmer, while I really enjoy snorkeling. As this is the first time we will both be in the Playa Del Carmen area, we needed help deciding our itinerary. After much research, below is what we have tentatively decided on, any input will be greatly appreciated.

Sat Dec 17 – Reach Riu Playacar /explore nearby markets.

Sun – Tulum and Xel-Ha

Mon – Akumal (or Cozumal??)

Tues – Chichen Itza

Wednesday – Rest day

Thursday – Xcaret

Friday – Rest/explore shops nearby .

Sat- Fly back home!


-Would you recommend booking tours from the Riu itself?

-Are there any specific companies that provide these tours?

-My travel agent has suggested that we try to go to Isla Mujeres as well, but it seems to be a long journey. Any thoughts on if this is doable?

-Is the itinerary balanced to be inclusive of a non-swimmer?

-Should we be considering other sites/activities as well?

Many thanks!

Exotik Mayan Tours
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Playa del Carmen...
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1. Re: Help with Itinerary

In my opinion Tulum,Xel-Ha,Xcaret,and Akumal are best done with the ADO bus or collectivo's by yourself. This way you are on no schedule and you can spend as long or as little in any given place and be on your own schedule. As far as Chichen Itza we rented a car and did it ourselves but we had 4 ways splitting the rental. I prefer to do these excursions myself so I am not stuck waiting or being rushed.

Dallas, Texas
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2. Re: Help with Itinerary

Not much to do in Akumal if you're not a swimmer... Or maybe your friend can wear a life jacket while snorkeling?

What about doing a zip line or ATV?

Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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3. Re: Help with Itinerary

Day 1 - settle in, explore resort;

Day 2 - Tulum and Akumal - your friend can relax on the beach while you snorkel and look for turtles;

Day 3 - do Chichen Itza ONLY if you're really into Mayan ruins. You will have already seen Tulum (which isn't a patch on CI but at least you'll know if you want to see more). A good compromise might be Coba - much closer and you can still climb the pyramid.

Day 4 - lazy day at the resort. Into Playa del Carmen for dinner or at least for after dinner for drinks and to wander 5th Avenue (or off 5th if you're more adventurous).

Day 5 - Xcaret; make sure you stay for the evening show.

Day 6 - I've always thought of Xel Ha as pretty swim-intenstive but if you're friend is OK with that, then fair enough. If you ditch the Xel Ha idea, I like Shadowcat's suggestion of zip lining and would add some cenotes to that.

Day 7 - home.

Just an observation - you plan on doing rather a lot of excursions and sight seeing. I can't help wondering if paying for an all-inclusive is particularly cost effective if you're not going to be on the resort enjoying the facilities (and the food and drink) very much. Have you considered going non-AI?

Edited: 12 December 2011, 22:26
Meridian, Idaho
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4. Re: Help with Itinerary

I was just going to say the same thing as Llisa-

You won't be in the resort much-I would go non AI.

St Paul, MN
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for Playa del Carmen
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5. Re: Help with Itinerary

The heat and humidity, combined with that beautiful beach and the color of the water will chill you out and force you to veg out on the beach.

I would drop Xel Ha, water and snorkeling are the prime reason for going.

Check with Yucatreks for their Chichen Itza tour. It's a long day and they make the day go by so quickly. They will pick you up, drop you off and be your guide for the day.

Isla Mujeres is a special place, but it would take too much time for your one week stay. If you like Mexico and the Mayan Riviera I would recommend you come back for a week and stay on Isla, the North Beach is so nice.

No real shopping in Playacar, you will enjoy strolling the pedestrian streets in Playa, finding a place for dessert or a drink and haggling with the shop owners. There is about a mile and a half of entertainment to explore along 5th Avenue. And then there are the side streets.

Oakville, Canada
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6. Re: Help with Itinerary

Since your friend does not snorkel/swim, I'd suggest skippng Xel Ha too.

Tulum ruins are in a pretty spot but if you want the big, climb up the pyramid, really see something spectacular, I second going to Coba. It's much closer than Chichen Itza. I'd go with Yukatreks and do their Coba Treasurers. Really great tour and you get your cenote which is worth seeing even if your friend doesn't want to don a life jacket and go in. Be sure to rent bicycles or the pedal carts (the ones that are pedaled by someone else) at Coba. It is a big site. The fellows who have the carts are full of information.

Ditto on going into Playa for an evening, going out to dinner and just taking it all in and staying for the night show at Xcaret.

Have a look at Alternatours or Edventures for zip lines etc. Never been but heard that Xplore was fun. Maybe someone can tell you about Xplore.

You can't do it all in one week and you know what that means... you'll just have to come back! And when you do, there is a whole other list of places of things to go and see.

Yellowknife, Canada
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7. Re: Help with Itinerary

We are also heading to Playa del Carmen for the first time, we'll be there for the holidays. I noticed that no one recommended a day trip to Cozumel. I was looking forward to renting a car and driving around the island. Does anyone having any pros and/or cons?

Brockville, Canada
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8. Re: Help with Itinerary

patkat24 and TT S - depending on your parties preferences, you may want to check out the Cozumel Bar Hop Bus - Island tour plus drinks at 4 dandy beachfront establishments.



Edited: 13 December 2011, 13:32
Yellowknife, Canada
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9. Re: Help with Itinerary

Thank you RickyH1, that was a great suggestion. I've already cancelled my car rental so that I can have some drinks and fun with out worrying about driving.


10. Re: Help with Itinerary

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