Cancun or Playa del Carmen, Mexico
This trip is really very very cool and I am SO glad that we decided to do the day long trip instead of trying to fit it in with Tulum. There's no way we would have had enough time- in fact we still felt rushed being at Xel-Ha for just one day. Tubing through the mangroves is incredible and the best part (other than the free beer taps placed throughout the park)! I love the all inclusive aspect of the park and the fast food restaurant is delicious!! The jungle path is really cool, too, with coatis everywhere. We grabbed a handful of fish food and even got a coati to eat it right out of my hand! The snorkeling is only so-so, but the park is so big and beautiful. My one regret is that I didn't do the zip line. I've done zip lining in the past and was not impressed with their little zip lines, but at the end of the day when you look through all the pictures they took throughout the day, those were fantastic pictures and I really wish I had one! Save money to purchase the pics they take because they really are beautiful and only $13 each. Also, BUY AND USE THE BUG REPELLANT! I was eaten alive and didn't realize it until that evening when I was miserable. Overall, very fun excursion!
I'm a history teacher and could not wait for this trip and it was just wonderful. We began by having the best tour guide I have ever had. Now I've heard of other guides who lead this excursion and know that our guide was very very special. His name is Ruben and meeting him was a highlight of our entire trip to Cancun. Being a teacher, I have a lot of background knowledge about the Mayan culture, but he still taught me many things I didn't know and just had the neatest demeanor. He really was fantastic and if there's a way to request him specially, DO IT! He made the 2 hour drive inland seem only minutes, and we had soon arrived at the Cenote. It was incredible, absolutely magical. It is literally a giant cave filled with water where you can swim. Or you can also just dip in your feet which is what I did and greatly enjoyed. Then you are taken to a Mayan Village which is just a tourist trap. DO NOT BUY ANYTHING! It is not hand made- you'll see the exact same items at Chichen Itza where things are one tenth the cost. I worked in a Mexican Import store for years and am very familiar with most of those items and can assure you that they're imported. The lunch at the Mayan Village is OK, but too much time is spent there. The highlight, of course, is Chichen Itza itself. I was blown away. A quick tip- ditch the "tour guide" and explore on your own. There is definitely not enough time there, but it is a great trip!
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