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Playa Del Carmen Travel Guide

Our first trip internationally after 7 months in the US did not disappoint! We headed to Playa Del Carmen Mexico through CheapCaribbean and two of our best friends for a little adults only getaway. We were very impressed with how smooth the process went from booking the trip, to the arrival, transportation, and to the hotel. Below are all the details to make sure your trip is just as smooth and sharing a discount code for travel at the end!

Ocean sunrise in front of Paradisus Resort


How to get there:
We flew into Cancun airport. This is the main airport hub if you are visiting the east coast of Mexico. Playa Del Carmen is about an hour drive from Cancun, and Tulum is 2 hours. Highly recommend having prearranged transport with Amstar prior to arrival so everything is hassle free getting straight to your destination. We booked the Private Deluxe Transfer here! I can’t say enough good things about this experience, from waiting with a sign with our name on it, grabbing our luggage, to beverages waiting for us, and intense cleaning procedures, the team was amazing!

You can see details of their cleaning protocols here as well!

Where to stay: Paradisus Playa Del Carmen All Inclusive Resort!

Paradisus all inclusive resort is the way to go! Paradisus is also a Trip Trust resort which means they are following industry guidelines for cleaning protocols! You can read all about it here! But basically they are taking cleaning to high extremes, every employee was wearing a mask and temperatures were checked before every meal on the property. When you arrive you pre-book all your meals & you don’t have to worry about paying for a thing anymore! It is a huge property with an adults only section and an entire area for families too! We stayed in a one bedroom Master Suite. My favorite part was this outdoor jacuzzi tub overlooking the swimming pools.

Below is info straight from the CheapCaribbean site on the resort so you know the exact things they have to offer:

“This is a Beachfront All-inclusive Resort with 910 lavish suites including 124 Swim-up Suites with direct access to the pool  | 334 The Reserve Suites and four Presidential Suites |  New Concept: THE RESERVE with dedicated areas for Everyone and for Adults Only  | Two Sparkling free-form swimming pool with swim-up bar and pool side grill | Fitness center | YHI Spa ($) | El Zocalo, the heart of Paradisus Playa del Carmen, featuring 14 restaurants including “SAL”-Steak Cave ($) and 11 bars | A wide array of non-motorized land and watersports | Kids Zone with supervised activities for kids up to 12 years, playground with jungle gym and outdoor activities | New Waterpark and splash pad for the kids | Life-enriching Experiences | Pristine white sand beach | Day and night-time entertainment 

Paradisus Playa del Carmen is an all-inclusive  luxury playground catering to adults and children alike. The resort is located along the Riviera Maya’s prestigious Playa del Carmen enclave on Mexico’s eastern shore renowned for pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters, 45 minutes from Cancun International Airport (CUN).Just steps from extraordinary beaches & attractions: Playa del  Carmen’s 5th Avenue, Xcaret, Akumal, Xel-ha, and Xplor. Our extensive features, options and services come with a Guest Experience Manager, or Concierge to help you navigate so you are free to roam and relax.”

The grounds around Paradisus were breathtaking

Where to eat on property: (our favorites below, see entire list here)

  • Breakfast: Papaya Grill, Adults only section recommend for the best experience. Naos for more family environment.
  • Lunch: Enjoy the swim up pool bars and eating area
  • Dinner: Bano (asian), Fuego (latin infused), Vento (italian), Mole (mexican)

What to do:

  • Day trip to Tulum! Highly recommend checking this town out for a day or two! Tulum is another hour drive south from playa del carmen & we were able to get a taxi for 4 people for $80usd from the hotel! See my instagram for tips for that spot :).
  • Visit Cenotes: Popular ones include: Dos Ojos, Gran Cenote, Suyton
  • Go on a Luxury sailing excursion: Book one here.
  • Watch an acrobatic show at the Paradisus family pool in the Reserve section! We watched this show from our balcony one night, very entertaining.
  • Check out all the activities available from Paradisus here!

Thanks to CheapCaribbean and Paradisus Playa Del Carmen for having us! You can use code BECCA100 on their site here:
(Requirements: 6 night package, min double occupancy. Expires: 11/15. Travel window: now-Dec 2021)

travel

Dominican Republic with Cheap Caribbean Guide

(This guide was also featured on Forbes: 43 Cheapest places to travel in 2020 here)

Last week we were able to experience the Dominican for the first time!  We stayed in Punta Cana and we were pleasantly surprised how beautiful the island was.  I know everyone, including us, have heard the awful things the media has said about this area and trust me we were a little hesitant to jump on board to visit there.  After researching nonstop and seeing that the CheapCaribbean’s resorts made a safety pledge on the island, known as the “PC Promise”, we felt comfortable going.  From their site, you can also view all participating resorts here as well: 

What is the Punta Cana Promise?

