Playa Del Carmen
Playa Del Carmen
- 2-3 days
- beaches, bars, Mexican cuisine, nightlife. This place makes a good first impression. It’s a bad place to describe and most people think they won’t like it. But it’s the first thing I think of when someone asks me about Mexico. I really like this place. And it’s a good starting and leaving point. It’s easy to get around when you get here, people speak a lot of English, but it gets worse later on. If you’ve got time left at the end, you can come back here and have a good time. It’s not a bad idea to take a trip to Cozumel Island, if you want to get away from the tourists
Akumal Beach – Swimming with Turtles
- morning – swim with turtles, lunch and continue to Tulum
- don’t sleep here, come here to see and snorkel with turtles. You’ll need to hire a guide and snorkels and a life jacket (can’t do it without one so people don’t get too close to the turtles). For me it was still without a guide, so it was a bit more adventurous. I don’t know what it’s like to pay for it. Arrive here early in the morning, swim a few times in the turquoise sea, have lunch here, and then head to Tulum in peace.
The ruins of the Port of Tulum
- 2-3 days
- Rent bikes and head to the beach and ruins. The ruins – you pay to enter but it’s definitely worth it, lots of iguanas, beautiful setting, photogenic, great for selfies, take your own, swimsuit, drinks and food, you can’t buy anything there and you can spend as much time as you want, plus it’s a freaking romantic beach. If you come early in the morning you won’t have to queue so much for tickets. Don’t miss these ruins! The town of Tulum itself is cool too, alternative nightlife, alternative bars, interesting food.
Pyramids of Coba, Mexico
- morning – lunch possible, swimming possible – continue in the afternoon or return to Tulum
- don’t sleep here, it’s the pyramids, or the pyramid complex in the jungle. You’ll be cycling through it, they rent those, don’t try walking, it’s a long walk. There’s an entrance fee, like all the pyramids. Apart from the fact that it’s really interesting as you move around on the bike, the jungle and all that, there’s one tall pyramid in particular that you can climb, you’ll know which one, everybody who comes here climbs it. From there you have a great view of the jungle around there, which is endless! Start here from Tulum in the morning, drive around and then go on to Valladolid the same day. Be warned, there aren’t as many buses running on Sundays, you’d better find out in Tulum beforehand how the buses to and from Coba to Valladolid run so you can get an idea of how it goes. We happened to be there on Sunday and then had to hitchhike to Valladolid. The second time I was there I rode from Tulum to Coba on a scooter (two), which isn’t bad either, but we didn’t estimate the time and rode back in the dark, and you don’t want that, so watch out! The advantage of the scooter is that besides the pyramids, you can also do a little detour to cenote ( which are underwater swimming lakes, so swimsuits with you. Note: Cenote is called that everywhere, it’s not a name, it’s a designation for underground lakes), then another cenote option is in Valladolid. If you go by scooter, it’s for the whole day, start early in the morning. And then the next day, maybe take a bus straight to Valladolid.
Valladolid – a colonial town
- 2-3 days, from there a day trip to Chichen Itza
- one cheap cenote in the city center. Then there’s this huge hacienda of some American who’s a collector of Mexican art. Admission was voluntary and you got a showcase of all sorts of Mexican art, really worth it! It’s colorful, incredibly inspiring, weird, just a hoot. From Valladolid they make trips to Chichen Itza – the pyramid complex, which is one of the 7 wonders of the world. At the hostel you ask how to get there, usually by some early morning bus there and then back again by bus.. or again rent a scooter (haven’t tried it here, but I’m guessing it’s possible too). Another thing in Valladolid is a video projection on an ancient church about the history of Mexico. It’s incredibly well done, free, under the stars, street food all around, awesome. Ask at the hostel where it is.
- 2-3 days
- flamingos, pink lake, crocodiles, no tourists, marina. This was very much about nature, I like to remember it, it’s just pretty dead here… come here, the same day arrange a boat trip for the next day (the official booth will be more expensive than if you try to talk to some fisherman who also unofficially does it for a living, they usually sit nearby.. but they won’t talk much English… but you can try. I guess the trick is to go to the official booth that is in the harbor, you will find it while walking around, ask for the price, thank them, ask when they close, they will tell you in 10 minutes… and then you go on, either someone will catch you, if not, then you go back to the official booth.) It’s a day trip, then you can go for a walk around the area.
- 2-3 days
- fluorescent plankton and whales. The whales that site said they are only from May to September, but you can keep asking people, they might tell you they are always there. Otherwise, it’s a great Caribbean island, it’s such a paradise… swimming, turquoise sea, coconuts, nightlife, kind of slightly alternative, it’s really worth it… but getting here is a bit complicated and I don’t know if I’d do it without the whales. Oh, and I remember on the way here there were too many tarantulas on the road… like every 50m we hit one 😀 cool! The fluorescent plankton is cool too, there should only be 3-4 places on the globe where it’s there… here it’s so unofficial and mostly free, elsewhere they organize overpriced trips for it. Only it’s so scary, you have to go a little bit more outside the city at night, so it’s really dark and the light is just stars in the sky… then you get into the sea and move your arms and legs and see it sparkle around you… avatar rag… it’s crazy, really… We spent about an hour, maybe an hour and a half in the water…. we just stared, swam around in it like crazy and … Well, and we also had our goggles on, which is also cool when you see it underwater… like you can see it even when it’s dark, it just sparkles.
- 0 days if possible
- well, if you want, it’s kind of a mix of Maimi and Las Vegas… it doesn’t have much to do with Mexico, it attracts different fish… you have to take a bus for about an hour to get to the beach, even though it’s a beautiful long beach, there’s actually quite a few beaches, the big one is Play Dolphins, if I remember correctly… it was fine, not too crowded. But as I say, I personally would avoid Cancun.