When you travel during the winter months you have to expect some not so good weather. Yes, even in the sunny south. Bonus about the south is that while our nasty weather comes in the form of snow and freezing rain, theirs is rain. I will take a rainy Mexico winter day over a snowy Nova Scotia winter day anytime!
Hubby and I generally avoid the organized excursions. Being on a bus, having timed stops, being gone for the whole day and all that really doesn’t appeal to us. We are more the figure out what interests you, grab a cab and go sort of traveler. We like the adventure and freedom of doing our own thing.
However, we had a rainy morning while on our vacation and figured that would be a good time to look for an ATV or Dune Buggy type place. Couldn’t find anything on the internet that was close by so we talked to our Air Canada guy. Everything he had was whole day and nothing really appealed to us. So we got on the internet and started looking at what else we could do. Found the Akumal Monkey Sanctuary and Animal Rescue, which was just down the road from us but at first it looked a little pricey. We also had friends who were staying at another resort doing a cenote tour but that sort of scared me – not sure if I would be able to do one let alone three at that point.
We were undecided so we popped up to the resort’s tour desk (Akumal Tours and Excursions) to see what they had. Turned out they had a company (Vea ATV Tours) that offered a small group ATV half day excursion that included the Monkey Sanctuary and a cenote. Sounded like a perfect fit for us, so Tim called and got us in at the last minute.
On the way there here we had to pick up a couple in Half Moon Bay and Akumal. I could just drive around all day and be happy honestly. I love looking at different places.
The first part of the excursion was the Monkey Sanctuary and Animal Rescue. It is one of those experiences that make you happy and sad at the same time. Lots of the animals here are rescues from resorts. You know, the ones you can get your picture with. These animals are often mistreated, not provided with the care, food, and attention they need. Others are exotic animals that were rescued from owners who just didn’t know how to properly care for the animals. It is good that the rescues and sanctuaries exist, but sad that they are needed. They will do pictures here, but it’s under the care and guidance of someone who is properly trained to handle the animal and never for more than a few minutes. Most importantly the animals/bird aren’t chained to anyone/anything and they aren’t having food withheld or being otherwise mistreated for the sake of a tourist’s picture. You can use your own camera or buy the ones they take. It’s still not for me though, did it once in Punta Cana and regretted it ever since. A few of these pictures are from the thumb drive I purchased at the end of the trip. Hard to get pictures of all the animals.
They also had a very nice lady do a Mayan snack for us. It was really good!
Next up was the ATV ride. It was a total of 14 km on nicely groomed trails. So much fun! Lots of puddles from the rain!
Last was the cenote. I am not much of one for closed in dark places and unknown bodies of water. To say I was a little nervous was an understatement. But wow, just wow! It was incredible. So beautiful! Glad I didn’t let my fears get the best of me. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be a good thing :).
All told we were gone just over 4 hours, which was perfect and long enough for an organized excursion. We got to do all three things we wanted in that time and enjoyed every minute of it. There were only 12 of us on the tour, so it was a nice small group.
Again, a couple of the pictures from the ATV and cenote were not taken by me, they were on the drive I purchased. Many of mine didn’t do the cenote the justice it deserved and I couldn’t take pictures of us driving the bike obviously.