I could say we saved the best till last but honestly, it’s really difficult to say which was my favourite destination. If you’ve been reading this Clog (Cruise Blog) you’ll know we’ve been to Labadee in Haiti and Jamaica in the Western Caribbean. The last port of call was Mexico. They were all truly amazing places to visit, each with its own charm.
On day 6 we docked in the port of Cozumel, an Island just off the Yucatan Peninsula in the south-east of Mexico. From here, we took a ferry to Playa del Carmen, a beautiful coastal town in the Mayan Riviera. We were greeted by Sebastian, a local and our guide for the day. From here we travelled 50km by bus to Cenotes Dos Ojos to visit the natural underwater caves. Two sinkholes connected by a 400 metre underwater passageway make these particular Cenotes very popular with divers. I was more than happy to stay on the surface to snorkel in the refreshingly cool water and watch them from a distance…
The water is fresh with only a tiny percent of seawater present. Only biodegradable sunscreen is advised as the chemicals in it and insect repellents upset the PH balance of the water. Cenotes Dos Ojos is owned and run by 7 Mayan families ,who pooled their resources to develop the Cenotes on their land as an ecotourism attraction. They have their own tiny school for the children and make a good living from the park, which they work hard to maintain and develop.
Next stop was Turtle Cove, Akumal beach. This is breathtaking; white sands lined with trees, warm blue and green waters, gentle waves and most importantly, sea turtles. We swam for an hour with these beautiful creatures. Some of them are over 70 years old and they are so passive and seemed unperturbed by the attention of visitors. They pop their heads out of the water every twenty minutes or so to breathe, and it’s such a lovely sight. We also got to see a stingray and swam to the reef where all sorts of tropical fish swam and fed, it was really beautiful. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me. So peaceful and relaxing and a must-do if you’re lucky enough to visit.
Lunch was a typical Mexican buffet, with all sort of deliciousness. Freshly made guacamole, seafood and vegetable salad and a variety of meats were served with salsa, sour cream and tortillas. My mouth is actually watering just thinking about the fresh lime, chilli and coriander (or cilantro as it’s called there) of the salsa. After lunch we had just 20 minutes to stroll around the shops. If you’re a shopper, plan a little more time here. The 5th Avenue shopping areas has, as one might expect, lots of American shops. Old Navy, Zara, H&M and Sephora can all be found in this area, as well as a host of other local shops with everything from art to boutiques, souvenirs and local crafts.
My Top Tips for Mexico
- Swim with Sea Turtles at Akumal Bahia (Turtle Cove).
- Swim in the cool waters of the Cenotes.
- Wear a rash vest or biodegradable sunscreen to protect the delicate ecosystem of these natural water caves and Turtle Cove.
- Eat Mexican food in Wah Wah’s beach bar.
- Take lots of photos that you’ll never need a filter for, it really is breathtaking, like a Bounty Bar advert.