[Note: This is an unsolicited review and we did not receive payment, free food or accommodations from Dreams.] Our boys have stayed in a lot of hotels, but their favorite is Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort.  We spent a fantastic week there that left our boys dying to return.   The resort sits on a beautiful stretch of coast between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.  The sand is white and the water is warm and clear.   This was our first all-inclusive hotel experience and we really enjoyed it. Included in the price: Limitless à-la-carte dining, including 24 hour room service All drinks, including alcoholic beverages Mini bar in room Many activities at the pool and beach, including snorkeling, kayaking, sailing and introductory scuba-diving lessons in the pool Shows and parties Kids club Kids activities, including climbing wall, water trampoline, and mini golf Wi-fi all over the resort The hotel is really…Continue Reading
Ambergris Caye is a fantastic place to visit: warm water, friendly people, white sand beaches and delicious food.  You can go out on a catamaran to see nurse sharks and humongous manta rays, go diving in the coral reef, go fishing, sample the delicious cuisine, or just lie on the beach and do nothing.  There are water taxis zipping around all day and night, so getting from one end to the other is not just easy, it’s fun! While getting around the Caye isn’t too hard, getting there is another story!  If you’re not flying in from Belize City (on little planes that are rather pricey), you have to take a ferry from Chetumal, Mexico, if you are coming from the north, or Belize City if you are coming from the south.  We were coming from Mexico, so that’s the route we took, and we’ll share our experience with you. From Cancun…Continue Reading
We tend to stay in vacation rentals on our travels.  Hotels are expensive and many hotels will not allow a family of 5 to share one room.  Vacation rentals through VRBO or HomeAway are a great alternative.  They fit our family and our budget.  The only thing they don’t have is that relaxing resort feeling.  Sometimes, I just want to lay in a hammock on a white sand beach and sip Piña Coladas, while my kids zip down water slides.  So I was overjoyed when I discovered the secret of The Resort Day Pass. Many resorts, especially in the Mexican Riviera, sell a pass to use the resort for the day, just like a nightly guest.  The passes aren’t cheap, but they include so many amenities that we have never regretted paying for one. These all-inclusive hotels allow use of the entire property for the day including pools, beach chairs, snorkel equipment, kayaks, kids’ clubs and…Continue Reading
We spent a fabulous weekend at Bacalar Lagoon in Quintana Roo, Mexico.  We rented a car in Playa del Carmen (see also: Renting a car in Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen) to make the 3 hour drive down to Bacalar, which is about 15 miles from the state capital of Chetumal and the border with Belize.   The lagoon is fed by freshwater underground rivers and well known in Mexico for its beautiful clear water. The Maya called Bacalar Lagoon The Lake of Seven Colors, and it is still called that by the locals. The town of Bacalar is quiet and less touristy than its counterparts on the Yucatán Peninsula. We stayed at a lovely secluded resort called Bacalar Lagoon Resort (see: Bacalar Lagoon Resort Review).  It was an incredible family hotel that had rooms that sleep a family of 5.  The lagoon is beautiful and the water is clear and warm.  We kayaked,…Continue Reading
OK, so renting a car in Cancun/Playa del Carmen can be a little challenging (but worth it to see all of the Yucatán).  The rental companies tempt visitors with impossibly low rates ($7/day!) but you will eventually discover that you have 2 options: 1) give them $2500 USD as a security deposit and drive without insurance (Pro Tip: this is a bad idea) or 2) pay about $50/day for full insurance.  And with the way people treat cars in the Yucatán, you really want the insurance. Oh, and don’t think you can get by with your “credit card covering you” because your friend told you that you could do that.  That may work in the US, but it doesn’t fly in Mexico.  In Mexico, you have Mexican car insurance, or you go to jail until you pay in cash for any damages you caused.  You really have to choose one of the two options. Now, that’s the…Continue Reading
Bacalar Lagoon is a long turquoise lake about 15 miles from the state capital of Chetumal.  The lake is fed by freshwater underground rivers and is known for its beautiful clear water.  The Maya referred to Bacalar Lagoon as The Lake of Seven Colors, and it is still called that by the locals. The town of Bacalar is quiet and less touristy than its counterparts on the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s about 3 hours from Playa del Carmen and is easily accessible by taking an ADO bus. We decided to visit Bacalar on our journey from Belize to Playa del Carmen.  We chose to stay at an adorable secluded resort just outside of town: Bacalar Lagoon Resort. This remote resort is a hidden gem. So peaceful and relaxing! The resort is made up of 7 cute casitas facing the lagoon separated by lush lawns and bougainvillea-lined pathways. Our casita had 2 bedrooms and slept 5. Our room was…Continue Reading
Thinking of taking your cat on a plane to Mexico?  It’s not as hard as you might think.  There’s some paperwork and planning to do, and some pitfalls to avoid, but it’s allowed by most major airlines and not that hard.  We lived in Mexico for 7 months, and brought both our cats with us to Mexico and back, with no problems. Viva en México con sus gatos! Note: The product links below are affiliate links. This means that when you buy an item from these links, we will receive a small commission from the sale (at no extra cost to you). These affiliate links help us continue to provide this site free of charge, so we truly appreciate if you choose to buy anything through these links! Thank you. Ok, first things first: when you are making your travel plans, you need to be more aware of which airline you are flying on, and not simply look for the…Continue Reading