June 1st was our one year wedding anniversary and we decided to take a trip to Mexico to celebrate. When we vacation we always try to experience the culture of the places we visit so we decided to split our trip between two cities in the Yucatan Peninsula. The first stop was in the old Yucatan capital of Mérida. There I discovered the Hotel Hacienda Mérida. Highly recommended on Trip Advisor and extremely beautiful pictures sold me instantly. The hotel is located in a renovated Hacienda in the center of Mérida. Many of the streets in Mérida are narrow with even narrower sidewalks. The architecture ranges in style mostly of the Spanish influence, for the most part, the buildings look worn and torn from the street. There is a layer of dirt and peeling paint on at least every other building, which makes it difficult for out-of-towners to distinguish between the nice and not so nice areas. What we did learn found impressive was that from the street you can not realize the beauty that lies beyond the doors. Our hotel, is a wonderful example of this, a gorgeous oasis once you passed through the front door.
We had a wonderful time there and visiting parts of Merida. We took day trips to see for ourselves the Yucatan ruins and temples and swam in cenotes. Some of our most favorite experiences were visiting the tiny towns and villages. It's truly amazing to see how other parts of the world live. Learning about their lifestyles and understanding that living way the we do is not the only or the best way. People looked genuinely happy living a simple life. Poverty was present but they weren't any more dissatisfied than people that I know in my life. Mexico was beautiful and extremely eye opening, giving me another point of view and way to view the world.
For the second half of our trip we went to the Mayan coast to stay in a resort hotel. This is something neither of us have ever done or experienced. The ocean was immaculately blue. Our hotel although aesthetically nice, was just too much for us. It was difficult for us to just lay and soak up the sun. We sat by the pool and drank cocktails for the first day, but for the rest of the trip we chose to continue our exploration. We visited Tulum to see more ruins and Akumel to swim in the lagoon with fish and rays, and on our last day, visited Puerto Morelos.
Puerto Morelos is a small fishing village that is tucked away between the big resort towns of Playa del Carmen and Cancun. On this day we spent 3 hours in the clear water snorkeling around the coral reef. Here is where we saw a Nursing Shark only 15 feet below and touched a pregnant Sting Ray. Our guide picked up a conch shell for us to feel it's smooth, inner surface. We also saw Barracuda and Giant Parrot fish swimming freely amongst the most beautiful coral. What an experience.
Sadly, I didn't escape Montezuma's revenge and came down stomach viruses. We were sure to be careful, but something caught up with us along the way. I guess Mexico had to send us away with a parting gift.
Thanks for Reading.