Please! Mexican Riveria???

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Dec 2nd, 1999, 09:15 AM
  #1
stef/tom
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Please! Mexican Riveria???

Does anyone know about the Bahia Principe Hotel in the Mexican Riviera?? What to do? How long does it take from the airport? How is the hotel and scuba diving??????Please help, I have been to Cancun and PV but heard this is much nicer....haven't seen anything on the net about it... apparantly its further than Playa del Carmen......thanks!
 
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Dec 6th, 1999, 04:42 AM
  #2
Trevor
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We just got back from our 1 week trip to the Akumal area. We stayed about 4 km south of Akumal, 50 km south of Playa del Carmen, at the Bahia Principe Tulum. I would like to give a brief report here and plan on putting together a web page with pics etc. in the near future, but seeing as its Christmas and we leave for New Tork in two weeks for the holidays and Y2000 celebrations that may not be done until well into the new year.

The hotel is very nice, the food is good. There are two restaraunts in which you can order off the menu, but they require reservations through Public Relations. The food here is excellent. There are 4 restaraunts in all. Be sure to bring warmer clothes for the evening and some stuff to dress up in a bit.

The snorkeling is good at the hotel, but much better down the road at Xelha (15 minutes) or up the road at Akumal's lagoon called Yal-ku. These destinations are worth it, as are Coba, and Tulum. We did all of these by public bus. There are tours available from the Hotel and
local tour companies.

You can catch a public bus on the highway outside the hotel. Taxis will offer
you a ride, but I found them expensive. Buses will stop for you standing on
the side of the highway, the main bus line that seems to stop is called Mayab.
A good bargain are the taxi vans that drive up and down the highway. They are
collective and offer a better rate than the cars, but will leave you with a walk to the sites. Note the walk to the Nortern part of Akumal, the lagoon, is pretty far. I believe your only choices are to hitch or take a cab from the entrance of Akumal.

You will find the staff at the hotel great and the activities good. Book a Catamaran by 8:30 the day you would like to go out. Do try the sea kayaks in the surf. The guests at the hotel are largely German and Spanish (that is European). That means a lot of smokers and maybe not the most friendly of folks. The Eurpoeans were in large groups that also might explain a certain lack friendliness. There are some Canadians and very few Americans. There is shopping nearby but it is expensive compared to Peurto Vallarta and Manzanillo. Don't buy anything at the hotel, it is very expensive. Paid $4.50 CAD for a bottled water, in Tulum, PDC, and Coba that same water cost less than a dollar Canadian.

There is a shopping mall at the highway which is a little cheaper, but for a Canadian where the money is only at about 5:1 the prices seemed high. Playa del Carmen is close, but we found the shopping a little dissapointing - there are bank machines and money exchanges here (10:1 American in some places).

For an afternoon visit Akumal (4 km to the north - walking distance for some -
if you have no money like a couple we talked to) , have lunch or even dinner.
Visit the main beach and maybe walk up to half moon bay to check out the homes
and condos of this area. Akumal feels a little like cottage country, or summer at the lake. My best comparison in Mexico though is Barra de Navidad on the Pacific side. I prefer Barra for culture and overall experience, but Akumal for the water.

Worst part of our trip was avoiding smokers in the restaraunts and lounges,
plus the fact that pineapples are not in season. Best part of our trip was
Xelha, Akumal, and the resort. Be prepared for walking, wind, and cool
evenings. (oh yeah and long pants for the men at dinner).

Would come back to Bahia Principe, but would take a good look at resorts, condos, etc. in Akumal before deciding. Overall, we enjoy Puerto Vallarta/Manzanillo area more. This is mostly due to the cultural experience, which seems mostly absent on the Mayan Riveria. Can't beat the water and the snorkeling along this coast though.

I would recommend the map that you can buy on line at http://www.cancunmap.com/

See also
http://www3.sympatico.ca/fikret/bahiaprincipe.htm

http://www.bahia-principe.com

http://www.locogringo.com/

http://www.cris.com/~yohon/Coba.html

happy travelling,

trevor
 
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Dec 7th, 1999, 09:52 AM
  #3
stef/tom
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Thanks abunch Trevor for the info, it will be very helpful !! Happy New 2000 !
 
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