I’ve been extremely lazy with writing this post. I’ve put it off because honestly, I didn’t feel like I had the correct words that would ensure I truly do this post justice. How can you find the words to describe such a beautiful place? To really paint a picture in someone’s mind and have it be exactly what you see? It’s tough. But, I’ve put it off long enough and I really want to share with all of you my amazing holiday this year to one of my dream locations. Hopefully, I can find the right words…
In June this year, my boyfriend and I woke up early to make our way to Gatwick airport. Finally, our holiday had arrived! I LOVE the morning of knowing you’re going away. Fair enough, I hate waking up but once you’re at the airport and you’ve checked in, you’re having breakfast and toasting to your impending trip, you’re then boarding the plane and settling in.. Aah, I love it! Where were we off to this year? None other than Playa del Carmen in Mexico!!
I have been wanting to go to Mexico for as long as I can remember. Way back to when I was little I’ve always wanted to go. I don’t know why; it’s not as if I had seen any films that showed people holidaying there or anything, I’ve just always really wanted to go. This year, I got my wish.
My boyfriend and I were staying in Playacar – a lovely, secluded resort in Playa del Carmen. Our hotel was in a fabulous location, 10 minute taxi ride to 5th Avenue (which is where you’ll find your major shops such as Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, Sephora, MAC, Nike, Pull & Bear, etc) and around 45 minutes on a coach to any of our excursions. Plus, our hotel had a stretch of a stunning, private beach on it’s doorstep. What’s not to love?
We stayed in the Riu Yucatan. Such a lovely, friendly and beautifully modern hotel.
If I were to go into detail about how we spent all of our 10 days here, this would be quite a lengthy post. So I’ll fill you in briefly on the excursions we went on and if you ever find yourself visiting the same area, make sure you give them a go. They’re brilliant memories to hold on to!
Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship
Our very first excursion was an evening trip on Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship. I’m not usually up for these kind of excursions, however, my friend stayed in the same hotel and recommended this excursion – also, the rep had also bigged it up, so we felt obliged to see if it lived up to the high standards we were now expecting. Let me tell you, it was absolutely hysterical!! Such a fun night, full of laughs, copious amounts of alcohol, good food, friendly banter, dancing and a good, old, pirate sword fight to round it off. When you arrive on to the ship, you’re seated, offered drinks and the entertainment begins as soon as you set sail. It was fab to see my favourite characters such as Captain Jack Sparrow on board!
Hands down one of the best nights of the holiday for us. It was such good fun and everyone enjoyed themselves. The night ended with a swash-buckling fight between our Captain Jack and the Captain from one of the other two boats! Swinging on ropes from ship to ship, the pirates jabbed and poked at eachother – I’m such a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean films so this was ace! When Captain Jack emerged victorious the other pirates left out ship and we partied ourselves back to shore with a good ship-rave! If this is on offer when you go, MAKE SURE YOU DO IT! You’ll have an absolute blast!
Xel Há Park
This was one of the excursions that made me so excited about our holiday in the first place. Xel Há is a commercial aquatic theme park and ecotourism development, known as being a true paradise for nature lovers and an amazing natural aquarium. This park is INSANE, there’s literally so much land to explore all in different ways. You can cycle, walk, snorkel, swim or take the mini train to different areas of the park – the choice is yours. Trek through the jungle trails, cliff jump into the crystal clear waters or swim with dolphins – your options are endless! Our trip to Xel Há was to swim with dolphins. I have previously done this in the Dominican Republic, however my boyfriend has never had the opportunity to do this and it was something I was determined he would experience.
The dolphins are such incredibly intelligent and beautiful animals. It really is such a wonderful feeling to be able to stand in the waters next to them. It’s kind of mesmerising.
Unfortunately for us, we weren’t able to explore the rest of the park as much as we would have hoped to as it was a day of torrential downpours for us! Literally it was so bad that we were forced to buy ponchos! The day itself was fantastic though, definitely somewhere I would recommend people to visit! There’s so much more to experience at this park so pray for good weather and go for it!
Now this was a particularly special visit. There are two parts to this all day excursion – the first being an educational trip to the old Mayan town of Tulum. Your guide will give you tonnes of info on how the people in this small town lived, how it used to look and you are free to roam around and see the ruins. My boyfriend is really interested in the Mayan’s so this was right up his street.
The second part of the trip is making your way to Tulum Jungle. This is for the adventurous people, the thrill seekers – most definitely not for the faint hearted. As soon as you arrive you are given a safety briefing and are told to follow instructions from your guide at all times. You grab a life jacket, a helmet and get harnessed up ready to explore. The first challenge was abseiling down into the underwater cave – for me, this was probably the scariest part. I’m not scared of heights or anything like, I just absolutely hate leaning backwards off the edge of something, eek!
Once you’re in, get swimming as the water has quite the bite to it! You’ll swim through the cave before making your way into another one to experience an ancient Mayan ritual which is beautifully peaceful. After that, you’ll be zip lining and snorkelling your way through the rest of the jungle before rewarded your adventurous, prowess with some traditional Mayan food – all you can eat, YAAAASSSS!
An incredible day out! You’ll be knackered by the end of it though so make sure your next day is a relaxing one spent by the beach or pool!
So those were our 3 excursions. The rest of our time was spent relaxing around the resort, taking walks into 5th Avenue – which is great, but be careful of the people that work on stalls and in their independent shops; they really do not take no for an answer. Be firm and carry on walking. You’ll find a number of bars and restaurants down 5th Avenue and as we were unfortunately unable to get tickets to Coco Bongos (I know, gutted!), we made it our mission to head to Señor Frogs. Señor Frogs is madly eccentric in the best way! It is known for being a “infamous party scene” where you can get a little crazy without anyone judging you.
Truly, Mexico was one of the most stunning places I have visited so far and I really cannot wait to go back again. If you would like to visit then I really could not recommend our hotel and resort enough. It’s slap bang in the middle of everything and the perfect location if you’re wanting to relax – look for the Riu Yucatan in Playacar.
Until next time, Mexico! ¡Hasta lluego!