Cancún Travel Guide: Where to Eat, Stay, and Play

Cancun Sign Cancun Travel Guide

It seems like just yesterday that I was on vacation on the beautiful beaches of Cancún! This was my family’s first time in Mexico (technically, I visited Cozumel two years ago on my Caribbean cruise, but this was our first time actually staying and exploring!) I know I’ve been lagging on editing pictures and posts, but in my defense I took A TON of photos and videos and every time I look at them I suffer from post-vacay depression. Anyway, today I am finally sharing my second Mexico travel guide for where to eat, stay, and play in Cancún!

EAT

La Destileria Cancun Travel GuideDinner at La Destileria Cancun Travel Guide

LA DESTILERIA

La Destileria the first restaurant that the Westin concierge recommended and is about a 10 minute walk away from the hotel. Our waiter even served us a round of drinks on the house when we mentioned that we were staying at the Westin! My sister and I shared the Queso Frito en Salsa Verde (fried cheese in green salsa) and a side of rice and it remains one of my favorite meals throughout the trip!

Hacienda Sisal Restaurant Cancun Travel GuideHacienda Sisal Enchiladas Cancun Travel Guide

HACIENDA SISAL

Hacienda Sisal is just a little bit further down the street from La Destileria (around a 15 min walk from the Westin.) I was especially excited for this restaurant when I found out that they serve veggie enchiladas! The ambiance was so beautiful, especially at sunset and I really wanted to sit outside, but my sister and I didn’t want to risk getting any more bug bites :(

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ICE CREAM AT CHICHEN ITZA

After surviving the heat of Chichen Itza, my sister and I were more than ready for ice cream. This was honestly the BEST mango and coconut ice cream I’ve ever had… who would have thought it would be in the little smoothie shop here?

STAY

The Westin Laguna Mar Hotel Cancun Travel GuideWestin Laguna Mar Cancun Travel Guide View from Westin Laguna Mar Hotel Cancun Travel Guide View from Westin Laguna Mar Hotel Cancun Travel Guide 2

WESTIN LAGUNAMAR

I am a little biased because this is where we have a connected time share, but I can honestly say that I LOVED staying at the Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas (normally around $296 /night). First of all, the pool area is absolutely amazing. It overlooks the ocean and also has bar stools inside the pool – which means that you can sip on piña coladas all day long without ever leaving the water! My family and I stayed in a one bedroom villa with a gorgeous view of the pool and beach. It also had a kitchen so we were able to cook a few meals ourselves and save a little bit of money on eating out.

The pools, rooms and lobby had free wi-fi for SPG Members which was a convenient amenity, but I tried my best to only use it only for snapchat and to share a few Instagram pictures. One of my favorite parts of vacation is being able to disconnect and enjoy where I’m at, which I made an important priority during this trip.

PLAY

Isla Mujeres Dock Cancun Travel GuideFlytographer Isla Mujeres Travel Guide 3

ISLA MUJERES

Isla Mujeres was one of my favorite days of the trip. Rent a golf cart, explore the cliffs of Punta Sur, and stop for popsicles downtown… Those are just a few fun activities this island has to offer! Check out my full travel guide of fun activities HERE.

Fashion Harbour Mall Cancun Travel GuideFish Therapy Cancun Travel GuideStarbucks Mexico Drinks Cancun Travel Guide

LA ISLA FASHION HARBOUR MALL

This mall was literally right across the street from the Westin. If you’re looking to shop, Fashion Harbour is home to a bunch of stores such as Nike, Zara and Sunglass Hut, in addition to many restaurants and an aquarium. My sister convinced us to get fish therapy at Sea of Life, which was an incredibly strange sensation but memorable experience that made our feet extremely soft and smooth. Whenever we needed to cool off, we visited Starbucks for piña coco frappuccinos and Häagen-Dazs for waffle sundaes.

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XCARET

I had multiple people recommend that we visit Xcaret, which if you didn’t know is an eco-archaeological park packed full of fun water activities and exhibits. The park is well known for its underground rivers, which I actually hadn’t heard of before but swimming through it was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. There are three different ones that you can explore: Blue River, Maya River or Manatee River but eventually they all combine together into one. After swimming, we explored the natural pools by the beach and then headed to lunch at La Laguna where I found the cutest coconut cups ever! We took a tour here and had the option of leaving at 4:40 or 9:40 back to the hotel (about an hour away.) Unfortunately by the end of the day we were all too tired to stay for the dinner show, but I hope to go back again someday to see it because everyone says it’s absolutely incredible!

Chichen Itza Ruins Cancun Travel Guide Ancient Ruins Chichen Itza Cancun Travel Guide 3Follow Me to Chichen Itza Cancun Travel Guide Ancient Ruins Chichen Itza Cancun Travel Guide 1

CHICHEN ITZA

Chichen may be three hours away from Cancún, but these ruins are worth the drive and heat stroke! After doing a bit of research, we booked a two-day tour with Cancún Adventure for $166.40 US / person, which included both of the basic packages at Chichen Itza and Xcaret (many tours can be over $100 each if your purchase separately.) The Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen Itza, also known as “El Castillo” (the castle), is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World for a good reason. It was such an amazing experience to be in the midst of this archeological wonder and able to admire the ancient architecture as well as learn more about the history of its people. We had a tour guide with us for the first 1.45 hrs, then we had a little over an hour to explore on our own and take some photos. Make sure to pack sunscreen, water, and your camera – and if you want to bring in a GoPro or any other video camera, make sure you pay the extra fee before entering the site.

