For Christmas 2016 my whole family had the opportunity to go to Mexico. Well… not my dad or grandpa because they both got sick. Also, yes, I am aware that makes this post way overdue. I guess I didn’t know how or what I wanted to focus this on. See, resorts are not really my thing. They’re convenient and probably make some people feel safer, but I am not a fan of them and I don’t think I ever will be. And as you can guess, we did stay in a resort (sarcastic thumbs up). I’m not even going to tell you which one because it’s not important. Instead I am going to focus my blog on the things I did outside of the resort – ending with seeing Mexico’s world wonder: Chichen Itza!
Our first trip away from the resort included myself, my two siblings, my four cousins, my mom and my uncle. We went searching for cenotes. Cenotes are natural water sinkholes that produce breathtaking, and rather cold, swimming pools. We went snorkeling in about two or three sinkholes. It’s actually easier than the ocean because there are no waves and the water is crystal clear here.
When we were done snorkeling, we got to ride across a zip-line overlooking the cenotes. I had never been zip-lining and it was as fun as I expected it to be. I remember we had an actual stick (from a tree) that we used to slow ourselves down as we approached the other side of the line. I wasn’t expecting that part, but it was still thrilling and actually safe.
Next, our guides took us to a small beach close by. This beach wasn’t crowed with tourists like our resort one and it also didn’t have the giant waves. We put back on our snorkeling gear and headed into the salt water to swim with turtles!
TIP: No matter what, don’t take your gear off at this point. Once you do, the saltwater will touch it and you will be forced to taste salt for a long time.
When that day excursion was done, I couldn’t wait to get back out and see more of Mexico. Luckily, on the last full day of the trip my mom accompanied me to see my second world wonder: Chichen Itza.
The two of us packed into a small van filled with other people from the resort. It was about an hour and a half ride to the site. Once we got there, we were escorted by a tour guide who gave us an overview of the pyramid. You used to be able to scale the pyramid but someone ruined that for all of us. The site also included columns, a ball court, the outlines of a steam bath and platforms.
If you walk down the site a ways you will be taken to a small cenote, unreachable from the high surrounding walls. This cenote marks the place where young maidens were drowned in order to please the gods.
After spending about two hours walking around the ruins with my mother, we got back into the van and were taken to a local restaurant that served us fresh tortillas.
The last part of our trip included another cenote (I mean we might as well see as many as we can since we don’t have them in Nebraska).
Ik Kil is completely surrounded by high walls but open to the sky. You must shower before entering the water and then you follow the carved stairway to the swimming platform. You can either use the stairs to enter the water or take my personal favorite, and jump off the cliff-like-platform.
Vines reach the water all the way from the sky opening and small waterfalls line the back of the cave. This was truly a spectacular place and it felt completely magical.
I didn’t get to see as much of Mexico as I would have liked but I still had a blast. I got to hang out with my family, swim in the ocean, see some sea animals, parasail and explore. I want to thank my grandma and grandpa for taking us on this trip. I can’t forget my mom who took three kids to Mexico alone and for, most importantly, coming on a day trip I so desperately wanted to take and for allowing me to always spread my wings.