Dental holidays should not be only about extractions, implants, and medications. If you are already making the trip to receive quality dental care, you might as well have a little fun during your visit!
The Riviera Maya has a lot to offer when it comes to tourism and many travelers decide to visit to gain some adventurous experiences and relaxing evenings surrounded by nature.
Okay, we understand that when undergoing a dental procedure you might not be able to do some rough activities like snorkel or eat hard foods like an Elote, but if you plan carefully your activities, we are sure you will be able to try those things that you cannot miss during your trip.
We will review these fun topics mentioning the best places to go, what you can do, and a couple of recommendations on each so you can have a trouble-free experience:
- Visit the Mayan Ruins
- Try Authentic Mexican Food
- Have a Full Adrenaline Day at an Adventure and Eco Park
- Visit a Museum
- Take the Ferry to a Nearby City
- Go on a Shopping Spree
- Relax at the beach
Once you finish reading, you will be more than ready to start planning your vacation itinerary with the 7 Things You Must Try During Your Dental Vacation in Cancun, Riviera.
1. Visit the Mayan Ruins
Mexico is known for its cultural richness, preserving some of the most important ancient buildings. The Mayans were a Mexican tribe famous for their precise time system, hieroglyphic writing with more than 700 symbols and their architectonic structures that were used as palaces, temples, and even as observatories.
This civilization was full of legends and rituals that thanks to their beliefs in the cosmos and higher powers, the ruins can result in a mystically intriguing place.
It is no surprise that this is one of the most visited attractions on all the Riviera Maya and luckily for tourists, they are located all over the place for them to choose where to go.
These are our recommendations:
These Mayan ruins are located in the middle of the jungle, surrounded by lakes with crocodiles, different types of birds and trees that seem to have taken over the city over time. You can find big connecting trails called "Sacbes", where the Mayans used for commerce and to travel on foot in this old city.
You will be able to explore the area walking, driving a bicycle, or be ridden around the place for an extra charge. Also, you could be able to climb the tallest pyramid and enjoy the view but be careful, the steps can be a little slippery due to its antiqueness.
Ek Balam means “black jaguar” in the Mayan language. At this site, you will also be able to climb the 96 feet tall, main pyramid to the top and admire the view of the Yucatan Peninsula. If you would like to, the place is right next to a Cenote where you could be able to swim after a long hike for an extra price.
One of the most impressive and well-preserved Mayan ruins in Mexico with more than a million visitors a year that spend their day exploring the wonders of this place. One of the structures that stand out from the rest of the amazing places you can find is the Kukulkan Pyramid, named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World by the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you decide to visit this ancient city you must also see:
- The Great Ball Court where the Mayans used to play ball.
- The Sacred Cenote where it is believed that is the place where human sacrifices were made.
- The amazing buildings you will be able to find such as “The Monjas”, the building with a thousand columns, and the Observatory, since not only the Mayans were great architects and mathematicians, but also well-known astrologists.
Other Ruins we recommend to visit:
- Tulum Ruins
- El Naranjal (an hour away from Playa del Carmen)
- Calakmul (deep in the jungle, 50ft taller than Kukulkan Pyramid)
- Muyil (at the south of Tulum)
- Playacar Ruins (Located in phase 1)
Our recommendations for your visits:
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes
- Wear a hat or bring an umbrella to cover from the sun
- If you are planning to swim in a cenote, make sure your sunblock is biodegradable to protect the ecosystem
- Bring a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated
- Arrive as early as possible to avoid heat and big crowds
- Try this during the examination process, sometimes depending on your treatment, dentists will recommend you to avoid sun exposure for safe and fast healing.
2. Try Authentic Mexican Food
The first thing that many travelers are looking forward to doing when going to a different country is to try new and different typical dishes and Mexico is not the exception. Mexican gastronomy is full of many flavors and foreigners usually fall in love with it.
