Mexico for Christmas 2009

Trip cost $1400, 1 week

I was talking to a girl several years younger than me about travel, she wanted to know where she should go after she graduated high school, I told her enthusiastically “Mexico!”. She said “I’d rather go somewhere with culture.” Ok…whatever. While Mexico is a great party destination, and a great place to relax, it does have culture.

Mexico is home to a number of festivals and ruins. The day of the dead is a national holiday, where families remember there loved ones who have passed away. It’s also a celebration of life. The celebration varies from place to place. Some towns have midnight dances, some towns celebrate something very similar to our Halloween. I haven’t been yet, but I plan to.

and I plan to look like this the whole time!

Mexico is a religious place, most people are Catholic, and Easter is a really big deal. Schools are given 2 weeks off and it tends to be the hottest time of year. You can expect serious crowds at the beach, but it would be one of the best times of year to check out the city streets. Many places have plays where they reenact the crucifixion on Good Friday. That’s right, it’s not just about chocolates and bunnies like some of those places with “culture”.

My experience with Mexico was the typical tourist experience. I spent a week in a 5 star all inclusive resort being pampered, waited on, and enjoying every second of my time. The weather was phenomenal, the beach was perfect, and the drinks were endless. A really relaxing vacation. When you’re tired of all that napping in the sun though, there are some sights you really shouldn’t miss.

Chichen Itza is a Mayan built city featuring a giant pyramid, it’s the most popular of all the archeological sites Mexico has to offer. One of the main reasons for it’s popularity is that tourists can pronounce it, our tour guide gave us a handy tip for remembering the name, it sounds like chicken pizza. It’s also one of the 7 wonders and about a 3 hour bus ride from Cancun. It gets really hot in the middle of the jungle, so don’t forget to bring your own water as it takes about half a day at least to see most of the ruins.

The pirate ships in Cancun may not be one of the 7 wonders of the world, but it is a great time for anyone who doesn’t get sea sick. There are 3, life sized pirate ships all crewed by movie pirates; Captain Hook, Captain Jack Sparrow and the all too freaky, Davy Jones (who did make a number of little kids cry so maybe take a different ship if traveling with little ones). They take you out on the sea for a few hours where they serve a really good steak and lobster meal and have unlimited drinks. The pirates perform a fantastic show where captains from other boats swing by rope onto your boat and have a sword fight. It’s really well done and another fun diversion from resort living.

I love Mexico, and I’m sure I’ll return before 2012 is up.  Perhaps an end of the Mayan calendar party is in order. I can’t think of a better way to ring in the “end of the world”. Spooky!

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