1 Week In Mexico

 

I LOVE sharing our travel adventures with you all and I know I have shared my experience with you of Mexico after our holiday 18 months ago, however Mexico is a really popular destination and although it was never on my wish list I LOVED our time there in 2016.

Whilst sat here feeling rubbish with my first autumnal cold, watching crappy movies on TV (Matt is snoozing – waiting to be called out for work) I thought I would put together a bit of an itinerary for those of you thinking of heading to Mexico for some winter sun this year or early next!

Day 1

After a day full of travelling yesterday (the flight is around 10 hours), you are probably feeling a bit of jet lag and just want to take it easy, DONT! If you are one of crazy people that go long haul for just 7 days you need to make the most of it whilst you can. Get some breakfast and if your rep meeting is today GO TO IT, if you haven’t pre-booked any trips now is the time to do! What are my recommendations? If your staying in the Cancun area, I would suggest these trips & I explain why a bit further down:

  • Xcaret
  • X-Plor
  • Coco Bongo
  • Chichen Itza
  • Captain Hook Pirate Ship (if there is a group of you or little kids with you!)

Once you have your trips booked, make sure you have your camera and some money on you – small bills if possible, because your going to head just outside of your hotel and grab a “bus” to Playa Del Carmen for some authentic mexican food and a spot of shopping (get it done and out the way on your first day). The “bus” is a mini van, its cheap but you need pay in small bills and tell the driver where you want to go, don’t be precious about sitting next to your partner, just find a seat and stay put! Once your in Playa Del Carmen head for 5th Avenue for all the shops, they range from Zara, Victoria’s Secret and Pandora to all the souvenirs you could ask for!

Despite being all inclusive, we did have some food whilst in Playa Del Carmen and DIDN’T regret it! We ate at Yo Amo Tacos on 5th Avenue, it was our first real taste of Mexican food and it was fantastic! I can’t recall the specific items we had, but I am hoping these photo’s do it justice!

Once you have explored, shopped and eaten its time to head back to your hotel to have some dinner, cocktails enjoy the evening entertainment and mingle with fellow holiday makers. Don’t make it a late one though – your up early for a day at Chichen Itza!

Day 2

An early start for a full day coach trip, from our hotel it was around a 3 hour coach trip to Chichen Itza, so make sure you have some snacks and bottled water with you. On our day trip, when we arrived we spent some time in a small shop whilst our guide got all of our passes etc. if you dont have one with you that day, pick up a hat you WILL need it. Its hot and there is limited, if any at all shade & use this time to go to the bathroom – I promise you that the toilets on the site are not great!

Enjoy the scenery and the information the guide tells you, I wont lie to you but the day we went I had a raging water infection so I really didn’t care to be there BUT Matt really enjoyed it and we got some good photos and saw some lizards too!

On our trip we headed to a local restaurant where they served authentic food, I am gutted we didnt get any pictures but I do love those types of stops on trips abroad. They rely soo heavily on tourism and although the food might not be quite what you expect just enjoy the experience! On our way back we stopped at a cenote – there was the chance to go in and experience the water, but we decided just to people watch and take in the scenery!

Heading back to your hotel, you will be tired and worn out BUT that’s ok as you have another chilled evening at the hotel mingling with your holiday friends drinking cocktails and enjoying the evening entertainment!

Day 3

Ok, you deserve a day off today! Chill by the pool or on the beach enjoy the fact that you can start drinking cocktails from 10am and snack throughout the day and get your head in that book you picked up in duty free.

We were really lucky with the hotel we stayed at, it was on Akumal beach which is FULL and I mean FULL of sea turtles, a lovely couple we met and often hung out with on the beach let us use their snorkel gear as they weren’t keen snorkelers and we had great fun snorkeling and just swimming alongside the turtles. It was so peaceful. We were in Mexico for 2 weeks, so whilst I laid by the beach getting the best tan I have ever had Matt went fishing for a couple of days and we would often walk into the little town and also went to near by Tulum – there is so much to do if you want to do it!

If you are like us and enjoy a good night out and don’t fancy a night at your hotel every night then break it up and book nights out to Coco Bongo or Captain Hooks Pirate Ship. I personally (from what I can remember) enjoyed Coco Bongo a lot more than the Pirate Ship BUT I can see why people, especially those in groups or with families would enjoy the Pirate Ship party.