It is true that sometimes we don’t feel as adventurous and want to stick to fast-food chain kind of food, but if you’re only going to stay for a few days during your dental treatment, we recommend you to try this delicious soft dishes you will be able to try in your dental vacation.
- Cochinita Pibil: This is a Mayan-influenced dish, where pork meat is marinated in orange juice, garlic, cinnamon, and achiote seed paste then wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked for about three hours until it is ready.
- Mole: Mexico’s most typical dish. It is a sauce made of chili, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Sometimes cooks may include unsweetened chocolate, tomatoes, and raisins. The sauce is commonly served with chicken but it can be served in many other dishes.
- Tamales Torteados de Pollo: This is a typical Quintana Roo dish. It is a soft tamal, which is corn dough filled with meat and veggies, wrapped typically with corn leaves. This state’s dish is usually filled with chicken and served with red sauce.
- Ceviche: Going to the beach and not try seafood can’t be forgiven. Ceviche is seafood cooked in lime juice and mixed typically with chili, tomato, onion, and cilantro. Look for restaurants next to the beach to find the ones with fresh fish and have a complete tropical experience.
Do you have a sweet tooth? We also recommend you to try these desserts:
- Marquesitas: This is a crepe filled with cheese and a sweet filling of your choices such as peanut butter, cream cheese, chocolate syrup, and many more. You can find these in street carts located in almost every main street.
- Dulce de Coco: It means "Coconut Candy" in Spanish. This soft dessert combines coconut, sugar, evaporated milk and vanilla with pieces of ginger. It is baked for half an hour and then let cool down for it to be served.
Getting hungry already?
3. Have a Full Adrenaline Day at an Adventure and Eco Park
Do you want to experience a day full of activities at only one place? Going to an Adventure and Eco-park is the perfect option to have all the fun in one place for every member of the family.
Visiting a theme park is one of the favorite things to try during your dental vacation in Cancun, Riviera to do since you can participate in nature, adventure, and party activities, as well as going on expeditions to several cenote and archeological sites.
With more than 50 natural and cultural attractions, this is the biggest park in Playa del Carmen and Cancun.
At this place, you can interact with the natural environment having the chance to swim with dolphins, float down a lazy river, and observe the several habitats that exist, such as the Aviary, the Coral Reef Aquarium, and the Butterfly Pavilion, just to mention a few.
Inside the park, you will be given the chance to participate in cultural activities and enjoy the shows and exhibitions at night. As well you will be able to try their Mexican and international dishes, discover Mayan Ruins and swim at the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
It’s an all in one park!
Xel – Ha
This park is known as the largest natural aquarium in the world. If you decide to visit this park you will be able to swim inside the various grottos and cenotes, which are natural sinkholes. You can also see marine life, explore the Mayan ruins, ride bikes and many more activities that can keep you busy during the whole day.
The adventurous souls will be able to jump off the Courage Cliff and for those under dental treatment, it will be possible to just relax at one of the seaside hammocks and even take a nap and if you get a little hungry, Xel-Ha also offers a delicious all-inclusive buffet restaurant you can enjoy.
There are many other parks you could visit during your dental vacation in Cancun:
Make sure before you book a ticket to enter a park, that you can do most of the activities during dental treatment. All of the parks have fun activities but some of them can be a little rough to try while on treatment.
Talk to your dentist so they can provide you recommendations on a quick recovery during your dental vacation in Cancun.
4. Visit a Museum
Museums are a way to know about the history and culture of the country you are at. After a dental treatment, you might want to stick to do some light activities and even though it sometimes involves a lot of resting, you might want to have the chance to take advantage of the time you have away from home before you have to go back.
Museums at the Riviera Maya are some of the most popular things to do while on vacation, take a look at the most visited ones:
- 3D Museum of Wonders
One of the most interactive museums where you can be part of the work of art exposed. It is full of optical illusions turning your perspective upside down.
The interactivity of the artwork makes it so much easier to learn more about it and the artists who created them and the museum guides encourage visitors to take as many creative pictures you can think.
