February 19th, 2020

Your Travels: An escape from the cold to the wonders of the Riviera Maya

By Medicine Hat News on March 16, 2019.

Photo by Ernest Fode
The Chichen Itza tour included a visit and swim in the crystal clear waters of the Cenote Maya (Mayan sinkhole).

Ernest Fode

I flew out of the Calgary International Airport at the start of our recent bitterly cold February coldspell. The timing on my getaway was perfect.

My WestJet flight was on its way to Cancun, Mexico. I was on a seven-day all-inclusive Mexican Riviera Maya vacation staying at a four-star resort in Playa Del Carmen.

Cancun, one of the world’s most sought-after vacation destinations by more than two million visitors per year, had its beginnings in 1970 from a sparsely fishing village located only minutes away from the many Mayan archaeological sites.

My family-friendly beachfront resort, 65 kilometres south of the Cancun Airport, offered amazing views of the turquoise coloured Caribbean Sea and was nestled between an incredible stretch of pristine white sand beaches.

The highlight of my visit was a day tour to the Chichen Itza archaeological site which is considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

This full-day guided tour included a stop at a Mayan Museum store, archaeological site tickets, a traditional Mexican cuisine buffet, a visit and swim in a crystal clear Mayan sinkhole (called a cenote in Spanish which means cave).

At the end of the tour we made a brief stop at the colonial town of Valladolid (founded in 1543) for shopping and sightseeing. The locals, according to an old folk legend, named Valladolid their magical town “Pueblo Magico,” where your dreams come true.

The Chichen Itza trip I am told is considered one of the top tours in the Riviera Maya region.

The bustling Fifth Avenue shopping strip, only a few blocks from my resort, stretches for many kilometres along the Playa Del Carmen beachfront. Here one can find souvenir stores, international brand shops, restaurants and nightclubs.

My days were occupied by poolside pina coladas, walking the white sandy beaches, enjoying the beauty of the Caribbean Sea coastline and speaking with fellow international tourists from Belgium, South America and Japan.

The Mexican Caribbean with its magical ancient Mayan culture is definitely worth a visit.

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