When I was 7, I took my first trip to Mexico to visit my grandparents who were staying in San Miguel De Allende. Later in life, married with our first child, we took a week long holiday to Puerto Vallarta, and for the next ten years, Mexico, east coast and west, became our go-to destination for winter getaways.
A few years ago we decided to find a new spot in the Mayan Riviera, an easier plane ride then heading to PVR and on the Caribbean. I spent a lot of time searching and came across Puerto Aventuras. Around an hour drive south of Cancun, if you are looking for peace and quiet, well this is the spot.
Off the main highway, you enter through the gates and might for a moment think you are in a gated Florida community. There is a golf course, condos and most of the people there are retired.
However, this is not a gated Florida community, this is a Mexican retreat.
The center of town is the marina, surrounded by restaurants and shops. The marina is famous for its dolphins. While I am not a fan of penning them up, they do swim freely and it is fun to watch them during dinner.
There are a few gems to eat at. On the road side of the marina is an Italian bakery that serves great pastries and coffee during the day and really great pizza at night. One of our go to places. Next to it is a great French bakery, where the pastries will melt in your mouth. It is only open during the day and if you get there early enough you might still find a fresh baguette.
The icing on the cake is Jessie Gelato. Jessie himself is great to visit, but his gelato is unbelievable. A few years ago we went to Tuscany the summer after our last PA trip, and we could not find gelato that came close to Jessie’s. He ships all his ingredients in from Italy, and we are usually there every night.
But the real pull of PA is the beach. Not the largest or the widest, but the water is delicious and in front of the Omni hotel and the Villa Del Mar condos is the best stretch. The reef goes out a mile and on a calm day the snorkeling is pretty good. A number of years ago, the town took all the rocks in front of the hotel and the condo and put a quite long wall a few hundred feet out in the water. With the little ones this is great. (lots of Game of Thrones jokes about going beyond the wall!)
My final thought is rent a car and head south. The Tulum ruins are 15 minutes away and are pretty cool to see. After, hang out in Tulum and there are some great places to eat on the beach.
This is the easy part. Fly to cancun and head south. From Toronto, Air Canada and Westjet have regular flights. It is about an hour car ride south and the road is safe and easy.
Where to Stay
There is a Dreams resort if you are interested in all inclusive, but then you are missing out on the adventure of the marina at night. The Omni is right on the beach, is small and has a great beach bar.
We prefer the Villa del Mar condos right on the beach. The location can’t be beat and there are chairs and palapas set up for guests. They range from 2–4 bedrooms and we rent through Sol Maya.
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