On the beach of Mexico’s Riviera Maya, the massive Barcelo Maya Colonial stretches out like the fronds of the palm trees that call it home. With eight restaurants, two theaters, a mini-golf course, and all-inclusive perks, this epic resort is a prime spot to relax and enjoy the Riviera Maya’s hot, sunny climate without stepping foot off the property.
All-inclusive means you don’t have to worry about prices, taxes, or tipping on breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, or domestic alcohol during your stay.
Eight restaurants include a steak house, a Japanese restaurant, and two beachside buffets. Food and drinks are available 24 hours a day in the Puebla Bar.
Onsite activities abound: you can swim in two giant pools overlooking the ocean, take a free scuba-diving lesson, dance at a discotheque, and watch live entertainment nightly.
Just for kids: The Barcy Club, a complimentary club for kids aged 4–12, offers supervised beach walks, crafts, snacks, and playtime at the children’s pool.
Hot tip: The free Maya Express train takes guests all over the enormous property, with departures every 20 minutes.
Mexico's Riviera Maya: Rich with History and Tropical Calm
Just south of Cancún, the Riviera Maya is a nearly 80-mile stretch of Caribbean coastline fronted by towns rich in Mexican culture. For some of the area’s best beaches, clubs, and snorkeling reefs, head to the rapidly growing city of Playa del Carmen. Farther south, Tulum sits on a perch of rocky bluffs and is better known for ancient ruins, including temples and a cliff-side castle. The inhabitants of Tulum—which means "walled" in the aboriginal language—first erected the city's outer fortress to protect themselves from belligerent invaders. Today, the wall guards the archeological zone, beginning with an entryway of two corbel arches and a limestone house built over an underwater cave.
Swimming in the secret caves isn’t allowed, but a scenic drive south of Playa del Carmen brings you to the Yucatán Peninsula's legendary limestone cenotes, freshwater sinkholes created by an underground river system. At the Cenote Cristalino, you can jump from terraced outcroppings into an exposed pool or go snorkeling in underwater caves. You can also watch locals expertly flip, dive, and synchronously cannonball into the clear water at this popular weekend hangout.
The people were super friendly, the food was delicious, appreciated how many activities they had for kids even with the rain. Only watch out...the $1000 credit is a discount coupon, but not an actual credit.