Riviera Maya, Mexico: Vegan Travel, Yoga, and Adventures

I love traveling! I go on about 1-2 international vacations a year and 2-3 shorter domestic vacations…at least! My favorite vacations are always the ones that involve the beach.  This time I went to the Riviera Maya in Mexico for 7 days!  I stayed at the Catalonia Resort and Spa which was about an hour drive south of Cancun.  Getting out of the airport in Cancun was a mess, it took almost 3 hours. Then there was an hour wait for car service because it was so crowded and they only had one small entrance. Luckily our driver walked us to a little secret pick up spot so we got to skip the wait!

Resort Perks

The Catalonia Resort was gorgeous; I have never stayed at an all-inclusive resort before so it was a fun experience to have everything I needed without having to get my wallet out every 2 seconds. The resort had multiple pools, swim up bars, and a beautiful beach. What more could you want?! Well I guess you could also want a suite with a hot tub on the balcony, exclusive access to private bars and a private beach, and your own concierge with the ability to make reservations for dinners (normally reservations were not allowed)? Well we got that too! There’s an upgraded package you can purchase to enjoy all of these perks!

My favorite part of this resort was the ocean…of course! Every day we went snorkeling for hours. We saw jellyfish, starfish, stingrays, and beautiful schools of fish. I also enjoyed getting my yoga on at the private beach.  There were a few days we had it all to ourselves! Another perk was free WiFi! The Netflix in Mexico had so many good movies which was perfect for me to watch while I ran on the treadmill and stretched every morning. The gym was small but very clean and had everything I needed. 

Cenote Azul

A cenote is a natural fresh water swimming pool. There were many different ones to choose from but we ended up taking the advice from our concierge and choose Cenote Azul. It was conveniently located only a few miles from our resort. There was only a few other people there so we had an awesome time exploring the whole area. There was a small cliff jump, mini caves, and gorgeous fish.  The water was so clear that you didn’t even need to snorkel to see all of the fish.

There were even small fish that would come up to your feet if you stayed still and suck/nip at them. It doesn’t hurt, it feels more like a tickle. People actually pay for this to be done at some spas in Mexico. So you would be getting this spa treatment basically free.

Catamaran Excursion

Catamarans are my favorite excursion that I MUST take on every Caribbean trip. Who doesn’t love to be on a boat all day, soaking up the sun, drinking rum punch, and swimming around the ocean?  This time the boat took us to a beautiful snorkeling reef filled with sea turtles. The turtles were so friendly they would come right up to you. We stayed there for about an hour. After snorkeling we had some salad for lunch and had a little dance party on the boat! I may or may not have ended up on a pole. Don’t worry it was “follow the leader”, so I didn’t have a choice. lol

Vegan Eats

At our resort there was 2 buffets and 3 other restaurants. The buffets had similar food to each other and the restaurants options were Japanese, Mexican, or Italian. Vegan travel is not always easy but there were many vegan options at all of the restaurants by request. Just make sure you know how to ask for vegan meals in Spanish. I don’t know much Spanish but I quickly learned how to say no eggs, milk, or cheese! Here’s the overview of what I ate during my stay.

Breakfast Options: Fruit, Fruit, FRUIT! The fruit was so sweet and juicy. Every morning I made a huge plate of all different fruits, and topped it with shredded coconut, dry oats, raisins, and almonds. There was also a juice/smoothie bar which was delicious. For my coffee they had soy milk by request.

Lunch: Most of our lunches were at the buffet because of its convenience. My lunches consisted of more fruit, steamed veggies, chick peas, and cooked potatoes.

Dinners: The Japanese dinner was my favorite so we went there a few times. They cooked the food right in front of you so you can totally request anything you want. I had white rice, vegan sushi, spring rolls, and teriyaki veggies.

The Mexican restaurant was a bit trickier to order vegan. I just got a small salad and went to the buffet after to fill up on more veggies!

The Italian restaurant had a delicious veggie soup and salad. For dessert I had a fruit bowl.

For Next Time

Here are a few things I learned that will be helpful for next time:

  • Cenotes: I would love to have seen more cenotes. A few miles north of the resort there are cenotes that have awesome caves.
  • Food: The Japanese restaurant had the best options for vegans. I would go there every night next time.
  •  WiFi: I would download movies beforehand because the WiFi is super slow.
  • Catamaran: I would bring snacks on the catamaran because the vegan options were lettuce and dressing.
  • Language: It is necessary to know at least the basic words and phrases at this resort.