What I did:
Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, although outside of the city of Cancun, is Chichén Itzá. It is one of the seven new wonders of the world, and consists of the ruins from an ancient Mayan city. The main building on the area is El Castillo, or the Temple of Kukulcan. The Mayan architects of the building had a strong affinity for the idea of time. There are 91 steps on each of the four sides of the structure, adding up to 364. When the top step is included, the total number of steps equals the total number of days in a calendar year. During the spring and autumn equinoxes, natural sunlight on the building creates an effect that makes it appear as if a giant snake (also highly admired by the Mayan architects) is descending the building. The site also includes an impressive stadium for an ancient sport that would sometimes be played in place of war.
Cenotes are sinkholes that are popular swimming spots in the Yucatan Peninsula. The swimming holes themselves are actually sinkholes. Because the water comes up from a natural spring, the water stays cold even in the warm Mexican climate.
Located just outside of Cancun, the Tulum area has some very nice beaches. There is also a cool, laid back, hippie vibe to the area.
Where I ate and drank:
I was only in the Cancun area for a short time, so I did not get a chance to try much of the food. Next time in Cancun I would like to try more of it, including a local delicacy called escamoles.
La Habichuela was a very good restaurant that served tasty, authentic Mexican food. It was relatively slightly expensive, but by no means unreasonable. The Mayan coffee was excellent, and come with an excellent presentation. Also, the chicken with mole sauce was very good.
Where I stayed:
The Mermaid Hostel was an excellent hostel in Cancun. It was outside the tourist area and across the street from the beach. I met some cool people while I was there, and the owners of the hostel were amazing. They took me to Tulum one day and took me with them and their local friends to a local tequila bar one night. I had an amazing time at the Mermaid Hostel. They have since opened a new location in downtown Cancun as well.
How I got around:
I used Uber to get from the airport to my hostel. I was able to ride with my hostel hosts to Tulum, and I was able to walk through part of Cancun. When I went to Chichén Itzá and the nearby cenote, I went on a bus set up by the hostel. They also helped me reserve a taxi to the airport for an early morning flight.
My favorite thing:
Even though I was only in the area for a short time, there were many things I like about Cancun. The weather was excellent, the Mermaid Hostel was great, and Tulum was cool. However, Chichén Itzá was my favorite part of my time in Cancun.
My least favorite thing:
I was only able to spend a short time in Cancun, so I was not able to experience as much as I would have liked.
For next time:
I was only able to spend a short time in Cancun on my last trip, so there are still many things I would like to do there. At the top of the list is going to nearby Isla Mujeres and swimming with whale sharks. This opportunity is only available in the summer time, as the gentle giants migrate away during other parts of the year. I would also like to spend more time in Tulum.
Welcome to the Healthy Explorer Blog. If you like travel stories have a look around my blog and check out my podcast— maybe you'll find an extra spark for your own adventures.