Have you ever fallen in love with a country? My love of visiting new places may have come later in my life but now it’s hit me properly I adore exploring. We went on our dream honeymoon to Mexico – a first visit to the country for us both and we fell in love with it. Everything about it amazed, interested and excited me. Here’s our travel photo diary of our Honeymoon in Mexico…
I’m going to do a separate blog post on our resort because there is far too much to say about TRS Yucatan to fit in one post alone. We booked it because it was an adults only resort and for a honeymoon destination where we weren’t taking our own children, that sounded kinda perfect to us. There’s nothing wrong with children in hotels whatsoever – as I said, we have our own! But we wanted to make the most of the quiet time and really relax so that was something we’d been looking for and TRS just looked to be the epitome of absolute luxury – and it was. Multiple pools, 16 restaurants across the complex, beaches galore…I can’t recommend it highly enough if you’re honeymooners especially. And while the stay didn’t come cheap, it was worth every penny and we have already said when the boys are older we’ll return to celebrate our anniversaries there.
Speaking of the beaches…
Speaking of the beaches, I had several messages right before we went away with people worrying my holiday was going to be ruined by the current seaweed crisis affecting Mexico. And while I appreciated the concern, only a few weeks before departure when it’s too late to cancel anyway (not that we would have over something like that) means it’s not really constructive to message people with scaremongering. Yes it’s true and yes it’s visible that Mexico is suffering it’s worst ever seaweed crisis which means that the beaches are full of it. However the clean up operation is intensive! For 12 hours a day teams are working to remove the dead seaweed that is washing ashore to allow hotel guests as much beach access as they need. And while it’s still there all the time, there’s not mounds of it like people were saying. My advice is to not be remotely put off. Sadly this ‘crisis’ is a direct result of global warming so I can’t see it changing any time soon. I can categorically say that the seaweed problem didn’t ruin our honeymoon in Mexico and it won’t ruin yours.
I don’t know why but I didn’t expect Mexico to be as rich in wildlife. I guess I just didn’t put two and two together because I know it’s a tropical country but there’s wildlife everywhere! There’s dense, rich greenery and forest in every direction and it’s full of life. There was something so satisfying about it. The Riviera Maya, otherwise known as the Caribbean Coast of Mexico, which is where we stayed, was beautiful for wildlife and vegetation. Our resort (as most resorts are in that region) was built within the jungle, so the buildings are surrounded by trees and you have to walk through pathways to get to places – which was enchanting. I’ve never stayed anywhere like that before and it was totally tropical, to say the least. I loved it even more than I expected. The amount of wildlife living within the jungle was huge and during our trip alone we saw hundreds of lizards, spider monkeys, coati, agouti and so many more. We were also told how many leopards Mexico has – although I’m quite thankful that one of them didn’t slink out of the jungle on our way to breakfast like most of the others did!
I don’t recommend going on your honeymoon in Mexico – with all of its culture on offer, and stay restricted to your resort. While there is a safety element to consider in Mexico, the Rivera Maya wasn’t ever somewhere we felt unsafe – the complete opposite really. Before travelling outside of the resort alone, we spoke to the staff who gave us tips and booked our taxis for us with a reputable firm – that’s my first big tip if you go exploring alone. My second tip is to pre-book your return journey. While it’s a bit annoying being restricted to what time you return on holiday, it’s also a good way of knowing you’re safely going back to the hotel. This is also what you’re advised by the hotels too. After that it’s the normal things like not carrying big amounts of cash, don’t carry your passport with you and just be cautious. Other than that, in this particular region where tourism is their main source of income, you really can rest easy.
