Well Cancun to be more accurate. As we stayed in the hotel zone in Cancun I am very sure we only caught a glimpse of the real Mexico. What we saw we loved though. You read all the bad, scary stuff on travel forums and the media, in particular in America, which seems to pick up more of the frightening stories. We weighed it up carefully before booking and unlike a lot of the trip stayed in a major chain and in the offical tourist zone. Everything went really well and everyone we talked to was as lovely and kind as you could hope to expect.
Yes there are a lot of people stopping you and trying to sell you trips but they are friendly and fine when you say no thanks.
Top of our list for the trip was to make it to some Mayan ruins.
We were originally going to go to Talum 130km away but full of confidence after a 7 hour drive in Costa Rica, decided to aim big and try for Chichen Itza 230km away. The girls are now great with long drives and they did really well. So did Rob with the driving as the first 5km or so from the hotel zone to the toll road was crazy. As people rushed to work it seemed there were no road rules. Cars overtook head on right in front of you and trucks did the same. It was pretty scary stuff but eventually cleared as soon as we hit the toll road.
Chichen Itza was everything we expected. Majestic and in amazing condition for its age, it was a beautiful experience to all share. No one was too keen on the sacrifice cenote that was on a winding path down away from the main temple but Sophia and Olivia had a lot of questions on why people might have been thrown in. The photos do Chichen Itza more justice than my descriptions but what they can't get across is the noise. Around the outskirts of the temple grounds are stall after stall and the stall holders delight in blowing through ceramic jaguar heads that sound exactly like one is about to pounce out of the jungle. You get used to it by the end and of course we bought one.
After braving the heat and humidity as we explored all of Chichen Itza we headed off to a nearby Cenote for a cool dip. Sophia, Rob and Olivia did some great ledge diving in and burned off some energy before the return 2 and a half hour drive.
The rest of our week in Cancun was really spent beaching, lazing in the resort and finding the best food spots to hit each night. My favourites were the 'The Surfin Burrito' and 'The Blue Gecko'. Both little cantinas serving great simple Mexican staples from a small kitchen which then served out to everyone on long booth, shared tables with high stools. Cheap delicious food, cold cocktails, local beers and super casual eating made it super easy to take Sophia and Olivia.
We will have fantastic memories of the fine powdered sand that stuck to you like well powder, seeing newly hatch turtles as they were released to the sea, mysterious jungle temples and the friendly, authentic people of Mexico.
And I almost forgot to mention the tropical storm near miss. On day 3 our plans to head out to Isla Mujeres were cancelled as we decided to stay at the hotel for the tropical storm forecast to hit. After Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Jose and inflicted so much damage near places to where we had been and because we were in Mexico instead of our original Houston/San Antonio/Austin plans, I was worried about what might eventuate. Especially as Cancun was also on hurricane watch. This was compounded by restaurants shutting, our hotel taping windows and ground level windows being boarded up. We spent out afternoon catching up with journals and card games before eating in our lobby. Somehow it blew right by in between us and Cuba and barely even rained which was a relief and meant we then got back into 'last week of holiday' mode.