What was to be a short solo trip to a wedding turned out to be a surprise (!) when my significant other joined at the last minute.
Cancun lives up to its name as a party town for American tourists. The roads are wide, five star resorts line the main street, and the palm trees are so perfectly aligned that it gives you the sense that the city was built for tourism. It was indeed a carefully planned tourism project in the 1970’s. The government officials picked a fine spot. Cancun is full of beaches with turquoise coloured water and unobstructed views of the horizon. It is a paradise for those who love water sports.
Our top picks are:
- Diving with whale sharks. This is a seasonal activity and we were lucky to be able to see one of the largest marine creatures given that it was only the beginning of the season (end of May). We rode a very rocky ride (filled with sea sickness) of 27 miles out into the sea before any whale sharks were spotted. These giant creatures may look slow paced but it was actually hard to keep up with them as by the time you jump into the water, they could’ve swam away. Their size did scare me for a moment but they are not known to be harmful to humans (they dine on planktons). At one point, we were about 5 feet away from these 30+ feet creatures. It was exhilarating.
- Surfing. We are absolute novices but where would be a better place to give it a try? The beach was surprisingly quiet and the waves were gentle enough for beginners. Not that it helped much – I could still only “ride the waves” for about two seconds.
As with any physical exercise, we deserved much relaxation afterwards. We would highly recommend the Jungle Spa, a local community project where women use the Mayan technique in the massages. We tried the “aloe vera and banana leaf wrap” massage in which fresh aloe was smothered all over our bodies. It was an absolute treat. You do need a taxi to get there as it is in the middle of nowhere, hence the name.
Dinner recommendations include Du Mexique (homely French restaurant), Lima 1205 (excellent sunset view) and Le Cepages (a rather romantic restaurant with excellent customer service and the waiter called us Mr Jason and Ms Sharon).