Yucatan, Mexicos touristic hotspot area, seems to be the perfect holiday place to tell your co-workers for minimum half an hours about three fantastic weeks full of beaches, sightseeing, great food and fascinating culture. Different enough to be exotic but with its colonial history and – compared to other Latin American countries – high standard of living easy enough to travel.
It is very tempting to stay in Cancun and just move from the perfect hotel pool area to the crystal clear and incredible blue sea and back to the all-inclusive bunk. By doing that you for sure would miss the incredible diversity of this region with its nice and lively inhabitants.
If you take some time to exit the Zona Hoteleria you will discover beautiful natural beaches and little sea fish restaurants at the old port where local families are enjoying the catch of the day.
In the relaxed little town Valladolid and Mérida (both cities also can be found in Spain) you will be welcomed by colourful casas from colonial times, traditionally dressed women and great affordable food.
At night the plaza turns into a dancing place with local music groups strumming guitars. Thanks to the Maya-festival we had the change to watch a typical maya football match where the ball only can be touched with hips, knees and elbows – super tricky.
If you are not keen on Cancuns all you can drink party nights for 55-85 US-Dollar you can get along here form 15€ per day pretty well. Dormitory beds with breakfast and pool areas and hammocks are available for about 7€ – free salsa classes at night included. Lots of museums are for free as well, street food is available from 0,50€.
Thanks to the super modern ADO busses you can get to the ancient maya ruins of Chichen Itza or the pink lake with numerous flamingos for about 2-3€ – the bus tours organizes by the big hotels are about 30-40€. Doesn’t it sound like a paradise for independent travellers?
So far I like Mexico very much and never felt insecure. Thanks to my refreshed Spanish knowledge I am getting around pretty well and the Mexicans are super helpful to point directions to the blond solo travelling gringa. Despite that I prefer to go out at night only with other travellers – it is much more fun to guess together what the ingredients on the menu would be in English.
From now on I am going further South to the maya town Palenque and the colonial beauty San Cristobal – heading the direction of my upcoming Spanish and guitar class in Gutatemala.