Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen Beach

Playa del Carmen Beach

As I stepped out of Cancun International Airport this October, the humidity hit me like a ton of bricks. Thanks to LivingSocial Adventures, my girlfriend Alanna and I were just beginning a four-night stay in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Although we had an itinerary, we weren’t sure what to expect. This was the first group trip we had ever been on. Would we find ourselves in the middle of a party resembling Spring Break, surrounded by a bunch of twenty-somethings? Or would we find ourselves on the other end of the spectrum—the youngest couple in a group of well-traveled adventurers? Aside from these thoughts, this was Mexico! How safe would we be? Would we get sick from the water?

Those concerns soon faded. We didn’t get sick. We didn’t get kidnapped. We did, however, meet some amazing people while exploring a beautiful part of the world.

Arrival

We arranged for transportation to pick us up from the airport and bring us to our hotel: Aventura Mexicana Hotel.

Helpful Tip: Playa is about a 45-minute drive from Cancun International Airport so I recommend scheduling transportation prior to your arrival. If your hotel offers a shuttle service, I would take advantage of it.

While checking in at the hotel front desk we found out we had been bumped up to the honeymoon suite—not a bad deal! By the time we settled in to the hotel, it was already time for LivingSocial’s first happy hour where we were introduced to our guides, as well as the other forty or so people that would make up our group for the duration of the trip. After a short introduction from our guides, Erin and Matt, we ate some dinner and had a cold drink, and then retired to our room to get some much needed sleep.

What We Did

Rappelling into a cenote at Jungle Maya

Rappelling into a cenote at Alltournative’s Jungle Maya

Throughout our five-day stay we got to partake in a ton of activities. Each morning, we woke up early, ate breakfast, and then our transportation for the day picked us up right outside the hotel. On the first day, Alltournative provided a guided tour of the ancient Mayan city of Tulum and took us on several excursions in the Jungle Maya that were perfect for the adventurous type. On our second day, we swam with dolphins, zip lined across the jungle, snorkeled and did several other things at Xel-Ha; an incredible natural waterpark. We contemplated several options for our third day, but a taxi strike helped us determine that the beach might be the best bet. Although activities during the day did tire us out, we still managed to explore Playa’s shops, restaurants and nightlife as well.

Mexico gets a bad rap in the states. While I might shy away from some of the border towns, the truth is that Mexico is a wonderful place to visit. Read about our trip by visiting the links below:

This trip was sponsored by LivingSocial Adventures

About Ryan Cowles

Ryan Cowles is an East Coast native living in the Los Angeles area. Although he is a web developer by trade, he loves to take on any adventure that comes his way. Follow him on Twitter, visit his website at ryanscowles.com, or check out his blog .

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