Traveling After COVID
We returned from a trip flying from Tennessee for the first time since COVID. It felt normal to travel again, we just had to wear masks. We are planning a trip in June to our favorite country, Mexico. It’s my second home, I like to think to myself. I’m considering purchasing a condo here. I’ve been to this country over ten times. So why not have a permanent residence here. We have so many places to visit that we have not yet seen.
I’m not here to give a review on every resort I have visited in the past. There’s something for everyone in Mexico. All adult resorts, resorts that cater to the LGBT community, and family-friendly resorts where children can run freely while the parents relax.
It’s been almost three years since our last trip, and I promised my daughter I would take her on vacation one of these days. I laugh and tell her that she was with us in Mexico one year, she was just in my belly baking.
We prefer staying at all-adult resorts. The sounds coming from the ocean are what I want to hear. I love children, but in my mind, the kids are home, and it’s time for the parents to play.
The stunning beaches with warm greenish-blue water, meeting intriguing people from around the world and making memories that will last us forever. Is what Mexico is to us.
Visiting resorts where you don’t have to worry about meals and unlimited drinks is the best when booking a vacation. Having a friendly staff that greets you each time they see you with a smile on their face. Makes your day even more enjoyable. Treating yourself to the spa for a facial or massage should be added to your list. We have enjoyed listening to music being played on the beach under the stars with a candle-lit lobster dinner. When we visit, it’s time to dress up and party the night away to rekindle our love.
My one pet peeve is the resorts that harass you about Time Share. Yes, they will be waiting for you when you get off the plane and waiting at the resort. They may offer a complimentary massage or lobster dinner to hear why you should buy into a timeshare. All you have to do is walk away and decline. Or if sitting for a 90-minute presentation is ok, go for it.
An All-Adult Inclusive resort can range in prices. We’ve stayed for 5-7 days and have spent $1800-$4500 with airfare included. There are many resorts to choose from for any budget. Be sure not to visit during Spring Break when all the college students are on vacation. Mexico’s rainy season runs from May-June to October (sometimes extends to November).
We have traveled in April, May, and June and had perfect weather. My husband is a beach lover and I’m the female Indiana Jones. You can relax or you can go on many adventures from snorkeling, visiting the pyramids, booze cruises, swimming with dolphins, and staying local by checking out fantastic restaurants with authentic Mexican cuisine.
CABO SAN LUCAS
Cabo sits on the tip of the Baja California peninsula, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. We stayed in San Jose del Cabo. We read reviews of different resorts and I wanted to see real photos of visitors that stayed during their visit. I went to Trip Advisor where travelers share photos of their rooms, the resort and see what they had to say about their visit.
We had a beautiful ocean view room with a jacuzzi that sat outside on the balcony. It was a truly romantic vacation. We had a great time. There were two pools, an outside jacuzzi, three restaurants, and the staff was amazing. They kept us entertained with daily activities and catered to all our needs.
Lovers Beach and Whale watching
We took a 30-minute cab ride from our resort to Cabo for our sunset cruise to see Lovers Arch. Upon walking on the boat, it quite wasn’t what I was expecting or even wonder if it was legal. There were plastic lawn chairs on the boat, and I felt if I sat in them I would slide across the floor. This is a memory that I and my husband always bring up and laugh about.
As we sailed across the Pacific sea we were greeted by family whales. I had never seen whales so close before and it was a wonderful sight to see. We watched the sunset and headed back to the resort and continued the rest of our vacation. At the end of our trip, I was a newly engaged woman and would be planning my wedding for the following year.
East Coast the Caribbean Side
Now that we visited the West Coast of Mexico it was time to get a taste of the East Coast. There was a difference in the coasts for me. The Pacific Sea was rough and we weren’t able to swim in the water I notice the water was colder too. The East Coast of Mexico is in the Caribbean Sea making the water warmer with crystal clear turquoise water and soft white sand.
During our stay at the resorts, the staff was fun and had daily activities for guests. There was a nightclub on the premises so you can have a good time and head back to your room. The rooms we have booked always had a king-size bed, jacuzzi, and some with an ocean view suite. Sunrise with coffee was something I didn’t grow tired of.
We stayed in Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Rivera Maya, Puerto Morelos, and always take a taxi ride to 5th Avenue Playa del Carmen. We have been to Mexico so many times, that we decided to rent a car to get around the next time we visit. This is how comfortable and safe we feel when we visit.
Helpful Tips While You’re In Mexico
You may book your excursions with the hotel and leave with a group each morning. We stopped at about 5 different hotels to pick up passengers before we got to our destination. We found out instead of going on the long bus tour you can hire a private driver for the day.
Admissions for your excursions are cheaper when you are on your own, rather than booking with your hotel/resort. You won’t end up on a 12-hour tour ( something my husband reminds me of all the time). You can enjoy a private trip and it will be the same cost if not cheaper going with a driver. Speak to the hotel to have this arranged.
Chichen Itza was a spectacular sight to visit and explore. The Mayan architecture was stunning to see in person. Chichen Itza means, “at the mouth of the well of Itza”. Every time the History channel plays an episode I yell to the TV, “I been there!” I felt like, I stepped back into a time of the Mayans. The Mayans were technically advanced but were quite brutal in their sacrificial offerings.
