Grand Mayan entrance
We had a wonderful vacation sunning and funning in the Riviera Maya area in early June. My daughter, son-in-law, two granddaughters and I enjoyed the pleasures of the beautiful Grand Mayan resort, south of Cancun and near Playa Del Carmen. This is a huge, sprawling resort; our rooms were amazing and the service was impeccable. We had two large bedroom suites, with sitting areas and bathrooms, connected in the middle by a larger sitting area, kitchen and dining space, a ton of space for the five of us. The total square footage was larger than my home!
On our balcony: a cooling pool, perfect for casual lounging. And the resort pools were all interconnected; everywhere you went there was pool, pool and more pool. And we took full advantage of them, day and night.
I love this area of Mexico; the language(s), the culture, the people, the courtesy and kindness of the people we met. I love the simplicity of life and the way the Mayan culture is celebrated here. There is no official national language in Mexico; the languages of the 63 indigenous cultures are all considered national languages. But I love the soft, susurrous sound of spoken Spanish; I wish I spoke it. The country is truly amazing in their efforts to preserve cultural identities, languages and practices, as well as their efforts in environmental and ecological consciousness. Eco-tourism thrives in this area.
The turquoise waters of the Caribbean, palm trees swaying in the breeze, soft white sand between one’s toes, warm weather – what more could a person ask of a vacation? We spent time on the beach relaxing, we lounged in the pool, visited Cancun and Playa Del Carmen for dining and shopping.
We spent one day in Xcaret, an ecological theme park. Lots of snorkeling, Mayan archaeological sites – there is so much to see and do here that one day is not enough to explore Xcaret. Another day was spent in Akumal (which means “place of the turtles” in Mayan). We had a delicious lunch at La Cueva Del Pescador, where the motto is “Hook it and Cook it”: the local fishermen who own this little place will take you out fishing and then prepare your catch for your meal. Friendly place!We took a tour to visit Xel-Ha and Tulum. Xel-Ha is a wonderful open-sea “aquarium.” You can spend the entire day in this biological preserve (I spent part of mine in a hammock watching the waves of the Caribbean exploding on the rocks), exploring the jungle, snorkeling with brightly colored fish – it’s water, water, everywhere, with a deep commitment to preserving this beautiful natural wonder where Mayans once lived. At Tulum, we were so very fortunate to have Javier Savala as our guide. His passion for the Mayan culture and his extensive knowledge of the scientific, mathematical, political, architectural and cultural details were contagious. A brilliant man who I respect a great deal.
It was a wonderful, memorable week! If I could, I’d buy a little place in Akumal for my retirement and live there along the bay, among the warm and welcoming people and the sea turtles, writing and painting, taking morning walks on the beach – ahhh … I love Mexico.
Coming up: a tad more on Xcaret, Akumal, Xel-Ha and Tulum (short posts, I promise!)