Monday, July 6, 2009


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.

Jas and Bri, loving sisters!

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.

La Habichuela restaurant (Cancun)

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!)


Caroline said...

Wow...sounds (and looks) like you had a wonderful vacation! I have always wanted to go to I really really want to go!

Erin said...

Wow! I stayed at that same resort several years ago. It was FANTASTIC! The water there is absolutely my favorite of anywhere. I can't wait to see more pictures!

paintergal said...

Your vacation looks so amazing!
Two questions:
Selma Hayak sings?

rebecca said...


I know the feeling! Oh, Mexico is wonderful. I've been there many times and three times to Cancun. My husband loves it there. Very relaxing and welcoming, so much so that one does not want to return back to the hustle and bustle of our lives here again! Unfortunately, every time I go there I seem to return with one more timeshare under my belt *sigh* not good.

Oh, these pictures give me the urge to go online right now and begin booking a trip for next year!

joan said...

What beautiful photos! Sounds like you all had a wonderful vacation! After all you did I'm thinking you might need a vacation after the vacation!;)

Rose - The Center of My Self said...

Hi, Caroline! This is my 2nd time in this area and both times were beyond wonderful. I hope you go!

Erin - Can't believe you stayed in the same place. It's awesome, huh?

PG - susurrous - (a fave word of mine since I lisp) - a soft whispering; imagine a handsome latin man whispering sweet nothings in Spanish in your ear.
Yes, Salma sings - lol!

Rebecca - lol! My daughter and son-in-law came out with another timeshare, too. Since I'm unemployed, I had a good excuse - ha! It's been so hard to come back to the hustle/bustle; the peace of Mexico beckons!

Joan - Omigosh, we did so much walking (I spent most of one day walking the jungle in Xel-Ha), my shins were screaming. Fortunately we'd planned Friday as a beach/pool day. :-)