By Ariel Johns
Nestled on the Yucatán Peninsula and bordering the Caribbean Sea, Cancún, Mexico has long been known for its food, rich history and luxurious beach front resorts. For one week, I had the pleasure of calling this oasis, home.
Cancún is the perfect destination for both adventure seekers and those desiring relaxation. Choose to let your inner Indiana Jones out by exploring the ancient ruins of Chichén Itzá, or feed your tranquil side while basking in the warm waters of Tulum.
The ancient Mayan city Chichén Itzá is a must see for Cancún visitors. Listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, this city was once the site of religious worship, sporting events and open markets. Standing in the center of this archaeological site is a massive pyramid known as the Temple of Kukulcan (pictured, left). Built as an offering to the Mayan serpent god Kukulcan, it is said that the pyramid holds immense energy and healing power. The architects were skilled mathematicians who wanted their god to be remembered forever. Every spring and autumn equinox, the temples’ shadows create the illusion of a snake descending the pyramid. People travel thousands of miles each year to witness this marvel.
My next stop, the coastal city Tulum. One word comes to mind when thinking about this excursion – breathtaking. Referred to by experts as one of the best places for snorkeling, Tulum does not disappoint. The bright blue water is filled with schools of colorful fish and coral. Dinner cruises, jet skiing and parasailing are also available at your liking.
Maybe your idea of the perfect vacation does not involve sightseeing and tour guides, but instead enjoying the amenities at the resort. The Hyatt Ziva is the perfect all-inclusive haven. Fitness lovers, don’t fret because you are away from your gym. Start each morning listening to the waves crash against the rocks while flowing through your outdoor yoga session (pictured, below). Burn calories and build muscle during the aquatic cycling and paddle boarding classes. Swimmers and sunbathers, take a dip in the pool as the DJ plays your requests. Sip from your favorite libations while socializing at the swim-up bar. Families can take arts and crafts classes, singles and couples can dance the night away with salsa lessons. My favorite thing to do at the Hyatt Ziva – relax at the spa. Nothing says vacation like a hot stone massage and cucumber-infused water.
If you’re like me, a vacation MUST be filled with delicious foods. This resort has 17 restaurants, lounges and bars to ensure your appetite is always satisfied. Every meal is mouth-watering and seasoned to perfection. I highly recommend the steakhouse Tradewinds for their succulent seafood and juicy steak. Lorenzo’s fine dining Italian restaurant and the French bistro La Bastille also top my list of favorite eateries. For night owls, there is a 24-hour cafe in addition to the daily 24-hour room service. For those of you with a sweet tooth, make sure to stop by the dessert shop Pasteles, open daily noon to midnight.
My seven days in Cancún were simply magical. I fed my mind, body and soul, all while receiving the royal treatment from the Hyatt Ziva. I do not say, “Adios” to this alluring city, but instead, “Te veo pronto,” as I will be seeing Cancún and the Hyatt Ziva again… soon!
Food, fun and travel are three things that Ariel Johns is highly passionate about. She is an actress/talk show host who is always on the move,discovering all the hidden gems that our world has to offer. This self-proclaimed nerd is a lover of horror/sci-fi/action movies, and the Philadelphia Eagles. You can usually find her on a roller coaster taking full advantage of her Six Flags Season Pass. Find her on Twitter (arielsfriend), Instagram (Arielsfriends) and at arielsfriends.com.