1.24.2018

A Colorful Guide to 4 Cities in Mexico with Air Transat




Our love for Mexico cannot be expressed in words to be honest, at a point, I never wanna leave!
First of all, I'd like to officially apologize for all the scrolling you'll need to do to see this post (I couldn't resist taking zillion of pictures of our trip) and second of all and most importantly, this colorful guide will cover 4 cities we absolutely ADORED discovering with Air Transat, including:

Valladolid
Isla Mujeres
Tulum
Coba

If you are looking for tons of cute places, where to eat, what to do, where to shop and what to visit all featuring some shiny and happy colors, well, this guide is meant to be yours. We also discovered all the different excursions Air Transat offers for families in Mexico and around the Riviera Maya, and our two little explorers were so happy they had the opportunity to experience some of them,  eating an endless number of tacos, shooting the most beautiful tiles along with mama, enjoying the weather and the people,  and I will insist on this: you need to take your kids here, right with you, like we did.

VALLADOLID

This picturesque city is Yucatan's biggest and most colorful city and we fell in love with all the colonial houses, vibrant tile floors and the poshest artsy shops in every corner. Valladolid is located about 2 hours from Cancun, and is the central location between the Chichen Itza and many, many Cenotes, with a charm that reminded me of my childhood. Cobblestone streets, colorfully pastel-painted homes one next to each other, the smell of fresh food everywhere, and the best part? it is way less touristy than all the cities we visited this time.

Ps. If you are wondering how to get here, just because we are 4 (two kids included) we rented a car for a day, with the help of our lovely hotel staff.

Things you can't miss here
- Shopping at Dutzi
- Visiting Coqui Coqui Valladolid (both perfumeria and food side)
- Shooting at Hacienda Montaecristo and doing some shopping inside
- Walking around the Centro Historico de Valladolid, you'll find endless floors, colonial doors and stunning architecture in every corner
- Visit the Mercado Municipal, a public market with fresh fruits and traditional Mexican plates aka hello there guacamole for a quick pit stop!
- 15 minutes away, we found a stunning Cenote that should be on your list, and even if you're in the mood of taking a quick swim, they allow you to do it.
- Taking a drive around the downtown area or zona colonial of the city
- Walking with your kids around, they will love the peace we felt in this little city.


My recommended excursions in the area
For Cenote fans:  Mayan Adventure
Super close to Valladolid: Chichen Itza
Love the Mayan culture? Jungle Maya is perfect for you

Too good! you need to visit this place, asap
We tried the traditional Mexican menu, including:
Potato flautas (fried), Cheese quesadillas, Traditional plate with chicken, beans and rice 


ISLA MUJERES
We took a short boat ride to Isla Mujeres from our hotel Dreams Playa Mujeres, seeing a lovely reef where you could even spend a bit doing some snorkeling, or take a peak of the impressive turquoise water, and crystalline beaches we are still missing, lots. Isla Mujeres is a tiny island full of color with some of the top-ranked beaches in the world. Funny enough, you'll see more hammocks than people on this island, making it as dreamy as I thought. We took Air Transat's Catamaran excursion to get here safe and sound and if you missed my video diary of this trip, you need to run and watch it here.

Things you can't miss here
- Rent a golf cart and drive around
- Walk the little streets including residential areas, that's where you'll find the best and most authentic Mexican houses
- After your drive around the Island, stay at Playa Norte, the stunning main beach of Isla Mujeres. This is where we spent most of our time, it's perfect for kids!
- Have cash on you, most of the places will ask you for it, even to have one drink


My recommended excursions in the area
The all-day plan in a catamaran to Isla Mujeres
Swim and enjoy the Whale Shark experience (I need to do this next time, when Nico meets the min age requirement, lol)

Ready to move in, who's with me?

We found a pink wall, and even though Olivia wasn't impressed at all, I ran and shoot quickly with her!

TULUM
Most of my friends have been here in the past, showing me swooning-worth memories from Tulum, and since I can't even remember exactly when, this has been my number one destination on my bucket list. I wasn't quite sure if Tulum was going to be 100% kids friendly because let's admit it, it isn't the typical family destination, where boho chic is the vibe you'll find here and yes, even with kids. There are tons of excursions you'll find to Tulum, and we did both, exploring the ruins and discovering the town and it's "beach road".

Things you can't miss here
- Rent a bike for a few hours and enjoy the ride. Check out IBikeTulum
- Visit Coco Tulum Beach club, a Pinterest gem with the prettiest swings in front of the ocean 
- Order a smoothie at Raw Love and take a long walk around
- Have lunch at Posada Margherita. This Italian eco-friendly spot serves fresh, homemade pasta and on point cocktails. Their staff is so kids friendly, you'll love them as we did!
- Spend a morning discovering the Mayan ruins and Playa Paraiso 
- Check the stunning decor, floors, and menu of Tiki Tiki Tulum
- Supper time at Safari, a vintage food truck, campfire vibe in the heart of Tulum. This menu guys, YES. The tacos here, YES.
- Narcos fan, everybody? Visit his old mansion, now reinvented into a fancy and artsy boutique hotel, Casa Malca.
- Pit stop for the little ones: go to 98 coast ave, mom and dad can do some shopping, have some drinks and all the kids have their corner full of toys and a playground, yaaay-
- Matcha fans? Run to Matcha mama Tulum. Such a cozy place!


My recommended excursions in the area
- Visit the Tulum ruins, half day
- Do a Tulum & Mystic river experience, and swim in an underground river through caves and tunnels - what!






COBA
Our last adventure and a total must-go, Coba has a unique charm with a big archaeological site, sort of an antique, open-air museum where your kids can enjoy the breeze, sun and can run around the ruins freely. Also, (and a total win point for Coba), due to its remote location, these ruins aren't crowded, (like Chichen Itza), and you can actually walk, rent a bicycle or take a bici taxi around.

Things you can't miss here
- Explore the Mayan ruins in the heart of Coba
- Visit a cenote, and listen to this: there are 3 popular ones just 10-minutes away from the ruins.
- Climb the largest pyramid if you dare, we actually didn't (too scared with two kids visiting)
- You can't miss Coqui Coqui Coba, just 5 minutes away from the ruins. Serving healthy breakfast or lunch options, this stunning place has the best views of the Mayan pyramids and unique sunsets on the green lagoon. They're super kids friendly too, we loved them so!

My recommended excursions in the area
- Explore the Coba Mayan Encounter

Mexico, you'll be missed.
These seven magic days were done in collaboration with Air Transat. Be sure all the unforgettable memories, opinions and overload of tacos are entirely mine.


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