At the Riviera Maya

Ah, my first post after the unexpected nomination for the Belgian Blog Awards. Quite stressful I must say. Expectations are rising amongst my readers, the pressure is building, I can feel it. It’s even giving me a slight headache. But that might be the beer from last night talking, still. As you know, I took a short trip to Amsterdam yesterday, to interview a famous author in a fancy hotel. Funny story: on my way from the train station to this hotel it started raining and I didn’t bring an umbrella. So I ran into the first tourist shop I could find, bought the cheapest umbrella and headed outside. When I opened the umbrella, I noticed the big green marihuana leaves printed on it. I felt quite ashamed walking into a five star hotel like this, but it was still better than getting soaked, right?

Anyway, during the train ride back to my hometown Antwerp, I realized I hadn’t written anything about Mexico yet. Or at least not enough. I’ve been there two times: one time I backpacked from Mexico City to Havana, Cuba. And the other time I got invited to stay a week in a fancy hotel (without marihuana umbrella this time) at the Mayan Riviera, the famous coastline in the state of Quintana Roo, somewhere between Cancun and Belize. And I thought I’d tell you something about the latter.

Let me start by saying Cancun does not belong to the Riviera Maya. Come to think of it, Cancun could belong to the United States. With all the gigantic Las Vegaslike hotels, all of the American fastfood chains, the tourist party spots, … Honestly it’s terrible! Feel free to disagree, but in my humble opinion Cancun has nothing to do with Mexico anymore. There is a huge lack of authenticity, unless you call the incredibly high crime rates and drug problems typically Mexican (which I would never do, because that might sound a tad racist) When I was there the first time, after having travelled for a couple of weeks in Mexico, I was appalled, I fled the place and went to Cuba instead. But luckily there’s a fantastic alternative to Cancun, just a few kilometres south.

One of the highlights of the Riviera Maya is the town of Tulum and it’s Mayan temples in particular. Throughout Mexico you can find amazing temples and ancient pyramids by Mayan, Aztecs and Incas, but this is one of the only ones with a beach. And it’s just perfect (actually only the temples of Palenque are more impressive, the famous Chichen Itza doesn’t even come close)! But there is more. Have you ever heard of Playa del Carmen? Sure, it’s a little touristy, but it has so much more charm than Cancun. Or how bout the island of Cozumel, where you can take the most amazing diving trips (the Riviera Maya actually has the second or third largest living reef in the world). I also took a trip to the ‘biosphere reservation’ of Sian Ka’an. This is not only the coolest sentence in the world, but it’s also well worth a visit. You just jump in the water and the current will take you around. Sightseeing for lazy tourists, I love it!

So, to sum up: if you’ve booked a trip to Cancun, try to cancel the hotel reservation and head south instead. Tulum is a great place to stay and discover the beauty of the Mayan Riviera.


  1. Here you are. I couldn’t find your blog since it’s not linked on your hover card. Great photos! Finally, I can thank you for stopping by my blog.

  2. Great account. I totally agree with you on cancun, tulum and the ruins. There are so many great places around the area. I lived and worked in Playa del Carmen for a while and it was a great base for travelling around the area. Did you ever get to Akumal?

      1. Yea it’s a great little beach between Playa and Tulum. The water is really clear, it’s pretty uncrowded and its famous for spotting sea turtles. Definitely a good reason to go back!

  3. This brought back so many memories from when I visited Tulum and Playa del Carmen. THank you for sharing.

  4. Hi there, always i used to check webpage posts here
    in the early hours in the dawn, since i enjoy to gain knowledge of more and more.

  5. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how could
    we communicate?

  6. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue along with your site in internet explorer, might check this?

    IE nonetheless is the market leader and a large part of other people will miss your great writing due to this problem.

  7. I think that is among the such a lot significant information for me.
    And i’m happy reading your article. But wanna statement on few general things,
    The web site style is perfect, the articles is actually nice :
    D. Excellent job, cheers

  8. I like the valuable information you provide to your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and take a look at again right here frequently.
    I’m slightly sure I’ll learn plenty of new stuff proper here!
    Best of luck for the following!

Comments are closed.