Sadly, we’ve now come full circle with my Cancun (aka bae-cation 😉 ) recap.
If you missed part 1: A Night Out in Charlotte + a big travel tip, you can catch up here!
If you missed part 2: Travel Guide to Cancun Mexico, + some travel wisdom, you can read that here!
To preface you all again…
Hola, mis amores!
Last week, Dj and I traveled down to Cancun, Mexico to meet up with my best friend, Sara (remember her from our adventures exploring North Florida?), and her fiance, Waugh. None of had ever been to Cancun before, but Sara + Waugh bought this ridiculous vacation package while in Cozumel a few years ago. Wanting to take advantage of another trip before the package ended, we talked about doing a couples trip… aka Baecation (don’t hate me, hehe.)
So, on a whim, we looked online, found a 5 day block that worked for the 4 of our work schedules and booked the trip all within 48 hours. I’m a huge advocator for traveling as much as possible (I lived in London for a bit, travel out to California pretty frequently, and on months that my schedule is tight, explore nearby cities for weekend getaways, and even scope out local areas for quick day trips!)
Luckily for me, Sara shares my gypsy soul so she is the perfect travel partner. Waugh is also one of my favorite humans on this earth, and him and Dj made their own “brocation” so it was an all around awesome time.
We packed a lot into the short 5 day trip and really made the most of it. To break it down, I’ll do a 3 part series that covers everything from travel tips to extend your stay, our trip to Cancun in general (aka this post), as well as our day trip exploring the Mayan ruins, but other than that, this 3 part travel series is set out to be one of my longer recap posts.
Whenever I travel, whether that be to a different county or somewhere in the states, I love soaking up as much local culture as possible.
So, when we started talking about what we wanted to do on our trip a few weeks before we arrived in Mexico, we knew that we had to plan a full day of excursions.
Travel tip: Plan + book your excursions before you get to your destination! Deals are much easier to come by when you look prior to the day you want to go. Especially since so many companies offer the same packages, they’re willing to work with you if you book them in advance.
For ours, we booked an all day trip to visit 3 Mayan ruins: Coba, Tulum, and a Cenote. If we had booked the trip at our resort or once we got there, the package we chose came to around $250.00 per person. However, since we knew to look + book in advance, we found a deal that offered the same exact package, with the same company we were interested in booking with, for $110.00.
Our travel came with a huge bus/van that picked you up + dropped you off at your resort, drove you to each ruin, gave guided tours, and even provided an authentic Mayan meal. Huge deal, if you ask me!
Sunday morning, we woke up bright and early, dressed in comfy workout clothes, and headed down to grab breakfast. We wanted to fuel up before the long day ahead! Once we ate, we headed down to the lobby around 8am where we were greeted by our tour guide for the day.
The travel company that we chose to go with was Viator. They had a load of different packages to choose from, and it was very easy to book, even while still in America.
One thing that I really loved was that our tour guide was Mayan himself. It made it a lot more personable, he shared stories, knowledge, and even taught us a few words! (Don’t quiz me on these, my memory apparently is not the best, haha)
After picking up the other travelers from their resorts, we headed off to our first stop of the day: Tulum!
One of the things he taught us was that when a tree trunk is brown under the bark, it means that it is going to be a rainy summer. However, if a tree trunk is green under the bark, it means that it will be a very dry summer. This is due to the tree retaining water to stay green & hydrated, or not retaining the water because it know it will be plentiful.
Tulum was absolutely breathtaking. The walled-in ruins were located on a cliff that overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
After learning about Tulum and the Mayan’s that in the past inhibited the ruins, we were able to explore the ruins. While most areas of the old houses and buildings were roped off in order to help preserve them, we were able to get close and really grasp what life would have looked like for this ancient civilization.
After we walked around the ruins for awhile, we headed down the (very steep!!) stairs to the Carribean Sea. I loved that you were given the history, but also time to explore on your own. We were able to go into the water, enjoy the atmosphere, and truly soak up all that Tulum had to offer.
After a good bit of time exploring Tulum, we headed back to the van to head off to our next destination: a Cenote.
Simply put, a cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. The water is drinkable, swimable, and crystal clear. The cenote that we visited was located in an active Mayan community. While there, the residents made us lunch, preformed a welcome blessing ceremony, and we were able to swim!
One really cool aspect of the cenote is that since it’s so clear, it looks very shallow. However, the water that I would have guessed was 5 feet, was actually 30. You could jump or dive off the sides, see any fish or turtles visibly, and it was cool and refreshing… not to mention amazingly beautiful!
Even though it was almost 90 degrees outside, the cenote was refreshingly cold. So cold, in fact, it took us almost 15 minutes and an elderly gentleman jumping into the water to convince each other to actually get in the water. 😉
After a refreshing dip and beautiful welcoming ceremony, we headed back to the van and headed off to our third and final destination, Coba.
Unlike Tulum, Coba had ruins that you could climb on. One of the largest still surviving ruin, in fact. Once we arrived, we were greeted by friendly Mayans that rode on bicycles with seats on the front that were offering to take us to and from the ruins. For a $8.00 roundtrip, it was well worth it!
Coba was incredibly spread out, as well. We were able to wander around the local ruins while we were waiting for some of the bikes to clear up enough to take the large group of us (and even play around + climb a few!)
An old game arena
The old watchtower
Lastly, we arrived at the large ruin that you were able to climb. We were given the advice to always look back and down once you’ve climbed about 10 steps so that you don’t become dizzy once you reach the top. It’s pretty steep so I can definitely see why losing your sense of balance is a pretty big concern of theirs!
Somehow, Sara is always smiling even when sweating! 🙂
Total, the day long trip was about 11 hours long, but WELL worth it! Exploring new cultures is one thing I absolutely love in life and it was a great way to spend a day.
Questions for you:
- What’s the best vacation you’ve taken?
- Have you ever traveled alone?
- Do you enjoy exploring other places/cultures?
- Which do you prefer: beach or mountain vacations?