The first time I went to Mexico was in 2011 with my BFF. We were looking to go on a beach vacation, I scoured the travel sites for weeks looking for a luxurious but cost effective vacation. In my searches, I found a 5 star hotel under $700 all inclusive (includes hotel, flight and food) in Mazatlan, Mexico. It seemed almost too good to be true. I also never heard of Mazatlan, at that point the only city I knew in Mexico was party city, Cancun and murder city, Mexico City (of course I have a very different view of Mexico now). It was a risk but my friend and I decided to take it.
This was our first all-inclusive resort trip so we went in with zero expectations. We figured if it was clean then we’re happy. The hotel we choose was the Riu Emerald Bay. Yes, it is the same resort where a Canadian woman got beat up. Funny enough, after that story hit, we could no longer afford to go to the resort, prices doubled.
I think this is still one of the most beautiful resorts I ever went to. While it was not a North American 5 star, in all the places I’ve visited in the South (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico) it was the nicest. This was a mega resort with over 800 rooms but since we went during low season it was not busy.
My friend and I enjoyed our trip greatly. The hotel and people were beautiful. It was a very relaxing trip with a lot of beach walks and sunsets. We felt very safe, so safe that we ventured out on our own in to the “Golden Zone” downtown. After this trip I was enamored with Mexico and since Mazatlan was on the pacific side of Mexico, I wanted to go the Caribbean side. This was one of the reasons why I choose Tulum for my second yoga retreat – I wanted to go back to Mexico.