…do as the Mayans.
Vacation is meant to be an escape from reality, a chance to recharge exhausted batteries or to explore different worlds. Though the beaches in Cancún were white and very alluring, so was the opportunity to explore a different culture and step into a bit of the past by visiting the Mayan ruins at Coba.
Thanks to Alltournative Adventures, we spent an entire day learning about Mayan culture and adventuring in the jungle on the Coba Maya Encounter. After my zip-lining experience the day before, I was much more prepared to harness up and fly – until I arrived and the first item on the agenda was rappelling.
However, our small group was led by our dynamic and fearless guide, Gustavo, and his humor helped ease frightened nerves. The best thing about the tour was that we spent the entire day with one guide and 10 travel companions, and so we developed a trust that helped when comfort zones were pushed.
Rappelling proved to be one of my favorite activities, though the look of utter fear on my face might suggest otherwise. We descended over 50 feet into a natural cenote before ziplining across that same location – a breathtaking view from every angle.
From there we kayaked across a fresh water lagoon before landing and hiking through the jungle. Scott and I are no strangers to kayaking, and so this was one of our favorite (and most successful, I might add) experiences of the trip.
After hiking through the jungle, we were audience to a traditional Mayan ceremony. It was so moving that it was hard to look away – almost memorizing. Maybe that accounts for our stern and stoic appearance….
However, nothing was quite as magical as walking down into a natural Cenote, a sinkhole which links an entire underground river system. After taking care to shower and remove products and toxins, we all had a chance to jump in and swim in the water – an experience that just cannot be captured on camera, though we are thrilled to have the photos.
As foodies, we couldn’t wait to partake in an authentic Mexican lunch – and honestly, the best food of our trip was arguably found in that village. Though nothing in the world can replace my love of guacamole, the fried spinach rounds easily became a new addiction…No idea how to make them, but just give me time.
My fears were challenged and conquered in Mexico, but I had no idea how much fear Scott had about climbing the Mayan ruins at Coba. We walked through ancient temples and courts before arriving at the Nohoch Mul, the tallest temple on the Yucatan Peninsula. Going up wasn’t as bad, but the stairs are steep and smooth, much more than it appears in the pictures. Not to mention, our footwear was chosen for water and not for climbing, and the smooth and weathered surface was not conducive to grip. Needless to say, we sat on our butts and clung to the rope every inch of the trek down. The view at the top was definitely worth the trip.
By the time we arrived back at our resort in Cancún, our tour group felt like friends. No longer strangers on a bus, our tour guide created a memory that will long be one of our favorite travel experiences, and we would recommend it to anyone visiting Mexico.
What part of the day would most excite you? Rappelling? Ziplining? Climbing the ruins? Do tell!