Mexico – a land of magic villages, eleventh most populous country in the world, with the largest number of taxi drivers in the world, a nation with the highest rate of obesity and the longest border in the world.
The land of tequila, chili peppers, mystic pyramids, turquoise blue sea, tacos, mango with sweet pepper, guacamole combined with fried grasshoppers, extravagant artists, and margaritas.
We began the conquering of this huge country with landing in Cancun. We flew with InterJet and were quite happy with the service and courtesy of the staff, as well as low ticket prices.
As soon as you land, the first impression you’ll get is that someone will try to persuade you to buy tickets for shuttle buses, a considerably more expensive taxi ride, and that there are so many of these sellers that in the end you don’t know where to find the counter which sells the tickets for ADO bus. It’s difficult fighting them all, and they won’t give up, they go after you, and won’t take no for an answer. If you back down just a little, you’re in trouble. Exchange rate at the airport is disastrous and I recommend that you use cards or exchange only a small amount of money. Bus ticket is 72 pesos. The bus really deserves praise. There is enough room for legs, seats are comfortable. Be ready for 5 degrees below zero inside, but you get used to that once you start travelling outside Europe. They are ruthless when it comes to air conditioning 😊.
We arrive to a very nice accommodation, and after Cuba, any accommodation seems even 5 times better.
Cancun is divided into historical and hotel zone – Zona Hotelera. Everything you’ve seen in TV shows and movies, it’s all true. Hotels compete in size, luxury, and high prices. We visited Playa Delfines. Perfect sand, gorgeous sea. Big Cancun letters are located right here on this beach, and you can easily find them by looking for a large number of people standing in front of the letters waiting to take a picture. Buses driving from the center of Cancun to the hotel zone are very affordable.
A magical little island which you can reach by ferry from the terminal Punta Sam in Cancun. Before leaving, check the timetable, so that you don’t end up spending the night on the island, which is not a bad option at all. You have to bring your driver’s license if you want to rent a golf cart and tour the entire island. If, on the other hand, you don’t bring your driver’s license, you can rent a bicycle. The amount of sweat you’ll invest in the sightseeing will make you appreciate more the beauty of what you have seen. That is if you don’t collapse pedaling before that 😊.
The Island of Women was named by the conquistadors after they had seen statues of women aligned on the shore, and because of Mayas as well, who worshipped the goddess of the Moon, love and fertility Ixchel, to whom they sacrificed young women.
Everywhere around the island you will encounter iguanas, enjoying the sun and begging for food from visitors.
Surrender to the wind as you drive around, enjoy nature’s beauties, white, floury sand, blue water. Visit Tortugranja – a turtle farm. Many might say that the visit is a waste of money, but by visiting you help the work of the farm, and don’t expect to be dazzled.
You must not miss Dolphin Discovery either, a place where you can have fun spending time with the most wonderful creatures on the planet Earth, dolphins. Take into account the working hours of the dolphinarium. Garrafon park is also not to be missed, as well as the southern-most point of the island, Punta Sur.
After a 20km ride in the hot sun and even hotter pavement, we are back to the place where we rented the bikes and we walk our soring butts to the city beach, Playa Norte.
Chichen Itza and Cenote Ik-KIl
The next day was reserved for the visit to Chichen Itza and Cenote Ik-Kll. Two places from my long bucket list. I was over the moon! Walking around the place where Mayas lived, worked, contributed to this planet, is an event on its own. Charming souvenir sellers that stop you at every corner, trying to sell you a Mayan calendar, jewelry, carved wooden souvenirs, ceramic jaguar figurines which make a dreadful sound when blown into. In 2007 Chichen Itza was declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the world.
There was an observatory here for watching the moon, there were playgrounds for different sports…. When you think about all that you realize how advanced the Mayas were and you cannot but admire them. Entrance fee is MXN 248, which is about EUR 12.37. I recommend that you come earlier, because already around 1 PM there is a huge crowd.
Cenote Ik-Kil is something magical and extraordinary. Three years ago, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series was organized there. It is 40 meters deep and it’s located 26 meters below ground level. It really is magical swimming surrounded by vines and other plants and blue, infinite sky.
You will swim together with black fish which are not scared of people any more. Entrance is charged and is around MXN 70, which is around EUR 3.5. Again, I recommend that you avoid the crowd, because around 2-3 pm there is no room to swim.
The road from Cancun to Merida was pretty smooth, because ADO buses are really comfortable. I keep praising them as if they gave me money and not the other way around 😊.
Merida is known as Puerta al Mundo Maya (Gates to the Maya world) or the White City.
We found ourselves at the International Festival of Lights in Merida. Calle 62 is the central, pedestrian street and all along the road we could see festival showpieces.
At every turn you can enjoy the music of street musicians. We enjoyed drinking tequila and margaritas in a bar with the most interesting interior in Merida.
- Paseo de Montejo with numerous historical monuments located on roundabouts;
- Santa Ana Park;
- Pasaje de la Revolucion (Passage of the Revolution);
- Ruta Puuc.
We leave Merida, full of impressions, from a new, clean airport and we fly with the Volaris airline to the capital city of this enormous state, Mexico City. About this highest city of Central America, third largest city in the world, with the most dangerous transport system in the world, more details in the next post, as well as about the 2 and half kilometer climb to Tepozteco pyramid.
All photos by: Danica, Vlada, Milica
Camera used: Nikon D3000, HTC 10