Tara and I just got back from a week in Mexico. We were at the southern tip of the Mayan Rivera , staying at the Grand Bahia Principe resort.
The resort was amazing. The facilities were clean, the food was really good and the staff were aways helpful and friendly. The beach was varied from smooth sand to crunchy coral bits. There was a coral reef not 30 meters from the shore. I would not hesitate the recommend the resort to anyone.
The resort is made up of three mini resorts. We stayed in the one called Coba. It seemed to be the nicest one, but it's also the one furthest from the beach. No worries, they had little carts heading to the beach every ten minutes, right outside our room.
There were iguanas everywhere. You couldn't walk a couple of minutes without spotting one (from 9am to 6pm at least). They weren't tame at all and most would take off if you even looked at them funny. Iguanas are a protected species in Mexico so they can't be killed (and eaten). And I suspect that they help keep the bugs down.
We mainly just sat on the beach or by a pool, swam in the water, and ate. We both polished off a few books and magazines. Tara even got through a few journal articles. It was very relaxing.
We did take a couple of day trips. The first trip was a package deal: they took us to the Coba Mayan ruins. It boasts the tallest Mayan pyramid in the Yucatán peninsula (which is also one of the few remaining pyramids that you can still climb up, which we did). After Coba, we visited a Mayan village where we were shown how the Mayans live (and also how to make tortillas - I think we'll try that on our BBQ). We ate at a mexican restaurant (best pork I had the entire trip) and then stopped at a cenote, which is a flooded sinkhole, for a dip. It was a really fun trip.
The next day we headed out on our own for the morning. We hit the Tulum ruins early, before any of the bus tours were showed up and we got a few good shots. The Iguanas there were also much friendlier (sensitized to us humans). Tara got a couple good macro shots of the lizards. After the ruins we hit the public beach in the city of Tulum. The beach there was awesome, it just stretched out forever and the sand was the finest I've ever seen.
There is more I could write about, but I've gone on long enough as it is, so here is the highlights:
- We attended the wedding of one of Tara's lab-mates. It was just coincidence that we booked our vacation for the same week that Meghan and Chris booked their wedding at the same resort. The wedding was very nice.
- We got up early one morning to see if we could see any sea turtles laying eggs, but it was too clouds for them to come (they follow the light of the moon, or so we were told). They had been then earlier in the week though - their egg sites are roped off.
- I went snorkeling for the first time. The first day was hard; I kept trying to breath through my nose and scratch my eyes. I was also a little panicky (the ocean is a scary place!). The second day was better.
- Tara got her hair all braided and likes it so much she is thinking about keeping it.
We had a really really good time. It was a much needed break for Tara (and me too, but I did have a week off earlier in May).
Photos are coming. Check back here over the next couple of days or watch my flickr page for updates.
Oh ya, and Tara really did get bit by a fish, but that's another story.