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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Mexico: Playa del Carmen & Tulum

Day 21

Today was an awesome day - another 'highlight' day of my Central America trip.We had another DIY breakfast...


...and almost matching outfits (again!)
 ...before our 7am pick up.  We'd booked a day tour with edventures - a great tour that would take us snorkeling in a cenote, an underground river, a natural lagoon and in Turtle Bay / Coral Reef as well as take us to the Tulum ruins.  I highly recommend the company - they looked after us the whole day and were very professional and friendly.

We started at Tulum.  Our tour company got us into the site before opening which was great because the crowds definitely build up.  It meant there was no queue for the tram - or at Starbucks!!

Whilst I was a little ruin-ed out from earlier in the trip, so many people had raved about Tulum that I decided it was worth seeing - and it was!  



Whilst the ruins themselves aren't as impressive as some of the others, the ocean side location is it's selling point.  




This ancient Mayan city is on the cliff of a stunning beach - complete with bright seas and white sand...heaven!



We checked out the former buildings - in a very golf-course feeling area (unlike the jungles of earlier sites).



Before eagerly running down to the beach - our first real beach of the holiday...


...where we played like kids in the water and sand!










We completed the (relatively) small circuit around the sight...



...and then headed back to edventure's stall where they kitted us out with water gear and armed us with soft drinks for the rest of our day.

We drove to Selva Maya - a jungle in Riviera Maya - where we jumped on ATVs and whizzed through the trees.  Pausing briefly as I got attached by a horsefly!  Just chalking up another injury on the trip...

Then we arrived at our first cenote - 'La Bonita'.  


We clambered into our wetsuits and snorkel gear and leap into the cool underground water pool.



Filled with stalactites & stalagmites, above and below the water.






Our second cenote 'Celestial' was a short drive away.  This one had almost no natural light so we were armed with torches - just to complete our outfit!






We'd got a little chilly in the cenote waters so it was perfect timing to have a warming authentic Mayan lunch in the middle of the jungle.



After lunch we climbed back into our minivan and headed off to 'Turtle Bay' (Akumal Bay).


We were greeted with another gorgeous beach - definitely a Cancun theme - and happily headed into the water in search of more turtles and coral.  





Here the green sea turtles are enjoying their natural habitat - drawn by the sea grass that grows here.
 




Our final stop on the tour was Yal-ku lagoon.   
This hidden lagoon is a mixture of fresh and salt water, drawing plenty of fish to the area.



It was cold by this point so I didn't last long in the water...before heading for a shower and (pineapple-coconut) snack!





Edventures then dropped us back at our hotel in Playa.  We had a(nother!) cheeky afternoon snack - it's important foodie blog research, I promise!  I'm only thinking of my readers...!

After a little more shopping - and tequila sample tasting - we headed into our hotel to get ready for our final night of tour.

We energised ourselves with some rum, mixed with Berry Blast (I love this stuff!)...and some birthday cake flavoured M&Ms (our hunt for random chocolates continued!)

We met our group for dinner at 100% Natural - a restaurant I definitely recommend...we even went back there for breakfast the next day.

Our tour guide gave us all bracelets to mark the end of our tour.

We started with mushroom ceviche.

Before sharing Caribbean shrimp and coconut fish - delicious!

"Camarones Caribenos: grilled fresh shrimps served over brown and wild rice sautéed in white wine, pineapple, onion, sweet pepper, chard, broccoli, soy prouts, zucchini and garlic, served in a pineapple half."


"Pescado al Coco Picante: fish market with butter, olive oil, shredded coconut, coriander, garlic, ginger and hot pepper."

Then it was onto Zenzi for cocktails and dancing.  

Tropicaltinis (vodka with coconut rum, banana, peach liqueur and mango juice with vanilla) and shots all round... 




When it was late enough we headed to La Santanera to join their BPM event. 

 

Whilst expensive, it was great fun - house dance music over multiple floors.





There were some comedy hat moments...



...and more drinks!

After dancing the early hours away, we got the munchies, so headed home for a 'midnight' feast of what we had in our hotel room - actually very inspired (and delicious!).

Central America16.01.15

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