Solo travel is becoming one of the biggest travel trends at the moment, and rightly so. There’s no feeling quite like it; it’s one of the most exhilarating and character-building experiences you could go through. With the Riviera Maya being one of the most exciting destinations right now, why not combine the two and learn how you can navigate through solo traveling on Mexico’s Caribbean coastline?
Are you thinking of taking a break from your daily routine, starting a new chapter, or perhaps just craving an enriching trip of self-discovery, immersed in new cultures, creating lifelong memories, and meeting like-minded free-spirited people?
Solo travel’s biggest misconception is that you have to be a certain type of person to partake. The fact of the matter is, you can try it at any age, whether single or partnered; there is something for everyone.
This world-renowned paradise offers over 160 kilometers of coastline, with white sandy beaches and turquoise waters right at your fingertips. Your senses will be filled as you roam through ancient Mayan archeological sites, swim in the warm waters of the ‘cenotes’ (freshwater sinkholes), and taste incredible local and international cuisine – or maybe just kick back, relax and recharge on any of the instagrammable powdery white beaches, without worrying about every detail of your trip; whatever you are wanting – the Riviera Maya has it all.
Tips For A Solo Trip
Plan A Bit Ahead
Before you arrive, it would be well worth your time to decide what you wish to gain from your adventure, plus how long you want to stay for and which destinations to visit; even just a small amount of research goes a long way when traveling solo.
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Set A Budget
Another key component is your budget. Work out how much money you will take, and even budget per day if necessary. It’s recommended to always carry Mexican pesos with you. Despite card payments becoming more popular, a lot of places still only accept cash, and in some towns, ATMs are limited – U.S. dollars are also widely accepted.
For shorter visits especially, it’s worth knowing where you want to go so that you can be efficient with your time. For longer trips, you can even book accommodation the day before or even on the day, depending on how spontaneous you are feeling. The beauty of the Riviera Maya is that there are so many destinations for different tastes and budgets, so if you wish to stay somewhere longer, it’s not a problem.
Booking.com offers a range of hotels and resorts for all styles and affordabilities. You can book in advance, typically with free cancellation, or even bag yourself a last-minute same-day bargain.
If you want to meet new people, this is easily possible. One of the most exciting parts of traveling is learning about other people and their cultures. You can meet people at hostels or hotels, and many hostels organize group activities for all the guests to mingle.
If you’re heading out, as always, be vigilant. The bars can be a great way to socialize and connect with fellow travelers – you may even end up traveling onward with them or recommending other activities to each other.
Luckily, with the Riviera Maya being such a tourist hotspot, you will be able to move around with ease. However, it’s worth doing your research and booking some transport in advance. If you need to know how to get from A to B, Rome2Rio is a really handy app that will show you different routes to get you to your destination, offering a range of budgets and modes of transport depending on your journey time and length.
The ADO bus service is also one of the best and cheapest ways to travel around Riviera Maya, with fantastic transport links at affordable prices, book in advance to secure a reservation, especially if you are short on time.
Your biggest hurdle may well be arriving at Cancun airport. It can be overwhelming, so it’s recommended to pre-book a transfer or taxi. Most companies or hotels even offer round trips for when you need to return. Alternatively, renting a car is also a good option, and is available from the airport, with roads in good condition on the Yucatan Peninsula – highway 307 connects all the main attractions and towns for you.
There are also ‘colectivos’, which are minivans that run every day, all day, from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, and Playa del Carmen to Tulum, and back – a great budget-friendly alternative to the buses or taxis.
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Itinerary-wise, you are spoilt for choice. From Holbox in the far north, through Cancun, Tulum, and to the far south, Bacalar on the Belize border, you could have a long weekend, two weeks, or even months there, and you would only just be scratching the surface of what it has to offer; but one thing is for sure, you will most certainly get everything you want from this trip.
Whether you are visiting the larger touristy cities of Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, the idyllic islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, or the emerging chic towns of Tulum and Bacalar, it’s recommended to be vigilant as standard practice, but Riviera Maya is one of the safest places in Mexico for solo travelers to visit.
Despite the U.S. government’s latest notice advising to exercise caution when traveling to Quintana Roo, generally, regardless of wherever you are in the world, there is always a level of caution to be had, by being aware of your surroundings and belongings, for example, don’t wander off the beaten track alone at 2 in the morning.
If you are ever in doubt, speak to people, everyone is super friendly – take part in activities that make you happy, be open to meeting new people, try different food, and even have a go at speaking the Spanish language while you’re there.
Nobody ever regretted booking the trip, so what are you waiting for?
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