Cancun, Mexico: The Royal Resort Review

A month ago, my family and I took a vacation to Cancún, Mexico. My mom found a great travel deal and couldn't resist (the travel bug runs in the family). So she booked the flights, hotel, and off we went!

This was our first time in Mexico and our first time staying at an all-inclusive resort. Now usually, I prefer staying outside of the hotel and resort areas to really experience the local culture, but I definitely wasn't about to turn down a paid for family vacation and all you can eat guacamole and fish tacos 😛.

So after an early morning wake-up call to the airport and a sleepless flight, the first thing I went on a hunt for was guac, tacos, and a much-needed margarita. It probably wasn't even noon yet, but every hour is happy hour when you're in Cancún!

Fish tacos by the Caribbean sea is all you really need in life.

Fish tacos by the Caribbean sea is all you really need in life.

So. Many. Food. Options.

So. Many. Food. Options.

We stayed at The Royal Cancun during our time here, and we loved it! Excellent service, waking up by the beach, all the Mexican food you can eat, and margaritas at any time of the day...I mean, what's not to like? This was also back in June, when it's suppose to be their rainy season, but besides a few cloudy moments, we had plenty of sunshine!

Chilling poolside

Chilling poolside

Swim-up pool bar is a must

Swim-up pool bar is a must

Probably on my way to get another margarita refill.

Probably on my way to get another margarita refill.

Also, as part of the all-inclusive deal, guests can take a shuttle and visit any of their five sister resorts along the peninsula and in Playa del Carmen. We didn't have time to visit all of them, but we did spend half a day at The Royal Sands. This was a beautiful resort as well, and I actually liked the location of this one better. We also discovered that is was where all the people were hiding! As lovely as The Royal Cancún was, it was kind of quiet. Most of the people at our resort were families with young children or older couples. The Royal Sands had a mix crowd, but there were more people around my age and a much livelier atmosphere.

Beachfront at The Royal Sands

Beachfront at The Royal Sands

Cheeseburger in paradise

Cheeseburger in paradise

In addition to enjoying all our resort had to offer, we also went on two day trips. We booked both our excursions through Experiencias Xcaret, and they offer package deals, so the more activities you book, the more money you save!

Our first excursion was to Xel-Ha Park, an outdoor water adventure park. From snorkeling to zip lining to cliff jumping, this place has all the adrenaline rush you need. You can also pay extra for other activities like swimming with dolphins. And when you're exhausted, you can eat and drink all you want at their restaurant.

Located within the Riviera Maya, the park itself is beautiful

Located within the Riviera Maya, the park itself is beautiful

Snorkeling in a lagoon

Snorkeling in a lagoon

You can find beautiful macaws hanging around in the park. This one even posed for a photo!

You can find beautiful macaws hanging around in the park. This one even posed for a photo!

We all have been dying to swim with dolphins, so we paid extra for the package. It's definitely pricey for a 30 minute timeframe that you share with with other people. There was also no photography allowed, forcing you to buy their overpriced photos if you want something to keep as a memory. Not ideal when you just want to snap a quick pic for Instagram, but it was an unforgettable experience nonetheless.

Dolphin kisses

Dolphin kisses

Our second day trip was to Chichen Itza, one of the Mayan ruins in Mexico and a world heritage site. I debated between this and the Tulum ruins but heard that Chichen Itza was more impressive, and I'm so glad I listened.

Temple of Jaguars

Temple of Jaguars

Temple of Warriors

Temple of Warriors

El Castillo, the main pyramid building

El Castillo, the main pyramid building

Unfortunately, you can no longer climb up the steps of the pyramid.

Unfortunately, you can no longer climb up the steps of the pyramid.

Our tour also included a trip to Cenote Ik-kil, which was by far one of my favorite experiences. Cenotes (meaning: sacred wells) are sinkholes where natural swimming pools have formed. Cenote Ik-kil is one of the more popular ones amongst tourist, and when you see how magical the cave is, you'll know why.

Overlooking Cenote Ik-kil from the top

Overlooking Cenote Ik-kil from the top

Cenotes are sacred to the Mayans, who use them for rituals and relaxation.

Cenotes are sacred to the Mayans, who use them for rituals and relaxation.

Four and a half days in Cancún flew by so quickly! I definitely could've spent another three days lounging at the resort. But I hope to be back in Mexico sometime to explore the more local side of it away from the resort area. I never had the wild spring break in Cancún experience, but this more than made up for it.

*Originally published on Violets for Vivien