I’m excited to announce that I’ve finally booked another trip! I was itching to go somewhere, and we finally settled on exploring the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico!
To be sure, there’s a few important reasons we picked the Yucatan:
- Proximity: Closer places typically mean cheaper, shorter flights. This is going to be my son’s first trip abroad, so I didn’t want him to be exhausted on the flight there or dreading the flight home. I want him to get excited for the adventure we’ve got in store!
- Southwest Companion Pass: Southwest only flies to a handful of international destinations. All of which are in the Western Hemisphere, of course: Aruba, the Bahamas, Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Since I still have plenty of travel to in Latin America, I thought I’d get my money’s worth out of the Companion Pass while I have it! This will be my first trip using the CP!
- Wildlife: While in Tulum, we’ll definitely be exploring the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site. I’m hoping we’ll get to see all sorts of creatures, as that’s what my son is really interested in doing. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t get back on that plane until he got to snorkel with some sea turtles…
- The Ruins: Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, Muyil, Coba, Tulum, there’s tons of them! We’ll be exploring plenty of old Mayan ruins, as that’s something the girlfriend and I love to do. I had a great time at Machu Picchu, and I hope some of the Yucatan’s old stones bring back that same feeling.
We’ll be in Mexico for 8 days total; the rough itinerary goes something like this:
- Land in Cancun in the afternoon. Pick up a rental car, drive down the Riviera Maya to Tulum. Staying in an AirBnB, Tulum will be our base for the next few days. Having passed Akumal on the way down from Cancun, we’ll sneak back up there one morning to try and catch some snorkeling time with the sea turtles. The Tulum ruins, the Muyil archeological zone, and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere are all on the list too.
- From Tulum, we’ll head northwest to Valladolid, exploring the ruins at Coba and ome of the cenotes on the way.
- We’ll stay for 2 nights in Valladolid, taking in some of the colonial architecture and the local scene (another AirBnB). Valladolid makes an excellent launch pad for Chichen Itza, which we’ll be driving to early one morning, to avoid the midday crowd. I’m hoping to have some time to see Ek Balam too. The more crumbling walls, the better the trip!
- After Valladolid, we’ll spend the last 3 nights in Cancun. I was hesitant to push this trip to its limits, like I did with Peru. For Mexico, I’ll have the kiddo in tow, so we’ll be happy to catch a bit of rest & relaxation before heading back to Boston. For Cancun, we’re staying at the Westin, booked with my Starwood points from the recent offer on the AmEx SPG cards.
Anyway, I’m stoked to be able to offer all of you some actual travel posts again, and meet my personal goal of at least one new county every year. I’d like to do more than one, but for now I’m happy. I’d rather take a trip to one country and really see some of it, than try to rush through 3 or 4 countries in a week.
Besides, travel isn’t just about crossing things off your list. I want an experience each and every time I step out of the airport, get behind the wheel, hop off that bus.
Looking forward to these new experiences! If you’ve been to the Yucatan and the Riviera Maya, please post any recommendations you might have!