A Travellerspoint blog

Mexico

Riviera Maya

Finally!! I have finally been able to get away on a holiday. It feels like it has been such a long time since I last went anywhere. It took us some time for us to decide on somewhere we both wanted to go (I fancied Sri Lanka and he wanted USA...), but Mexico it was. We booked it at the beginning of the year so waiting for this holiday to come around has felt like a life time!

We went all out on this holiday and ended up doing a 5* all inclusive hotel, called the Grand Bahia Principe. It was so big, huge! It was basically three hotels rolled into one. We got access to golf buggies that would take us around to different parts because it was so big you couldn't always walk it. We also had an extra added upgrade to our stay which was called The Hacienda. With this we got access to an exclusive breakfast and lunch restaurant, exclusive swimming pool and part of the beach. We got our mini-bar topped up daily and a private reception. On top of all that, we also got a robe and slippers (which we used a lot more than you would expect in that heat!)

With going in September we thought the weather would be ideal - our rep at Thomas Cook who booked it for us did not make us aware that this was prime storm/hurricane weather. In the days leading up to the holiday the weather was reported as rain all day every day. It was quite depressing! I was contemplating changing the clothes I had packed to suit the bad weather! The day we arrived, although it was warm, it was overcast and miserable, which later resulted in rain and thunder. This lasted until the next evening and then luckily after that the sun made an appearance! We were pretty lucky with the weather after that, only had a couple of miserable days until the last one which was stormy, but by this point I was glad of a change in temperature. The weather was very hot!

The bad thing about this weather is that it brought out all of the mosquitoes. I am not one to get bitten and Adam says he is not normally either. I got a couple of bites nothing bad but more than normal. Adam on the other hand got eaten alive! No amount of repellent could keep those bad boys away, so get the strongest one possible if you are going!

How could one go all the way to Mexico and not visit Chichen Itza - one of the seven wonders of the New World right on the doorstep. We took an organised trip as it is around two hours away and cannot be done in a costly fashion if you were to try and do it yourself. With the trip lunch was included and we also got to go through more rural, real Mexico (rather than the built up tourist areas we had seen so far). We went to a Mayan village. Through going here you could see how little the Mayan's really have. They lived in huts with no windows and very basic amenities. Occasionally you did see a satellite disc on a roof top so they do have some access to television and electricity, but from what I learnt a lot of the villages choose not to have any and live by natural means. What is truly applaudable is the fact that, despite having so little, everyone truly was happy and friendly and nice. Could not do enough for you type of attitude. I guess it is true when they say less is more!

Chichen Itza itself was amazing. There was over 450 ruins in the area and we got to see a fair few. Some are as they were found whereas some have been restored back to the original. Obviously, the main most famous pyramid has been restored and looks brilliant. We tried the whole clapping thing and it was so cool! (Look it up on YouTube if you do not know what I am referring to!) Our guide taught us a lot and definitely wanted us to believe that the Mayans were aliens. Very interesting stuff. The only problem with it was that it was a sun trap, there was nowhere to hide!

On our tour we got taken to a shop to buy things that were "authentic" and "real" - basically they were costly. We were advised it was much better to get your souvenirs there than at the place itself, which I did, but regretted. They choice there was so much better and a lot cheaper. The guide had told us all of there stuff was imported from China, but you could watch the people on the side carving and painting, making everything themselves, as you walked past so I felt bad that I had given in earlier. Definitely wait and get your stuff there if you were to go!

The other thing we did was to go swimming in a cenote. A cenote is a big sink hole (it goes down over 150feet!) It is fresh water that has a lot of fish swimming around in it. We went in and it was amazing. So refreshing! You could jump as well a bit higher up, which I eventually did! It was really one of the best things that we did.

I would definitely recommend Mexico as a place to go - just try and get out more. I admit I was a little lazy and just spent a lot of time relaxing, but there is so much more to see and do so get out there!

Posted by LaurenF3 04:30 Archived in Mexico

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