So with that said – I highly recommend seeing as much of authentic Mexico as you can. We enjoyed our time in local town/city, Playa Del Carmen. It was about 25 minutes from our hotel and the taxi in total cost us the equivalent of £50 – which we didn’t think was too bad. Paying Playa Del Carmen a visit was one of my favourite days – I love walking around the places I visit, exploring and taking photos and the whole area was so authentic and filled with Mexican bars, restaurants and shops and all were full of residents as well as tourists. (It’s always a good sign when the locals east in certain places I think!) We found the most amazing place for beers and snacks – the paella looked amazing but we were in between meal times otherwise we’d have eaten there for sure. Everything about it was wonderful and I loved sitting at the bar overlooking the courtyard square and people-watching.
While exploring we found this amazing shop where they hand make cigars (one of the things Mexico is well known for!) And we stood for ages watching one man make cigars in front of us. It was fascinating and he had such a steady hand. (When you watch people doing things like this you’re expected to tip, which we did. But just be aware.)
The Mayan Ruins
Another thing you must do while on your honeymoon in Mexico and something we knew that we really wanted to do before we got there was visit one of the Mayan ruin sites. There are many to pick from – some huge, and some smaller. Chichen Itza is the most popular, it’s massive but in the middle of the jungle. It’s a full day-long trip from the Rivera Maya and that was slightly too long for us. Many people had told us that if we did excursions to the ruins that it’s best to do it in the mornings as the afternoons get unbearable in the heat. I am SO glad we took this advice. In the end we went to Tulum for a half day (5 hour) trip. It’s only 25 minutes away from where we stayed, it’s renouned for having a beautiful beach area and it has a great Mayan Ruin site. Because we went on an organised tour through our hotel it cost us £60 ish each. Which included travel both ways, a tour guide at the ruins and a visit to a Cenote – which is another thing we’d recommend doing. We picked this specific excursion because it had both in one. (A Cenote is an underground cave filled with water to swim in.)
At Tulum it was amazing to see all of the Mayan ruins – temples, buildings and so many original features still very clearly visible. Decorations on the buildings show what the Mayans believed about certain things including the moon being linked to fertility etc, and our tour guide was so knowledgeable on everything to do with the site and Mayan history. Did you know that when the Spanish came to Mexico and took the Mayans as slaves, they burned all the Mayan history books? Only three survived and that’s all we have to base our understanding of these ancient people and their ways – 3 books. When originally there were over 100. It’s so sad that we’ll never know more. But fascinating to stand where they stood, see how they built their homes and learn about their temples as well as see them in front of us. (Side note: It was really hot though. No shade. If you go – take a tonne of water.)
Seeing as I’m raving about Mexico, it’s only fair to point out the downsides – of which there are virtually none! But do make sure you have the immunisations before you travel because even though they aren’t required, I do recommend them now I’ve been. We both had the advisable ones: Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Typhoid – all of which can be given at your GP’s surgery 1-2 months before you travel. Also on the subject of medicines/health – that is the only real downside of Mexico. You don’t go somewhere like that an expect to not get a slightly dodgy tummy. And if you’re one of the few who avoid it then you’re very lucky – but pack a little medical kit geared around poorly tummies. Don’t drink ice, only drink bottled water and be strict on what you eat – raw fruit and vegetables are washed in tap water so really it’s incredibly hard to avoid the bacteria we’re warned to stay away from. Both of us got slightly poorly while there – not enough to spoil the trip, or ruin a single day as we still did everything we needed and wanted. But we did both need antibiotics from the walk-in centre the day we arrived home. Pretty much everyone I know who’s travelled to Mexico has been the same to one degree or another, so just be mindful of this.
For us our honeymoon in Mexico was amazing. And Mexico itself made us fall in love – with each other a little bit more and with itself. It offered us 5* accommodation and luxury which was what we wanted for our honeymoon, while it also gave us everything else we wanted too – experiences. It’s such a culturally rich country, with so much to see that I couldn’t help but take hundreds of photographs. Our honeymoon in Mexico was perfect and I couldn’t recommend it to others more. We made a video to thank all of our wedding guests, family and friends for helping make our dream honeymoon wishes come true which has some ‘raw’ (!) moments from our honeymoon…feel free to laugh at my husband!