Although winter has yet to start officially, the weather throughout much of the country already has got many looking torward a warmer weather reprieve. But why wait six months for summer in order to exchange your boots for flip-flops and work emails for beach reads?
Take a trip to Mexico while temperatures are mild and the beautiful beaches aren't overrun with co-eds on spring break. We've found six vacation deals for resorts in the Riviera Maya — the side of the Yucatan Peninsula facing the Caribbean Sea — that are in proximity to the cities of Cancún and Playa del Carmen, historic Tulum, and the island of Cozumel.
One of the top Riviera Maya deals this week conveniently includes both airfare and lodging. Book reservations by November 21 for stays through February 29, and you and a guest can enjoy flights and a five-night stay at the Gran Bahia Principe Coba resort in Cancún, Mexico (from $935 for two via coupon code "RIVMAYA100"). Kids eat free at this resort, which is just down the coast from Playa del Carmen. It's also secluded from the bustle of Cancún, with each room having its own balcony or terrace overlooking the landscape. And while this all-inclusive package provides little incentive to leave — gourmet dining, tennis courts, a huge swimming lagoon, and ample beach access — be sure to check out the nearby nature reserves and ruins.
If you prefer to make your own flight arrangements, you can still sneak away to the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal, near Chacalal and even closer to Playa del Carmen. With rooms that overlook the sea or tropical gardens starting at just $158 (a 2-person reservation is required), and a free suite upgrade, staying in the lap of luxury in Riviera Maya won't break the bank. Just be sure to book by November 27 for stays through April 30, 2012.
Another resort in Akumal that's a perfect pre-holiday vacation spot is the Be Live Grand Riviera Maya (from $118 per night for two people, a low by $52; scroll down to see this offer). Travel by December 22 at this low price, and stay as long as you like. Indulge in the all-inclusive snacks, meals, and drinks, and then go nap in a hammock. Or, stroll along the coastal highway that runs between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, and explore the coral reef, which is less than half a mile from the shore.
Just five miles from the hotspot of Playa del Carmen, and 37 miles from the Tulum pyramids, is the Dreams Puerto Aventuras hotel. From January 4 to March 10 catch a flight and enjoy your 3-night stay here for two people (from $1,238, a low by $141). At Dreams Puerto Aventuras, guests can relax fully, with all-inclusive arrangements at this ultimate luxury resort on the Caribbean Sea. While the enticing Mayan ruins of Tulum are a short distance a way, you may find yourself plenty busy with free windsurfing lessons, an ocean trampoline, plus top-shelf liquor from the resort's five bars, and access to the resort's six restaurants.
Perhaps the best deal for those wanting a luxury adults-only escape on the Riviera Maya is an all-inclusive stay for two in a Junior Suite at the Excellence Riviera in Cancún. Book by November 31 for a vacation between February 3 to April 7, 2012 for as little as $424 (a low by at least $11). Each suite at this highly-rated hotel boasts a private balcony or patio, and marble bathroom. Guests can partake in nightly entertainment, kayaking, and snorkeling.
If you prefer more of a no-frills vacation, consider a packaged flight and 5-night stay at the Gran Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection from January 2 to February 29 (starting at $489 via coupon code "RIVMAYA100"). The resort is similar to the Gran Bahia's properties in Chacalal and Akumal, but has fewer amenities. Still, this package provides access to nearby resorts, and it's close to bars, restaurants, and pools. You'll need to hop a shuttle to reach the beach, but you can participate in water sports at no additional charge.
Before winter convinces you that you'll never again see the sun, remind yourself of what summer is like with a trip to Riviera Maya, a place that never freezes. If none of the above resort deals interest you, there are a variety of additional discounted hotel offers on the Yucatan Peninsula and throughout the Caribbean.
At the time of publication, these travel deals offered the lowest prices we could find. Deals may include blackout dates, additional taxes, and fees. Rates are based on required double occupancy.
Front page photo credit: MexPro.com