I’ll be honest – I was a little scared to go to Mexico the week leading up to our trip. So scared, that I Googled all sorts of travel safety tips and actually wrote a will in case we didn’t make it back. Isn’t it crazy the things you think about after having a kid? I’ve never been so responsible in my life! But with the violence in Cancun escalating, I wanted to make sure our girl was covered in case anything happened south of the border.
Luckily, after arriving to the beautiful and secluded Hyatt Ziva, located at the very tip of the Cancun Peninsula, I was able to put my fears aside and fully enjoy our vacation in Paradise. This all-inclusive resort was something out of a movie. The first thing we noticed was the amazing ocean view you see as soon as you enter the grounds and then again from every window you encounter; bright blue and turquoise water surround three sides of the hotel and it makes for breathtaking scenes at almost every turn.
Next up, the food! You never know what you’re going to get when your food is included with the cost of your stay – but this place surpassed our expectations by miles! They served everything from fresh shrimp tacos at the open and breezy beachfront restaurant, Habaneros, to sushi and authentic tepanake in the dimly lit Asian restaurant just down the way from our tower. And let's not forget, the unlimited drinks from waiters who bring you another, without you even having to ask!
We spent most of our days hopping back and forth from the resort’s white sandy beaches, to the three infinity pools located around the property – lounging in cabanas, swinging in ocean hammocks, drinking mai tais and usually ending our days in the also-all-inclusive sweet shop.
We could have easily spent all five days at the resort, but we decided to venture out on a tour/excursion, booked through the travel agency conveniently located on-site. We first took a bus to Tulum, about two hours south of Cancun. This was an ancient Mayan city built in 1000 A.D. Tulum means “the Wall” because the ancient people built a large stone wall to surround this small port-city; it served to protect the upper-class Mayans who populated the area. Inside, we took photos of the ruins, ancient temple, and breathtaking ocean views that made this Mayan city (the only one located on the water), stand apart from other ruins in Central America.
The second part of our day was spent in Xel-Ha - a natural waterpark with a beautiful winding river snaking its way through the center and straight into the ocean. We rode bikes to the start of the river and then hopped into inner tubes to float our way down.
We stopped along the way to cliff-jump (this sounds more extreme than it was – the cliffs were about 15-20 feet tall, with staff at the top and bottom ensuring participants were safe. I watched from the base ;)). There was also a water obstacle course and numerous zip lines that followed the river's edge – we ditched our tubes to zip a portion of the river and it was a blast! We ended the day with a cave swim through the natural cenotes.
Our final day was spent relaxing at the resort. We were told by our friends that we HAD to visit the day spa facilities. Some rooms come with access to the facilities (ours included), while others require you to pay a fee to enjoy the hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, cold plunge pool, teas, snacks and an endless supply of sliced cucumbers. Let me just say - I wish we explored this area of the resort so much sooner! We both left feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy our final day in Cancun.
We topped off our afternoon of fun with a Sea-Doo ride in the late afternoon. This wasn't through the resort, but a small rental company just a short walk down the beach. We rode far out into the ocean, and were blown away at how crystal clear the bright blue waters were -- even so far from the shore. We stopped the motor for a minute so we could look down at the sea life, and just take it all in.
As our trip drew to a close, we were sad to leave our newfound slice of paradise but so anxious and excited to be reunited with our little girl! We are already talking about our next trip to this resort, and hopefully next time Ava will be old enough to enjoy it with us!