Tag Archives: cancun hotel zone

Spring Break Cancun Craziness

20 Mar

Well this past 3-day weekend was crazy, to say the least!

Friday night we went to Party Center in the Hotel Zone with some of Jorge’s guy friends to see some of the Spring Break 2012 action.

Line outside Coco Bongo

This shirt was a Christmas present, and it didn't fit me until this month! yay weight loss!

Mandala - filled up!

We wandered around Party Center for awhile, then decided on XX Bar because it was cheap, and the only place that wasn’t 100% packed yet.

**Note to my female readers: Dancing on bars is fun, but I recommend wearing jeans, not miniskirts. It may seem fun at the time, but you won’t like that YouTube video filmed by some stranger once you’re home from vacation.

**Note to my male readers: Don’t dance on bars. Ever. You may fall into the concrete bar pit like this one shirtless body builder we saw. Hilarious for us. Not an easy embarrassment to shake off for him.

The best part of the night: I got hit on! Since I’m always out with Jorge, I haven’t gotten hit on much in the past 5 years. 30 seconds by myself at the bar, and I was turning guys down. Nice to know I still got it!

We left XX Bar around 4 am and snuck into went to Plaza Forum for some late-night pizza. Yum!

The Surfin Burrito

5 Mar

One of our favorite places to go when we have nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon is The Surfin Burrito. It’s located in the Cancun Hotel Zone, and since it opened a few months ago it’s become quite popular with tourists and a lot of my expat friends. It’s also open 24 hours a day and right next to Party Center, so it’s perfect for some 4 am burritos right after you leave the club.

They have beers, cocktails, tacos, ceviches, burritos and even some burgers, perfect for a quick and delicious meal.

This Sunday, Jorge and I ordered some pico de gallo ($25 pesos) that was absolutely perfect… spicy, but not so spicy it makes my nose run! Then we split a build-your-own burrito (around $70 pesos), with fish, a spinach tortilla, chipotle, rice, beans and God only knows what else!


I love this place… it’s super tiny (only 3 tables), very casual, and always has a mixed crowd hanging out and talking about their latest escapades.

We spent $160 pesos (about $13 US) total, including our pico de gallo, 1 burrito, some sodas and a tip.

Yet another Cancun restaurant that fits the 3 B’s: Bueno, Bonito y Barato!

Splash! Restaurant in Cancun’s Hotel Zone

2 Feb

Right after our afternoon at the beach last Sunday, Jorge and I took the Hotel Zone bus to a restaurant we’d been wanting to try called Splash. It’s located right on the lagoon (by where Basic nightclub used to be, for all you partiers) and has some pretty decent prices!

My lettuce tacos (shrimp, salmon/caviar, and tuna)

Jorge with his michelada

We spent $260 pesos total (several tacos each, drinks and tip).

Jorge says we have to return because this place has “The 3 B’s… Bueno, Bonito y Barato“!

Sunday at Cancun’s Playa Delfines

31 Jan

Jorge and I spent Sunday at Playa Delfines (Dolphin Beach) in Cancun. It has been years since we hung out at the beach in the Hotel Zone! Usually we prefer Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen or Puerto Morelos, but I’m glad we finally came around and decided to enjoy our city for once.

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Why I Love Cancun’s Plaza La Isla

31 Dec

Sometimes when you live in a beautiful tourist destination like Cancun, it’s easy to get sucked into everyday life. Even though I’m just minutes away from some of the world’s best beaches and most incredible All Inclusive resorts, I often forget there’s more to life than wake up, go to work, go to the gym, watch TV, sleep, repeat.

So when I really want to feel like a tourist in Cancun, there’s one perfect place that’s just a cheap bus ride away: Plaza La Isla.

Plaza La Isla is a beautiful outdoor mall set in the middle of the Hotel Zone, complete with charming canals, luxury boutiques, inexpensive brands, high-end department stores, fast food, fun restaurant and upscale dining. It’s unbeatable location right on the lagoon makes it the perfect spot for a romantic evening.

One thing I love about Plaza La Isla is the fountains, which always manage to draw in a crowd! Everyone oohs and aahs over the jumping water fountain, while kids can be seen running through the ground fountain by the lagoon.

See? Kids can't help themselves ūüôā

So many of my best Cancun memories have been in Plaza La Isla: margaritas with my sister, dinners at Thai Lounge, a quincenera party at Planet Hollywood, tons of photo ops by the fountain, shopping at Guess (my favorite), root beers at Johnny Rockett’s, petting a shark, panoramic views of the Hotel Zone from the top of the parking deck, and of course… Jorge proposing to me by the lagoon.

