Written by Joy Yin (Classic Travel Intern, Summer 2014).
My seven-day vacation in Cancun with my roommate during winter break is one of the most unforgettable vacations ever in my life. Everything that I can think of to make a vacation perfect, Cancun has it. There are amazing beaches, delicious food, and tons of activities to take part in. It is no doubt a paradise on earth. It was our first time to Cancun. We chose to stay at an all-inclusive hotel for most of the time and spent two days away joining the local tour packages.
The all-inclusive hotel we stayed at was Me Cancun. Choosing the right hotel for your vacation is most important because that’s where you spend most of your time during vacation. You want to make sure you are getting a good value for the money, comfort, and the amenities you expect to maximize relaxation. If you want a luxury and fun experience in Cancun, I highly recommend this hotel. It is excellent! Not to mention the amazing beach view, the decoration of the whole hotel is so stylish and art-inspired that appeals to young people. The staff there could not have been any more accommodating. When we were chilling on the beach or by the pool, we never really waited for a drink. The staff always checked on us and brought drinks. The pools has tons of seating. No rush to get seats because there are beds, chairs, and pool beds everywhere. The thing that most surprised us was the food. The hotel has five restaurants, varying from Mediterranean, Japanese, South American to Mexican style. We could not possibly complain about any of their food, especially the breakfast buffet with huge selection of fresh tropical fruits, the best buffet ever.
We joined two local tour packages, one day to Xplor Park and the other day to Chichen Itza. Xplor is an adventure park where you can enjoy four incredible activities: zip-lines, amphibious vehicles, rafts, and swimming in the underground river. Both my roommate and I loved Xplor very much because it was way more fun than we expected! The highlight was the zip-line. There are 13 zip-lines and 2.2 miles in total with maximum height of 45m and refreshing water landings in natural sinkholes. This was the first time for me to go zip-lining. To ensure safety, the staff equips you with a helmet and harness and teaches you how to pose during the zip-line. I was scared when standing on the platform getting ready for my first zip-line. After being pushed off from the platform, I zipped along the cable to another platform. It felt really good! It gave me a bird’s-eye view of the forest and showed me scenery that can’t be viewed from the ground. I saw a beautiful leopard sleeping when zip-lining. The zip-line can also take two people at most at a time. My roommate and I went zip-lining together after we got familiar with it and it was a lot more fun as we can share feelings with each other while in the air. We were exhausted after finishing all of the zip-lines because a lot of walking and hiking was needed to reach each platform. Unlimited buffet lunch is available there. It was delicious! Be sure to bring water shoes or you may have a hard time walking around. Both of us wore flip flops, which we had to hold in hands when doing zip-lines.
If you travel to Mexico, don’t miss out on the chance to see Chichen Itza. This is an ancient historical site of Mexico’s Mayan people and a must see. This is a whole day tour starting 8 am and ending around 8 pm, but well worth the time. There are well preserved Mayan ruins, of which the Kukulkan Pyramid is the most famous site. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The pyramid has 7 tiers, a staircase with 91 steps on each side making a total of 364 steps, with the chamber platform that equals 365, one for each day of the year. The thing that really made this pyramid special to me is its magic sound! If you clap your hands at the base in front of the pyramid it echoes back an incredible bird’s sound! It took a while for us to find the right spot to get the effect of the sound. The tour guide told us that the sound is very similar to the nearly extinct Quetzl bird that is sacred to the Mayans. It seems like a messenger from the God! It was definitely a lifetime experience!
After visiting Chichen Itza, we went to Ik Kil cenote, another destination of our tour. It truly is a gorgeous piece of nature! Around the cenote, there are waterfalls and the lush green vegetation hanging all the way down to the water. It is about 130 feet deep and 85 feet from the surface. A lot of people dived into water and swam in the cenote. Unfortunately both my roommate and I didn’t bring swimming suits and towels. Anyway, just looking at the beautiful vines and the swallows and enjoying the amazing view of the whole cenote was a treat for us. We took steps down to the diving platform to feel the amazing atmosphere under the surface.
Another place in Cancun I highly recommend is a very small outside restaurant – Surfin Burrito. It has excellent burritos and drinks with reasonable prices! It’s pretty small. Only a few tables are available and crowded. We found this place when we walked around nearby our hotel. You can decide what you want in your burritos by filling out a form. The ingredients, especially the shrimps, were so fresh and delicious! We also ordered coco locos which were fresh coconut water mixed with rum. They were huge-sized and tasted so good! If we get the chance to come to Cancun next time, we will definitely hit this place again!
Our only regret of this trip is booking just 6 nights. We wish we could stay longer to spend Christmas in Cancun but the cost of changing flight and hotel dates was more than our total costs of the vacation. Anyway, we had a wonderful vacation with so many memorable moments. Looking forward to my next tropical adventure!