Twenty feels like a lifetime ago now. So many new experiences have enriched my life since then and still I look back at Mexico and remember what an amazing time I had with my childhood friend, Sarah.
It was the first ‘big’ holiday I had ever had and we had booked one of those all-inclusive (and exclusively touristy) packages to Playa Del Carmen, described as one of the hippest places in the Yucatan Peninsula. I vaguely remember arriving and Sarah having to tip the entire contents of her luggage out at the airport before we could proceed any further…do blonde people look more dodgy? It was morning when we left the UK and it was early morning when we arrived in Mexico. We decided to head straight for the beach and relax; although the jet lag wasn’t much of an issue it was still going to be a longer day than usual.
After settling down a bit, we decided to take a look at the excursions. By the end of the first day we had booked a considerable amount of tours – the operators must have loved us!
Here are some of the places we went and activities we did:
Tulum – Built between the 13th-15th century, Tulum, formerly known as Zama meaning City of Dawn stands tall on the edge of a cliff along the east coast facing the Caribbean Sea. In its heyday it was an important hub for trade particularly in turquoise and jade. It’s also one of the few Mayan cities protected by a wall. The word Tulum itself is the Mayan word for fence, wall or trench. There’s a couple of theories for why the city was surrounded by a wall – most obvious (to me at least) would be to protect the area from invasion. The second theory is that only the high and mighty ones (priests and nobility) could reside within the walls. The peasants were left outside.
If you like history, you should go ahead and check this beauty out. Word of warning though, it gets incredibly hot and humid so be sure to bring a sun hat and plenty of water!
Isla Mujeres aka Island of Women – If I remember correctly, we took the catamaran here! It was lots of fun and we got to do a bit of snorkeling in the middle of the luscious turquoise sea While we were swimming the weather turned pretty dark and ominous and the currents were pretty strong so I was quite worried that I wouldn’t make it back!
Xel-Ha – A natural aquarium park full of attractions for everyone. You’ll get the opportunity to come up close and personal with many different species of fishy’s. Before going here I pretty much pooed myself (please don’t take this literally) when in the vicinity of fish. When you’re in the water at Xel-Ha, there’s pretty much no escape! Let’s just say I’m a lot more confident these days. As well as snorkeling, there’s also tubing and so many other activities. You can click here to be directed to their site. I recommend it!
In my next post about Mexico, we’ll be swimming with Whale Sharks!
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- Travel: Finding My Inner Peace in Mexico (skimbacolifestyle.com)