Saturday 16 December 2017

Nine days in Mexico

As someone who absolutely loves Mexican food, Dave has always wanted to visit Mexico, so when we were chatting earlier this year about a potential holiday for later in the year, we decided that, in addition to visiting Vegas and Canada in November, we'd spend about nine days in Mexico.

Not really knowing much about Mexico at all, we did a bit of research and decided that the Yucatan Peninsula seemed like a beautiful (and relatively safe) area to visit for our first time in Mexico. So, back in April, we booked in for three days in Cancun, three days in Tulum and three days in Playa del Carmen.

After a long day of travel from Launceston to Melbourne, then Melbourne to Los Angeles, then Los Angeles to Cancun, we finally made it to our first hotel in Cancun - Secrets the Vine. This was an incredibly beautiful hotel (probably one of the best I've ever stayed in) where we were greeted upon arrival with a glass of champagne, before being told that we had been upgraded to the honeymoon suite for the night. This was definitely a much appreciated surprise after 25 hours of travel. The hotel is an all-inclusive hotel, with eight restaurants and a number of bars to choose from, so you can have whatever cuisine or beverage you feel like, whenever you feel like. After dropping off our bags in our room, we headed to the Mexican restaurant for some margharitas and tacos, before getting a good night's sleep after a very long day.

The next day, after hitting the gym then undoing all our good work at the breakfast buffet, we were picked up by our pre-booked shuttle service, Happy Shuttle (which I would highly recommend to anyone visiting Mexico - it was an extremely reliable service, the drivers were friendly, the private transfers were very comfortable with air conditioning and cold bottled water, and we didn't have to worry once about our safety) to take us to Tulum, which was about a two hour drive south of Cancun.

Upon arriving at our hotel, Coco Tulum, we checked in, then decided to hire some bikes and cycle into town, which was about a 40 minute ride. We stumbled upon a Mexican restaurant that seemed pretty clean with an appetising menu, so we took a seat and ordered some tacos and margharitas for lunch. Unfortunately, we think this might have been the cause of our five day illness that began about 24 hours later, so in hindsight, this wasn't the best choice of restaurant (though we can't be 100% sure that this was actually what made us ill).

Despite being ill for most of our time in Tulum, we did manage to enjoy the amazing beach with its bright blue water and white sand, as well as exploring the Mayan ruins, which were only a 10-15 minute taxi ride from our hotel. We also took advantage of the beach-side massages, located just next to our hotel, which were incredibly relaxing and calming with the sound of the ocean waves nearby.


At the end of our three days in Tulum, we were again greeted by a driver from Happy Shuttle who took us to Playa del Carmen (about an hour north of Tulum), where we stayed at another incredible all-inclusive resort, Paradisus la Perla. Unfortunately, we were still quite ill for most of our time here, so didn't get to enjoy the full extent of the 14 restaurants and 16 bars. We did manage to have a few nice meals (when we felt we had the energy and appetite to do so), and spent quite a bit of time soaking up the sun by the adults-only pool. Thankfully, we were able to get some antibiotics from the resort doctor at Paradisus la Perla, which set us on the road to recovery in time for our final two nights back in Cancun.


On our last day in Cancun, after enjoying some lunch at one of the most expansive and delicious buffets I've ever seen, we spotted a jet ski hire shop just near our hotel, and having enjoyed jetskiing in the past in Fiji and New Caledonia, we decided to hire one each for half an hour, which was a very fun end to our time in Mexico. That evening, we enjoyed a delicious lasagne at the hotel's Italian restaurant, before getting some rest as we had a 7:45am flight out the next morning.

If I were to go to Mexico again, I think I would prefer to stay at the one resort (most likely Secrets the Vine) and go on day trips to various parts of Mexico (while making sure not to drink the water, and confining our meals to those within the resort!). Unfortunately, due to our illness, we didn't get to visit Chichen Itza, or swim in any cenotes (the natural sinkholes), so it would be great to be able to see those on another trip. However, despite the downside of being sick, this area of Mexico is a truly beautiful part of the world and is definitely worth exploring if you have ever had the urge to visit some gorgeous beachside towns in the Caribbean.

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