Sun, Sand and the Yucatan

Apr 28th, 2015, 10:24 AM
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 172
Sun, Sand and the Yucatan

When you wake up to a view of the turquoise beaches you can't go wrong, but it just kept getting better and better during our getaway to the soft white sandy shores of Cancun. I am sure that part of what made it so dreamy was the exceptional accommodations at Secrets the Vine. Excellent service, delicious food and beautiful grounds and resort. This place was a cut above most all inclusives. I will add however that we did not stay right in the crazy part of Cancun, but about 10 min south.

We arrived in the early evening and were greeted with a cool fragranced towel to freshen up with as well as a nice cool drink. Check in was quick and efficient, and because of a little research we were able to side step the dreaded timeshare hook. After getting settled and taking in the lay of the resort we enjoyed a delicious meal at the Blue Water Grill, one of the onsite restaurants, then retired to our gorgeous modern room.

Our first full day we woke leisurely and after breakfast at the scrumptious buffet spent the first half of the day on the beach and in the perfect temp ocean relaxing and soaking up the sun. After some lunch at the resort we drove (we had a rental car the whole trip, very inexpensive and IMO worth it) about 30 min to do a 12 zip line course at Selvatica. It was a blast and the people running the place were so much fun. When we finished the course which took a little over and hour they took us to a cenote, where we were able to zipline into the water, it was very refreshing and a lot of fun as well. We returned to the resort in the late afternoon and just relaxed in the jacuzzi and watched the sunset. After getting cleaned up for dinner we headed to another of the delicious on site eateries. This time we tried Dragons, very good as well but of all we tried probably not quite as good as the others, nevertheless still a cut above the common all inclusive. We ended the evening watching the in resort entertainment which was a cirque act, enjoyable, then retired to our room with the windows open and the ocean breezes flowing into our room.

The next morning was spent quite the same as the previous with breakfast and hours in the waves and on the beach. We lunched on the patio at the Sea Salt Grill then headed out to explore. We decided we would take the ferry to Isle Mujeras so drove about 20 min through Cancun to the area called Puerto Juarez, driving through Cancun can be a little crazy and should be reserved for the more adventurous, we were fine but some may not enjoy all of the crazy traffic and people stepping out in front of vehicles that are moving at speeds of 45 and above. We purchased our tickets for the ferry (about $7 a piece) then waited maybe 10 min for the next ferry to arrive. We sat on the top deck and loved the ride over with the wind in our hair and ocean views. The ride takes approx 15 min and there was even onboard entertainment in the form of a guy, his guitar and amp, and some Mexican mixed with American tunes. Once on the island we rented a golf cart (approx $35) and drove around the exterior of the island, it was interesting seeing the different areas which ranged from fairly nice beach houses to very poor areas. After the hour or so it took to see the island we found a beach that was full of locals and just relaxed and listened to yet another guy with his rendition of American songs. He had a great voice and played beautifully but we couldn't help but chuckle at his translation of some of the lyrics. We left at sunset which was nice view for the ride back. On returning to the resort we decided we wanted to relax and stay in for dinner and call it an early night so we ordered room service and ate it on the balcony.

