Ticking Off the Bucket List

Spend the end of the world in Mexico

By on February 9, 2013

A relatively simple ADO public bus ride which took about an hour and a half from Cancun and we arrived in Playa Del Carmen.

We had been thinking of bypassing Playa altogether because we thought it would be ‘same same but different’ as Cancun.  Call it the universe working in mysterious ways that we decided to spend a few days there.

It was also the place we would spend for the end of the world.

I am so glad we did!  Playa Del Carmen is nothing like Cancun and has so much more of a relaxed and inclusive vibe.  I would recommend Playa over Cancun any day of the week.  The only thing better in Cancun is the pristine aqua blue ocean.

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

We originally wanted to spend the end of the world in Tulum however due to poor planning particularly at this epic time in the Mayan calendar, we were too late to book anything.  So we decided on a day trip there instead.  Tulum and its ruins are an easy one hour ADO bus ride south from Playa and are most famous for where it is located, right on the ocean front.  It is one of the last cities inhabited and built by the Mayans and one of the most intact.

Tulum ruins, Mexico
Tulum ruins, Mexico

Because Tulum is right on the beach, after spending a few hours surveying the ruins in the steaming hot sun you can then take a much needed swim at the beach.  That same pristine aqua blue ocean found in Cancun is also found here.  Plonk yourself on a beach side bar swing seat and you will waste a good few hours with not a care in the world, trust me!

Tulum, Mexico

Back in Playa it was time to prepare for the end of the world.  We were headed to a 24 hour festival called Day Zero.  I feared that by the end of the 24 hours if the world hadn’t ended, we were going to wish it did.

Set amongst a backdrop of fake Mayan ruins, strobe lights, trance tracks and the most tripped out people you have ever met, we danced and laughed the night away.  A bonfire was lit on the podium dance floor and Mayan dancers joined hipster tripsters to chant to the flames conjuring the spirits of the Mayan gods.

Day Zero festival, Playa Del Carmen
Day Zero festival, Playa Del Carmen

I wish I could say we lasted the full 24 hours but we’re just not as hardcore as half the people at the festival, willing to forgo the comfort of a bed and sleep on the cold hard ground.

We made it back the next day to pick up where we left off, dancing to the same beat and joining hundreds of others to ponder if the end of the world was really coming.

Day Zero festival, Playa Del Carmen

Curiously, the end of the Mayan calendar arrived to the sound of Phil Collins ‘In the Air Tonight’.  Personally I thought R.E.M’s ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It’ would have been a better fit but hey, I’m sure most of the people at the festival were that tripped out, the song was the perfect choice.

We knew the world was never going to end and most Mexicans we met on our travels also knew it was never going to end but it was a brilliant money spinner and the tourism industry lapped it up.

The ‘end of the world’ was more about one era ending and a new beginning starting.  What an awesome concept and one that everyone no matter where they were around the world could adopt.

Whether it be a relationship ending, changing jobs, being a better person or something as simple as cleaning out your wardrobe, why wouldn’t you embrace and celebrate an ‘out with the old and in with the new’ mentality.

Day Zero festival, Playa Del Carmen


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