My Cancun Trip Recap 2016

As some of you may know, I recently went to Cancun for vacation. That’s one of the reasons why the blog has been absent and lonely the past few weeks. A bigger reason is because the week before I left my computer decide to give out on me. I’m not one to usually plan and schedule blog posts ahead of time, but I do like to schedule posts when I go on vacation so my blog won’t be lonely. I even had a list of posts I had planned for both my blogs before my computer decided to oh so rudely ruin my plans. I spent most of the week before vacation packing and trying to fix my computer without any luck. When I came back from Cancun, I was hit with the flu and spent a couple of horrible days with a fever. I finally feel better now and I’m determined to blog again because I miss it. So even though this post is taking me way longer to put together because of my computer, I hope you guys like it. Just a quick recap of my trip with a few (okay a lot, but nearly all the pictures I took). Most of the better pictures of the water are on our GoPro, which we still haven’t uploaded to a computer yet. Enjoy!

 

My trip started off on a bad note unfortunately. I had a terrible flight experience with American Airlines that involved an overbooked flight, sitting in a stalled and hot plane for over 2 hours, having us move planes and sitting in a new (although this one wasn’t hot, thankfully) plane for another 2 hours while we waited for new flight attendants, arriving in Cancun 5 hours after our scheduled time which caused us to miss our hotel shuttle AND our car reservation pick up (it was closed by the time we got there), which caused us to lose our reservation price which was about $300 less than what everyone else was charging. By the time we found a taxi, we ended up getting to the hotel at 2am and had to order pizza since everything and we were all hangry by this point. But, after that wasted and terrible first day, the rest of my vacation was a fucking blast! Besides, it’s hard to be in a bad mood when you have a view of this every day:

Cancun Day 1

Our first official vacation day (I refuse to count that first day as vacation), we met up with our neighbors who also went to Cancun and we took a boat to Cozumel island, which was beautiful! I would like to point out that I haven’t been in a beach or ocean water in over 10 years because I despise cold water and California beaches are the only beaches I’ve ever been in. I was lured into going to Cancun with the promise of not cold beach water and that promise was delivered. The beaches always had the prettiest and clearest waters so blue that it looked like someone dumped blue dye all over it. I was a little… surprised that ocean water stings your eyes so bad. That’s how long it’s been since I was in an ocean. I had never swam anywhere where there were fishes swimming too and although I was a little freaked out about swimming with fishes, I got over it quickly when I realized that they don’t even get close to you. We ate some great Mexican food there and stayed at the beach all day, jumping off the pier and relaxing in lounge chairs right by the beach. I didn’t want to leave! On the way back, the boat was a lot more rocky this time around and I thought my boyfriend and our oldest daughter would throw up. Meanwhile our little one was passed out and drooling and I was fine. We all made it back to the dock with our stomachs intact and very tired from all the swimming.

 

Cancun Day 2

The second day, we went to Tulum which is a historic beach with ancient Mayan ruins. Although we’re used to really hot weather here in Tucson, we’re used to a dry weather, not a humid weather like in Cancun. I swear, every single part of me was sweating. I even felt sweat dripping from my fingers at some point and this day was the hottest of that week. There’s a bit of a walk you have to do in order to get to the ruins and a bit longer walk to get to the beach below. My kids are freaking champs and never once complained about the weather though so we ended up going straight to the beach and then looking at the Aztec ruins on our way back, once it wasn’t so hot and we were cooled down from the water. We didn’t get to see the nesting sea turtles when we were there, but it was still in amazing day. We dug a huge hole (a la Joey from Friends) and just laid in the sand and sat in the water for most of the day.

Cancun Day 3

The next day was one of the days I was least looking forward, which is funny since it turned out to be one of my favorite days of the trip. We woke up very early (6am, which was 4am on our time) to head to Xplor park, which is an adventure park where you can do zip-lines, all terrain vehicles, and walk in caves and swim in the caves and in waterfalls and all kinds of adventurous shit that I am just not really into. I’m a huge chicken who is also afraid of heights, so I was not one bit excited for the zip-line portion of the day. Unfortunately, since it was a group of 14 of us and everyone else (including my 6 and 9 years olds) was doing it, I didn’t want to be the only one sitting out. Especially since all the zip-lines take about 2 hours to complete. #peerpressure I’m so glad that I ended up doing the zip lines because that was my favorite part of the day. In total, there were 15 zip lines ranging in height and elevation and speed and you start off from the lowest to the highest zip-line. In between, to cool off since it’s so humid and you’re walking and climbing a lot of steps to get to the high zip-lines, they have water slides and a few zip-lines that take you through waterfalls to cool you down. Not gonna lie, on a few of these especially the last two highest and fastest ones I wanted to back out because I was scared. But those were the funnest. As fun as it was, I was glad when it was all over because although the park takes every precaution to keep everyone safe, being that high (and having my kids doing the zip-lines) was always scary. One time, the worker didn’t catch me in time because he was getting my kids off (they rode together) and I went back on the zip-line and got stuck halfway. Luckily, the worker came to get me right away and had me back on the ledge in no time. Although the rest of the day was amazing, nothing tops the zip-line experience. Although the food and smoothies were pretty close. 🙂

