Cancun, Mexico: Travel Guide Part 2
Welcome to the second installment of my Cancun travel guide y’all. If you are confused as to what I’m talking about, you can check out the first part here. So, today I am going to be walking you through the last couple of days of my vacation earlier this year in Cancun.
- Day 4: Visiting Tulum
So, just to recap, we spent day 3 snorkeling in Isla Mujeres. Now, on the next day, we checked out of our hotel, threw our bags in the car and drove to Tulum. Tulum is another resort town about an hour and a half hour’s drive away from Cancun. In easy words, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum are all located in a straight line on highway 307 with Playa being smack in the center of the two. In Tulum, we went to the famous archaeological site in the national park where the Mayan ruins are located. I am not much of a history buff, but it was refreshing to see the ruins, read some of the description placards for each ruin and fathom their significance. Through the ruins there is a public beach access. Even though all the Caribbean beaches look just as beautiful, I especially loved this beach for a couple reasons. The beach, of course, is incredibly beautiful with unreal sapphire waters and not too much crowd. Even more than that, the way the beach is located with plenty of rocks scattered around, provide the ideal spot for taking shade when the Mexican sun blazes. Below are some of the pictures to give you a better visual.
Miscellaneous: The rest of the day we drove back to Cancun and checked into our new hotel, Bel Air Collection Resort and Spa.
- Day 5: Resort and Chill
Today we had just decided to take a break from all the tourism and spend all day relaxing in our resort and take advantage of some of the luxuries. The hotel had a fabulous pool (a wannabe infinity type of pool) with a fully stocked bar and a pretty good DJ I might add. On this day, we woke up pretty late, ordered room service and then headed down to the pool area. There was also a private hotel beach access. I wish I could have videographed this, but, the feeling of swimming in the surf worthy waves in the vast blue Caribbean is an indescribable one. In the evening, we went to the prettiest restaurant in Cancun. This restaurant was called Restaurante Thai (Thai Restaurant). The ambiance of this place was incredible. The seating offers a garden view type or a lagoon view. Although we didn’t get a reservation during sunset, even eating out on the shacks situated over the water at 9 pm watching the huts gleam with twinkly lights was a surreal experience. This place is perfect for that romantic dinner date you’ve always wanted. I have a few pictures from this day.
Miscellaneous: If you google five most scenic restaurants in Cancun there are some really good recommendations that you check out.
- Last Day: Pointlessly Getting Lost
This was one of the most confusing, adventurous, yet pointless days of the trip. This is where I wished I taken the time out to wake up early and plan the day. So, this day, we knew wanted to go see the cenotes. We looked up reviews on a very famous cenote called Cenote Dos Ojos. The only glitch in the plan was transportation. Cenote Dos Ojos is about 10 kms just before Tulum, so about an hour and fifteen minutes from Cancun. After asking around in our hotel we found out that it was going to be a bit of a hassle but it was possible to go to the cenotes by public transportation. So we took the local bus from just outside our hotel to Cancun downtown. From downtown, there is another bus system called the ADO buses which take you to a variety of places all over Mexico. Now here is where we hit our first impediment. Most of the people sitting at the counters of the bus station were quite unable to communicate well with us in English. And this was a problem because we had no idea how to tell them that we needed to get off at the Cenote Dos Ojos. Finally, after a 30 minute wait in line and lots of broken english, we managed to get our ticket. The ADO bus reached Cenote Dos Ojos in two hours and a few minutes. When we got down, the entire area of the Cenotes was closed. We realized that even if you don’t want to snorkel or take any tours like we planned, the viewing area itself closes at 5 pm. And we had reached the place at 5:10 pm (*sigh*). So, here we were now, on the middle of the highway with no way to get back to Cancun and no idea what to do. Luckily, after more broken english, we stumbled upon the concept of Collectivos. Collectivos are basically vans which pick up people on the route from Cancun to Playa and Playa to Tulum back and forth (for a nominal fee of course). It’s like the concept of ‘Share-A-Taxi’ if you will. Finally, we reached Tulum. We ate there at a nice vegetarian restaurant. Here’s where we hit our biggest hurdle. We started walking toward what we thought was supposed to be the ADO bus station so that we could take our return bus back to Cancun. Turns out, that was not the bus station. Now we were properly stranded. By this time, we had already missed our bus back to Cancun and we needed to figure out a way. Again, here come the Collectivos to our rescue. We withdrew some cash from an ATM, and boarded a Collectivo to Playa del Carmen. Over there, we went to the ADO bus station again to see if they would let us sit in another bus since we had missed our original one. Alas, they said that we would have to pay 68 pesos again. We declined the offer, and took another Collectivo back to Cancun for 40 pesos. All this doesn’t sound too serious but for a moment there we didn’t think we were going to be able to make it back to our hotel that day. We had basically traveled for 10 hours, missed seeing the cenotes, wasted a bunch of money and returned empty handed. Oh well, this is how you learn I suppose. And this is exactly why I said in my earlier post, it is better to rent a car for the entire duration of your stay in my opinion.
The last day was just chilling and checking out of our hotel in order to board a plane back to Houston. There were definite highs and lows throughout our trip. Many times I felt a little sad that I was on a student’s budget because Cancun is a place where you really need to come prepared with a wad of extra cash to spare to enjoy some of the luxuries. This is not to say that I am ungrateful. I am beyond thankful that I got to visit a place that I only could ever dream of visiting.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post and found it helpful.
Stay beautiful loves,