Occidental at XCaret Destination Mini-Review & Recap: Seven Day Mexico Vacation

Week-long vacations are typically hard to come by while working full time. Missing that much work can make playing catch-up when you get back stressful. Luckily, while I was relaxing in Riviera Maya, Charlotte was experiencing a few snow days so I didn’t miss out on too much work – not that I was concerned while sipping daiquiris by the pool ;).

I joined my boyfriend’s family on this Mexican getaway. We booked through CheapCaribbean.com and it was a simple process. I thought it was a great deal because the price included round-trip, direct flights as well as all food and drinks during the stay. I was super excited to experience an all-inclusive resort and considered it totally worth the splurge!

I hope this overview of my trip helps you get even more excited to plan your trip to Mexico. The Occidental at XCaret (pronounced Shh-Caret) was truly beautiful. It’s about an hour away from the Cancun airport. Adding transportation to/from the airport was an extra $50 when booking and well worth the convenience.

The main lobby is open to a stunning area that leads you to the rest of the resort. The fountain area is filled with fish that you can feed. Every morning, they bring the parrots in to visit.

The abundance of wildlife was certainly one of the first things we noticed when we arrived and were meandering around. Our random discoveries of animals continued throughout the week.


Findings included flamingos, iguanas, coatis, agoutis, and the family favorite — monkeys!

Find this awesome, functional cover-up at Target! 

When we weren’t exploring, we were relaxing by one of the several pools or beach areas.

Since it’s January, the water hasn’t completely warmed up yet so we did much more sunbathing than swimming. To get to the only remaining sunny spots at the pool one day, we had to cross through the frigid water to this pool island. A tequila shot made it bearable.

The only time we left the resort all week was to visit the XCaret Park, which conveniently has an entrance connecting to the resort. There is a ton to do there and you can leave and re-enter, so expect to make a day of it and get your money’s worth. FYI, buying tickets 7+ days in advance will save you a percentage of the ticket price. Also, get an extra $5 off with code XC-AF18!

These are men swinging upside down while tied to a pole – no biggie.

Our overall favorite spot had to be the adults-only saltwater pool.

It was never overcrowded and you’re only steps away from a buffet for a snack. Drink service is also provided at the pools, which was so nice! I recommend the Chi-Chi, which is a blended mixture of piña colada with vodka and grenadine – perfect for a sunny day. It’s also a great place to get in a snorkel sesh, since it’s filled with a ton of fish. Don’t worry, you get used to swimming with the fish really quickly!

Onto the food! During the day, we took advantage of the buffet bars for breakfast and lunch. There is a huge variety of food available and it’s apparent that they try to accommodate many diets and backgrounds. I definitely tried a few new things throughout the course of the week.

For dinner, I didn’t really take any food pictures so I could be present in the moment with everyone. We dined at the more formal restaurants mostly every evening. They had four options: a steak house, an Italian restaurant, an Oriental restaurant and a Mexican restaurant. Note: Men must wear long pants and closed toed shoes to visit these! Every restaurant was delicious, but we especially loved the Mexican restaurant (La Hacienda) – go figure!

I much preferred the mid 70’s to the 6″ of snow back at home! I’m very glad I got to take a week off to relax in the sun without any worries and would definitely recommend this resort, especially to a first timer in Mexico!

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to my favorite products for your convenience. If you shop through them, thank you! I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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