Cancun, it’s name is infamous. To those that have been, you’re probably having vivid flashbacks of sand, sun, sweaty dancing, and shots… or maybe it’s just a black screen. To those who have yet to set foot on the Yucatan Peninsula, it’s easy to judge the place based on really bad (but addictive) reality TV. I was in the latter category. Though now I can honestly say, never judge a place by its portrayal on MTV. #VamosALaPlaya
Four BFFs since the 2000s, who haven’t been in the same place since 2009, what could possibly go wrong? Since it is waaaay too difficult for us to be home at the same time we figured it would be easier to meet in a different country. The logic is there. So after much deliberation we decided on going to Cancun. We booked an all inclusive package and all that was left to do was count down the days til vacay time. I didn’t know what to expect and like many other travelers I did extensive research on travel blogs to make sure I was able to get the most out of my week in Cancun. My only piece of advice is to bring lots of $1 bills.
- Catamaran to Isla Mujeres: I really love being on a boat. So it was very important for me to be on a boat during the trip. We booked a package trip through Nexus tours with the Albatross Catamarans. The package included all you can drink on the boat, snorkeling, spinnaker, lunch on the island, and of course the sailing back and forth. The catamaran was fantastic, clean and large enough so that 20+ random strangers wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. Isla Mujeres is not very far from Cancun, about an hour boat ride away. Once you’re on the island you can rent a golf cart to get around. An hour is not as long as you think so be wise with your time. If you are interested in exploring the island more in depth I suggest that you take the ferry instead of booking a catamaran.
- Xel-Ha and Tulum: Xel-Ha is a stunning aquatic theme park located about an hour and a half drive south of Cancun. Nearby are the ruins of Tulum that are literally by the beach, which creates the perfect backdrop for some beautiful photos. Xel-ha and Tulum are offered together as a tour package and are entirely worth the money and journey. The park offers so many activities that it’s kind of annoying because you only have about five hours to spend doing whatever you want. So plan ahead, and choose 4-5 things.
- Chichen Itza and the Ik Kil Cenote: Voted as one of the latest 7 Wonder of the World in 2015, I was most excited about visiting Chichen Itza. I remember in the 5th grade I became obsessed with Mayan culture. At one point I made a Mayan calendar for a project, though I don’t think that the assignment had anything to do with the calendar, and I made it just for fun. There are again many different packages and tours you can purchase but it is very common to do Chichen Itza and the cenote together. We stopped by the cenote first and I was all too excited because I told myself I was going to get over my fear of free falling. It wasn’t the most graceful jump, but I DID it. Unfortunately, I drank half the water in the cenote. Before stopping at the ruins you may pass by a Mayan village, but it really is just a huge souvenir shop. The couple next to us on the bus though bought some really bomb looking tacos. We managed to get a priest to perform a blessing ceremony before going to the ruins because he said it’s best that we are ‘cleansed’ before stepping on sacred ground. I kept thinking that I was going to need at least four of these ceremonies.
- 28 Markets: Of course we couldn’t leave without getting some souvenirs. There are markets located in the Hotel Zone but the people at the hotel told us that we should go to this other market because it is bigger and not as inflated. Our package came with free transportation to 28 markets but there was a huge mixup and we ended up just getting a cab. The market is quite large and it’s too easy to get lost and separated. AHEM. So be smart and stick together and remember that haggling is an art.
- Congo Bar: Oh Congo Bar… how I miss thee. So far it is my favorite club spot in Cancun. The irony is that we wanted to go to a “chill” spot our first night out. The promoter who was hooking us up with tickets and what not told us that this place was “chill”. Lol. Not too fancy, great atmosphere, awesome music, balloons, and confetti. LOTS of confetti. We paid $25 USD for entrance which included open bar. The staff here get up on the sides and do a little dance everytime this song comes on and you can just tell that they hate their lives but it is so entertaining to watch.
- Senor Frogs: We went for a foam party.
- Mandala: Sexy as fluff, this was our preparty spot before going into The City.
- The City: God, I don’t even know where to start. This place is on a whole other level. It boasts as the largest nightclub in Latin America. I’d rather call it a stadium. Between the smoke, lights, and women covered in glow in the dark paint, there is plenty to keep you visually occupied. Unfortunately, I got a nasty cold the last few days of the trip so I was pretty exhausted and just couldn’t drink anymore by like 1 am although at like 2 am I got a second wind and was good to go for another hour or so. Moral of the story is, take a power nap.