Five-Night All-Inclusive Stay for Two Adults and Two Kids 5 or Younger at Grand Coco Bay in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

All-Inclusive Resort Just Off the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef

The Mesoamerican Reef extends more than 600 miles along the Yucatan Peninsula, making it the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Among its deep-water, soft, and palmate corals live more than 500 species of fish, including the queen angelfish and bluehead wrasse, as well as loggerhead turtles, spiny lobsters, and queen conch—the same species that once sustained ancient Mayan civilizations cropping up along the turquoise Caribbean waters. Though the reef still sustains rural fishing villages, today it’s rife with snorkelers, scuba divers, and deep-sea fishermen, and supports a growing population of hotels and resorts, including Grand Coco Bay, a beachside property in the middle of the Mayan Riviera.

The all-inclusive resort is just a short walk from Playa del Carmen, but you don’t have to leave Grand Coco Bay to experience world-class watersports, spa services, and fine dining. Take an introductory scuba-diving lesson in the curvy, freeform swimming pool, or borrow snorkeling gear, kayaks, and boogie boards to explore white-sand beaches dotted with fossilized coral formations and unfossilized sunbathers. For an additional charge, the resort can also schedule offsite snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, and scuba excursions that depart from a nearby marina. In the evenings, guests have the option to stay on the property to enjoy live entertainment or venture into Playa del Carmen, where they get preferred access at several nightclubs.

Four onsite restaurants supply the resort’s all-inclusive meals and snacks. Miramar sets out an extensive buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner while El Palmar serves poolside snacks until 2 a.m. Two fine-dining restaurants, Rosinella and Sabor Latino, serve upscale Italian and Mexican cuisine in intimate indoor spaces that hold a maximum of 20 diners each. Guests 18 and older can sip beer, cocktails, and wine from three onsite bars or lounge on private patios in their garden-view guest rooms, swiping chilled drinks from a complimentary minibar.

Mayan Riviera: Modern Tourism Destination in the Midst of Historical Ruins

The New York Times calls the Mayan Riviera, located just 45 miles southwest of Cancun, “a world away from the relentless hubbub of Cancun.” Though it offers many of the same amenities—the area is lined with outdoor water parks such as Xcaret and Xel-Ha, and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef accommodates snorkeling and scuba-diving excursions along 60 species of coral—it has fewer crowds and a more serene setting.

A little more than 2 miles south of the resort, the Xaman Ha Aviary shelters more than 200 indigenous birds, including the mealy parrot and the keel-billed toucan. The Mayan Riviera also lies in close proximity to ancient Mayan ruins. Sites such as the Tulum Ruins, about a 60-minute drive from Grand Coco Bay, and the Coba Ruins, a 70-mile trek into the jungle, invite tourists to explore their stone temples and archeological digs.

What You Get

Five-night all-inclusive stay for two adults and two children 5 or younger in a garden-view room plus two 30-minute massages

  • $849, valid June 15, 2012–August 15, 2012

Book by: 8/10/12

  • $799, valid August 16, 2012–January 15, 2013

Book by: 8/17/12

Included in all-inclusive packages:

  • Glass of chilled sparkling wine upon arrival
  • All meals and snacks
  • Unlimited alcoholic beverages including domestic, select imported, and house wines
  • Unlimited soft drinks and juices
  • Minibar beverage selections and room-service orders
  • Use of kayaks, boogie boards, and snorkeling gear
  • One introductory scuba-diving lesson
  • Evening entertainment including live music and shows


  • Large, freeform swimming pool
  • Fitness center
  • Onsite shopping and travel agency
  • Beachside activities for kids aged 4–12
  • Free parking
  • Onsite spa (extra fees)

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