I finally made it to Mexico!!!! I canceled my trip to Mexico City last year because a hurricane was threatening to wreak havoc. The opportunity to compensate for this canceled trip came two months later when the flight deal posted a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Cancun for only $141! I called my reliable travel partners, and as usual, they were ready to book. I mean who is not down to collect a stamp at the price of $141? Yeah, we still had to reserve a room, but when you are traveling with me, straying from your budget will be the least of your worries. Trust me.
Instead of searching for hotels the traditional way, I decided to give airbnb a shot. There were several different listings that were nice and within our budget, but we decided on a 2-bedroom condo in one of the local neighborhoods outside of the tourist area. The condo was about a 7-minute walk from the bus stop and about a 5-minute drive to Walmart. We quickly learned the public transportation system and used the bus as our primary method of transportation. We did catch a taxi a few times; however, I highly encourage you to negotiate the cost before you even get in the taxi. One of the drivers tried to pull a fast one on us.
While purchasing a few necessities at Walmart, we were stopped by a salesman that tried to convince us to purchase an activities package. After haggling with him for about 30 minutes, we all decided to purchase the package. We were up bright and early the next morning catching a taxi to Walmart. After paying the remaining balance, we were on our way! It took about an hour to get to the jungle where the activities were located. Half way there, we met another driver at a gas station; he transported us the remainder of the way in a pick-up truck. It was not long before I understood why the vehicle change was necessary. The dirt road we took was extremely bumpy, and we had to ride through the wilderness!! When we arrived, we were given the rules and some other important information before we signed our lives away.
Ziplining was up first. I think I did pretty good for a first-timer. One of my friends even had the audacity to zipline upside down. No, thank you. I was not that advanced…yet. After ziplining, we rode ATVs to two different cenotes aka sinkholes. The view was A-MAZING!! There was a makeshift dock that was used for jumping into the cenote. One friend was gung-ho about jumping, while myself and another friend decided to sit this one out. After succumbing to peer pressure, I decided to jump from not the lowest level, but third highest, which was 30ft high!!!! This may sound like a cake walk to you, but I do NOT know how to swim! There! I said it! Don’t judge me. My friend and I jumped together, but I was not as fortunate as her. I injured my tailbone in the process and have not been right ever since! Apparently, that was not enough to make me sit my butt down because I then decided I wanted to be superwoman and jump into the cenote from the zipline!! What was I thinking?!
The ATV ride back to the original site was a rough one. After injuring my tailbone, it hurt to do anything. When we got back to the site, our guide led us to this large hole in the ground and tried to convince someone to jump into the unknown. The hole was pitch black and nothing was visible AT.ALL. Because we all refused to jump into the dark abyss, our guide finally showed us a staircase about 15ft away that descended into this abyss. We entered Cenote Kin-ha. Talk about a view. The water was different hues of blue, and the silence was pierced by screeching bats. We were in a dark cave with bats. Yes, that means the water that we were swimming in was contaminated with bat feces. Oh well, I was already in it at that point. According to the guide, the mixture of water and bat droppings was great for your skin. Anything to keep us in there, right? When we finished, we retreated back to the site where lunch was prepared for us. After a day’s worth of activities, I was ready to get back to the condo and count sheep.
The next day, we hopped on a ferry that took us to Isla Mujeres. After grabbing a bite to eat, we rented a golf cart and drove around the island. The distance around the entire island was about 4-5 miles, but we were afraid we were going to miss the ferry because the golf cart didn’t move any faster than a tortoise. We putted around the island, taking in the different views and colorful buildings. Buildings started to look familiar and a sense of relief came over me. We made it back just in the nick of time.
Our last day in Mexico was reserved for Tulum. We caught a bus there for about $75, and shortly after we boarded, I was out like a light. The drive from Cancun to Tulum took about two hours. When we got near the Mayan Ruins, we were told by a few salesman that the exhibit had closed, but we could hurry and purchase a boat ride from them that would take us around the perimeter of the ruins. Hmmm…something did not sound right. We took our chances and walked about a mile to the entrance. When we got there, to our surprise, it was still open!!!!! Damn salesman. As soon as we entered, I was captivated. We learned about what was once the castle, the temple, the jail, and other edifices.
On our way back from Tulum, we stopped in Playa Del Carmen for some quick exploring. We made reservations at a secluded restaurant on the second floor and enjoyed the cool breeze and vibrant sounds. We mingled with the locals for a while and shopped for souvenirs before heading back to Cancun.
As you can see, we made the most of our time while in Cancun. I swear we squeezed five and a half days of activities into four!!! I leave some cities feeling partially unfulfilled because I am unable to do everything I put on my to-do list, but I visited every city, every attraction that was on my list, and for that, I’m proud!! What attractions and activities do you recommend for someone visiting Cancun?
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