Número 9: Cancun (Mexico)

So I don’t know if you guys know this about me, but I love to travel. In the past, this passion has not been realized nearly as often as I would like due to life’s 2 big constraints: Time and Money, but when I do have a little bit of both, I like to take little, and sometimes, not so little trips to places I’ve never been.

This time, one such trip took me to Cancun, Mexico; an extremely popular destination for everyone from college kids at spring break to old, married couples celebrating their nth wedding anniversary.

Cancun is, by all measures an amazing and beautiful place to visit and the Mexican people have done a great job turning it into a tourist haven. Many bloggers and backpackers and travel snobs like to talk about this in a negative light, throwing the phrase “too touristy” at the place like some kind of dirty stain on its character but honestly, for me, and for the millions of visitors it gets every year, Cancun, and it’s ‘touristiness’ were just what the doctor ordered.

As a place with a very well developed tourism and hospitality industry, Cancun offered a large, well-curated selection of activities and attractions to choose from and, in the 4 days we were there, we took full advantage of all it had to offer and I have to say that everything I did on this trip was thoroughly enjoyed.

It wasn’t always going snorkeling without knowing how to swim (10/10 for the speed boat drive, 2/10 for the salt and sand in my… everywhere) or taking hands-free shots of tequila out of the bosoms of strangers (9/10, would spill again). While I definitely did those things, and many others, I also fully enjoyed the little things, like taking 4 -hour naps between meals and all the ‘free’ food and drinks that came as a perk of the all-inclusive nature of our reservation. Lazy days by the beach and early morning swims were also major highlights of a short and very relaxing vacation.

Another major highlight was our trip to, and tour of, the ancient Mayan city of Chicken Pizza Chichén Itzá. This trip was an interesting mix of entertaining, informative and eerily unsettling. The ancient Mayans, it turns out, had a very rich and complex culture which involved, on one hand, expertise in the fields of mathematics, astronomy and apparently civil engineering; but on the other hand, a disturbing penchant for huge sporting events in which the winners had their heads taken off as some sort of morbid trophy to be sacrificed to their gods. I guess this makes them not too different from us with our iPhones and Reality TV but hey, who’s comparing really? All in all, though, it was a great excursion. The ruins were beautiful and the restoration work done on them was impressive.

Finally, I really, really enjoyed the Mexican sunrises (not to be confused with the tequila sunrise which I also like, but is a completely different thing) . It’s actually difficult to describe what it was, but there was definitely something about the way the sun slowly and gracefully revealed itself from beyond the horizon where the sky and the ocean meet and the clouds seemed to walk on water. It was just so beautiful. Here, see for yourself.

 

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