For us this year, it’s Christmas under the sun, a first! It is also the first time we will be away from our family (which we miss a lot). Happily, Nicolas’ parents fly on 24th December to meet up with us in Costa Rica for another epic road trip! We will tell you more about this country (looking really exciting) soon, stay tuned.
The return to Mexico
As for our December adventures: we were back in Mexico! But this time in its most touristic part, the regions of Yucatán and Quintana Roo. We completely understand the tourists: the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean, one of the seven new wonders of the world, the second largest barrier reef in the world and the animals populating it, many ruins and Mayan culture, incredible caves and cenotes, culinary specialities, legendary parties… and of course tons of tourists and higher prices than in the rest of the country.
Bacalar and the lagoons
After we left the paradise like islands of Belize, we took a water taxi to Mexico (a country we were missing already). Another interesting border crossing… we will never have been sniffed by so many dogs! First stop: Bacalar, the city bordering one of the largest lakes in Mexico, the lagoon of 7 colours! We went on a boat tour to observe the nuances of blue water and swam at the edge of the deep cenotes. According to theories, the cenotes are formed by the dissolution and collapse of land above an underground network of caves and rivers or by the fallout of the Gulf of Mexico meteorite (the same which annoyed the dinosaurs).
Mahahual and our diving certification
Then we took a break in the small village of Mahahual, a former lost fishing village transformed by the passage of cruise ships. The peace and quiet, the spectacular beach and access to the coral reef just a few meters away makes it a perfect place to spend a week. This break was for us the opportunity to pass our diving certification. We are now officially certified PADI Open Water and very proud to be. An experience lived in two completely different ways by Clémentine and Nicolas. To learn more about Clémentine’s difficult experience read her story in our blog article about scuba diving.
Tulum and our first swim with turtles
Damien and Dyana, a Franco-Colombian couple, very kindly invited us to stay at their place for a few days while exploring the city of Tulum and its surroundings. We met Damien in November while swimming with sharks at Caye Caulker in Belize. In Tulum, we visited Mayan ruins on the beachfront, sailed and floated in the UNESCO-listed Sian Ka’an Reserve and explored the magnificent Gran Cenote. We could also realised another one of our dreams: swam with turtles! An incredible experience if we forget about the number of tourists present with us and the fins slapping in our heads!
Valladolid and even more Mayan ruins
As you might have picked up, we love visiting Mesoamerican ruins. So we left the Caribbean coast for 3 days to visit the colonial town of Valladolid in Yucatán. It is a good base to visit the famous ruins of Chichen Itza and the Kukulkan Pyramid, one of the seven new wonders of the world! The entire archaeological site was really impressive and very well preserved. The only problem was, with the number of tourists coming from Cancún and on cruises, this is the only place where you cannot explore inside and climb on top of the buildings. We also visited the ruins of Ek-Balam, the last ruins before we leave the region. The area is also filled with cenotes and we had the opportunity to visit 4 others, some of which are almost completely closed. These cool swims with the bats above us made us feel adventurous. For the first time since the beginning of our trip we are coming accross a lot of French people, it was an opportunity to spend a day visiting with Julien and Romuald.
Playa de Carmen and Cancún
For our last few days in Mexico, we chose the convenience of the ultra-touristy cities of Playa de Carmen and Cancún (from where our plane leaves) to take a few days to give you some news via the newsletter and the blog (and still enjoy a bit of the beach).
There we had our first cinema night since the beginning of the trip. We also did our first dive as certified divers, a last chance to observe the world second biggest barrier reef. A 100% pleasurable experience for both of us this time! Finally, we explored for a day the Woman Island (named by the pirates). Clémentine fell in love with baby turtles.