I think we all have our own image of Cancun created through Hollywood movies. To us it was a postcard of white hotels, palm trees, blue Caribbean water and American tourists in colourful shirts. Cancun, or at least the image it conjures up is not really our cup of tea but is certainly somebody’s margarita.
From our excellent scuba dive trip on Cozumel Island we arrived via bus to Cancun ( 68 pesos from Playa del Carmen ). Downtown Cancun resembled a lot the touristy Playa. Just outside the Cancun bus station we got on the Ruta 1 bus ( 10.5 pesos ) that took us all along the hotel zone, almost to the bottom of the long Avenida Kukuclan where most of the hotels are located. Even if you are not staying on the strip I would recommend taking the bus ride simply as an inexpensive and easy way of seeing the area. The hotels along the coast are grand, exactly like in the American movies when they go to Cancun for holiday. Some are still suck in the 80’s time warp from the tourism boom. Nothing wrong with the 80’s!!! Our resort was hidden out of sight and simply beautiful – Nizuc Resort and Spa. Nizuc, meaning ‘nose of the dog’ borrows its name from the peninsular on which it’s located. It’s also fitting a fitting name seeing that we arrived there sweaty like dogs. The place was quite amazing – it had an air of luxury but without overwhelming details. We got upgraded from Garden to Ocean view deluxe room which we didn’t mind at all. After staying in a tube hostel in Tulum it felt quite nice being driven around in golf carts from one spot to another or having a bathroom the size of a studio apartment.
The reason we came to Cancun in the first place was to attend a friend’s wedding. The ceremony was held on the beach of Nizuc hotel. The sound of classical music coupled with the natural surroundings made a perfect setting for this romantic event. People came from all over Mexico, France, Australia, Chile, London… We enjoyed the wedding as much as our bodies would allow. The previous days of mosquito bites and heat took a toll on us and eventually put us to bed.
We got up relatively early the next day and had a swim in the Nizuc pools and then a paddle board on the beach. The day was just perfect for laying in the sun and sipping Coronas. The contrast of sun on the sand and heavy black clouds remained one of our favorite memories. Unfortunately we had to check out and meet the wedding crew for a brunch nearby. We met at a restaurant Navíos, right on the water ( keep an eye out for the crocodiles ).
Cancun has a holiday appeal but it’s also quite pricey, especially food and taxis. Luckily we got a car ( Easy way rent a car highly recommended ) and took off that afternoon. I warned Thane about the highway that it is going to be dead straight for hours, and it was – we drove in the direction of Merida for just over three hours, with heavy rain along the way. We hardly saw any other cars. Only later we realised there is a toll-free local road parallel to the highway which explained the mystery of having the highway to ourselves. It was amazing to drive through the jungle of the Yucatan peninsula and our road was always surrounded by the thick vegetation. The local authorities do a good job with the nature conservation.
Closer to Merida and on the way out of Merida we encountered a few police checks, which were all quite quick. On one of the checks Thane had to blow the breathalyzer and was so stoked about it. Good time to mention, the people of this area are incredibly friendly and kind, even the police. Nobody hassles you, nobody upsets you, everyone is just so polite and easygoing. Next stop Uxmal!