Finding Harmony in Travel: Riviera Maya, Mexico

In the Summer of 2015, I was fortunate to visit the beautiful city of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. This post is not only meant to document my trip, but to also serve as a useful tool for those who might be traveling that way and need some recommendations.

Riviera Maya

We stayed at the elegant RIU Palace Riviera Maya. Riviera Maya is a stretch of the Caribbean coastline on Mexico’s northeastern Yucatán Peninsula. It runs through multiple cities, including Playa Del Carmen. I would highly recommend staying at this all-inclusive resort for many reasons – the food was wonderful, the staff was upbeat and friendly, and the accommodations were top notch.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya

Riu Palace Riviera Maya

Selecting a resort can be an intimidating decision. Not only are you lodging there for a week, but you’re relying on them to sustain you with food and libations – you definitely don’t want to stay just anywhere. If you’re heading to Riviera Maya and don’t know where to stay, check out the RIU hotel brand. They have multiple resorts in the area and are very highly rated amongst travelers.

Fish Spa

Our hotel was conveniently located a short drive away from downtown Playa del Carmen. If you want to enjoy some shopping while on your trip, this is the place to go. There’s a vast variety of stores, including an abundance of souvenir shops. There’s also fun tourist activities like the Fish Spa Pedicure pictured above. While it might look intimidating, the process is actually quite relaxing. Prior to beginning the experience, your feet are cleaned before being placed inside a water tank filled with Garra Rufa – nibble fish that eat the dead skin off of your feet, leaving them noticeably smooth. While it might seem like a unique practice, I found it to be an enjoyable experience and would recommend it to anyone looking to soften up their feet while on vacay.


Most of the week-long vacation was spent relaxing and enjoying the beautiful beach and resort. While I spent most of the trip sleeping in until the sun came up, I was happy to catch the sunrise one of the mornings. I would highly recommend setting an alarm to catch one of these. Pictures just can’t do it justice.

While I could bore you with hundreds of pictures documenting my stay, the important advice I have to share is this:

  • Consider staying at a RIU resort – the food, staff, and accommodations are wonderful.
  • Be adventurous and try some touristy activities – the Fish Spa was a fun experience that I would recommend to anyone.
  • Take the time to enjoy the unforgettable moments being in paradise has to offer – like catching a breathtaking sunrise.

Have you ever stayed in Playa Del Carmen? Share any advice you have to travelers in the comments!


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