09Dec
travel: xcaret mexico | offthebeatenpress.com

We went to mexico! My boyfriend’s present to me was a surprise trip to Mexico with his roomates. It was so much fun. I have visited the country before on a mission trip, but never been to a coastal beach. We left the freezing cold December weather for some sun.
Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Crazy story, my friend Melissa called me on Thursday night as I was driving up to DC to catch a plane. She was driving to Chicago to also catch a plane…to MEXICO. We hadn’t seen each other in person in two years and were randomly on the same flight. We changed seats for a few minutes so I could have some time to catch up with her.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

We got a cab to the resort and it was all decorated for Christmas. Throughout the week more and more twinkle lights, wreaths, and ribbons were going up around the area. This was the main lobby.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.comWe were starving when we got there and headed to dinner at one of a few restaurants they had on the property.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com
It was our friends birthday so they sang and made her a little bow out of the napkins on the table.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The hotel had a lot of amenities and gorgeous views. We saw a wedding under this little canopy the first full day we were there.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The ocean water led into creeks and through tunnels deeper into the property.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

There were monkeys and parrots and other little animals you could see wandering around. Normally, I would avoid the parrot situation but these two were very mild mannered and clearly paying more attention to the lights than us.

 

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The pools were all natural water lined by chairs and crept right up to the edge of the hotel rooms themselves.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The waterways went around islands and under bridges.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

There was also a beach area that we could swim to. They had carved out a protective cove where small fish could get in and you could snorkel.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

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The large round hut was a beach bar on the bottom. Servers were constantly attentive to our needs and would refill drinks as soon as they were empty.

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This was another large restaurant on the property. During the day it had a lunch buffet and at night it was an intimate seafood place. The dinner there was excellent. Great soup and ceviche.

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Lizards! We named this one Jacamo– of course.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

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This was the balcony of our hotel room. It overlooked a pool and the tree tops. We had a huge storm one evening that I sat outside and watched protected from the overhang. I love seeing lightning in the winter time. It reminds me of the summer rains to come!

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The outside of our building and a pathway to Mayan Ruins.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The fact that there were ruins were a big highlight for me. I would still like to go see Chichen Itza at some point in my life, but these old structures were awesome to gaze at. I had just listened to a podcast about how step pyramids and pyramids were created and it fascinates me to no end to realize that we don’t really know how they made these giant formations.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The bushes and plants have swallowed up all the edges, but this one faces the ocean.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

This was the adult pool! How amazing does that look?
Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Here are our friends swimming in the ocean water in the pool.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

And we had to get a selfie in there.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The pool had a mouth on one end that led out to the ocean itself. We went swimming to the edge where the waves would break and more fish and water would rush in.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.comMexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.comMexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

It was a beautiful day and the pool retained a glorious color.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Our friend decided to use the plastic drink glasses to try to catch fish. I didn’t think he would even come close to getting one, but low and behold he snagged a little guy! He used pieces of banana to get a bunch of the fish to swim near him.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

And of course we put this little guy back in the water after capturing a picture.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The little round structures created nice privacy for different groups hanging out.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

This shot is my favorite from the trip. It shows the entire pool area when right when the storm has just started developing.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

All the umbrellas were permanent and made out of leaves.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

And then the storm hit! There was a wedding happening in a little bungalow near us and I felt awful. If they had started twenty minutes earlier, it would have been fine! The clouds turned dark fast and the sun shone so bright making the water in the pool area murky. All the colors in the ocean began to pop.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.comMexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

We left the pool before getting hit with the downpour and got ready for dinner! That was the first night we ate in the Mexican Restaurant. They had the best soup! We went back the last night we were there too and the soup that night was also equally impressive. I was super happy with my meals at this venue.Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The next day we went to Xcaret Park. To get there you take a little boat through the waterways of the hotel up to the parks front entrance.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The first thing we did was try to find this “Black River” tunnel. The majority of the park was made of underground tunnels that you would drift through with the water. It would be dark and then holes to the surface would open up to reveal the bright sun above. The water was pretty cold (it was underground after all) but the life vests we wore helped to keep me warm.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

My boyfriend got us a underwater cell phone case so we could capture some pictures of the floating. I am glad we had it so I could better explain what we did.

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An early exit to the surface.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Then we lounged at an overlook with and oversized chair when we were done with the Black tunnel.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The park had endless areas to relax.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

And more pools to the ocean! I wish we had spent more time in them.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

We followed paths through multiple swimming pools and beaches.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Rows of umbrellas and silent seats to unwind.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Pineapple drink guys! They were far too expensive but so so adorable.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

There were also animals in the park like the hotel. When I was a kid, I used to call a flamingos BINGOS! This one was making extraordinary loud noises.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The boys climbed on this long rope bridge.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

And here we found more animals everywhere. Baby Turtles, medium ones and HUGE ones. A crocodile. Sting Rays. Just everything.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

And then we swam with sharks. Holy cow. It was really hard to get pictures of this because we were after all avoiding the sharks!

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

We took a break to head back to the hotel for lunch.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

And then we went in the park’s back entrance for swimming with dolphins. It was really east to get in and out of the park from the hotel we stayed at.Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

We didn’t get to take dolphin pictures but it was amazing. Their skin felt so interesting. The next day we walked the property some more and passed more ruins.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

These were tucked away in the trees instead of up facing a cliff to the water.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com
Then we got to the beach area early so we had a spot towards the front near the ocean.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The overall scenery was beautiful and stormy. Just my kind of place.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The cliffs near the ruins had the waves come crashing into them dousing them with foam.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The sea spray felt glorious.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

And the sun through the clouds illuminated everything brilliantly.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

As you know, I love textures. The rocks had remnants of coral patterns embedded.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

On the last day, we tried some scuba equipment in the pool!

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

We also lounged by the coolest bar. Every seat was hanging.
Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

You could swing back and forth to your drink easy.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

The final evening we made sure to catch a Mayan ceremony in the lobby. It was simple but the costumes worn were amazing. So much attention to detail.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Roomates tanned from the sun and warm from the drinks!

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

As we packed up to go I took some final shoe pictures.

Mexico Vacation | offthebeatenpress.com

I loved this area of Mexico and hope to try a different resort in the Maya Riviera again in the future. It was a restful break before the holiday season.