Once upon a time I hopped on a plane for the first time and since then never wanted to keep my fee on the ground…
Let’s go back to 2010 when all started. Of course my first post about my traveling experiences has to be my first escape! After months of research I decided to plan a trip combining different areas of Eastern México. I ended up booking Cancún, Merida (Chichen Itza) and Playa del Carmen!
Planning to travel to the coast of Mexico can be so overwhelming. There is so much information about nightlife, beaches, things to do, places to stay and activities, and of course you want to do them all….or at least have a blast with the best they offer! So let me share how I planned all the amazing things I did in just 8 days, aaaand my recommendations. These places are so different in activities, so I’ll focus this 1st part in Cancun and Isla Mujeres.
Let me start by saying that you’ll never go wrong with Cancun. Minutes after landing I was sipping a delicious welcome cocktail while renting my car – Yes, renting no taxi or car transfer– most of my friends were concerned because there was a lot of comments related to Mexico-not-safe-for-tourists, but not at all. You just need to use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would do at home and of course be especially cautious or avoid areas where you may be more easily a target– I’ll be posting on Smart Tips:
Cancun is known as the area that dominates the All-Inclusive Resorts. I booked the Grand Oasis Palm. It was beyond amazing and I found a very good offer -Patience is key when you book vacations- so do it with enough time!
My plan for the first day was to explore the area of downtown Cancun and the beaches. Had a delicious breakfast and my first experience with Chile Habanero, which is a very funny story! – I ordered an omelette and put some fresh “pico de gallo” on top of it. I didn’t read that the sauce had Chile Habanero sooooo picture me running looking for water! Jajajaja…Thanks God a waiter gave me milk which is a good solution, or salt –
Going back to my dayplan we drove to downtown. I was surprised of how easy it was with a simple map to go everywhere…everything has a sign! (People from DR will understand why Im saying this)…
Downtown is where you can experience “Real Mexico” So many colors, flavors, and very welcome and happy people. If you want to shop go to Mercado 28 it’s a flea market with amazing prices compared to the stores and malls located at the hotel area. You will also find very good restaurants with local food, parking is easy, and is not crowded at all. I definitely recommend to explore this area.
Back to the hotel and with amazing souvenirs in my bag, we spent the afternoon having a great time at the beach and the pool with a couple of margaritas and food. I need to stop here, food at this hotel was amazing they have more than 10 restaurants with amazing options. Sadly I just tried around five.
After dinner we went out to explore the “Party Area” ….Omgoshhhh I definitely have to mention: The City, Coco Bongo, Carlos n’ Charlie’s but my favorite was Senor Frogs. I met there an amazing group from California. They were celebrating a friends bday and they made me part of their group! I spent the whole night dancing with them.
Second Day – My Bday day!
For my Birth-DAY I planned to explore Isla Mujeres, such a beautiful island. Has interesting natural sites and is surrounded by an attractive underwater diver’s paradise perfect for sea adventures. Has 7km long and 1km wide. You can get there in a short ferry ride. I used Ultramar Ferry that I booked online, you can also buy tickets directly at their offices. Rides start at 5am until 8:30pm. There are a variety of transit options. It’s so tiny that I decided to explore it in a bike…wrong decision, JA! I was not physically prepared. It was like riding a bike in the Alps, because the South part of the island is going up a hill. So my recommendation unless you are prepared, is to rent a four wheel or a golf-car.
Now going back to the beautiful island, you have 3 areas to explore: The South part with Mayan Ruins and a lighthouse, downtown and the North with the amazing North Beach. One day is not enough if you’re looking to do adventure activities. There are tours to explore Shark Island, Cross of the Bay, have access to the Dolphin Park and Garrafón reef, and also explore the turtle farm and a few others. Is paradise for divers.
After exploring the lighthouse we went back to North. It was so easy because we were riding down the hill. We stopped at a local place to have a Corona beer and have some rest and ended up at North Beach. It is a really impressive beach with pure clear water!
I’m so sad I didn’t took pictures of the amazing ceviche I had on top of Mexican toasts. All food I had was amazing. Well that night we went for a Bday dinner to another amazing place that I will talk about on my post:
As I said you can’t go wrong with Cancun and all the surrounds options. My third day was very briefly in Cancun. It was breakfast, packing and driving to Merida to visit Chichen Itza. Read about the 2nd part of my first trip on my next post “A real Maya experience” and also interesting facts from Cancun and Isla Mujeres.