Tag Archives: cancun

Cancun Part 5: Snorkeling

On our last full day in Cancun, we went snorkeling. It was part of the Aquaworld Jungle Tour. At the marina, we mounted small two-man motorboats resembling rectangular jet-skis. Our caravan sped across a large lagoon through a watery jungle and into the Carribbean where be braked at a reef. Here we dove into the waters and swam about for a while.

More Snorkely Goodness

Cancun Part 4: Coba

The weather reports were promising us rainy overcast days with occasional thunderstorms the entire week we would be in Cancun. We arrived to beautiful blue skies spotted with fluffy cumulus clouds. There would be only one muggy day with occasional rain—my birthday. A thunderstorm rolled in the night before and I was fearful that our Coba tour would be canceled. This was the tour I was most looking forward to. It promised the most fun (jungle hiking, kayaking, rappeling, zip-lines, and more) and it would be how my 30th birthday would primarily be spent. In the end, it all worked out for the best. This would be the only day it rained on our trip and it interfered with nothing. Had it rained a different day, our plans would have likely been altered. Thus, the fates chose well.

We rode through the back-roads of the Yucatan at top speeds heading for the jungle. There we paddled through a small lagoon and rendezvoused at a dock entering the jungle. We trekked to a subterranean cenote and swam after participating in a Mayan purification ritual. I had great hopes of seeing spider monkeys in the jungle, but luck was not with me. I didn’t give up hope, although. A quick drive to a nearby village brought us to our action portion of the trip. There we all rappeled into a canyon, then rode a zip-line across the jungle. Afterwards the villagers fed us a variety of local dishes. The last stop would be Coba.

Coba is another site featuring various Mayan ruins. The main attraction is a 60-foot high structure a few kilometers into the jungle. Climbing 120 or so steps brings you to the top with a spectacular view of the surrounding jungle—trees for miles in all directions. The day had been muggy, but there had been no rain after the storm of the previous night. That would change once Erika and I reached the halfway point approaching Coba’s apex. Droplets began to fall, within seconds a drenching rain was upon us. The options were turn back and be soaked or climb to the top and be soaked. We chose the latter. Minutes later she and I stood at the top staring into a misty jungle, water pouring down upon us. A few other climbers cowered in a tiny cubby at the top of the ruin awaiting a break in the rain. This is the best way to see Coba.

As we walked back through the jungle to the van, we were happy and saturated. Living in L.A. means constant dryness with tiny glimmers of rare sprinkles. Erika was ecstatic. She was soaking wet, walking through the jungle, dodging puddles, and surprisingly warm. Then I saw him. Scurrying across the path a few feet ahead was a dark spider monkey, his tail raised behind him. He bolted into the brush avoiding what remained of the falling rain and any potential danger from trail-walkers. By the time Erika turned to see him, he was gone. We were nearing the end of the jungle, the end of the tour. My chances to see a monkey were almost gone, but I hadn’t given up hope. No one else was around. I alone saw him. He was there for me—my birthday monkey.

See More Coba Photos Here

Cancun Part 2: Chichen Itza

On our first full day in Cancun, we took a tour to Chichen Itza. It was a long bus ride into the mainland where we were kept entertained with a documentary and Apocalypto later in the evening. We visited our first Cenote along the way, drove through some destitute villages, and had lunch at a hotel where dancers performed Folklorico primarily consisting of balancing things on their heads.

The park where Chichen Itza is located is rather large, filled with various ruins and multitudes of street vendors. The main ruin can no longer be surmounted. Last year a woman fell to her death after slipping on the steps. They are being cleaned and made more safe with the promise of being reopened in the future. All sorts of interesting mathematics were incorporated in the construction of the ruins allowing for various audio and visual effects. They are quite a wonder to behold.

More Chichen Photos Here

Cancun Part 1: Cenotes

Erika and I spent five days in Cancun. We stayed at a fairly nice resort, the Gran Caribe Real. It’s one of those places where a flat price gets you a bed, all-you-can-eat buffets, and non-stop drinks while you are a guest. It’s a bit like a cruise ship on land. Of the five days we were there, we only spent one day exclusively at the resort. We weren’t going to fly all the way to Cancun and not seek out adventure. Over the next few days I’ll post pictures and such from the trip. First up, Cenotes.

I’d never heard of a cenote prior to my trip and I am going to assume most of you haven’t either. A cenote is essentially a sinkhole filled with fresh water. They vary in size, appearance, depth, and awesomeness. They can be found all over the Yucatan. We visited two: one near Chichen Itza and another on our way to Coba. They were both fantastic for different reasons. The first was roughly 150 feet deep, surrounded by lush vegetation, and visible from the surface. The water felt great and there was a diving platform 15-20 feet above the water. It was the well-known and commercial of the two. The second was accessible via a thin cave entrance and only after participating in a Maya purification ceremony. It was somewhat secluded, located within the jungle.

More Cenotes Pictures Here