We rose early, about 6 am, and had breakfast, once again on the patio, room service. We got ready and were out the door and on the road by just after 7 so we could make it to Chichen Itza before all of the crowds. We arrived about 9:30 and were able to spend about two hours taking in this amazing historic site. I was not a fan of the amount of vendors that they allow at the site and was glad we had arrived early to avoid some of this. We grabbed lunch at the restaurant there, which was actually decent, then left to drive to the ruins at Coba. This part of the drive was very interesting as it took us through many small towns and we got to see a very different side of the area, some a little sad. The drive from Chichen Itza was about an hour and a half so we arrived in Coba about 1:30. The ruins here are very different as they have not been excavated as much. I throughly enjoyed the feel of the ruins at Coba, we rented bikes to see the area which I would highly recommend otherwise you spend most of your time walking with not much to see. We rode to the biggest temple and what is great about Coba is, unlike Chichen Itza, they still allow you to climb the temple. The climb is not that hard and the view is breathtaking. We then headed about another 40 min drive to our last stop on our day touring the ruins to Tulum. We arrive about 3, and had time to see this beautiful city on the sea. We also spent some time down at the beach just below the ruins, it was nice but not near what I had thought from what I had read. Many people raved about the beach at the ruins of Tulum... nice but nothing special. What is special however is the spectacular city of Tulum and how it is situated right on the cliff. Worth a visit for sure. They do close the beach and start to usher visitors out around 4:30. Once again I would only recommend heading out to see the ruins on your own( especially three in a row) if you are adventurous good with directions and honestly have at least a rudimentary grasp on the language. We finished our drive which was about an hour back to the resort and hopped right back in the Jacuzzi to watch the sunset. Our final evening we ate at another delicious place at the resort called Nebbiolo which was wonderful Italian food! We topped the night off with a romantic night stroll on the beach, perfect! Then then headed up to our room to enjoy our last night patio open with the sea air and sounds of the waves mixed some beautiful music floating up from below.

Woke to the last day of views from out room which was ocean in both directions, had some more room service on the balcony and got ready to leave for the airport, would have stayed longer this day and loved it but unfortunately had to get back to our kids and reality.We left feeling relaxed, refreshed and with some great memories of the Yucatan and its beauty.
Brenkjtravel is offline  
May 7th, 2015, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,264
Really enjoyed your TR. I'm next door to Secerts at the Ritz. I too am listening to the Sea through my balcony. Though I have read some people avoid cancun, I personally love this city and consider it my home away from home.
Mamaw is offline  
Sep 1st, 2016, 01:52 PM
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Dying to go back this winter when it's cold!!!
Brenkjtravel is offline  
Oct 6th, 2016, 04:39 PM
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Brenkjtravel, Do that! You make me want to go too!
Sassafrass is online now  
Oct 6th, 2016, 05:02 PM
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Posts: 497
Sooo refreshing to read about accurate and positive happenings in Cancun rather than the regular inaccurate misconceptions from all the wannabes who say they love Mexico...I would like to invite all you Cancun bashers to have a good read here... not to try to change your mind but simply
try to have you realize that you are in the minority, wether you have been or not !
Thank you Brenkjtravel...
Rohelio is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 12:32 AM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,419
Minority of what?
Many travelers simply don't like purpose built resorts (in Cancun or elsewhere) and see the main point of travel as spending time around locals, exploring their culture more intimately, rather than other foreign tourists.
YMMV but no need to bash us.
SambaChula is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 03:43 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 497
Obviously, many do, as proven here above... in fact so much so, that Cancun is very much sought after... You do not have to go if you dislike the area, I know that we rarely go, but I for one, tend to separate myself from people who enjoy pitting it down.
Rohelio is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 04:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,630
This trip report also proves, that contrary to what many believe, you are not "held prisoner" at an all inclusive resort. You are free to explore and get to know the locals and the culture.
schmerl is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 497
So very true schmerl...
Rohelio is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,419
The trip report describes the OP's experience quite well. The OP sounds as if he had a good time on his terms.

Turning this thread into an "I told you so" about the pros of Cancun resorts is NOT necessary, and is OFF_TOPIC really.

Certainly there is room in the Yucatan for people who like staying in an all-inclusive resort of whatever star level, those who like independent travel and staying in local posadas to see the sights, and those who wish to combine some of both.
The thinking of those in the resort preference group about what constitutes a vacation may not be close to that of the independent group.
For some, it is a matter of cost; a 500 peso posada vs. a more expensive resort room; travel or stay home. For some, it is a matter of whom you prefer to spend the majority of your time with, locals or others similar to yourself.
And although you may not be "held prisoner" at an all inclusive, it takes a bit more effort and planning to get out and see the sights on your own. Not everyone is capable or indeed desirous of doing this.

We've got enough contention (in the US) with the H&D show. No more needed here thanks.
SambaChula is offline  
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