"Friendly village 30 mins from Playa Del Carmen" Puerto Aventuras by shizzler
Puerto Aventuras Travel Guide: 45 reviews and 97 photos
We stayed at the Catalonia resort and spa in the Riviera Maya. The resort is in Puerto Aventuras which is a village/small town just off the main road that travels down the coast from Cancun, past Playa Del Carmen and then carries on southwards all along the Riviera. Puerto Aventuras itself is a lovely little community that consists of a few resorts and some holiday homes, villas and local appartments. Just off the main road it is gated and a secure location where the traffic coming into the village passes through security gates and therefore you feel safe to wonder around inside the village at night. Within the gates is a sizeable area that consists of the Catalonia resort amongst others and a marina. In the marina there is lots of fishing boats offering sea fishing trips and catamaran excursions. There is also plenty of shops, restaurants and places to drink. There is also a dolphin/mannatee/sea lion/sting ray central attraction in the marina where you can swim with the dolphins or unlike many places I have visited, watch and enjoy a beer or margerita whilst watching them swim by, without any charge other than the cost of your drinks. Puerto Aventura is close by to other towns and areas including Playa Del Carmen (great for shopping, bars, markets, partying/clubs and restaurants) and is near by to excursions such as Tulum, Coba and other great days out. Further details on these will be under my reviews and tips. All in all this is a place where you are near enough to the fun and action of Del Carmen, and if you want the party of a lifetime with a touch of class you MUST try Coco Bongos (read review on this). However if you want somewhere scenic, relaxed and not overly noisy but remaining central to most things this is a good place to stay.
This resort is advertised as 4 star and in some ways is 3 and others 4 star. On pulling up to the resort it looks lovely with thatched roofing and the 2 hotels Catalonia and Yucatan joined and no matter which side you stay in you get to use all facilities. Once you go past reception there's a lovely walkway over a small pool/water feature and you head towards the main buffet restaurant. This is next to the main pool on the Catalonia side and is where the entertainment occurs in the pool. The pool is a decent size and has a swim up bar, this side gets busy and quite noisy so we spent our time on the Yucatan side of the hotel. Here the pool is larger and the feel is more relaxed. There is also a swim up bar and the best barman in the hotel-Nazario. There are childrens areas in both pools. Restaurants include main buffet (different themed nights inc Chinese, Mexican and others) offering a good selection of foods, hot and cold. There's the burger/grill bar on the other side of the pool, opposite main buffet (at night this becomes the steak house al a carte and the steak was gorgeous). Up the stairs above the main buffet you have the Tapas restaurant which offers a variety of tapas and was delicious. You also have the Mexican and Italian restaurants up there. I was disappointed with the Italian and never ate in the Mexican due to having it in the buffet. There is also a creperie serving savoury or sweet crepes and good coffee or milkshakes made fresh in front of you, these were amazing. There was a Japanese tepinyake restaurant near the spa and gym and this had a lovely bar area to sit and enjoy a drink before being seated for your meal and afterwards before you left. Food here was good and chef entertaining. There was another buffet restaurant that was open twice whilst we were there, however the hotel was not too busy so it only opened as more guests arrived. The rooms were of reasonable standard (once we'd been moved from a well below par room initially) with comfy bed, decent air con and bath/shower with good water pressure. The amenities of the resort were decent and they had sports bar, plenty of bars, good sized theatre with semi pro production (good for families), 5 a side football, archery, watersports included on all inc, kayaks etc and you could use them around a pond area at the side of the beach and explore a village like community on the waters edge. The beach was nice and sand lovely, the water was ok if you entered the sea at the left hand side facing the sea, otherwise was quite rocky and there wasn't a huge amount of space in which to swim without being wary of the coral/rocks. There was lots of sun loungers and never a fight to get one. There was also a chill out bar on the beach and this was lovely at night to catch the cool breeze. One night a giant turtle came out of the sea and laid its eggs in the sand next to it and then went back into the sea, amazing. The only bad points were that we had theft from our room, and it was luckily not high valued items but when reported to the hotel staff we didn't recieve much help and poor management in dealing with this put a dampner on the resort for us.
Just 20-30 min drive in a taxi and approx £8-10 each way it's a great place to go and spend some time. Be prepared to haggle and the sales pitches will be being thrown at you but it's all in good taste and no worst than other countries I've visited. In Playa you'll find anything from McDonalds, to local quisine and open air restaurants. You'll find nightclubs, bars and I can imagine from what I've read that it has a similar feel to it as Cancun with a lively atmosphere and vibrant town. You can find high end jewellers and clothes shops and wonder around mini markets and find novelty items as well as good quality souvenirs. It's got everything you need and is a road that stretches paralel with the beach for about 2 miles. The beach looked nice but we didn't stop off and use it as had been walking around the shops for hours and went back to the resort. We did a night out at Coco Bongos. I'm not usually a show or night club type guy, I did it all when I was in my twenties and now well into my thirties when my fiance said she wanted to go to Coco Bongos I wasn't sold on the idea. If I hadn't have gone it would've been the biggest mistake of all whilst in Mexico. This place was amazing, simply awesome. Apparently owned by Jim Carey and the same place where the film the mask was set, this place was just awesome. It was cross between a London west end theatre show, ministry of sound nightclub and tribute to film, musicians etc such as men in black, spiderman, Bob Marley, Elvis, the Beatles and many more. The place starts off like a normal club then explodes into life with all of the above and more and some of the best production I've ever seen. Expect balloons, fog, confetti, lasers, amazing lighting, thumping sound system, acrobats hanging from the roof, beetlejuice and midget mask dancing around and tributes to all major pop and rock stars. We went VIP and it cost £100 for both of us and with that you have your own stretch of balcony and own personal waiter with unlimited branded drinks. Only bad point of Coco Bongos is the next day expect the hangover from hell.
- Pros:Safe, beautiful, near great amenities, marina/dolphins free to see and lovely wildlife
- Cons:Could be better quality rooms in Catalonia and better management as were rude to us
- In a nutshell:Great for those who want to relax but close enough to the mayhem
You can do either place as a half day excursion or both in one day. We did Coba first in the morning. Coba is only... more travel advice
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Puerto Aventuras Travel Guide
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