Day 4

Well……Day 4, if anything like me after Coco Bongo you will spend most of your morning like this…..

Honestly It Was A Rough Morning 

So what would I suggest you do on day 4? Well considering you will be travelling home on Day 7, you only really have 2 more days after this to get things done & you want at least 1 more day by the pool, beach or maybe some spa treatments at the hotel of course! Well, day 4 could be that day for you OR you could spend the day and evening at Xcaret!

Xcaret, my favourite place in Mexico! You can do anything, from swim the lazy river, see the animals, snorkel, swim with dolphins, swim with sting rays (we did this its AMAZING!) or just chill by the beach. There is so much to do here you definately need a full day. We did the lazy river, swam with sting rays AND the adrenaline boat (and didn’t stay for the evening) – there is a lot of things I regret that we didn’t do, so check out some pics and below I will give you the low down on things to do!

Ok, my top tips for Xcaret:

  1. Bring a waterproof camera OR pay the extra to have photo’s taken on your way round (we did this with x-plor). Almost all of the day is based around water, so if like us you don’t have a waterproof camera you wont get many snaps!
  2. Plan your day, dont just jump into the first thing – figure out what you want to do and what you need to be wearing for that activity (pretty much swimwear the whole day)
  3. Take extra cash with you for extra fun activities, not everything is included in the price
  4. Drink plenty and make sure you eat

So we didn’t stay for the evening entertainment, but I have heard it is really good and that we really missed out – but we had such a great day we just wanted to get back to the hotel and have a relaxed evening at the hotel bar and eat some yummy food in the a la carte restaurants on site.

Day 5

Another busy fun day, but today is X-Plor, Xcaret’s zip liner cousin! This was Matt’s request and I was apprehensive as I am not keen on zip lines BUT we had a great day AND paid the extra for a camera pass all the way round. The only thing we didn’t do was be prepared with clothing – basically you will get wet, but I wouldn’t say swim wear all the time – but the choice is yours – just know that when your queuing be happy that you will get wet in what you are wearing…..

A great day out and you really get to see some amazing sites on those zip lines!

Day 6 

A perfect day to top up that fantastic tan you will have got and just relax, maybe head back into Playa Del Carmen to get some more souvenirs. I cant remember our last day before we checked out and headed home, but I can remember our last meal and it was gorgeous! We were so spoilt at Akumal Bay Hotel, but it was a beautiful holiday and I would recommend that hotel to anyone!

Make Day 6 a day to remember, because tomorrow you will be travelling home!

There is so much to do in Mexico and the trip opportunities are endless, but this is just based on what we got up to. We were there for 2 weeks, so were lucky to spend our time on the beach as well as keeping busy, at the end of the day a holiday is yours to do what you will with, but 1 thing I would suggest is do what you can while you are there. There is never a guarantee you will return, so dont leave wishing you had done something!

Love

Emma xx

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Mexico In England

Every year my parents hold a summer party and of course it has a theme and this year was a Mexican Fiesta! We had a fantastic evening with our family and close friends, although it wasn’t the warmest summer evening, it was dry and the garden was full of love and laughter!

Here are just some of the pictures I took……roll on next year!

Beautiful Green!

First thing I said to Matt as we flew through the clouds preparing to land in Cancun was ‘I can’t believe how green it is! Its like a jungle down there!’ which is crazy as there are jungles in Mexico…..but I didn’t know that! Yes, because I am that blonde!

When we were sat in Gatwick Airport waiting to be called to board our flight and Matt was showing me pictures and I recalled something on Pinterest that I had pinned about an Ecological Theme Park and said to Matt that if we are close by that is definitely something I want to do, so when we passed all the signs on the transfer to our hotel, I couldn’t wait for the welcome meeting the following morning! We booked to go to Xcaret (for me!) and Xplor (for Matt!) on our 2nd week, to give us time to relax before doing some active trips! I was so excited to go to Xcaret but was just as nervous to be going to Xplor, but we had a great time at both and I just wanted to share my experiences with you!

Xcaret

We had plus tickets, which meant that all equipment that we needed (life jackets, fins, snorkels, bags & lockers) which is great because rental adds up really quickly! When we got on the minibus to take us to the park we were handed a map which also had added extra experiences that you can do whilst you are there, straightaway Matt & I decided we were going to do the sea trek then changed our mind and decided to the stingray sea trek as its something we would never get the chance to do, Matt then piped up that he wanted to do the adrenaline boat too which I thought sounded a bit out of my comfort zone but agreed to do it as I thought it would just go fast and we would get a bit wet!

