Mexico Recap: 11 Days | 3 Excursions | 1400 Photos

Photos of Cancun Mexico

This was my sister and I’s second stop so far on our list of very many trips, and this one definitely beat L.A. An 11 DAY, all inclusive trip to Mexico was honestly shocking, the quality of the hotel, the people, and of course the photos. 😉

The days leading up to the trip were a bit weird, we were both in disbelief that it was happening. My sister and I consider ourselves to be busier than the average person, so up until that day we had been doing tons of unrelated trip things. That disbelief carried all the way until we saw the Jungles of Mexico as we were flying in that morning. As we rushed to the customs line bobbing and weaving past people to get ahead in line and as we skipped down the escalator we were met with a sea of people. Shoutout to the Mexico’s Customs officers, this one officer was stamping passports and forms lightning fast! 

If you watch a Cancún trip video on YouTube they’ll tell you about the do’s and don’ts, and what to expect. They were dead on… As soon as you exit customs any and everybody will start calling you like their your best friend, selling rental cars or trying to get you in a taxi. We eventually got singled out like the tourists we were by a [TAXI company] and they set us up with a “deal” for a ride to and from the airport. With the ride settled and bags loaded we enjoyed our little mini tour through Cancún and a quick peak at city life. But as we got closer to the Resort, we realized the city feel was dissipating. We bought our tickets earlier in the year from LivingSocial without realizing exactly where the resort was located in relation to downtown Cancún. Directly in the Jungle, along with a strip of other immaculate resorts, all with a different look and feel. Which is not bad but compared to the LA trip, the freedom to explore the city and what it has to offer was definitely limited. (Poor execution on our part 😅)

An all-inclusive, beach side hotel with 6 different restaurants and 5+ bars,2 Pools, Spa, Gym, crazy looking architecture and the best freakin staff. We walked into the lobby and were kind of blown away, the roof gardens, the smell of food, and all the glass(at least for me). You could see almost the entirety of the hotel as you entered the lobby. As soon as we got settled and crushed some food and drinks, we wanted to explore the place and see all the little areas to hang out. And that was like the 1st/2nd day just chilling and enjoying the hotel, we ended up trying all of the restaurants within 4 days. 😋 But we needed to figure out a way to get off property to actually explore, without running through the Jungle. And let me tell you it was a process…

Once we figured out the plan for the week and spent an extra $318 USD on excursions, we needed to make the most of the hotel before we were gone the next few days exploring Mexico. That meant Aqua Aerobics, Pool parties, hitting the gym, shopping, trying almost everything on the menus, and of course the beach. Here are some of those shots…

Excursion 1: Tulum + Yalku

First stop was the Mayan ruins about 2 and a half hours from where we were staying. We got our package from Cancún Adventures, and they blew us away with their knowledge and just the overall professionalism of the trip. Our guide for this trip was Nestor, and he showed us around the Maya temples and taught us all about Kukulcán. Unfortunately, we were told that “Professional Photo/Video Equipment” wasn’t allowed, which I would say at the time my gear was mid-tier at best. Let me just say drones were flying, tripods were out and there I was with an iPhone Camera. Overall though it was amazing to see and hear about all of the history of Tulum.

Yalku definitely made up for that, throughout the Jungles of Mexico there are Cenotes or underground caves that you can explore. So just a short van ride away we had the chance to swim and tour them, thankfully I was able to get my go pro in there and I got a bit of video!

Excursion 2: Isla Mujeres

Photos of Cancun Mexico

Next stop was Isla Mujeres, or the Island of Mujeres and it was so different than where we were staying. Basically it was just across the water from the hotel and the only way to get there was by boat, hence the island aspect. But it wasn’t just a trip to the island, it was snorkeling to see underwater statues, paddle boarding , sushi/drinks for lunch, then you had the island to explore, the trip on a Catamaran there and back. Just being on the ship was an experience, the crew was super friendly and coordinated. We haven’t been on many ships before so to see them shouting orders and doing shiply things was just fun to watch and experience.

The sea was a bit rough when we left but we both were strong swimmers so we weren’t really worried about it too much. They also had small support ships in case there was an actual emergency, at first we were fine it was kind of scary being in the open ocean but at the same time fun.( that’s the adrenaline) The ship left us to meet us about 500 yards away, so we just had the life vests goggles, flippers, and 2 guides in open waters and it was time to swim. Unfortunately my sister while super humanly strong and fit got a faulty pair of googles and trying to fix them while being smacked by waves didn’t make it any easier. The guide in the rear and I hung back to support, was getting a bit worried. The water was extremely hard to swim in, but we toughed it out and made it back to the ship, but I don’t think she saw the statues. But we do have a few pictures from Cancún Adventures!

So, we continued the trip to the island where we got to explore the shallow beach, visit some local shops, hit an outdoor gym, grab a few snacks and get some amazing pictures of course. This island was basically a miniature city and it had hotels, beach parties, and so much more. It was too large to walk with all the time we had but I’m sure we’ll definitely go back; it definitely gave off party island vibes. 

Towards the end of the day, we had our fill of food, and exploration for the day and the sun was setting. We rendezvoused with our guides and hung out chilled in the water until it was time to go and watched the sunset as we headed back to the hotel to get ready for a night of dancing and more fun. Here’s some more shots from that day!

Excursion 3: Chichén Itzá

Last but certainly not least the Chichén Itzá, “A pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people of the Terminal Classic period.” – Wiki To give you an idea of where we are at the eastern portion of Yucatán state, it’s the tip of the reverse j that the eastern side of Mexico makes on a map. Cancún adventures’ guides helped us understand the history of the Maya people, where they lived, and their lifestyle. They had us keep an eye out for all the feather serpents’ emblems and statues around the archaeological site as they were the signature of the feathered-serpent deity, Kukulcán. Another section of the site was the ball courts, and if you’ve seen the 2022 Black Panther movie they show a bit of the game being played in the underwater city! The guides explained the history/brutality of the game and that at some points there was a sacrificial modifier. Super historical day overall, they gave us a bit of time to explore the site as well and do some shopping with the locals. Before we knew it, it was time to head back for the long drive. Here are some shots from the day!

The end of our stay came way too fast, so much good food, amazing people, and memories to last a lifetime! For these kinds of stays it’s all about bracelets, 1 for the hotel(also the room key+ drinks and food), 1 for each excursion we went on. 😂 Check out Living Social for deals that may work for you! We even snuck on to another resort just to check it out, sounded like a party Isla Mujeres.

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