Destination Guide: Quintana Roo & Riviera Maya, Mexico

This is a guest post! Please join me in Welcoming Courtney of The Finishing Touch!

Hi everyone! My name is Courtney and I am the creator behind the fashion and lifestyle blog The Finishing Touch. I was born in Kansas but have called Oklahoma City home for the past 11 years. Besides blogging, I love to read, play golf, exercise, see movies, and travel.One of my favorite places to travel has to be Quintana Roo, Mexico. For those of you who don’t know Quintana Roo encompases some of the most popular tourist destinations including: Playa del Carmen, Cancún, Cozumel, Tulum, and Isla Mujeres. I am so excited to share with you some of my favorites.


Playa Del Carmen


If you are looking for a laid back and go with the flow vacation Playa Del Carmen is the place for you. Playa has some of the best beaches in Mexico and is just an hour or so drive from Cancun.

The Place to stay

The Rui Palace is the place to stay in Playa. It is one of many Rui hotels in Playacar. This all inclusive resorts has amazing dining options, a ton of fun activities and games during the day, a nightclub, multiple pools and swim up bars, and so much more. One of my favorite things about the Riu Palace Hotel is the option to visit, eat, drink, and enjoy the night life at any of the other Riu hotels in Playa del Carmen.

Places to Eat, Drink, and Shop
Besides eating in the resort to try some of the local cuisine. The main strip in Playa has tons of cool restaurants and bars including one of my favorites, Señor Frog’s.

Shopping in Playa is great. Like many areas of Mexico, you will find many locally owned shops where you can find touristy items such as hats, flip flops, shirts, but you also find shops that have great locally made and even some high end jewelry and my favorite – Mexican Vanilla (we always stock up on this!)

Things to Do
Rui offers a ton of free activities but if you are wanting to see more, Scuba Caribe which is an affiliate of the Rui hotels is awesome. You can learn to Scuba Dive (see more on that here) take the ferry or my personal favorite a large sail boat to the island of Isla Mujeres or even Cozumel. They also offer jet skis, kayaks, paddle boards, and other ocean activities.


Cancun is a great place to go for white sand beaches, turquoise water, and lots of fun!

Places to Stay
There are two great places to stay in Cancun. The first is Rui palace and Rui Cancun. These resorts are next door to each other and offer many of the same amenities as the one in Playa I mentioned. I will caution that if you are traveling with kids these two are not great for you. It is located in an area that has a few more rocks in the water. It is also more geared towards adults. Rui Cancun does have access to beautiful water but these two resorts are more driven to the pool and beach only goers.

For beach and ocean lovers Beach Palace is for you! This all inclusive resort is situated in the perfect spot of downtown Cancun. It is just minutes walks for the Cancun strip and best of all has the bluest water and fun waves. It is also more kid friendly. While there is only one large pool unlike many resorts i’ve stayed in, there is a seperate section with water slides, a large kids area. Like the others it also has plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

Places to Eat, Drink, and Shop
If you want to get out of the hotel, are you just minutes walk to a large outdoor mall with tons of luxury brands that we know and love. You are also extremely close to the Mexican Flamingo Market which is the perfect place to grab souvenirs.

At both locations you are also walking distance to the nightlife, including tons of clubs such as Coco Bongo and Señor Frog’s, but also great places to eat like Carlos and Charlies.

Things to Do
With all of the beautiful fish and coral reefs, this is an amazing place to go snorkeling or scuba diving. It also is great for things like parasailing, kayaking, boat tours, and sailing to Isla Mujeres an island just across the way. There is also a great spa and golf courses not to far away.

Riviera Maya

Riviera Maya is another great spots. Unlike Cancun and Playa it is secluded from the busy town and is tucked back on its own.

The Place to Stay

Moon Palace Resort Cancun is probably one of the best resorts. I have stayed there a total of four times. It is situated along a 3 mile stretch of beach all its own. There are three lobby resorts all in one which gives you tons of options. On top of that there are more than six pools, tons of swim up bars, lots of great restaurants, two golf courses, an amazing spa, a fun indoor arcade, and tons of cool indoor bars.

Things to Do
With more than ten restaurant options including Italian, buffets, a Brazilian steakhouse, Mexican, and more you won’t need to or want to leave the resort to try new foods.

They also offer events and entertainment on property all day. Away from the pool area there is also basketball, tennis, mini golf, clubs and cool bars, and a kids play area. For the adventurer in the group there is Scuba diving lessons, snorkeling, tropical forest adventures, an all inclusive water park off property as part of your stay, and tons of sand volleyball.

You can see more on my trip here including all of my outfit details. Be sure to pack lots of swimsuits, sunscreen, a cover up, your GoPro, and get ready for fun!

Thank you all so much for letting me share with you today! A special thank you to Roxy for putting together such an awesome blog series and giving me tons of travel inspo!


  1. January 18, 2018 / 4:07 pm

    Thank you so much for having me! I loved writing this post and can't wait to see all of the other amazing trips!

    • January 18, 2018 / 9:54 pm

      So glad to have you Courtney! This post is amazing.

  2. Sylvs
    January 18, 2018 / 6:41 pm

    Where did you get your swimsuit in the last picture? The neon pink one

    • thefinishingtouchokc
      January 18, 2018 / 8:58 pm

      Hi it is from American Eagle (Arie) I couldn't find it still available but here is the same color also from arie

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