Although we got back to the hotel exhausted, we woke up very early again the next day to head to another park Xel-ha. Side note, Cancun has a list of about 8ish parks like this which are like their equivalent of Disneyland, but without rides. There are activities and attractions at each one and the more parks you go to the cheaper the tickets are. The tickets are not at all bad considering a) how fun they are, b)all the food and drinks, even alcohol are included in the price. And the food is so yummy and they have a bit of everything, even dessert. Xel-ha is more of a laid back park with activities like snorkeling and tubing, swimming in caves and cenotes, cliff jumping, water zip lines, and other fun water activities. We spent most of the day in the water and the majority of that was spent snorkeling. We weren’t too excited about snorkeling and thought it was something we would do for about 10-20 minutes tops. But once we got the hang of it, we ended up snorkeling for hours from one end of the park to the other. We got to a floating platform in the middle of the water and spent another hour just jumping in the water and doing flips. They even have this area full oh hammocks for people to relax in, we were having too much fun in the water to do that though. Despite spending most of the day in the water, I somehow got really sunburned this day (despite wearing plenty of SPF) and I ended up getting a sunburn fever in the night. #worthit

As fun as the other days were, we were due for some much-needed relaxing time. We decided to stay in our hotel the next two days and just walk to the mexican shops and food stand nearby. Our hotel was great, the staff was always friendly and helpful and the food was always delicious. We spent most of the day in the pool and the beach right in front of the hotel: eating, napping and drinking. We also rode jet skis in the ocean which was fun/scary/fun. Despite the fact that we didn’t really do anything memorable those last two days, they were my favorite because they were so laid back and relaxing. And because we got to wake up late and fall asleep late and ate the best shrimp, rice and bean tacos in a tiny stand near our hotel.

Although it;s always nice coming home from vacation, I still wish I was in Cancun. Although my hair looked like Monica because of the humidity and I spent most days covered in sand and sunburned, this was the best vacation I’ve ever been to and I can’t wait to go back again next year! My kids loved it and won’t stop talking about it, especially the parks we went to. A few tips if you are ever thinking of going to Cancun (or Mexico): if you speak Spanish, then make sure to speak Spanish over there so people don’t take advantage of you. Our neighbors kept telling us the first few days to talk Spanish otherwise you might get ripped off. No price is ever really set once you’re in Mexico. Things like shuttles, taxis, gifts, park tickets, boat admissions, etc. are mostly set on a barter system. If you know how to barter, then you’re gonna get a better deal than other people. Luckily, our neighbors have been to Cancun a few times and are great at bartering. On our boat trip to Cozumel, they wanted to charge us 600 pesos (about $30) per person and we were ready to hand over the money until my neighbor brought down the price to 300 pesos (about $15) per person and somehow got my 6-year-old to go on for free. Same with the taxis and shuttles and gifts. Make sure you understand the dollar conversion between US dollars and Mexican pesos. It can be weird because the value over there changes every day and different places can set their own exchange rate, we saw some places that were over 19 pesos per dollar and some as low as 14 pesos per dollar. Make sure to find the best rate and exchange your money all at once to get the best rate. If you don’t know the conversion, then download an app. Luckily, I was able to get the hang of it by the 2nd day. Plan ahead and do your research. There were so many places to visit and not enough time so we spent a lot of time looking up the best places to go and were happy with our choices. Look up hotel reviews. We stayed in a smaller hotel and loved it. Our neighbors stayed in a much bigger and fancier hotel and hated it. They said the rooms were ugly, their ac didn’t work, the water gave out on them a few times in their room, the service was terrible, the food was gross and they made everyone get out of the pools and beach and closed all the bars and restaurants by 7pm. So make sure you pick a good hotel and read real customer reviews. Other than that, be safe and have fun, there’s lots of fun things to do in Cancun and I can’t wait to do more of them next time!

Have you been to Cancun? If so, have you been to any of these places or do you have others to recommend to me??

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