To preserve the artwork, you will need to walk around barefoot but you could be able to return to as many attractions as you wish while you are inside.
- Mayan Museum of Cancun
If you are interested in knowing about the Mayan culture, you could be able to attend to this museum.
You can find 3 exhibits on which 2 of them are permanent. In these 2 permanent exhibits, you can review the archeological zone and the history of the Mayans. As for the third exhibit, it is temporary but also focuses on indigenous communities and special Mayan exhibits.
There are about 350 pieces of history displayed at the 55,000 square feet of space.
- Frida Kahlo Museum
If you are staying near Playacar or Playa Del Carmen you have to visit the museum of this Mexican painter. Here, you will be able to take a look inside the life and history of Frida Kahlo and view some of her acclaimed paintings and self-portraits.
5. Take the Ferry to a Nearby City
People who travel to Cancun are looking to explore as much as they can, and usually, they get to travel to many other cities on the Riviera Maya and sometimes they even get to explore some of the islands near the city.
Usually, the number #1 picks for travelers are Isla Mujeres and Cozumel for being one of the calmest places in the area, or as many people say “heaven on earth”.
Isla Mujeres is a peaceful paradise known for its calm crystal waters and beautiful coral reefs. If you are looking to have a relaxing time this is the place to do it in one of their panoramic pools, hammock, and lounge chairs.
However, if you’re looking for a little adventure, at this island, and with your dentist’s approval, you could be able to see the underwater sculptures at the Musa Underwater Art Museum or explore the Spanish sunk ships.
Cozumel Island it’s the first place in Mexico where the rising sun first touches its land. It has huge marine biodiversity, with many ecotourism activities such as swimming with dolphins, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, and many more.
It offers spectacular landscapes and places like Chankanaab National Park, San Gervasio Archaeological Zone, and the Atlantis Submarine are home to a wide variety of fauna and will make you want to return to this Island more than once.
The best way to get to both islands is by taking the Ferry.
When you decide to visit Isla Mujeres, you should catch the Ferry in Cancun and the Ferry departs every 30 minutes from each port.
If you are staying at Playacar or Playa del Carmen, the Ferry to Cozumel departs from this town. You can choose between 2 companies: One departs every hour and the other one every 45 minutes, you could choose to go to the island in the one who is departing first so you don’t have to wait much time.
The recommendation for both is to buy a single ticket so you don’t have the pressure of going back at a certain time and truly enjoy your time over there. Once you are ready to go back to your hotel, you can buy another single ticket, but make sure you know at what time is the last trip from the island so you can go back.
6. Go on a Shopping Spree
For some of us, a big part of our vacation is shopping. It could be for things that we forgot at home, for a new piece of clothing we like or the souvenirs we will get for our family and friends.
We are all guilty for the shopping adventures even on trips we say we will not do it, so just in case, these are the best places to get the cutest, the coolest, and the best articles to get on the Riviera Maya.
Tulum Beach Road is one of the glamorous places to get clothes and home decor. It is full of stores where you can get unique articles and pieces of clothing combining the Mexican textiles with fashion design.
By coming to these stores you will be able to get beautiful hand-crafted jewelry, skincare products from natural ingredients and a variety of dresses inspired in the calmness of the beach so you can get the bohemian beach look and get some interesting souvenirs for your loved ones.
Tulum Stores are different than the ones we are used to. Some of them don’t count with air conditioning and you could encounter with sandy floors too, so make sure you bring your hat to cover from the sun and a bottle of water so live the full experience.
Now, the top pick for going shopping when going on vacation in Cancun is to go to Playa Del Carmen and have a shopping day!
Playa Del Carmen has everything when it comes to shopping, from shopping malls to small souvenir shops and tourists usually start on 5th Avenue, where the ferry to Cozumel is sailing.
5th Avenue is one of the most visited places by pedestrians and if you want to bring a memorable gift to your family, this is the place to find t-shirts, magnets, tequila, and sombreros!
