2009 was awesome. It will live on forever in our hearts. But it’s time to let it pass. We will never recapture the glory that was there. Appreciate it for what it was, and let’s move on. We’re moving on to our wedding in Mexico. And I’m incredibly excited for this one.

The wedding will be at the Adventura Spa Palace Hotel. We chose Adventura because my parents have been several times and it made such an impression on us. Don’t confuse Adventura in the Mayan Riviera with the spring break legends you’ve heard of Cancun. You can read my recounting our first day in Cancun here. Contrast that with my first impressions of Adventura here.

The hotel is great, but there is only so long you can sit and do nothing in perfect weather as people wait on you hand and foot. We chose this hotel for it’s ease of access, sheer comfort, and for all of the available entertainment options.

Here’s a list of outside adventures you can do that come free with your hotel stay:

Some Available Activities

Chitzen Itza

Adventura offers a formulaic guided bus tour of Chitzen Itza. Matt, Christina, Jen and I decided to try this one on our own (read about that, here.)

If you aren’t up for renting your own jeep and driving into the heart of Mexican darkness with nothing but your inoperable iPhone, then take this tour. It is the iconic symbol of the Yucatan and worth seeing at least once. Watch out for the Topes along the way!

Wet n Wild

The 4 of us did this one. It’s a water park where they serve drinks. I will definitely be doing this again if for no other reason to enjoy the lazy river while Matt & Christina win the dance competition.


Adventura offers a tour to Tulum. It’s an archaeological park on top with a pretty awesome beach below. No matter if you like Mayan ruins, or clean, clear ocean without lifeguards, go here. Tulum has both.

You can read about our trip to Tulum here.


We visited Coba as part of our own jeep tour but Palace offers a bus tour to Coba as well. This is the amazingly tall pyramid. For a time as she stood on the top, Jen was actually the highest point in Mexico. It is entirely unsupervised fun. You can rent bikes and go through partially excavated remains of a pretty important nexus city. Want to walk around ball courts where people were summarily executed, come here? By the way, look out for the gators in the swamp. They’re known to eat children. My favorite part of last year’s trip. I’d do it again.

Zip Line

Didn’t do the zipline tour last time. Will this time around. Looks fun. Plus, you can fill your backpack with all the drinks you can carry from your room.

Ek Balam / Valladoid

Have not done the Ek Balam trip yet. But you know I’m a sucker for ancient buildings. The Valldoid trip might be entertaining as well.

Other Tours

There are other tours. They cost money. I was really disappointed with the snorkeling tour. The snorkeling was free. The hemisphere’s largest living organism, the coral reef looks to be about dead. It was a tourist trap to get you to pay to hang glide, ride horses, atvs, etc. It felt slimy and after a few hours of waiting for a cab, we went back to the awesomeness of the hotel. Luckily, that tour operator’s website is long dead.

Other Palace Hotels

You get free admission & everything else when you visit other Palace resorts.


I had a great time at Xpu Ha. It’s a jungle theme and they have monkeys, gators, deer, etc along side their grass huts. This is where I snorkeled in the estuary (first time since boy scout camp) and saw some pretty big fish. Lots of fun.

There are also other places within a cab ride of fun stuff to do. Matt tried to search for the true Mexico-the one with authentic food and no tourist. We were told to head north through Merida and on over to Tabasco country. Sounds like a great road trip to me, but not likely something I will be doing this trip. If you go, pick me up a hammock.

One other thing I would strongly consider would be cave diving in those ceynotes. Did you know those ceynotes are the remnants of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs? Thanks to Discovery channel for that one. Either way, what could possibly go wrong cave diving in limestone caverns in Mexico a few days before your wedding?

Things to do at the hotel other than sit in the sun and drink all day

  • Eat – tons of 5 star restaurants.
  • Kareoke
  • Gym – preferably before the tequila.
  • Rock Climb
  • Scuba Certified (costs, but you can do it)
  • Tennis
  • Multiple hot tubs the size of pools
  • Watch the super bowl!

That’s it! We look forward to hanging out with the people who are coming. We’ll miss everyone who isn’t.

Any questions? Suggestions? Leave them in the box below!

Comments (3)

When you click on the “outside adventures” link above to get to Palace Tours, pay attention to the dates because they are only offered on certain days. Also, most list the time you’ll be away and if there are any costs associated with it just so you know everything up front.

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