Once we had booked in our times for our added extras and I wasted no time telling Matt that we had to do the lazy river before anything else and that I had to see the Flamingos! It took us about 45 minutes to go through the lazy river and it was lovely to just flow along through the caves and see bits of the park. We decided to kill some time after that and take a stroll round the park before seeing the stingrays!


Looking back I wish we had signed up for the photo package, where they have camera’s around the park and you can get all of them for a fixed price, but we just didnt have the money. If we had we would have got some cracking pictures from our stingray adventure, but this video showing you about our experience will just have to do!

We were in the water a lot longer than we anticipated, but it was well worth the time in there, the rays are such beautiful creatures. They are beautifully soft on their underside, but feel just like coarse sand on the top of their body, the glide through the water so gracefully it was lovely to spend the time in the water with them!

We headed over to the other side of the park, stopping for nachos and cheese on the way, to get on the Adrenaline Boat, it was right next to the Dolphins and we were a bit early, so took some time to watch them. I was a bit sad as they looked to be in really small enclosures, but they seemed well looked after which is great! However, my attention was taken else where when I saw a group of people coming off the boat drenched and Matt said – look how much water is in that boat! My heart sank and I knew it wasn’t just going to be a fast boat ride with a few turns……

We donned our life jackets and headed into the boat, we were the only English speaking people on the boat too but both our ‘captains’ were great and made sure we fully understood everything. However, no matter how much they told us what would happen nothing could prepare me for the amount of water I would get covered in and much I was glad I did something so out of my comfort zone and actually ended up enjoying it…..check it out on this video!



Xplor

Xplor was a day to satisfy Matt’s thrill seeking side to his personality and we certainly did that! It was sold to me that it would be a bit like Go Ape, so plenty of zip wires to go through but there was also rafts, more lazy rivers and amphibious vehicles! As we didnt have a waterproof camera, we decided that we would get a photo pass so that we can pictures along the way and it was so worth it! 

As you can see we got wet, we decided we were going to do a zip wire first but we were already in the queue to go when we saw a sigh saying that you get COMPLETELY wet on both routes. So we thought, sod it we will just get wet and we surely did! 



Once we were soaked through, we decided in a bid to dry off a bit more we would do the amphibious vehicles, we did 2 trips on these and they were great fun, there was much water though, but we went through caves and over some rickety bridges!


Matt had heard about some zip wire hammocks that he wanted to try & I am glad we did as there was no queue and we had loads of goes & I think that was my favourite part of the park! 


For those of you that don’t know Matt, he is an avid Kayaker and will often go out in the summer at our local beach for hours with his friends so when he said we should have a go on the rafts, I knew he would love it! I on the other hand, hate going in the Kayak so knew I made the right choice when we got seperate rafts rather than a joint one, however, I did not take into account my lack of co-ordination, so its safe to say I didnt not enjoy the rafts especially when mine kept going side ways!


Over all we had a great 2 times in Xplor and Xcaret and would highly recommend either of them to anyone that was thinking about booking when they are on holiday in Mexico! 


I hope you all enjoyed reading! 

Love 

Emma xxx

M-E-X-I-C-O BABY!

As you all know Matt & I went on holiday in January, Matt had told me that we were going to tenerife, but as I mentioned in an earlier blog I didn’t quite believe him. I honestly thought we were going to Cuba again, but if you have been following my Instagram you will know that we ended up in the beautiful country of Mexico!

I didn’t find out until we got to the airport and the lovely lady at the Thomas Cook check in desk asked Matt where we were headed and he simply replied with a smile on his face ‘Mexico’. I was shocked and surprised and happy all at the same time and think I said something along the lines of ‘Oh my god?! Really?!’ shortly followed by about several thousand kisses! We had breakfast and after some shopping in duty free, Matt showed me where we were staying and his printed off bit of paper of the trips we could do, I was so excited and couldn’t wait to board the plane! We had booked premium seats and even though we didn’t get much special treatment at the airports the spacious seats, unlimited food, drink & movies was worth it.