While you plan your next vacation in Punta Cana, one of the top beach destinations in the Dominican Republic, we want you to know that you’ll be safe and secure while traveling. As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that True Beach Lovers continue to receive the highest levels of service they have come to know and expect from us, CheapCaribbean is proud to support the Punta Cana Promise.

The Punta Cana Promise reaffirms the commitment of Punta Cana hotels to a set of security standards in one of the safest spots in the Caribbean. You’ll find comfort in knowing that:

  • Properties are self-contained and provide 24-hour security and medical assistance
  • Food and beverage offerings come only from reputable, trusted vendor partners and are all carefully checked and inspected before being served at any property, in accordance with global food safety management standards
  • Employees all undergo rigorous background checks, screening, and training
  • High staff-to-guest ratios ensure that every guest receives the attention, service, and security they expect and deserve
  • Properties not only meet but also exceed tourism and hospitality regulations and guidelines
  • Hotel-affiliated vacation activities and excursions are provided exclusively by reputable partners who are all licensed and insured
  • Properties are each united in the oversight and delivery of the Punta Cana Promise
  • Hotels will provide safety information and phone numbers to all guests upon check-in


(Our resort, Now Larimar Punta Cana, thank you to Renaud from Flytographer for capturing these amazing images while we were in town.  If you are looking for a photographer when traveling, check out flytographer available around the world (you can use code Becca50 to get $50 off the next time you book a shoot through the end of 2020!)

We had such an amazing family vacation, below is everything you need to know about our stay!

How to get there:

We flew into Punta Cana Airport and got on an Amstar transfer pre-arranged.  The airport is a pretty decent size, it did take a good 20/30 minutes once we landed to get through customs.  Pro Tip:  When leaving Punta Cana, the airport has a sky lounge available for a small fee or 50% off american express card holders.  It has an inifinity pool, unlimited drinks and snacks, showers, towels, and wifi!  There aren’t many other options in the airport for dining.

Where we stayed:

  • Now Larimar Punta Cana:  Located about 15 minutes from the airport.  This was an all inclusive resort and we were blown away with the level of service we received.  Every worker on the resort seemed to truly care about their job, their country, and their culture.  There were several pools around the property, the drinks were great, and all of the dining options were decent for an all inclusive resort.  We stayed in a Deluxe tropical view room, if your going without the kids, definitely request a room with a walk out pool.  If you do bring the kids, they have an amazing Explorer Kids club and outdoor playground area that mine spent majority of the days playing.
  • How to Book:  Head here to CheapCaribbean site and you can use code BECCA75 – $75 off; one time use, (5 Night minimum stay, minimum double occupancy, package only, for travel January 17 – December 31, 2020; expires March 10th 2020)


Dining at Now Larimar:

  • Breakfast options: Carnival Cafe- this is a buffet option, quick and good selections. We came here for breakfast every morning, sometimes lunch and dinner if we needed it to be fast with kids! Castaways is an option for breakfast or lunch if you want to be outside by beach!
  • Lunch Options: Barefoot Grill- hut located on the beach, you walk up and can take the food out to the pool or the beach!  Easiest option if hanging outside all day because the restaurants require you to have shirts and shoes on!
  • Dinner: Bluewater Grill & Steakhouse, Cappers Italian, Mercure (french), Spice (Asian- our favorite, choose the hibachi side), Tamrindo (mexican), Windows-buffet.
  • Extras:  Coffee shop:  Coco Cafe, near lobby! Fresh Coconuts on Mondays on the beach!


Excursions: (can also be booked through CC pretravel via amstar, onsite activities can be booked at the resort)

  • Soana Island:  We did this for a full day adventure.  A Van picks you up outside of the resort around 8am, drive you 1-2 hours to the boat dock.  The boat ride takes another full 2 hours, with tons of dancing, snorkeling stops, and a sandbar stop until finally reaching the destination of the private Soana Island.  You have lunch on the island.  Recommend packing your own cooler if you have kids for snacks and drinks the entire day!
  • Golfing
  • Non-motorized equipment on property


Things to Pack:

  • Water wings, life jackets for kids if you need them!
  • Floats/goggles/sand castle toys unless you want to purchase on site
  • SPF
  • The weather was in the low 80s and not too cold at night.  I packed several maxi dresses that transitioned well.

Thank you to the CheapCaribbean team for coordinating this entire trip for us!  Don’t forget to head to their site to book YOUR next vacay and get $75 off with code BECCA75 till 3/10!  We can’t wait to head to another tropical destination soon!  #partner #ad #truebeachlover #cheapcaribbean