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Isn’t it always the case that when you decide you’re going to give your phone a rest, you end up needing it the most? There I was laying out on my balcony couch, enjoying the tranquil views of the lagoon, devouring a surprise delivery of fresh guacamole and chips, when all the sudden I see an animal.

This ruthless, though surprisingly cute, coati had stealthily climbed up a tree adjacent to my balcony to snatch a bird for dinner. I was literally sitting in awe hoping it’d still be there for me long enough to grab my phone and snag a picture! I felt like I was witnessing a live-action National Geographic episode, only instead of being in the wilderness, I was staying at the luxurious Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya.

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Coati!

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fullsizeoutput_670dThe Andaz is an incredibly vibrant resort situated on the Caribbean beachfront. Unlike other resorts, The Andaz is completely surrounded by lush vegetation. Along with three outdoor pools, each decked out with the necessary cabanas, lounge chairs and umbrellas, the resort also offers guests pretty pastel bikes and over three miles of nature trails for those wanting to do more than just layout on the beach for hours on end. Not that I don’t love that myself.
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IMG_4578The Andaz has four dining options with each restaurant highlighting the authentic cooking techniques of the region while providing a distinctive dining experience. Whether you choose upscale Latin American cuisine at Casa Amate, market-to-table plates at Cocina Milagro or fun bites like tacos and ceviche at the beachfront eateries of OllaTaco and OllaCeviche, you can’t go wrong.fullsizeoutput_6719fullsizeoutput_671afullsizeoutput_671bfullsizeoutput_671d

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The Mayakoba resort complex is kind of a zoo, in the coolest way possible. It’s home to over 200 species of birds, reptiles, mammals and fish. My favorite experience during my trip was a guided ecoboat tour through the area. Not only did our boat take us exploring through the canals and stunning properties of the neighboring resorts, but we did so in style with bubbly and plates of fresh fruits. We saw everything from crocodiles to great blue herons, all living harmoniously on the property!
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Another incredibly fun aspect of the complex? El Pueblito! We spent one morning at the traditional village square in the center of the resort eating incredibly delicious, authentic Mexican cuisine prepared right before our eyes. There were also shops selling authentic Mexican crafts; upbeat musical performances; and an ornate chapel where a Catholic Mass is held every Sunday. There’s even a farmers market on Sundays!fullsizeoutput_6715fullsizeoutput_6717fullsizeoutput_6716IMG_4873IMG_5012fullsizeoutput_6722IMG_4789IMG_4734fullsizeoutput_6721fullsizeoutput_670c

If you’re interested in reading more about this trip, check out my piece in Travel Weekly.

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