Now, I am not going to bore you all with every single second of our holiday as I know its not fascinating for everyone, but in this blog post, I am going to tell you about where we stayed & about a couple of the trips we did. I have saved for a future post about the theme parks you can visit that are near Playa Del Carmen!

Where Did We Stay?

We were about 40 mins away from Playa Del Carmen, in a little town called Akumal. The hotel we stayed in is called Akumal Bay, it is a smaller resort than some with just over 300 rooms which means that you get to know (should you wish to) the staff and other holiday makers really well and we often find that this makes your holiday great fun! We were in the 3rd block on the 2nd floor and I was amazed to see that we had a lovely king size bed AND a Jacuzzi on our balcony, but the best bit is that EVERY ROOM and I mean EVERY ROOM has a sea view. All 4 hotel blocks are sea facing, so you can wake up to sunrise on the beach and sleep with your balcony door open to hear the sea all night, which we did on a few occasions and it really is relaxing.

Who Wouldn’t Want To Wake Up To This View

The Apartment Blocks

Our Room

So what do you get on the resort? Well there is 4 a la carte restaurants, as well as a sushi bar, snack bar and buffet resturant. Unlike any other All Inclusive resorts I have been to, the a la carte restaurants arent restricted, so you can go every night if you want to, only thing is its first come, first serve, you cant reserve a table. Which isn’t too much of an issue, our favourite though was the Gourmet Restaurant, the food was devine and the service was top notch, here are some of our favourite dishes!

Duck Starter

Chicken Main

Steak Main
Pesto Rice Starter

Our 2 Lovely Waiters, Aaron & Jesus!

I know we are massive foodies, but as well as all the food and alcohol you could ever need, there is about 3 or 4 pools to choose from as well as the most gorgeous white sandy beach just 2 minutes walk from every room. Its paradise! We spent a couple of days by the main pool on the beautiful day beds…..

The Main Pool

Daytime View From Our Room
Now to the beach, we spent most of our relaxing time here. We were lucky enough to meet a really lovely couple from Canada, who were kind enough to save us 2 sun loungers every day and we had a giggle with them through half of our holiday be it adventuring out into the real Akumal, drinking, eating or even just watching the fish swimming around our legs. I would often sit on a sun lounger and just watch the turtles heads bopping up for air.
I love to swim so as soon as I realised I could get some snorkel gear on and head out and swim with the turtles there was no stopping me, it is amazing to think that you can just put your head under the water and see a completely different world, the coral its self is beautiful but the fish are just as a amazing – there are so many different varieties and colours just snorkeling to see them is incredible, but when you turn your head and see a sea turtle munching away on the sea grass it takes your breath away, every time. They don’t seem to be too bothered by people, but I made sure I kept my distance as I didn’t want to upset them, I am just gutted we didn’t have an under water camera as I think I would have caught some really good pictures! 
There was one day, where the pelican police force were out in big numbers in the ocean, but never seemed to be catching anything, late afternoon Matt and I decided to take a little paddle and there was a massive shoal of fish just swimming around, there was easily over 500 fish swimming around us and a few Angel Fish in the mix, I stood still for ages and 2 Angel Fish must have got confused and started nibbling on my leg. That was too much for me and I called it a day hahaha! 
Me Snorkelling

Gorgeous Akumal Beach

Cute Little Sand Sculputre

Watching For Turtles

My Man Getting Ready For Some Ocean Fun!

Pelican Police Force

Akumal Bay Beach!

We Had A Great Time

The Sun Is Setting On Akumal Beach

More Amazing Sand Sculptures!
Wow, I don’t think this blog will be able to cope with some day trips too! So I am just going to squeeze in a of recommendation of somewhere you have to visit in Akumal!

We heard about Turtle Bay through our lovely new friends Dave & Lynda, and we weren’t disappointed, we visited during happy hour and the food is a complete steal, let alone the drinks! If you are a big sports fan, they have TVs which always have the sport on too, so a great spot to go to catch some football, be it English or American haha!

Matt Couldn’t Pass The Chance Of A Corona Or 2!

Yummy BBQ Chicken Pizza

Best Onion Rings!

Coconut Shrimp Taco’s

Shredded Beef Nachos!

Well I hope you enjoyed my first blog about our recent adventure to Mexico! There will be 3 more coming over the next few Thursdays, so keep your eyes peeled!

Love

Emma xxxx