Mexico isn’t always the first holiday destination that springs to mind but it’s been my favourite, by far! Here are 5 reasons why…
1) Chichen Itza
I think this is a pretty self explanatory reason to go to Mexico but i’ll continue. Apart from being one of the 7 wonders of the world, it’s an exceptional day out with an abundance of historical knowledge that was surprisingly interesting. There’s various buildings around the main pyramid (El Castillo) that holds great depth, as well as fantastic photo opportunities. Chichen Itza was a large city built by the Mayans and the pyramid has 365 steps, one for every day of the year. The buildings were used for astronomical purposes and you could supposedly see a shadow in the shape of a serpent at certain times in spring and autumn. Most tours available pick you up quite early in the morning, around 5/6am. We used Thomson for our tour and it was incredible, they provide breakfast, water and tequila (lots of it). We were able to visit Chichen Itza, a cenote (more on this later in the post), a tequila factory and Valladolid (a town with amazing cultural architecture and a beautiful park).
Top tip: Take a hat, water and plenty of sun cream! There is no shade apart from a few trees at the Chichen Itza site and it can really hot really quick.
2) Beautiful Beaches
Before travelling to the Riviera Maya in Mexico, I did a mass amount of research so I pretty much knew my way around the hotel before arriving. I knew the beaches were going to be amazing, but I didn’t really grasp how beautiful and idyllic they were until I was there. White sands, clear water, fantastic scenery- it was perfect! We did a great deal of snorkeling while we were there are tons of fish would swim around you. Great for if you have an underwater camera! I believe most of the hotels in Mexico have private beaches which is brilliant as your almost always guaranteed to find a spot to sun yourself silly as well as having utter peace and quiet. Just don’t forget to put your flip flops on to walk to the bar as the sand gets rather HOT.
We took a little trip a few miles down the road to a beach called ‘Akumal beach’. This was great for if you want to go snorkeling/scuba diving in a chance to see a turtle. We didn’t actually do this but I believe they guarantee you’ll see one. It was a lovely long beach with great views, although maybe a bit too busy for my liking as I preferred the one back at our hotel (Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya).
3) The different way of life
One of the main things I couldn’t get over was how ridiculously friendly the locals were, especially in our hotel. They seemed to be willing to do anything to make your stay as pleasant as it can be. You are never without a drink, always made to feel welcome and everyone greets you with a great big smile. We were told on our Chichen Itza tour that the Mayans and Mexican people are appreciative that tourists give them a chance to show their history and show how much pride they take in their country. It was amazing to try some of their local food, as it was outstanding and always left you wanting more. Our hotel had a Mexican night (which im sure the other hotel do) which you could eat authentic Mexican food, drink tequila and experience traditional Mexican dancing. Everything on the whole was presented and came across fantastically; the food, the entertainment, the cocktails, and the hotel in general.
Wow- the only word I can think of to describe this. A Cenote is a natural fresh water swimming hole that is formed by collapsed limestone revealing an underground pool. The water is so clear (although you couldn’t see the bottom due to it being so deep- over 40 meters) and has substantial benefits due to the minerals within. I can’t even describe to you how fantastic it made my skin feel and how revitalized I felt. There are many of the Cenotes around Mexico and they are usually included in a variety of excursions. If you did want to go solo the entrance fee is around £3-5 depending on the Cenote of choice. For the more hesitant swimmer (me included) some of them have a wooden walk in and offer life vests.
Of course you want to go to Mexico to kick back and relax, sip cocktails and enjoy the ocean breeze but if you like to explore then there’s so much on offer. There’s a variety of excursions to choose from, Chichen Itza, Coba, Eco-parks and for the more adventurous; Zip lining. Some of the excursions combine activities such as spending the morning zip lining and abseiling down minor cenotes, then going to explore historical sites such as Tulum in the afternoon. There’s boat trips, snorkeling excursions and who can forget a trip to the famous Coco Bongos- the ultimate party destination. I would definitely recommend booking up a few of the excursions while your there as they are 100% worth the money and a fantastic experience. If you didn’t want to splash the cash then you could get taxi’s to local towns or beaches. We visited Playa Del Carmen and I loved it, the perfect place to go shopping. It had just about everything, designer shops, high street brand shops and ice cream parlors (the most important). We also went on the Chichen Itza excursion as well as the Tulum Jungle Maya, both of which were booked through our rep at the hotel.
There are considerably a lot more reasons why you should visit Mexico but I thought i’d share my top 5. Hopefully it sways your decision if you’re trying to decide on a destination for your holiday. I understand it can be pricey but look out for the bargains- I did!