When I vacationed in Cancun and Cozumel in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico I was enthralled by the rich culture, the amazing food, and of course, the wonderfully friendly people that greeted me.
Mexico, especially in Yucatan Peninsula, is like no other place I’ve ever been before. The turquoise blue, crystal clear water of the Mexican Caribbean is truly stunning and the many miles of soft white sand, dotted with tall tropical palm trees is a dream come true for anyone visiting.
I had a great time in Cancun. The beaches were breathtaking, the weather was perfect and the entertainment was top-class. There was always something to do, some friendly local to talk to, or some delicious local cuisine to be sampled! I was never bored. Between relaxing on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world (in my opinion!), exploring the surrounding small towns and attractions in my rented jeep, and immersing myself in the culture, I knew I had found a place that I could confidently say was my newfound favorite corner of the world.
During my time in Cancun, I drove away from the glitz of the hotel zone and got to really know the heart of the city. The city center area was very poor and run-down. I began to wonder ‘where all those tourist dollars going?’ I really enjoyed exploring the local areas and getting out of the hotel metropolis. I like to blend in and live like a local when I travel, as it gives me a more rounded and realistic representation of a culture and its people. I like to eat in local restaurants, talk to local people and get to know the culture, by getting to know the people who created it. And in Cancun, that’s exactly what I did, and I loved it!
Cozumel, an island off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, close to Playa del Carmen, was spectacular. It had the best of both worlds; quiet island life with sunbathing iguanas on deserted beaches and bustling tourist centers with a multitude of shops, restaurants and bars. I enjoyed exploring the island and sampling the local delicious food, especially the islands famous seafood (the fish tacos were amazing!). It was refreshing to take a break from the intense Mexican sun by relaxing with a cold drink under the shade of a palapa roof and simply watching the world go by…well at least the world that existed on this small island.
Above all else, it was the Mexican culture and the people that really captivated me. The culture is colorful and lively, and the nations pride is displayed for all visitors to see. Music, dancing, food, handmade crafts and art are everywhere, as a representation of their rich history and culture. The physical landscape of the Yucatan is also colorful and rich. Birds and flowers in every color imaginable, dot the landscape as far as the eye can see. Bright green fields and trees grow thick and lush under the Mexican sun and the waves of the stunning turquoise blue seas never stop rolling. I felt like I really was in a tropical paradise!
Everywhere I went in Mexico, I was received with a smile. The people of Mexico are happy and positive, with a great sense of humor. They enjoy their life, even if they don’t have a lot of money or possessions. They ‘work to live’, not ‘live to work’. This really touched me, since I come from the USA, a culture of consumerism, where often those with the most, are the least happy. It was refreshing to see how those with little can still live a rich life. During my time in Mexico, I was happy to be surrounded by these positive and happy people. I rejoiced in the simple pleasures of strolling barefoot down the beach during an incredible sunset, or sipping on a cold beer while watching a small crab emerge from her hole in the sand. It was an amazing vacation.
I would love to return to Mexico some day soon and explore more of its vast, diverse and beautiful country. I was left with nothing but positive, happy memories from my time there and I know I will return again some day soon.