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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Exploring Mexico; Riu Cancun; Tulum & Xel-Ha - Part 1!

UK Travel blog

I have the travel bug, I would be lying if I told you any different. The more I get out into the world and explore, the more I want to continue doing so. Travel is addictive but 'if we were meant to stay in one place for the rest of our lives, we'd have roots instead of feet'. The world is breathtaking and I just want to see as much of it as I can. I just wish I could share these adventures with my family too and my only way of doing that is through my blog. I made a promise to you at the end of 2014 that I would feature lots more travel on my blog this year and I am already frantically planning my 2015 trips, I want to visit anywhere and everywhere! In the past two weeks, I've done more of Canada, Mexico and then back to London for fashion week. So far so good - I'm thoroughly exhausted but I couldn't be happier. Let's talk about part one of my Mexico travels...
Riu Hotel Cancun

We booked independently and flew from Canada (find out about my Canada travels here) (I'd flown from Manchester to Canada beforehand to see a bit more of the country). The flight was only around 5 hours. We arrived at the Riu Cancun and chose to book here as it was a 5*, not too pricey and had pretty good reviews - I think all hotels in Cancun are 5* though so do be careful if you're looking for luxury as a 5* in Cancun is certainly not the same as a 5* in other places. 

riu hotel cancun
After waiting for a few hours (we arrived pretty early so didn't have a room ready) we finally got the keys to our room. I certainly couldn't complain about the beautiful view. 

cancun
Waking up to this every morning was pure bliss. 

riu hotel cancun
The rooms in the Riu Cancun were modern and fresh - again, I can't complain - they didn't ooze luxury like other 5 stars do but it was a beautiful, functional hotel and we spent most of our time out of the room anyway. I am always a fan of clean, modern rooms. 
what to do in CancunWe were surrounded by beautiful rocks and amazing waves.

travel in cancun

cauncun








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triangl bikini
I jumped right in the water with my new bikini C/O Triangl.  - As much as I love the look of these bikinis they do nothing for your bum - they make mine look so flat and small because of where it sits/the material! 

ogario hair
I then sat and caught up on my favourite magazines whilst slathering Moroccan Oil and hair masks all over my hair - it's something I like to do when I'm in hot weather as I feel like the heat makes the mask work really well - plus sea, sand and heat really tend to make my hair frizzy and dry. I am loving Ogario's mask at the moment as it's small enough to put in my hand luggage rather than some super bulky hair masks I own. 

a trip to cancun
Day soon became dusk and we sat and watched the beautiful sunset. 

cancun sunset

Cancun beach
I could have sat there for hours. It was truly stunning.

beaches in cancun
By this time, the busy resort was empty and we had the beach to ourselves. I love nothing more than a quaint beach. 

oh my love london tie front playsuit
I wore my favourite new tie-front playsuit (online here) from OhMyLove London - one of my favourite shops for gorgeous holiday pieces. 

I teamed it with my New Look Sandals (range online here), my Mulberry clutch which I added a strap to (similar here and identical here) and my Dorothy Perkins leather jacket (online here). 

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I am so obsessed with the playsuit. 
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You can shop all the items here;



riu cancun
We decided it was time to go inside and sample to extensive cocktail menu - the cocktails and food at the Riu Cancun were fabulous and certainly 5* worthy. 


We ate in the steak restaurant which was just incredible. I love all inclusive hotels when they have genuinely good restaurants inside them - we had the most beautiful view of the ocean from our table.



Cancun as a place (in some parts - the strip mainly) is loud, rowdy and full of tourists - some describe it as America in Mexico. If you're not after Spring break vibes and paying $70 to get into a club, do what we did and plan really fun, adventurous day trips. I didn't go to Cancun to drink and party, I went to see different parts of Mexico. Mexico is an incredible country and well worth seeing - you've just got to get past the Las Vegas/commercialised tourist side of it which I guess is the same as everywhere. We stayed in Cancun as a base and went to explore the beautiful places nearby and trust me, it's worth staying somewhere rowdy to see the beauty of Mexico which is just minutes away from Cancun...The Riu was a great base, it was a very large resort but it seemed extremely busy which I'm not really used to when I go away - it was almost too busy but Cancun is one of those places which will always be busy. The good thing is, the hotel is big so you can get some quiet time if you find the right time/place or corner. 

cancun mexico
cancun mexicoThe next morning, we were woken up by the most beautiful sun rise from our bedroom window. 

