HOW TO HAVE A HEALTHY (GROWN-UP) SPRING BREAK IN MEXICO’S RIVIERA MAYA
In my opinion, the concept of spring break is totally wasted on students. Why is it that once you’re immersed in the real world—and more stressed out than ever—it’s no longer a given that you should blow off your pent-up winter steam with a mandatory week’s vacation? (Preferably in paradise.)
Where to stay
If your idea of a vacation equals early bedtimes and pre-dawn meditation, you probably shouldn’t stay at a major resort in Cancun or Playa del Carmen during spring break season—for obvious reasons.
Instead, check out Mayakoba, a nearby, private beach community known for its sustainable ethos, lush jungle landscape, and a roster of luxury hotels that includes Fairmont, Rosewood, and Banyan Treeproperties. The latest (and most affordable) resort to open on the land is the Andaz Mayakoba.
Here, wellness is infused into pretty much every aspect of the guest experience. You’ll get your cardio in by cycling, stand-up paddle boarding, kite surfing, and hiking; you’ll have plenty of plant-based meal options at its four restaurants; and you’ll have the opportunity to give back by booking a spa treatment and beach cabana created in partnership with (RED), with proceeds going to the non-profit’s fight against AIDS.
Mayakoba’s location is super central—it’s 10 minutes by taxi from Playa del Carmen, 30 minutes from Cancun and its airport, and an hour from Tulum. But if you’d rather be in the middle of the action (and save some money), there are tons of dreamy Riviera Maya Airbnbs for under $200 a night.
What to eat
When in Mexico, it’s tempting to subsist exclusively on fish tacos and guac—I get it. But if you do that, you’ll be missing out on lots of great, healthy options that Riviera Maya locals know and love.
Playa del Carmen has an especially stellar (and inexpensive!) plant-based food scene. Don’t miss The Pitted Date for a dairy-free hibiscus latte, gluten-free vegan waffles, or a superfood salad; Aloha Raw Barfor Instagrammable acai bowls; Que Huevos for comfort food (breakfast tacos, veggie burgers) and a patio perfect for people watching; and Bio-Natural for its organic market. In Cancun, get botanical décor inspofrom Restaurante Natura, grab sushi with a Mexican twist at Irori, or pick up a smoothie and a salad at local faves Leaf and 100% Natural.
And if you want to splurge on a multi-course fiesta, the healthy way? Head directly to the award-winning Casa Amate at the Andaz Mayakoba for a meal by Ernesto Torres—a Oaxacan chef with a background in nutrition. (The heart of palm soup with fresh coconut water, passion fruit, and tapioca pearls is, without question, one of the best things I’ve ever put into my mouth.)Read More