In honor of International Women’s Appreciation Day, I am dedicating this first official travel blog post to the ladies! All women deserve to be spoiled by gorgeous, diverse Caribbean landscapes. Perhaps few of these Caribbean destinations are as attractive as Cancun. Cancun, Mexico located on eastern edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, has been a popular worldwide tourist destination for decades. My beautiful mother and father first ventured there in the late 80’s when tourist development was minimal. They loved it so much, they decided to buy a timeshare! The rest was history and I just know that you are going to love it too. It holds a special place in my heart because it was the first place I went SCUBA Diving and where I first became Open Water SCUBA Certified. Here’s why YOU should go!
1. White Sand Beaches, Warm Turquoise Waters
The hotel district of Cancun, Mexico has 14 miles of gorgeous white sand beaches and crystal clear tropical turquoise water. There are literally dozens of hotels touching these beautiful beaches, which makes hitting the sand easier than ever. The water temperature is warm (high 70’s to 80’s) 24 hours a day and beaches are often times very swimmable. There are life guards on duty all day and flags posting beach wading conditions for safety. When I was in Cancun in January I just floated in the water for hours and asked myself, is this the real life, or is this just fantasy? Did I mention the all-inclusive bar is just steps away????
2, Night Life, Dance Clubs, Shopping
Surprise! Cancun is a BIG BIG spring break destination. So don’t go that time of the year (unless your 18)! However if you want to go out and dance and be entertained there are plenty of options both in the Hotel District and downtown. Some of the most classic places to get your swerve on include Senor Frogs and Carlos and Charlies, where, if interested, they will literally pour alcohol down your throat. Too intense? Try some night clubs instead. Some popular ones include Dady’Os, The City and Coco Bongo. Coco Bongo has great acrobatic, cover band shows, disco parties and all around fiestas! If you are looking for an even more relaxed upscale lounge, than head down to El Centro, which is downtown Cancun. Ask any taxi driver and they’ll get you there, no problem. I have not been out here personally but I did drive through at 1 am after taking my Dad to the hospital and it was going off! As far as shopping goes there are cute little flea markets in the Punta Cana area where you can find amazing handmade jewelry, clothes, leather, art etc. Get ready to bargain! You can haggle all day and you should, vendors have a lot of competition and will ask for at least 50-100% more than they will take, you have to be willing walk away. Don’t want to haggle, there are plenty of upscale malls both in the hotel district and downtown. Check out Plaza Las Americas downtown for better prices than the Hotel District.
3. Beautiful Mayan Ruins
The Yucatan Peninsula and the state of Quintana Roo are home to a rich ancient Mayan history. The most popular ruins are the awe inspiring Chichen Itza (built around 900 AD) and the beautiful coastline ruins of Tulum. Both are easy day trips from your hotel in Cancun. Most travel companies will pick you up at your hotel lobby and escort you in a very comfortable deluxe travel bus. I visited Chichen Itza (aka Chicken Pizza) when I was 16 and had the opportunity to hike up the steps of the tallest ruin, El Castillo (Temple of Kulkulcan), located at the center of this amazing archaeological site. You can no longer climb or walk on the ruins but still, it is truly an amazing site to behold. Tulum is an ancient Mayan coastal city built around 1200 AD. The Tulum area is also home to many underwater caves, known as cenotes, of which many are open to the public to explore.
4. Snorkeling and Diving
You MUST snorkel or dive here. Cancun is located near the northern most extent of what is known as the Meso-American Reef. The Meso-American Reef is 2nd in size (almost 700 miles long) only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and a heck of a lot easier to get to. The best place to access this amazing coral reef is from the island of Cozumel. Cozumel is one of the top diving destinations in the world and for good reason, no wetsuit needed and the reef is just a few minutes from the island! We took a long day trip from Cancun and it was soooo worth it. We had the most amazing encounters with majestic Green Sea Turtles and the fish and coral diversity are literally jaw dropping. In addition, the diving is all drift diving, so you do not have to work very hard to see several hundred yards of coral. Don’t want to take an all day trip to snorkel, then head over to the Isla Mujeres area and check out the amazing underwater museum, MUSA (Meseo Subacuatico de arte). I took some amazing photos!
5. It’s Safe to Get Around
In Cancun, you really do not have to worry about creepers. The touristy Hotel Zone is completely safe, locals are interested in your economic contribution to their well being and on average treat you very well and make you feel safe. Most would agree that El Centro or downtown Cancun is also very safe as I spent an entire day riding buses around town with my mother on an infamous search for a “heating pad” which FYI- does not exist anywhere likely in the entire state! We found everyone we encountered to be very helpful and kind despite my assaulting them with my horribly rusty Spanish. Traveling public transportation at night alone may be a little less desirable but is still safe especially if you stick to the areas where locals are after your tourist dollars. The most uncomfortable experience you will have is someone trying to sell you a vacation trip or pandering for money (rare). Not exactly the most dangerous encounters to deal with. Still sketched out, take an expensive taxi ride directly to your destination. But for sure if you have a little patience, take the bus, it costs about $1 compared to a minimum $13-$20 taxi ride. The bottom line is its far safer than most large cities in the US, so get out there and enjoy it!
When should I go?
Mid-December to mid-April is the best time to visit. It is the driest and most comfortable time of year and avoids the dreaded hurricane season. You can get some killer deals in the off-season (mid-April –mid December) but it can be bloody hot and humid! So be prepared.
How much are Flights?
Relatively CHEAP from Los Angeles all year round. I paid less than $500 non-stop round trip with Delta Airlines. If you don’t mind being on the plane for a while (1-2 stops) you can save a $100 and be there this May!
New Blog web address coming soon
I hope you enjoyed this first official post! Feedback is very welcome. Also, after this week, my blog address will change from kerbysantraveler.wordpress to kerbysworldtravel.com so stay tuned and be sure to subscribe to the new blog address when you get a chance. Like us on Facebook.
Until next time, adios amigos!
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