After nearly a month of travelling through the USA we needed a bit of a relax. Mexico was conveniently on the way from Los Angeles and Rio so we felt a week on a sunny beach in Cancun would do us some good.
We arrived here on the Friday and felt the familiar 35 degree heat hit us but we also noticed something extra, a little something called 90% humidity which didn’t exactly hit us, more repeatedly bludgeoned us into submission the moment we left any sort of air conditioning.
Our apartment block was downtown – about 40minutes from the Hotel Zone and even 10 minutes from the touristy part of downtown Cancun – we were in the ghetto a little. Even so we decided to brave it and go for a really nice meal at a local place called El Pocito. After a bit of travelling and being so tired after the USA, naturally the language barrier kicked in and we had no idea what we ordered (apart from 2 sprites!). Even so it was delicious and ridiculously hot!
The first beach we hit was called Chac-Mool. It was rather nice and there were “free” sun-beds to be had (minus a few pesos tip) and conveniently located public toilets (due to last nights extremely hot chilli sauce). Here we just relaxed and just got burnt to a crisp. We had an awesome burrito afterwards at the Surfin’ Burrito company.
August is in-between seasons for Cancun, typically High season is anywhere from December through until Easter. Rainy season is typically May until December and Hurricane season blows up around August…which was perfect timing really.
We had about 2 days of beach time before the rains hit us with so much force that we had to shelter for an entire day in our dingy little apartment downtown while we watched the roads gradually turn into rivers. We used this time to book our Chichen Itza tour for a day when we felt we would hit it lucky weather-wise.
The next beach we visited was Playa Tortugas – or “Turtle Beach”. This was a fun but expensive beach. But as we were relaxing we decided to do away with budgets and grab ourselves a couple of deckchairs. Here we had many beers and relaxes. In fact we liked it so much we went twice!
Chichen Itza is a “new” wonder of the world – and another reason why we chose Cancun as our rest spot. It’s only about 2 hours away by bus and the tours that they do are just about reasonable (probably more on the expensive side). We opted for the Deluxe tour from Cancun Adventure Tours so we were given plenty of beer, water etc on the bus and had an all-inclusive buffet lunch served for us at Valladolid which went to just after the ruins. This was just over $100 per person if booked online. You will be dreaming of those coolboxes filled with beer and water when you experience the heat inside the Chichen Itza complex. This alone makes it worth the extra $10.
Chichen Itza was really good to see. Other pyramids may be more impressive to look at but the mathematical and meteorological precision used to build the El Castillo is down-right amazing. Listen to your tour guide when they explain this – then hang around and listen to another groups – I swear to god they come to the same resulting figures using completely different math and folklore. Quite funny to experience and I’m not sure who to trust.
There’s also the Great Ball Court which reminds me of the Dreamworks animation “The Road to El Dorado” – Sarah didn’t know what I was on about either but I assure you there is a film! It’s where they played a ball game using sticks and their hips, attempting to score through a circle of stone that is quite possibly 20 feet above ground. Winning or Losing team gets sacrificed, I’m not sure which one!
Valladolid was a nice small town – it’s even where Sarah found her cheap flip-flops (I think in Cancun they were 400 pesos which is ridiculous – here they were 30!). We also had a great meal and a wander round. There’s also a Cenote nearby which was quite cool.
Another day or two at the beaches and some really nice restaurant food and that was the end of our relax. Not a bad time in Mexico – the food was great and the weather hit and miss. I also got my haircut by a Mexican who looked like he was stuck in the 80s. Thankfully he just cut my hair rather than permed it.