Next time you’re in Cancun, make sure to visit this beautiful outdoor mall. I recomend arriving around 4 pm so you can see it in the daylight, at sunset and in the evening.

View of the Hotel Zone across the lagoon

What’s your favorite place to shop in your city?

Disclosure:  I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the Mexico Today Program.  All stories, opinions and passion for all things Mexico shared here are completely my own.

Hurricane Rina Heads Toward Cancun’s Hotel Zone: Photos

26 Oct

My friend Tori took these beautiful photos of Hurricane Rina rolling into Cancun’s Hotel Zone. Kind of disappointed to be stuck in the office right now!

Baby Sea Turtle Release at the Ritz Carlton Cancun

18 Aug

Step out onto a quiet beach in Cancun and the Riviera Maya on a summer night, and you just might spot a female see turtle laying her eggs in the sand. This summer alone, I’ve had several friends mention that they’ve seen sea turtles laying eggs at night on several beaches in Cancun’s Hotel Zone.

Lots of development and activity, however, has made local beaches unsafe for the turtle eggs, and many resorts are now looking for a way to restore balance by finding the turtle eggs and giving them a safe home until they hatch. The hatchlings are then released into the Caribbean to try their luck on their own.

I was recently invited to the very first Baby Turtle Release of the 2011 season at the Ritz Carlton Cancun. Even though I’ve been living here 6 years, it was the first time I’d witnessed one! PR Director Paulina Feltrin gave me a tour of the beautiful hotel and explained about their Turtle Camp, run by Juan de Dios.

The Ritz Carlton has been helping the baby turtles for more than 13 years! They patrol the beaches at night searching for nesting turtles, then recover the eggs and bring them to safety at their Turtle Camp, where they can rest safely for 45 to 60 days until they hatch.

Each mound of sand is a nest of turtle eggs, labeled with info like the type of turtle and predicted hatch date.

The baby sea turtles are always released in the evenings to increase their chance of survival from predators, although it’s estimated that only 1 in every 1,000 sea turtles will survive to adulthood.

After a glance at the Turtle Camp, Paulina led me down to the beach area, where a large crowd of Ritz Carlton guests had gathered to share the experience.

It was a beautiful and peaceful evening, perfect for a turtle release.

I could feel the air abuzz with excitement and curiosity. The adults were snapping photos (note: no flash allowed!) while the kids were peering into the basket of sea turtles as Paulina explained the process. Sea turtles were then passed around to guests, who were careful to hold the baby turtles by the sides of their shell.

And then… they were off!

Some of the baby turtles were super-speedy, swept away by the gentle waves within seconds. Others took a bit longer, but eventually made it to their destination… the Caribbean Sea.

I couldn’t help but notice how tiny and fragile they looked compared to the waves, and I wondered what adventures they’d have on their first night in the sea.

Fun Fact: Many locals rely on sea turtle nesting habits to determine how strong hurricane season is going to be. This forecast is generally more accurate than human weather forecasts! Rumor has it that according to nesting sea turtles, 2011 is not going to be a strong hurricane season in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

Disclosure:  I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the Mexico Today Program.  All stories, opinions and passion for all things Mexico shared here are completely my own.

Why I Love Beach Weddings in Cancun

31 Jul

I’ve been living in Cancun since I was 19, but had never attended a local wedding until last year. Now that I’m well into my 20s, many of my friends are starting to get engaged and get married (including myself… heh).

My best friends got married on the beach in Puerto Juarez, Cancun

I’d never before realized just how amazing Cancun is for a wedding, but¬†in the past year¬†I’ve had the chance to see several stunning beach weddings right on the Caribbean.

With unique chapels set under a palapa-roof, intense turquoise waters and bright white sand beaches, brides and grooms in Cancun don’t even need to buy large flower arrangements or expensive decorations to set the mood for¬†a romantic beach wedding.

Couples getting married in Cancun can experience an elegant ceremony at one of this destination’s incredible resorts, or choose a more secluded oceanside event venue in areas like Puerto Morelos and Puerto Juarez, both located within 20 minutes of the Hotel Zone.

When it comes to beach weddings, I’m great at salsa dancing in the sand and hounding the dessert table… but when it comes to planning, my organizational skills fail me. So, I decided to ask my friend Ilse, the owner of Diamant Events and a beautiful beachside venue in Puerto Morelos, a little about what it’s like to plan a destination wedding in Cancun.

The gorgeous Ilse of Diamant Events

Why do so many people choose Cancun for their destination wedding?

Because people get more for their money in every way. Cancun offers amazing background colors for your beautiful wedding photos. We also have very good weather almost every time of the year.

Nighttime beach wedding by Ilse of Diamant Events

What inspired you to choose Cancun for organizing destination weddings?

