ANCIENT MAYAN RUINS, CENOTES , PLAYA DEL CARMEN & TULUM
After spending a couple of days in Cancun, soaking up the sun and salty air, I joined a group of friends and we made our way to another one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza. This magnificent archaeological site is a walk through the advanced civilization of the Ancient Mayan people. We visited all the main monuments: the Kukulcan Pyramid, The Temple of Warriors, and the Great Ball Court (where years ago they played a fatally brutal version of soccer). Luckily, we arrived on a day that wasn’t full of tourists and we had time to explore the site free of distractions.
A Swim in the Sacred Cenotes
Next, we traveled by rickshaw to the hidden and enchanting sacred cenote,
Cenote Ik kil. Cenotes are natural swimming holes formed by the collapse of the soft limestone rock. Because limestone is a purifying mineral, the Cenotes are full of clear, mineral-rich waters. When you look up, you’re in surrounded by ropes of giant, tropical vines – it seriously feels like something straight out of Avatar! No wonder the Mayans settled villages around these spiritual wells and believed they were portals to speak to the gods. I could have swam in the water forever. Afterwards, my skin felt amazing and we left refreshed as ever.
San Cristobal de las Casas
In Chiapas we went to bright and lively town called San Cristobal. It’s high up in the mountains and I love the cobblestone streets and all the colorful churches. In the center is the zócalo where they have festivals almost every evening during the summer. Musicians play all kinds of music including jazz, flamenco, salsa, rock, reggae, and hip-hop so there’s something for everyone.
One evening we stayed in a small hotel near Palenque so we could get up early the next morning and visit the ancient ruins in this jungle setting. The Mayan temples in Palenque are more built into the mountain landscape and it is one of the best ruin sites in Mexico. It isn’t as well known, because usually Chichen Itza is where tourist stop, but I found it beautiful and mysterious. You can hear the howler monkeys and parrots throughout the trees around you and I appreciated the fact that it was quiet without as many tourists swarming around.
Tulum & Playa Del Carmen
Now a popular site for BMP goers and photographers, we ended our trip in Playa Del Carmen and took a tour through the ruins over the sea of Tulum. This was my favorite destination, because it’s the perfect combination of beach and archeology. From the top of the ruins we got a full view of the most turquoise waters and cliff edges I’ve ever seen.
The last week we decided to be beach bums and relax on the white sands and warm waters of Playa del Carmen. I LOVE Playa del Carmen. The food is delicious, the fruit is the juiciest I’ve ever tasted, the people are beautiful and kind and the local culture is more authentic than what you experience on Hotel Island in Cancun. Luckily, we stayed at the Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel that had a walk-out waterfront setup. Each night we walked along the coast and danced at the waterfront parties until dawn. The perfect way to end an adventure packed trip!