S: Honeymoon to Playa Del Carmen February 2011
FC: February 2011 | Honeymoon to Playa Del Carmen
1: After a full day on Sunday opening presents, packing, and enjoying our first few hours of married life, we headed off on a red eye flight to Cancun, Mexico. We were excited for our first visit to the Yucatan Peninsula and our first vacation as a married couple!
2: Our first stop was the Fairmont Mayakoba, located between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. We enjoyed a two night stay at this beautiful resort! Upon checking in, we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had been upgraded to a casita room for free. | Fairmont Mayakoba
4: The beach at the resort was in pristine condition. It was definitely one of the best beaches we've been to.
6: Our casita room was situated in one of the resort's tropical forests. We were treated to a king sized bed, spa-style bathroom, and balcony.
7: There was plenty of luxury and relaxation to go around, not to mention lots of comfortable bathrobes and "sheep ears"...
9: Las Brisas Restaurant
10: A late lunch after sleeping in past noon!
12: A Visit to Banyan Tree
13: Dinner at Saffron We enjoyed a dinner at Saffron, Banyan Tree's signature restaurant. Dinner was served outside on an over-water deck overlooking the lagoon and mangroves.
15: We enjoyed the authentic Thai food and sitting at one of their special tables, filled with cushions and overlooking the water.
16: At the Fairmont Makaykoba, they had golf carts that transported us throughout the resort. | The resort also had bikes scattered throughout the property for us to use!
18: Out hotel offered a boat ride through their lagoons and mangroves. We saw a lot of wildlife including cormorants and crocodiles.
22: Our next stop was Playa Maya, located in downtown Playa Del Carmen. It was right on the beach. You even had to enter the hotel from the beach! | Playa Maya
23: Each day a new towel animal greeted us!
24: La Parilla Restaurant
25: Lots of food, shops, and people watching on 5th Avenue!
26: Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe We tried their Mayan chocolate, drinking chocolate, hot chocolate, and brownies. Their brownies were to die for!
28: A colectivo is a van that transports people around Mexico. The ones that we took ran from Cancun to Playa del Carmen to Tulum. We found the colectivos at the "Colectivo Stand" near downtown Playa Del Carmen. When we got to our destination, the van literally stopped and dropped us off on the side of the highway! We were thrilled using the colectivos since they were significantly less expensive than taxis and quite the adventure! | Colectivo Adventures!
29: Ziplining, amphibious vehicles, underwater rafts, swimming stalactite adventure | Xplor Park
30: There were 14 ziplines, including beautiful views and a drop into a natural sinkhole.
31: We drove amphibious vehicles over bridges, in the jungle, and through grottos!
33: We ended our day at the free buffet, which was deserted except for us! As the sun set, we waited on the side of the road for a colectivo. Since it was getting dark and the colectivos were full, we opted to take a taxi back.
34: Dinner at El Fogon
35: We were pleased to find authentic Mexican food, locals, and even a menu in all Spanish!
37: We were amazed to see ruins that were located on 39 ft. tall cliffs right by the Caribbean Sea. Tulum was one of the last cities inhabited and built by the Mayans.
39: The sea was so refreshing after a hot day touring the Tulum ruins!
40: After Tulum, we went up the coast to Akumal, which is famous for sea turtles. We went snorkeling for a few hours and saw many tropical fish, along with a few sea turtles eating the sea grass! | Akumal
43: We took a taxi from Akumal to Yal Ku Lagoon, a beautiful lagoon with a variety of gorgeous fish. There were no ocean waves and hardly any people. It was amazing! | Yal Ku Lagoon
44: HC de Monterey We ordered the steak arrechera-style with the full meal that included half an avocado, a grilled onion, a jalapeno, and tortillas. The best part was each meal cost less than $10! After dinner, we couldn't pass up the chance to stop by Ah Cocoa Cafe.
45: Each morning we ate a full complimentary breakfast at our hotel. We sat on the beach front, dug our toes in the sand, and enjoyed the delicious food!
46: Coba Ruins
47: We took a bus from the ADO station to the Coba ruins. The Mayan ruins at Coba are some of the most recently discovered and excavated ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula.
48: The picture below shows one of the ballgame courts. Teams tried to get the ball through the "hoop". The captain of the winning team got the privilege of sacrificing his life.
49: Nohoch Mul Pyramid
50: 120 Steps up to the top of the pyramid!
52: After the Coba ruins we took a taxi to visit three nearby cenotes. We were pretty nervous since the taxi driver only spoke Spanish and we were pretty much in the middle of nowhere! Upon arriving at the cenote, we rinsed off in a shower and headed down some spiral stairs. The water was undisturbed and absolutely crystal clear. It was neat swimming in our first cenote, but also just a little bit creepy!
55: We headed 20 feet below ground on a winding wood staircase to the Tamcach-Ha cenote. The domed stalactite covered roof was 30 feet above the clear water. Beautiful!
56: There were two jumping platforms - one at 26 feet and the other at 16 feet. The water reached a depth of 40 feet, although the bottom looked really close since the water was so clear. We jumped off the lower platform and of course had to document it!
57: We arrived back in Coba via our taxi. However, no one was quite sure when the last bus was leaving Coba We purchased our tickets, then took a walk to see the beautiful sunset. We kept hoping the bus would come; taking a taxi was so much more expensive!
58: We waited by the side of the road, then waited some more. Finally, a bus arrived, but it was the wrong bus! Thankfully, just as it was getting dark, the bus came to take us to Playa Del Carmen. It was the last bus of the evening!
59: Rio Secreto is an underground river filled with stalactites. With nothing but wetsuits, life jackets, water shoes, a helmet with lights, and of course our small group and guide, we traveled 800 meters along a 14 km underground river. We traveled a bumpy terrain in order to see this beautiful underground river that was was filled with stalactities and giant coral formations. It was an absolutely amazing and breathtaking cave system. | Rio Secreto
60: During our time in Playa Del Carmen, it rained a couple of times. We got to watch one of the rainstorms arriving as we dined on fish tacos and coconut shrimp.
61: La Pesca Restaurant
62: Our last morning in Playa Del Carmen, we rushed out to try some of the food carts on 5th Avenue. The food did not disappoint!
63: Horseback riding at Rancho Baaxal We rode through some tropical jungles and along the beach. We both got to gallop with our horses on the beach!
65: One last memory on our way home!