When we toured here it was hot and not much shade to hide from the sun. I recommend wearing comfortable shoes, sunblock, a sun hat and bringing water. Buy souvenirs while you are here, they are cheaper. During our tour, we were taken to a Cenote a few miles from the ruins. Cenotes were Mayan sacred places of life and death, as their source of water and as the gateway to the underworld.
The seaweed outside of our resort covered the beach and the water was not swimmable. This dampened my spirits a little because I’m not much of a pool person. I love resting on the beach, toes in the sand, and an occasional dip in the water. The seaweed sitting in the hot sun created a stench of rotten eggs in the air, the pool would be my best friend this year. We wanted to take a stroll on the beach to get a little exercise.
This year I wasn’t planning on eating and drinking all day. I wanted to get some type of exercise. We were told if we walk down for 15-20 minutes the seaweed wasn’t bad, you can sit on the beach and swim in the water.
We were also told, there was a girl giving great massages and to look for the big tent on the beach. The old me, walking 20 minutes on the beach in the sun wouldn’t happen. The walk wasn’t bad (I do recommend bringing shoes, there are rocks and broken shells in some areas) we saw a guy fishing with his dog and a family sitting with their lunch for the day talking and laughing among themselves.
There was a sign stating that the area is a protected nature conservatory. Puerto Morelos is home to the world’s second-largest barrier reef a variety of marine life. This is home to a variety of colorful coral and fish, as well as sharks, turtles, and eagle rays.
We walked down, we were greeted with the whiffs of food sizzling on grills in the air. There were restaurants, hotels, and markets selling just about everything. Of course, I stopped at a shop and brought me a colorful Mayan Aztec elephant with an onyx stone to take home. We were surprised to see so much going on. Our resort was tucked away and there wasn’t anyone on both sides of us. The beach was filled with families, friends playing soccer, and dogs enjoying the cool water as they played with their owners.
Puerto Morelos is a small fishing village that lies on the Yucatán Peninsula. It’s a 20-minute ride from Cancun and a 40-minute ride from Playa del Carmen. This is not a big tourists trap. If you’re looking to enjoy the beach and do some shopping this would be the place.
I love visiting lighthouses so to walk down and see The Leaning Lighthouse was a pleasure. The lighthouse was built in 1946, The strength of Hurricane Beulah in 1967 degraded the tower’s structure, causing its obvious tilted appearance.
There is plenty to do in Puerto Morelos to keep your day filled with fun. Croco Cun Zoo, and Selvatica The Adventure Tribe is an amusement park with a range of activities to choose from, including snorkeling, and ziplining.
The time my life flashed before my eyes at Xcaret Park
I saw my life flash before my eyes. I had nothing to grip on. I tried to grab the rocks, but they were slippery. The only thing that was keeping me afloat was my life jacket that I don’t even think I had on correctly. I’m hyperventilating as I type this.
Of course, this will be something my husband will never forget. I can laugh at this now but we both had our share of, “we can cry now.” We did things right this time, we booked a private driver from the hotel. Tony picked us up, gave us his cell number, and told us to call him when we were ready.
We reserved our tickets at the hotel, which we could have done at the park. We stood in line for over 30minutes, which felt longer with the sun disappearing and the clouds rolling in with the rain. We didn’t have an umbrella or poncho, but this is something you can purchase once you’re inside.
Xcaret park is not the usual amusement park-like in the States. This is a wildlife amusement park mixed with w Mexican culture. Xcaret is located in Playa del Carmen with over 50 activities to do.
The package included lunch, tours in three underground rivers, Xcaret México Espectacular presentation, visits to the Butterfly Pavilion, Coral Reef Aquarium, and the Aviary, Horse Exhibition, Papantla Flying Men, and Pre-Hispanic Dances, and a tropical jungle trail.
Once you’re in the park you don’t know which way to go, what to do first, I felt lost and at times we found ourselves walking in circles from the lack of signs. At times, we asked other visitors, how to get out of here. I suggest looking at the map they have on their app or online. Discuss what you want to see and where they are located. We spent over five hours here and didn’t cover half of the attractions offered in our package.
I’m fearless when I want to be, but I definitely need to take swimming lessons. The rain started again, and I was, sorry, we, were getting cold. (My husband confessed to me how cold he was during the day) I thought swimming in an underground river would be exciting. Wrong, you go through a line where you grab a life jacket, sprint down a walkway going deep below ground.
There are no instructors or help, you’re on your own. The water was freezing, I just took the plunge and immersed myself in the water. Once I got in, I couldn’t seem to stay straight and kept drifting on my side. I tried to grab the side of the rocks. I lost my husband and I was starting to panic. I heard a voice behind me say, “Hun, relax, you have on a life jacket.” There were kids in this river floating, swimming, and laughing with their families. I felt like I had almost lost my life. There are three river mazes to swim through. The one was enough for me.
We made our way to the butterfly pavilion with a waterfall, The Chapel of Lady of Guadalupe, and the Mexican Cemetery. We were drained from all the walking. I would visit again, I would do things more differently. Planning ahead brings rain gear, a warm sweater or hoodie, bug spray, sunblock, water, and I would plan to spend the day there but take breaks in between to rest.
BUCKET LIST of Things to see in Mexico: Tulum, Cozumel, Merida, Copper Canyon, Sumidero Canyon, Marieta Islands, Palenque, and the Gran Cenote. Book your next vacation you won’t forget.
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