I know Cancun is still a young city and the wedding industry is growing fast around the world, and Cancun is the perfect place to do things the right way. If we all have good and certified wedding planners, we can raise the bar for quality weddings and become¬†the world’s top wedding destination, not just the Top 10.

A daytime beach wedding by Ilse at Diamant Events

What are some fun traditions you’ve seen being used here?

I’ve seen the Chinese tea tradition, one tradition from a Nordic town where bride and groom cut together a piece of wood symbolizing they are now working together as a team, I’ve seen tossing the bouquet to see who is the next one in line to get married, and the Jordanian Candle Dance where all the ladies from the bridal party (including bride) entering the wedding salon with the lights dimmed and all of them dancing; then they get to the groom they carry them and every one dances in circles around them.
How hard is it for a foreigner to get married in Mexico from a legal standpoint?
They can do the legal ceremony here too. Most people don’t want to do the paper work because they don’t realize that any certified wedding planner in Cancun can do that for them, including sending the papers back home and making them legal in their foreign country.
What’s¬†the best¬†time of day for a beach wedding?
My favorite time is just before sunset. The natural lighting, the breeze and the serenity of the ocean at that time is just amazing!

An evening beach wedding by Isle at Diamant Events

Ilse was nice enough to invite me¬†along to a wedding this weekend! She was at a workshop hosted by New York wedding coordinator Candy Cain, where she and other coordinators got their Wedding Specialist Certification. Saturday afternoon, I met up with Ilse at the Gran Caribe Real in Cancun’s Hotel Zone¬†to see a beautiful wedding right on the beach, organized by Candy. It was INCREDIBLE. So small and simple, yet breathtaking. I’ll leave you with a few pictures…

Any wedding with a parasailer in the background is all right with me.

What’s your dream wedding location?

Disclosure:  I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the Mexico Today Program.  All stories, opinions and passion for all things Mexico shared here are completely my own.

Paradise Rewind: Cancun in the 1970s

6 Jun

As I sit here in the office with our main system down and torrential rain outside (we haven’t had rain in months, and we’re so excited!), I decided it would be a good time to share some photos of Cancun’s Hotel Zone… from the 1970s.

I’ll do my best to post before and after shots, where possible. (Sorry I don’t have good sources for these photos. Most were send to me via e-mail.)

Enjoy!

Cancun’s Party Center (looking south from Punta Cancun)

1970s
Today

Calinda Bridge

1970

Today

Punta Cancun (where you’ll find Dreams, the Hyatt, Fiesta Americana and the Convention Center)

1970

Today

Playa Chac Mool (right behind Coco Bongo) looking north

1975 (that's the Camino Real in the background... today it's Dreams!)

Today

Playa Chac Mool (right behind Coco Bongo) looking south

Punta Nizuc (southern end of the Hotel Zone)

1978

Today

 Not sure where in the Hotel Zone this is, but it looks lovely:


Halloween at Roo Nightclub

1 Nov

This weekend was pretty awesome! I have so much to write about… not sure where to begin!

I guess in the spirit of Halloween, I’ll start with the Halloween-y things.

Saturday night we went to Roo nightclub in the Hotel Zone. We didn’t dress up, but almost everybody else was in costume. Jorge, our friends and I sat near¬† the entrance most of the night, which was a great choice because we got to see all the costumes walking in and out of the place. Later we moved to a table by the dance floor.

Cancun's famous Party Center (about 1 am)

Inside Roo nightclub

HULK ANGRY!

Guy taking a shower (my favorite costume of the night)

Viri and Juan, our partners in crime

Mr. and Mrs. Gringation

The dance floor

Overall, a pretty entertaining night. We were among the oldest people there. In Cancun, the minimum drinking age is 18, but clubs will often let you in if you’re at least 14 or 15… so at 24 years old, I felt ancient. That’s just not right!

Anyway, the people-watching was interesting to say the least. I saw 2 ladybugs making out (boy and girl), Wilma Flintstone crying in a corner and being consoled by Fred, a cavewoman whose mom came to pick her up (she hid from her mom in the bathroom), and some underage girls with their butt cheeks hanging out.

At the end of the night, we all agreed this just might not be our scene anymore. Since we’re older than most people there, 2 of us don’t drink (I had 3 glasses of water) and we’re all married/engaged, there just doesn’t seem to be much to do at a nightclub anymore.

Plus, nightclub music seems to have changed. They used to play awesome music for dancing, like hip hop, reggaeton and salsa. Saturday night, all I heard was pop and techno. Not my favorite.

I felt kinda sad to realize this since I used to be the nightclub queen 5 years ago, but I guess we all have to grow up sometime.

I did get hit on by a mummy, though… so that made me feel a little better ūüôā