An October 2005 trip
to Cancun by ParadiseSeeker
Quote: This is mainly about a trip that I took with an ex-girlfriend of mine. I didn't go to party (right!), but was really interested in the Mayan civilization.
Hotel | "Mayan Palace"
The resort is fairly new and the grounds and area were amazing. I was excited knowing that the ground that I was walking on was where the ancient Mayan culture once existed. If you looked outside of the the resort, it was dense jungle and we were situated on a private beach.
The guards at the gate were a tad bothersome, though. Not because they bothered us, but just because it is a little disconcerting knowing that armed guards are needed to keep people from possibly being kidnapped. The resort that we were at seemed to have the reputation of accommodating Americans who had money.
The rooms were standard, bordered by an open hallway that allowed for all kinds of creatures to come crawling in. The resort was nice and the pool was AWESOME. It has your standard pool bar, and if you think Mexico is a cheap vacation, think again. The food at the resort is pricey! But they do have a video that shows food and beverage handling standards, which are obviously directed towards Americans. All water and ice are filtered and purified, which is nice, and they have standards for their meats to keep people from getting sick. Inside of the resort, we had no trouble trusting the food or drink that we consumed and felt very safe eating and drinking it.
The only thing that I didn't like is that when they see an American, everybody seems to want a tip for doing the smallest thing. I felt like George Jefferson always having to tip his doorman.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 9, 2007
Mayan Palace Riviera Maya
Km 48 carretera Federal Cancún
Cancun, Mexico 77710
1 800 292 9446
Attraction | "Mayan Palace Golf"
I didn't see a lot of shade, though, and there was a clubhouse with a bar that appeared to not have a lot of people waiting for drinks. Plus, the course is easily accessible from the rooms.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 9, 2007
Mayan Palace Riviera Maya
Km 48 Carretera Federal Cancun Playa Del Carmen
Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico
01 800 543 7044
Attraction | "Xel-Ha"
We spent the whole day snorkeling in the bay, walking the iguana-laden trails, and just going down the waterway on a raft. IT WAS FUN. When we got hungry, we stopped at one of the many eating places and just ordered food without having to worry about the bill or having money (which is great when you're in swim trunks). If I felt like a beer or a drink, I just went into one of the waterside bars.
I saw loads of fish and took my photo in a cave that we had to snorkel into. My ex-girlfriend got mad because I didn't want to swim with the dolphins (this caused a fight). But I've never wanted to do this, and she wasn't going to cover the extra $150 for it. Anyway, this is a place where there you can encounter the famous "cenotes" and play in a land where the Mayans used to. (I don't think the bars or restaurants were there yet, though!)
There are lots of fish, and if you want, you can "Snuba," though I preferred to snorkel. Be advised, they DO NOT allow you to use your own sunscreen here because it will destroy the environment.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 10, 2007
Xel-Ha Aquatic Park
Km 240 Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juárez local 1 y 2 módulo B
Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
+52 (998) 883-3293
Attraction | "Tulum"
If you've seen the move "Against All Odds," Tulum is the place where Jeff Bridges finds Rachel Ward. You can't go in the buildings anymore, but it really is fascinating, and you can really feel the Mayan culture here. I recommend that you take kids and adults—it's a great way to see what we learn in history and feel like a part of it. Oh, and take lots of water, as it is humid.
Tulum Mayan Ruins
Attraction | "Pyramid Tour"
Anyway, you pass through their stores, and if you think stuff is going to be cheap, think again. I really wanted to buy something, but it seemed overpriced to me.
The roads getting here are tough, so be ready for a bumpy ride. We did it in an air-conditioned van.
Bring a backpack with water and snacks and sunscreen. The walk through the ancient Mayan ruins to the pyramid was a bit much for my companion. You can rent a bike to ride up to it, stopping along the way at the other ruins. Our friends who rented the bikes regretted it because the bikes are LOUSY, have no shocks, and are old and in disrepair. We hiked miles, and when we got to the pyramid, my companion was so tired that I hired a local who drove a bicycle with a seat for two up front to take us back down. I think this cost me about $5, and boy did that guy work for it (relax, I gave him a good tip).
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 10, 2007
Coba Mayan Ruins