For snowbirds that are spending their dental vacation in Cancun near Christmas, you could find a big selection of souvenir ornaments for your home decorations when going back, at different stores around.
If you are trying to impress a friend, you could get them some decorations for their house like Mayan tapestry, handmade glass decorations or even local art. Chocolate and coffee are a must thing to bring home from Cancun, so make sure you make space in your luggage to take a few pieces.
On 5th avenue you are also able to do some fashion shopping at stores with functioning air conditioning if you prefer, finding handmade jewelry, local fashion, designer clothing, and quality crafts.
You can also walk around their shopping malls located in 5th avenue, in case you rather shop at well- known brand stores like Lacoste and Michael Kors.
Shopping at Playacar is also a great option since it is an exclusive and safe area, many tourists love to walk around its different shopping malls avoiding the big crowds at Playa del Carmen.
Our recommendations when going shopping during your dental vacations:
- It is better to pay in Mexican pesos to receive a better rate of exchange
- Try shopping after 7:00 PM that way you can avoid the sun and the heat, all stores are usually open at night time.
7. Relax at the Beach
After your dental procedure, your dentist will most likely recommend you to rest a LOT! But honestly, doing it seaside, under an umbrella or in a hammock sounds like a much better way to follow your dentist’s instructions.
The beaches of Cancun and the whole Mayan Rivera are famous for their beautiful white sand and turquoise crystal waters, after all, when you visit the city you will be on the Caribbean grounds.
Some beaches are used to do water sports due to rough and big waves but there are some beaches known for their extremely calm waters that can feel safer for those traveling with children or non-swimmer family members.
Normally, beaches can be crowded places making it almost impossible to even find a good spot to sit down. If you want to rest and relax, our recommendation is for you to pick the least crowded ones.
Beaches in Playacar are the best option for it. Since Playacar is an exclusive neighborhood from Playa Del Carmen, there are normally fewer people than in other town’s public beaches.
Many residents choose to come to this place, not only because the area is quiet, safe, and clean, but you can also avoid the huge crowds from other places.
Usually, there are no seaweed problems at this beach because Playacar counts with a private counsel that keeps the beach clean, removing seaweed, possible remaining trash and any rocks that may harm you while walking barefoot in the sand.
There are a few palm trees around the beach at Playacar that can give you shade throughout the day. Our advice is if you to arrive early so you can take advantage of this mother earth’s gift!
The Best Clinic for Your Dental Vacation
Now that you know all the fun things you can do during your dental vacation in Cancun, make sure you have an appointment with a trustful clinic in the area.
Since you will be going to the clinic almost every day, it is best to pick a clinic that is in the middle distance of every attraction or town you would like to visit during your vacation. Plus, it is not honestly all about the fun you will have in your free time, you also have to make sure the treatment you undergo is completely worth the trip to a new country.
A trustful clinic is distinguished by their years of experience and a well-prepared team of dentists who can ensure you’ll have a new smile once you go back home.
Sani Dental Group is known to be the #1 dental clinic in Los Algodones, Mexico and now, we are opening a new dental facility in the wonders of the Riviera Maya.
Sani Dental Group Cancun, Riviera is located just 50 minutes from the Cancun International Airport in the exclusive Playacar, inside Playa Del Carmen.
With a capacity of 11 chairs, we are committed to help our patients who are seeking to receive quality dental care, counting with top technology, a fully equipped Operation Room, and all the dental specialties in this third facility, promising the same affordable prices that could help you save up to 70% in dental work compared with US and Canada prices.
With over 30 years of experience in the medical tourism field, we count with various certifications being a proud member of the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), making sure our procedures are followed by quality standards that can guarantee the success of our treatments.
We work with a highly prepared team of doctors that speak fluid English to assist every patient with their dental needs without issues.
Plan your dental trip with the best in the area! Call us today to get an appointment!
If you would like to know more about Sani Dental Group Cancun Riviera, click here.
Disclaimer: Open dentist to help you with your dental needs. We are taking additional special measures following CDC recommendations to ensure your health and safety.