It was 6am and we had an exciting day planned. 

cancun mexico
We were heading to the beautiful Tulum and for a day of adventure at Mexico's famous eco-water park called Xel-Ha. 
tulum mayan ruins
Tulum took just over an hour to get to from out hotel and it absolutely blew me away. I will 100% go back to Mexico and stay in Tulum. First, we checked out the Mayan ruins. 

tulum mayan ruinsThey were breath taking.

tulum mayan ruins mexico
Then, we spotted a beach...

tulum mayan ruins mexico
We continued looking around the ruins but knew that we had to find the entrance to what looked like absolute paradise...there is so much culture in Mexico, you just have to go out and search for it. You can't just sit in your resort all day. 

tulum mayan ruins
We stumbled across this hidden beach and knew we were on the right track...


I wandered up to the top of the cliff and saw utter paradise in all it's glory (no editing needed) 


tulum beach mexico

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I jumped on a rock and just took in the beauty of Tulum - easily the best beach I have ever seen in my life.

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Dress; Brand Melville but similar available internationally herehere and here  / Sandals; New Look / Sunglasses: C/O Sunglasses Shop - these ones here are similar for only £9.00 if you don't want real Ray-Bans / Hair; Awful beachy mess 

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We continued to wander... 

motel dimitri scoop dress
I am obsessed with this dress, the Motel Dimitri Scoop Cover Up - the perfect beach cover up - it did get a little chilly in Mexico some days too so this was perfect for keeping me warm too but not too warm. It's C/O Motel Rocks and you can get it online here

triangl bikini


As we ventured across the beach a little bit more, we discovered something which looked like a set from a film...


Beautiful, peaceful rocks hidden away with the sun and the waves peeking in. 
The water was smooth, refreshing and perfect. 

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We had this hidden gem all to ourselves and never wanted to leave. 

tulum mexico

I wandered around the edge into the open water...

tulum mexico

and felt so grateful to be able to explore such beauty. 

what to do in tulum mexico

This place made me feel like I was dreaming. I have never seen something so perfect and untouched. 

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After spending the morning in Tulum (a must do) we jumped on our coach to Xel-Ha. Xel-Ha is an eco water park and whilst it's quite pricey for a ticket (around $90 USD) it's well worth going. 

xel-ha mexico
xel-ha mexico
Xel-Ha is basically loads of different fun activities all around one big river. 

xel-ha mexico
You walk around the beautiful river and there are so many different activities to do


We swam with sting rays, fish and more




xel-ha mexico

There are beautiful lagoons everywhere which you can just swim in and explore

xel-ha mexico

including underwater cenotes and more


The snorkelling is amazing - you basically snorkel through like an underwater jungle - easily one of the best snorkelling experiences I've ever had - it's so deep and amazing. 

snorkelling xel-ha



xel-ha mexico


You can jump off cliffs, go around the Caribbean sea in rubber rings 



and we even spotted some beautiful animals along the way 


xel-ha mexico


xel-ha mexico


We zip lined through the jungle 


xel-ha mexico


and relaxed on hammocks. Xel-ha is a must do for anyone. We did a lot of research because in Mexico you can go to either Xel-Ha or Xcaret - whilst we would have loved to have done both, we just didn't have the time (and it would be expensive to do both) apparently both are very similar but we heard that Xcaret is more artificial which is why we chose Xel-Ha, also it is really close to Tulum so it gave us the opportunity to spend some time there as well. Xel-Ha isn't just a kids place, there were actually probably more couples and adults there - it's so much fun, particularly if you're someone who loves water. If you're not, don't worry, it's lovely to just walk around it and watch.

riu hotel mexico

We got back to the Riu and sampled the Japanese restaurant. You may remember me saying in my Cuba Vlog just how much I hate fish, well actually, I trained myself to like sushi, hooray! 


I even tried the tuna steak which was delicious - I can't believe I am saying that fish is delicious - I'm officially a changed woman. 

riu hotel cancun
We watched another sunset from our beautiful room with a glass of champagne and toasted to the next few days, more time to explore this beautiful country. I can't wait to show you where we headed the next day...


Have you ever visited Mexico? Have you ever heard about eco-water parks like Xel-Ha? What do you think of Cancun or Tulum? Is Mexico on your travel list? Are you enjoying more of my travel posts? 

Lots of love, Em x

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