With it getting colder and darker in the UK, recently I’ve been reminiscing about my favorite places. A few summers back I had the incredible pleasure of exploring Mexico and I couldn’t help but share a little bit of it with you.
Playa del Carmen
As soon as we landed, we hopped into a taxi and left Cancun airport. After an hour or so we arrived at the beautiful Royal Hideaway in Playa del Carmen. I remember the first thing I wanted to do was explore the hotel, which was situated smack bang on the beach, 5-minute walk through the hotel gardens.
The whole experience here was incredible, and it even had 5 restaurants to choose from! (channeling all of my fellow foodies out there!)
Visiting the ancient Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza was definitely one of the greatest highlights of our trip. The ruins were absolutely gorgeous to walk around and had an incredible mystical feel to them.
However, it was absolutely scorching that day and spending 3 hours under the searing sun was a challenge (one way to tell the non-locals (myself included!) from the locals was by the people desperately trying to escape the sun by darting from one patch of shade to another as it disappeared..!).
If you are planning a trip remember – light airy clothes, factor 50 sun cream and lots, and lots, and lots of water.
Cooling off at Dos Ojos Cenote
After visiting the ruins, it’s a local custom to visit the local cenote, ‘Ik Kil’ (a natural sinkhole formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock, this cenote is famed for is ancient Mayan links ). It’s also a custom to jump off the diving platform, which was super fun and the perfect (and fastest!) way to cool off!
As a diver, I am always up for a new (underwater) adventure – and this. was. amazing.
The dive lasted around 40 minutes and involved weaving through caverns illuminated by streaks of sunlight breaking through cracks in the caves. I definitely recommend taking your own torch for this, as the one I had decided to pack in as soon as we entered a pitch black cavern (not so fun). A few times we would surface in small air pockets and larger caverns that could only be accessed underwater (second picture).
Up for a thrill? Look no further.
The second week we stayed at the Occidental Grande in Cozumel, a small island off the coast and 30-minute ferry ride away. A bit more rustic and perched on the beach, this resort was equally as amazing as the Royal Hideaway ( and also with spot-on barbeque and buffet food).
If there’s one thing Cozumel is famed for, it’s for its diving. Crystal clear, warm water, towering coral formations, turtles, rays, and the best bit… SHARKS!! (I promise I’m not crazy.. well not for that reason anyway!). The diving here really does cater to everyone.
Another thing that really put it in my good books was that it only took 15 minutes to get to the first dive site and another 5 minutes between each dive site, so I didn’t have any problems with travel sickness.
There you have it!
I hope you enjoyed reading as much I enjoyed sharing with you, and that a little bit of Mexico has warmed up your November! 🙂