The Riviera Maya. What can I say. It is my favourite of all the southern destinations we have been able to travel to. I really miss it when we decide to try something else. Every time we book something else I immediately get ‘bookers-regret’. But I know that to experience my world I have to travel to different places.
I remember after we booked that very first trip everyone was so worried. I can’t tell you how many time we heard ‘Oh my god, you booked what!’, ‘You’re going where!’ and so many other things. Of course, all the people we heard it from had never been there.
Were we nervous initially, absolutely. We had no idea about what it was like and with our families and everyone else freaking out, you have to be nervous.
But let me say, once we arrived it took about 10 minutes for us to realize that there was nothing to be nervous about and if you are a smart, responsible and courteous traveler you have nothing to be concerned about. Of all the destinations we have visited this is where we feel the safest off the resort.
By ‘smart, responsible and courteous traveler’, I meant that you have to have respect for where you are.
There are places in my own hometown I wouldn’t consider walking through at night so when I am in a strange place I won’t do it either – unless we are with a trusted local. At home I wouldn’t be someplace I am not familiar with and be drinking to excess or alone, I am certainly not going to do it away from home. I’ve read a million things about driving rental cars, so unless we are in Canada we will not do it. Besides taking taxi’s allows us both to look around while someone does the driving, have a drink on a hot afternoon without having to worry about who is driving and just relax. Really all of it is just common sense.
Do bad things happen, absolutely. They do everywhere, even here in my very small community. But to say don’t go to Cancun or the Riviera Maya because something happened in Mexico City or a border town is the equivalent of saying don’t go to Halifax because something happened in Toronto. It is silly.
Also, medical care a lot of the time in any country may require that you pay up front. Be sure you have medical coverage and understand how your coverage works. This is not just in Mexico, it is in every country we have been to – including the US.
The tourist areas and local economies depend on the tourist dollar. There are tourist police, local police and federal police everywhere. But remember you are in a foreign country where the laws, customs and practices are not likely to be the same as home.
Enough of all that, now on to the good stuff.
Our first trip we booked a mega resort, in case we ended up staying on the resort the whole time. I think we were there 10 minutes and we were calling a car company to see if they would take just the four of us to the Coba Ruins the next day. We aren’t the type of people to do the big bus tour thing.
The Coba Ruins are amazing!
Nohoch Mul is the largest pyramid on the Yucatan Peninsula that can still be climbed. It is an amazing experience. I am petrified of height, but doing this was something I had to do. Scared the bejeezes out of me but when you get to the top and look out it is just amazing. No other words to describe it.
We were so lucky. Our drive hired a private guide to take us around the site. He taught us some Mayan words, explained what all the structures were and how they were used, and so much more. It was a day that I will never forget.
We also took a cab to Playa Del Carmen to check it out. Typical shopping area. Wouldn’t be much of a vacation to stay here but the beach is just beautiful!
The Mexican and Mayan people are so friendly. Definitely among the friendliest of any place we have been.
There is so much to do here, you could take 50 trips and probably not do the same thing twice.
This was the fist of five trips we have made to the Riviera Maya. Number six will hopefully be coming in 2017!