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CENOTE IK KIL

Who knows what a cenote is? Basically, a cenote (pronounced say-NO-tay) is a natural sinkhole created where a cave ceiling has collapsed. From above, it looks like huge hole in the earth surrounded by long strands of green vegetation. Once you venture down the steps, you have the option to swim around freely or climb up a few more stairs and jump straight in! Cenote Ik Kil was a part of the two-day tour on the same day as Chichen Itza. The itinerary led me to believe that we would be visiting AFTER Chichen Itza (which I probably would have preferred, considering how hot Chichen was!) but it was still an amazing experience. Our tour ended up running late so we had a little less time here, but ideally you would get 50 min to swim in the cenote and 1.15 hrs to eat at the buffet lunch. Although it was a bit crowded with tourists, we all had a blast jumping into the refreshingly cold water.

Have you ever stayed in Cancún before? Please share your experiences or other recommendations in the comments!

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24 Comments

  1. ruthieridley
    July 22, 2016 / 9:49 am

    I’m completely speechless. This looks like the vacation of a lifetime. The tours seem so worth it and these pictures are like a dream. I love family vacations. Can’t wait to do something like this with my family!!!!

    • WorldWideStylista
      July 24, 2016 / 1:37 pm

      It definitely was a vacation for the books! I’m really glad we had the opportunity to do them because it made things so much easier to plan and navigate. Family vacations are the best! Hope you get a chance to take one with your fam too and I can’t wait to hear all about it :) xoxo

  2. July 22, 2016 / 9:52 am

    I LOVE Cancun!!! My husband and I are planning our next vacation there.

    • WorldWideStylista
      July 24, 2016 / 1:39 pm

      It was amazing! Hope you two have a blast! xo

  3. Heather Johnson
    July 22, 2016 / 10:05 am

    Oh I LOVEEEE Mexico! Cancun-Riveria Maya area is always one of my family’s fave vacation spots! I love this recap and can we just TALK about that fried cheese in green sauce, mango coconut ice cream, and I must visit the Cenote! I had never heard of that before… it looks incredible! Beautiful photos and fantastic recap… makes me want to plan a vacay #stat! <3
    XX,
    Heather
    http://www.alittlecasual.com

    • WorldWideStylista
      July 24, 2016 / 1:40 pm

      I am too and can’t wait to go back again soon! You seriously have to try them and visit the cenote next time you’re there. Thanks so much girlie, hope you get a chance to take one soon! xoxo

    • WorldWideStylista
      July 24, 2016 / 1:41 pm

      Thank you Taylor! I hope you get a chance to soon and if you do, I can’t wait to hear all about it ☺️ xoxo

  4. July 22, 2016 / 10:56 am

    What a fun trip!!! I have done most of the Caribbean, but never Mexico. I am inspired to give it a shot! So fun!

    • WorldWideStylista
      July 24, 2016 / 1:42 pm

      I was in the same boat before this trip! The beaches are pretty similar but it is definitely a different but fun experience. Hope you get the chance to soon! xo

  5. July 22, 2016 / 1:41 pm

    Looks like such an amazing trip! I want to pack up and go now!

    • WorldWideStylista
      July 24, 2016 / 1:43 pm

      It really was incredible! And I couldn’t agree more – wish I could just pack up and go again! xo

  6. July 22, 2016 / 4:06 pm

    I love Cancun. Going back there in November. So excited! We usually stay at one of the Palace resorts.

    • WorldWideStylista
      July 24, 2016 / 1:43 pm

      How fun and exciting! I’ve never heard of them but I’ll definitely have to check it out next time ? xoxo

  7. thetravelpockets
    July 22, 2016 / 6:13 pm

    OMG! I never had Cancun on my lists of places to visit, but after reading this I really really want to go now. The mango ice cream I want! And the last photos of the sink hole looks so unreal! You take amazing photos.

    • WorldWideStylista
      July 24, 2016 / 1:46 pm

      It is truly an amazing place to take an adventure to! Their ice cream was so delicious and the cenote was one of my most memorable moments. Thank you so much! xoxo

  8. July 22, 2016 / 7:56 pm

    I’ve been to Cancun twice, but your trip looked much cooler! :) We do all inclusive resorts so we don’t have to worry about food, and we’ve been to the ruins 3 hours away, but everything else you did looks awesome!

    • WorldWideStylista
      July 24, 2016 / 1:47 pm

      If we didn’t have a time share, we’d probably do the same! I’ve heard great things about them too ? It was such a fun trip and I am looking forward to going again soon! xo

  9. July 23, 2016 / 6:56 am

    This looks amazing! Me and my husband will be going to Cancun in a couple months! Will be referring back to this on what fun things we can do!!

    • WorldWideStylista
      July 24, 2016 / 1:48 pm

      How exciting! I’m sure you both are going to love it ? Let me know if you get a chance to do any of them and how your trip goes! xo

  10. July 23, 2016 / 10:31 am

    What a beautiful post! I have never been to Cancun but you are convincing me

    • WorldWideStylista
      July 24, 2016 / 1:48 pm

      You should definitely add it to your bucket list! ☺️ xo

  11. July 25, 2016 / 3:29 pm

    Your trip looks amazing!!! Makes me so anxious for September to come so I can go on my trip. They cenote is unreal and I want to see it in person! That’s so cool that you got to experience all these fab spouts.

    Meaghan xx

  12. July 31, 2016 / 5:15 pm

    Take me to Cenote and leave me. That looks like the best place in the world!