Life on the Playa

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After a few days spent recuperating from Heather’s wisdom tooth extraction at the Omni Resort in Cancun (thanks, Hotwire.com!), it was time to move on.  We had spent nearly a week in Cancun and – believe it or not – we were ready for a change in scenery.

Starting a round-the-world trip on vacation resorts in Cancun was a wonderful way to shift gears and relax before entering the not-quite-as-glamorous backpacking world of budget hostels, cheap buses, and PB&J sandwiches.  Since we had such a soft start, we decided to continue easing ourselves into our new lifestyle by heading South to the resort destination of Playa del Carmen.

While still touristy and expensive, Playa was just the type of experience we were looking for.  Instead of luxury high-rise beachfront resorts, Playa is more like an actual town, with a bustling main-drag pedestrian street running parallel to the beach and millions of little outdoor restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Speaking of clubs, our quaint little budget hotel – quiet and peaceful during the daylight hours – was practically inside the neighboring club.  Luckily, they played good music (Erik approved), but the walls were vibrating every night to 5am and we found it nearly impossible to sleep.

Pez Vela, after Xcaret
Pez Vela, after Xcaret29-Apr-2010 22:41
 

Still, we had a fantastic time in Playa, using it as a base to explore the surrounding area.

First, we jumped in a colectivo and took a day trip south to the Mayan ruins of Tulum – built on a majestic bluff overlooking the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea.  It was a fascinating introduction to the Mayans – which are to become a recurring theme in our Yucatan travels – and fascinating to think about the now extinct city that used to stand in that amazing place.  Since it was early in the day, we also took the opportunity to visit the Xcaret! theme park, where we were able to swim in a refreshing underground river and watch an excellent show about the culture and history of Mexico.

While in Playa, we also took a stomach-turning ferry ride to the island of Cozumel, where we rented a moped and explored the entire island.  We stopped before lunch to take in some snorkeling right off the beach, which both Heather and I thought was the best we had ever seen.  All sorts of colorful fish surrounded us in every direction in crystal-clear waters.  Breathtaking!

Our scooter on Cozumel's barren eastern side, Cozumel Island, Mexico
Our scooter on Cozumel's barren eastern side, Cozumel Island, Mexico30-Apr-2010 17:56
 

With more than a week after Heather’s tooth extraction, it was time to head back to Cancun to have the stitches removed and the post-op checkup.  Luckily, everything looked perfect.  It was time to jump on a bus and head West to the sleepy capital city of the Yucatan – Merida.

Walking to the hotel down Avenida 5
Walking to the hotel down Avenida 528-Apr-2010 14:32
Band on Ave 5
Band on Ave 528-Apr-2010 18:32
Very chic bar on Calle 12
Very chic bar on Calle 1228-Apr-2010 18:33
Tacombi taco truck - looks cute but local told us not very good
Tacombi taco truck – looks cute but local told us not very good28-Apr-2010 18:34
Heather at TCB hotel
Heather at TCB hotel28-Apr-2010 18:44
Pizza & Beer on a couch at Pummarola
Pizza & Beer on a couch at Pummarola28-Apr-2010 22:45
Made to order omellete, frijoles, sweet bread
Made to order omellete, frijoles, sweet bread29-Apr-2010 11:23
Tickets for Tulum - we bought a guide book in the little mercado next door
Tickets for Tulum – we bought a guide book in the little mercado next door29-Apr-2010 13:32
 
One of the wall's entrances...Erik banged his shoulder while filming a video here.
One of the wall's entrances…Erik banged his shoulder while filming a video here.29-Apr-2010 13:42
29-Apr-2010 13:43
29-Apr-2010 13:45
Oratorie (sp?) of the winds, Tulum
Oratorie (sp?) of the winds, Tulum29-Apr-2010 13:46
Iguana scaling the ruins
Iguana scaling the ruins29-Apr-2010 13:54
29-Apr-2010 13:56
29-Apr-2010 14:04
The Castillo, Tulum
The Castillo, Tulum29-Apr-2010 14:09
 
29-Apr-2010 14:13
29-Apr-2010 14:15
 

3 thoughts on “Life on the Playa

  1. Pat and Dick Shope

    Fun to follow your travels and see the very familiar sights in Playa del Carmen and Cozumel! We’ve been there several times in October, prompted by former neighbors, the Walkers, whom you may remember. Have a great time and be safe! Love, Pat and Dick.

    Reply
  2. Erik Post author

    Hi Pat & Dick!

    Great to have you following along and glad you liked the post. Hope you enjoy your upcoming trip to Massachusetts!

    Erik & Heather

    Reply
  3. Mark Opala

    I was there too, in 1988. I’ll have to dig up the photo of my brothers and I standing on that temple.

    Hope your having a great time!

    Reply

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