When you’ve got a travel bucket list longer than your arm, the picking-where-to-go-next struggle is real (but the nicest dilemma to have ever though, right?). Eventually, after a couple of weeks of debate with my boyfriend, Mexico came out as the winner – and it might be one of the best decisions we’ve made this year.
Reunited with the ever exquisite Caribbean coast, we flew into Cancun over a surprisingly leafy landscape. Nestled between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, the beautiful Bahia Principe resort we stayed in was so huge, we could of happily chilled out there for the whole ten days… but Mexico is such an exciting place that you just want to explore straight away.
A few days in and we’d snorkelled for hours with the fishes at Xel-Ha, an amazing ecological park. We’d made like the Mayans at Chichén Itzá (the clapping trick does work). We also climbed an enormous limestone temple in the ancient city of Coba. FYI, doing it in sandals and a dress isn’t wise…
As we travelled around, we saw the candy-coloured streets of towns like Valladolid and met locals in rural villages hidden in the forests. And of course, sampled the tequila – salud! But of all the Yucatan peninsula’s treasures, the cenotes were my favourite. A cenote is a collapsed cave and there’s around 6,000 of them in Mexico, but less than half have been explored. One of the mysterious (and seemingly bottomless) pools of fresh water we swam in had a hole in the roof where groups of birds circled and sang and sunlight streamed in like some vision of paradise, connecting the worlds below and above the Earth’s surface. We were blessed at one cenote by a local healer, adding to the already super lucky feeling after seeing such an amazing natural wonder.
Mexico is not the kind of place you go to get away from life, instead it’s a place that makes you feel alive. From its food to its music, everything about it is vibrant, exciting, energetic and passionate – just as life should be. But my favourite part of the whole trip was meeting such kind, funny and warm people who treat you like family.
My Spanish might not be muy bien just yet… but that’s a good excuse for me to come back. Oh, and for more food, fun and familia. In fact, it’s such a beautiful and bold country that I’m pretty sure you could happily spend a few months there and still be excited by it every single day – I really hope I get to one day.
Basically, you gotta go to Mexico.