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Playa del Carmen & Chichen Itza

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Jim and I took a quick trip to Mexico from March 1-5. We stayed in Playa del Carmen, which is about an hour south of Cancun.

It was a nice relaxing trip. The water was clear and warm. We did some snorkeling and I went into the water right off of the boat – that is a big deal for me since, as you know, I can’t swim and I’m scared of the water. We saw a nice array of fish and even two little brown rays. There wasn’t any colorful coral. I’d say it was better than snorkeling off Key Largo but not even close to Thailand.

We went to Xel-Ha, an “ecological water theme park”. It was great. You could swim with dolphins, lie in a hammock, jump off a cliff into water, lie in a tube and drift in the water, and snorkel in the huge natural lagoon, caves, or creeks. Even though it was called a “theme park” it was very nicely done — would be like heaven for kids who like water activities.

We took a day trip to Chichen Itza as well. It was a looong 3.5 hour bus ride, and it was sooo hot, but def worth it to see it.
Chichen Itza

Here is a panorama at Chichen Itza: Chichen Itza panorama

On the way to Chichen Itza, our bus stopped at a cenote, which is a type of freshwater-filled limestone sinkhole. It was beautiful. Lots of people there climbed up and jumped into the crystal clear water (as you can see in the picture.) When you were standing level with the water, you would look up out of the hole into the sky, with lots of vines and stuff hanging all over the walls. Whenever we were traveling via bus, we saw signs everywhere for cenotes.
This picture is a panorama shot (a few pics put together) of the cenote.
Panorama of a cenote

The food was very good, of course we ate all in the touristy area of Playa del Carmen. It was tasty and fresh. I’d say the prices were like half of here in NY.

What surprised me the most about the trip was that there was so much to do and see. We wanted to also see the ruins in Tulum and Coba but we didn’t have time. I could definitely see us going back again.