Chichen Itza

Stunning Riviera Maya: The Perfect Getaway

After a week-long stay in New York, my friends, me and my feet were in desperate need of a lazy beach getaway. As we’d never been to Mexico before, we chose the Riviera Maya as our destination. It’s a stretch of Caribbean coastline on Mexico’s northeastern Yucatán Peninsula. 

Welcome to Paradise

The resort we stayed in was like a village, with small huts and apartment blocks surrounded by lush palm trees and jungle-like forests. Getting around the place felt like an adventure in itself!

Amazing Wildlife

On your way to the beach or back home to your apartment, you’d always encounter animals: Flamingos, crocodiles (both in their habitat), tropical birds, Iguanas and geckos, and many more. Once we even saw a raccoon on the beach, completely unfazed by all the tourists. Of course, there were also lots of insects and spiders, but for my own sanity, I didn’t observe them too closely. Definitely not an insect person!

A Day Trip to Chichen Itza

Despite the raging heat, we went on a guided day tour to see the ruins of Chichen Itzá. It once was one of the largest Mayan cities and a lot of mysteries surround the site still. Walking through the ruins with a knowledgeable guide helped us to gain some understanding of the beliefs and the culture of the Mayans. It also amazed me to see so many different architectural styles. The sheer magnificence of the huge pyramid in the center of Chichen Itzá is a jaw dropper. Did you know that the pyramid is referred to as El Castillo, the Temple of Kukulcán?

Tip: Swimming in a Cenote

On our way back home from Chichen Itzá, we had lots of opportunities to view the countryside. We also stopped for a swim at an underground cenote – a very refreshing experience after so many hours out in the scorching heat. Equally unforgettable were the late lunch at a hacienda and our visit to Valladolid, an old Mexican town.

How long should I stay?

Looking back on this week in paradise, the only thing I regret is not visiting Tulum and several other sights worth exploring. So if you decide to go to Mexico, plan to stay at least 10 days. This will give you ample time to laze around on the beach and explore everything there is to see to your heart’s content. It’s worth it!