Robin and I recently returned from an amazing trip to Cancun. We had such a great time! Here are a few highlights of our adventures in a three-part post.
After leaving the kids with Granny Vicki the night before, we got up very early Saturday morning to head to the airport for our 7:15 direct flight on Frontier Airlines from SLC to Cancun. We took a 15-minute bus ride to the Hard Rock Hotel where we were greeting by a staff of hotel employees who were literally lined up just outside the check-in area (Downton Abbey-style) and were applauding us as we walked into the hotel. Seriously. It was kind of funny.
We spent the afternoon exploring the hotel, making our plans for the week (how we would use our $1,500 vacation credits with tours, spa treatments, etc.) and enjoying a delicious dinner at one of the five restaurants at this all-inclusive resort. That’s right, all you can food and beverage was included — as Mormons, we didn’t partake of all those free cocktails, beer and wine; but our fellow guests certainly had their fill!
On the second day, we decided to get adventurous and rent a car to drive an hour south to Xcaret (prounounced Esh-car-et). It is about the size and price of Disneyland, but was well worth it. The park showcases some of Mexico’s amazing flora and fauna, including an aquarium, leopards, panthers, tapirs, monkeys, macaws, manatees, sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, native bees, a butterfly exhibit and a bat cave (where a bat came swooping at us when I used my phone flashlight to see it better).
One of the main attractions of Xcaret is its three underground rivers in which visitors can swim. We rented snorkel gear and took a 45-minute swim in one of the rivers (about half through underground tunnels and half above ground) and it was amazing. (No pictures since we were all wet.)
There were some great cultural gems, including a recreated Mayan village, some interesting ruins, a couple of real Catholic churches, a fascinating Mexican cemetery and some very cool dance and costume displays. The highlight was the evening show at a 6,000-seat stadium where we enjoyed a 2-hour Mexican Spectacular where the history of the area was told with live music, folk dances and some amazing lighting, sound and costumes. They recreated battles between the Mayans and the Spaniards and did a demonstration of some Mayan ball games.
Above are some pictures from the Mexican Spectacular show at Xcaret. They handed us all candles at the beginning of this amazing performance and we lit them and had a moment of silence for world peace. You’d never see thousands of open flames like that in the states! As I mentioned, the costumes, regional dancing and various kinds of Mexican music were really impressive. After the two-hour show, we drove back to the hotel and had dinner at Frida’s Mexican restaurant. It was delicious.
My next post will be about Day 3 and 4, where we visited the Mayan cities of Chichen Itza and Tulum.