Ticking Off the Bucket List

Enjoy your own Spring Break in Cancun

By on January 29, 2013

After just five weeks of non-stop touring of South America we thought a beach break was just what we needed.

Somewhere to rest and relax but also somewhere to plan our next step and you can’t get much more fun in the sun in this part of the world than Cancun, Mexico.

Much to Brad’s disappointment it wasn’t Spring Break time, but it was a luxurious start to our Central American adventure.  Beware the posers on the beach!
Cancun, Mexico
Lots of posing on the beach, Cancun

We checked into an all inclusive hotel, ME Melia.

For most Aussies, the concept of an all inclusive hotel is a little foreign and I had to do a fair bit of research on them before I left home because they seemed too good to be true, but they’re not.  Basically an all inclusive hotel means all food and drink (including alcohol) is provided.

Yes, you will pay more per night than a regular hostel/hotel but it means you don’t have to worry about your budget as you go and can just simply gorge and enjoy your stay.  I’m not talking about just a sandwich at lunch and one course dinners either.  You are served three course meals if you want them from four different restaurants and can choose your preference of drink, everything from beer, wine, cocktails and spirits from countless bars.  Don’t be suss on the waiters that are trying to ‘upsell’ you either, it won’t cost you anything but an extra few pesos tip.

The down side of an all inclusive is you don’t want to leave the premises! This means you’re not really getting out and about to discover other establishments.  We wanted to explore the area so we had to forfeit a couple of meals and drinks to do so.

ME Melia was certainly a massive change to the accommodation we had become accustomed to on this trip.

ME Melia, Cancun

One of the highlights of Cancun and one I definitely recommend is diving the Underwater Museum.

Getting ready to dive the Underwater Museum

The Underwater Museum is a series of sculptures placed underwater off the coast of Cancun near Isla Mujeres.  Artist Jason deCaires Taylor made the underwater installation from PH neutral marine concrete to attract marine wildlife as an artifical reef.  The sculptures are inspired by local people and the aim of the museum is to lure tourists away from the damaged coral reef so it has time to reflourish.

Don’t worry if you don’t have your dive ticket either you can organise a ‘resort dive’ which involves a brief shore lesson before heading out with a guide.  It is advisable you know how to swim though unlike the Chinese couple we had on our boat who panicked and ended up swallowing too much water, throwing up and nearly drowning.

Underwater Museum, Cancun
Underwater Museum, Cancun

Another day trip from Cancun is Chichen Itza which is where the famous Kulkulkan Pyramid lies, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.  Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico and when you’re there it definitely feels like it.  It was probably even more busy when we were there given it was just a few days out from the end of the world, according to the Mayan calendar.

It was great to see and tick off the bucket list but was nowhere near as impressive as Machu Picchu.  If you are considering a visit, don’t do an organised tour.  What should take 2-3 hours to get there ends up taking about 7-8 hours due to several stops on the way including to an overpriced tourist-trap shop.  This means you get to Chichen Itza late afternoon when it is at its busiest time and you only have an hour to look around.

The roads are very well signed and sealed so either rent a car or take a public bus which leave regularly.

Chichen Itza

If you do rent a car you can visit the cute little town of Vallodilid situated between Cancun and Chichen Itza and also one of the many cenotes in the region at your own time.

Mexico is famous for its cenotes which are natural pits or sinkholes beneath the earth resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock.  There is evidence to suggest that cenotes were sometimes used by the ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings.

I would recommend getting to Chichen Itza quite early to beat the tour bus crowds and stop by Vallodilid and a cenote on the way back.

Suytun Cenote, Yucatan Peninsula

Cancun has some of the most amazing beaches and bluest water I have ever seen, however if you’re looking for any trace of Mexican culture here other than trinkets at souvenier shops then sadly you will be disappointed.  It is very Americanised with kilometres of big hotel resorts blocking the view to the beaches from the road.

Once you’re on the beach however and your being served a tequila sunrise every hour than all that doesn’t seem to matter.

Cancun, Mexico

Comments

  1. James Bird
    January 29, 2013

    Leave a Reply

    Beautiful photos! I wish I had kept travelling with you two I think!!!

  2. Zoe x
    February 1, 2013

    Leave a Reply

    I think you will have thousands more photos and memories in the 12 months you travelled than us!!!

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