So often, when My Vacation Lady mentions Cancun, Playa Mujeres or the Riviera Maya to clients interested in a great all inclusive beach vacation or honeymoon, I’ll hear hesitation about Cancun.

Some of my clients still think of the time they spent in Cancun during spring break.  Yes, Cancun still is one of the top destinations for spring breakers but many of the more deluxe resorts won’t accept spring break guests.  With the influx of new fabulous resorts in Cancun, the Riviera Maya and Playa Mujeres, there is enough to meet most clients dreams and budgets.

Playa Mujeres- where is that?  Same with the Riviera Maya.  Lots of our clients think that if you are flying into the Cancun Airport, all hotels are in Cancun.  Actually, that’s not the case.  Within 45 minutes of the Cancun Airport, you can get to all of the hotels in Cancun and Playa Mujeres and many hotels in the Riviera Maya.  The Riviera Maya actually runs about 70 miles along the beach south of the airport so some hotels may take a bit longer to get to but are worth the drive.


So with luxurious resorts in Cancun,  the Riviera Maya and Playa Mujeres, what are some of the major differences between the 3 destinations?

  1. High rise vs. low rise buildings- Cancun will definitely have high rise hotels running along the beach.  If you look to the right and the left, you’ll see another high rise hotel right next door.   The Riviera Maya  and Playa Mujeres resorts will be spread out out among the gardens and mangroves and the beach.  They usually won’t be higher than 6 stories tall and will be more spread out.
  2. The beach is a different color (just so much more vibrant) and it’s much wider at many of the hotels in Cancun and Playa Mujeres than in the Riviera Maya.  When it comes to the hated sargassum (or seaweed), there has typically been the least in Playa Mujeres.
  3. Entertainment- in Cancun, just walk out of your hotel and you’re on a strip of shops, restaurants and clubs.  There’s always something going on in Cancun, along the hotel zone.  In the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen is the place to be for shops, restaurants and clubs.  While there is a public bus to get there and while many resorts will offer some kind of shuttle to get to 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen.  Playa Mujeres is north of Cancun and you can get to the entertainment areas of Cancun by taxi.
  4. Excursions and things to see and do and experience:
    • If you are interested in seeing Mayan Ruins (like Tulum), it is easier and shorter to get there from the Riviera Maya.
    •  If you want to snorkel in the Underwater Snorkel Museum, it’s easier to get there from Cancun or Playa Mujeres.
    • If you want to go to Isla Mujeres, you might be able to take a boat directly from your resort in Playa Mujeres OR you can take a ferry from Puerto Juarez.  Getting to Isla Mujeres is easy from Cancun as well.   It’s a long drive and then a ferry ride from the Riviera Maya.
    • If you’re looking for party cruises or dinner cruises, they are more available from Cancun.
    • If you want to go to Xcaret or Xel-Ha or snorkel in some great cenotes (underground pools and rivers), it’s easier to do from the Riviera Maya.
    • There is some great golf available in both and there are a couple of resorts that have golf courses right at the hotels in all 3 locations.
    • If you want to horseback ride or take an ATV tour, it will be in the Riviera Maya, so while you can certainly do these activities from Cancun or Playa Mujeres, it’s just a further ride to get there.

With wonderful resorts in all 3 areas, it may be hard to decide.  That’s where we can help.

During your honeymoon or vacation consultation, My Vacation Lady will talk about your preference and your dreams and we’ll design a honeymoon package or vacation package that’s right for you.   We’ve just been there so we have first hand experience with the pros and cons of each of these great resort areas.