occidental grand xcaret, mexico

Last week Bruce & I went to Quintana Roo in Mexico and stayed at the Occidental Grand Xcaret for 5 nights.  This was my first experience staying at an all-inclusive resort.  The first night we got there, we had dinner at one of the restaurants and there was a moment of uncertainty when we were finished…”is it ok to leave?”  We just had to give our room number (which was 12345 – building 12, floor 3, room 45) and we were seated and then ate starters, entrees, & desserts with no bill at the end.  We did spend a bit of money on tips, but the entire staff was amazing so it was well worth it.

I watched out the window on our shuttle ride from the Cancun airport about 45 minutes south to our temporary home in Xcaret, and was awestruck by all the resorts we passed.  They all had grand entrances that were luxurious and beautiful.  We got out of the city/busy areas and were on a highway in the middle of the jungle when we turned off to go to Xcaret.  It’s a bit of a hidden gem, which I loved.  My favorite part of the resort is one of the archways you drive under on your way to the grounds.  There were two trees high above the ground encased in concrete/rock, with their roots hanging out of the bottom.


Once we got settled in our room, we went back to the lobby to pick up our free gift which in turn we had to talk to someone about setting up a breakfast presentation with a representative from Occidental Grand resorts.  We did not end up setting up that breakfast but we still got to keep our gifts.  They were Mayan calendars and we learned what our Mayan zodiac said about us.  Mine is “Chen” & the words associated with that are: infinite, unity, god of flowers, & clever.

Besides the numerous restaurants, the resort had souvenir shops, a travel agency, an outside movie theater, bars, miniature golf, tennis, archery, large swimming pools, snorkeling, a nature path, animals (monkeys, macaws, flamingos, deer), ruins, etc.  They had a calendar of events and had numerous classes offered (dancing/swimming/etc).  Our days were pretty packed so we didn’t get to do too many different things offered there.

Rooms/buildings are all over the resort, but we got lucky as ours was off of the main one which is like the heart of everything.  There’s a river running through it with some fish in it, and they have turtles in one area too.






We ate breakfast at the buffet every morning, but on one morning they had these really cool bird sculptures made out of fruit/veggies!

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I walked to the ruins sites a couple of times, they have those off of the main path so it really feels like you’re walking through the jungle discovering something new.  One of them is on the coast also, this one they use for their wedding shoots.




The sand beach here is just a little inlet, the rest of the coast on the grounds is rocky.  It’s not somewhere that you can lay out and relax, I see it more as an adventurous area since you’re staying in the jungle on the rugged coast.  There are wild iguanas all over the area, I almost stepped on one when I was walking around on the rocks since it blended in so well.



On the first morning I watched a tiny lizard crawl under our door and go into the bathroom.  He was pretty shy so he ran away when I got close.  On the third day I was taking a shower and noticed he was on the wall behind me.  I named him Lizardio.  Bruce didn’t appreciate the new pet though and thought he was gross so put him outside.


The weather while we were there was perfect.  It’s pretty humid there but it never got unbearable, it even rained one morning.  The way the air felt and how our building was laid out reminded me of Bangladesh.

I will follow up with more photos of the trip as I organize them; I have about 1,000 to go through.




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