Spring Break is in full force! AND Semana Santa! We can tell by the massive influx of people that have showed up recently. We forgot to forecast these couple weeks before we came down. I’m not one for big crowds, so it’s a bit anxiety-inducing but it also makes for some fantastic people watching so we can’t complain too much.
We hopped on the colectivo again earlier this week and headed back down south to check out some cenotes! There’s something really spiritual and kind of magical about cenotes. There’s a lot Mayan folklore and history that surrounds them. They are said to be doors or openings to the underworld and viewed (were viewed) as really sacred places. Apparently there were even sacrifices in them to appease the gods. Pretty crazy.
But of course now they are a place for locals and tourists to hang out and take a dip in the fresh water that’s way colder than the ocean. We headed to a place called Cenote Azul about 25 miles south from Playa del Carmen. Since it’s Spring Break it was a bit crowded -even by the time we showed up which was only around 11am. The water is INSANELY clear and filled with all kinds of fish. There’s a couple areas to jump off cliffs or even just sit in the shallower parts.
Kile and I love cliff diving so we did a couple jumps – it’s not terribly high (although, higher than you think once you get up there.) Kile, unfortunately, held his nose while jumping and ended up jamming his thumb in his eye which caused his contact to fall out. The poor guy had to go half blind for the rest of the day but he toughed it out so we didn’t have to go home. What a trooper.
I always worry about places like this though – just the fear that people are ruining them. There are signs everywhere about only using sunblock with natural ingredients but there’s no one enforcing it. Not to mention just the sheer amount of people that visit every day – we had to get out of there as the day went on. It started to get uncomfortably crowded.
So we hopped back on the colectivo to head a bit more south to a beach called Akumal. We initially decided to do this because if we wanted to return north to Playa, we would have had to run across the freeway to catch the northbound colectivos and we weren’t really having that. So Akumal it was!
It’s just a short ride from Cenote Azul (maybe 10 minutes tops) and there’s a pedestrian bridge that allows you walk over the freeway to access the road that leads to the beach. Akumal was absolutely GORGEOUS. The water here was similar to Tulum – just crystal clear with those stereotypical tropical colors. But again – very busy due to the holiday.
This week – since it was a bit crazier than normal – we decided to get in on the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” mentality and went downtown to party it up a bit. We found a place that does 2 for 1 martinis – ultimately, never a good idea, but hey! It was a reason to get a little dolled up and head out on the town.
And of course – more delicious food. There’s a place off of 5th Avenue but a bit north (on 40th) that is super popular among the locals and slowly growing into a fave tourist spot as well. It’s called El Pirata and they’re known for fresh seafood that’s to die for. We splurged and decided to go for a giant whole fried fish – apparently it was a dog snapper which has some gnarly looking teeth! They definitely lived up to their reputation – very delicious and super fresh! We also shared a table with an American couple so it was nice to have a conversation with people without feeling like a small child – like we do when we attempt Spanish.
The weather this week has been nothing short of perfection. We try and get out to the beach every morning for a bit to beat the crowds. We’ve also started to track how many miles we walk – it’s something like almost 30 miles a week! Crazy!
No big plans for this coming week – just enjoying the sunshine and the people watching. No complaints over here.
Some other tidbits:
- No matter how long we’re here – we realize we’ll never get “locals price” on anything.
- ALWAYS have pesos – the exchange for the dollar at restaurants is ridiculous. We didn’t come down with any American cash thankfully.
- Not a fan of the traditional Mexican music that’s super popular to blast in our neighborhood. The horns and the bass are enough to drive us insane.
- Kile hasn’t stepped in dog poo in over 2 weeks now! Yay!
Until next week! Adios!