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In Honor of Cinco De Mayo
Most people equate Cancun with spring breakers and party animals. Yesss, it can get quite crazy after sun down, but this coastal city is also a portal to rich stories of the Mayan world.
In September 2011, my friends and I decided on a whim to fly to Cancun for a 3-night vacation. Take a peek into this world-renowned beach destination by watching a short video of our trip and experience Cancun in less than 5 minutes.
Cancun video - http://vimeo.com/29640741
(Edited by Mikkel Aragon)
3 DAYS IN CANCUN
Day1 – Independence Day
It is key to stay in a hotel located in the Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone) on Kukulcan Boulevard, a short strip with white sand beaches on both East and West side. Kukulcan is lined with resorts and restaurants, and is the central point of Cancun's night life. More importantly, it is the safest area for tourists to wander around.
We flew in on September 16, which happens to be Mexico’s Independence Day. The entire city was painted green, white, and red. Flags, hats, balloons and other paraphernalia were handed out on the streets as tourists and locals chugged beer and took shots of tequila. This was already looking to be a deliriously fun trip! We could not wait to join the massive Independence Day buzz.
1. Coco Bongo – This place is extreme and parallel to those found in Las Vegas. While sipping on your favorite poison, live acrobats fly across the ceiling and artist impersonators dramatize on stage. From Tron to Elvis, different stunts of entertainment are performed while you rock the dance floor.
2. Mandala – An artfully decorated open-air club that plays EDM (Electronic Dance Music) throughout the night. For $50, you can consume unlimited amounts of alcohol and enjoy table service. Must try tequila: Antigua Cruz, Corralejo and Tres Generaciones.
Day2 – Tulum and Xel Ha
Tulum is a pre-Columbian Maya walled city dating back to the 12th century. Positioned on top of a cliff with sugar sands and turquoise waters beneath it, Tulum is a harmonious blend of historical structures and natural beauty. It is approximately a 2-hour bus ride from Cancun, along the East coast of the Yucatan peninsula on the Caribbean Sea. There is a one hour guided tour of the ruins and a 30-minute free time on the beach.
After Tulum, take a 20-minute ride to Xel Ha (make sure this is part of your tour package). Xel Ha is an aquatic theme park that offers snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, tubing, cliff jumping, zip lining, and many more. The entrance fee is inclusive of ALL activities and gives you access to a Mexican buffet with endless amounts of food and beverages (beers and margaritas for the big kids). Here, the adventure seekers could explore the underground caves and rivers, while the less active could sit on the beach and soak up the sun.
Day3 – Chichen Itza and Xenote Ik Kil
The mystery and perplexity of Mayan history attracts many people to the archeological site, Chichen itza. It is the most important site in Mexico, making it the most visited as well. The Kukulkan pyramid, one of the new 7 wonders of the world, stands tall in this city. Informative guides lead you through ruins and invite you to travel back in time into a world of unanswered questions.
After Chichen Itza, jump into a Xenote (sinkhole). Xenote Ik Kil is 100 feet below the surface and its accumulated water is already at 150 feet. Trek the steps into this sinkhole and cool down after a long day under the Caribbean sun.
3 nights in Cancun is definitely not enough. There are so many corners of the peninsula that are waiting to be explored! Must go back!!!
Before traveling to Mexico:
* If you are Filipino, a Mexico tourist visa is required. Take note, all foreigners visiting Mexico as tourists, will not need a visa as long as they hold a valid US visa and arrive in Mexico from the United States.
* Don't forget to watch out for deals , especially during off-peak season in the latter part of the year (Spetember-December). On September 16, Mexico celebrates its Independence Day and would be the perfect time to go.