Cancun, Mexico Getaway: Activities You Don't Want to Miss !!

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Our trip to Cancun was a little bit unconventional. My husband had served a 2 year church mission there nearly 20 years ago, so the sights we visited weren’t all your typical tourist attractions. It was so awesome to have my own personal Spanish speaking tour guide and to see all the places he’s talked about for years. These are the places you need to see!!

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We were very lucky we had some points accumulated in our Southwest Airlines Account. Southwest had just started flying to Mexico, so we had our flights completely covered except for the airport fees. This made it so we had some more money to spend on a nice hotel. We stayed at the Riu Palace Peninsula. It’s an all inclusive resort and completely gorgeous. We could’ve spent our entire trip just exploring and being entertained there. The food was absolutely amazing and we enjoyed being right on the beach for reading, relaxing, taking a dip and snorkeling. The view from our room was unbeatable.

My favorite time of the day was first thing in the morning when the sun was coming up. Everyone else was asleep, I could hear the waves crashing, and the wind through the palms. I was completely at peace.

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But our dream trip didn’t consist of hanging out at the resort. We wanted to explore and see the places my husband had lived, and do the things he hadn’t had an opportunity to when he was serving as a missionary.

So we rented a car (Just a heads up on that- getting car insurance from Mexico was mandatory with the rental and super expensive. We had major sticker shock. So be ready for that.), and made plans for driving all over the Yucatan Peninsula.

Our closest stop to Cancun, and my favorite of the trip, was taking the ferry over to Isla Mujeres. It is the most gorgeous little island. We rented a golf cart and were able to drive around the whole island. It was so much better than being in a car because you could hop in and out whenever you wanted to, and feel the sea breeze in your hair as you scooted along.

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One unique and fun place on the island was Tortugranja- a turtle sanctuary. It only cost a few dollars to get in, and had tons of tanks and pools filled with sea turtles.

We grabbed ice cream and fresh coconuts from the little road side stands. It was so awesome. Don’t pass those up. We ate at a quaint little restaurant that had amazing tostadas. We stopped by outdoor stands selling jewelry and gigantic sea shells for a dollar. The beach was breathtaking with the white sand under our toes.

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The second place I’d recommend is driving out to Chicen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Mayan pyramids there are incredible. The history of the place is fascinating, though a bit gruesome! There are tons of small vendor tables set up throughout the jungle with different trinkets you can barter for.

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We visited Izamal or the Yellow City on our way back from Chicen Itza. Almost the entire city is painted bright yellow. It was really cool to walk through. We toured this really unique Catholic Church that was built on Mayan ruins. We also hit a fresh tortilla bakery which was heavenly.

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The last favorite place we visited was Xel Ha Park. I have never seen anything like it. It was a waterpark that built in the jungle. So as you are walking from the different slides or excursions, you are walking through jungle paths, teeming with iguanas and macaws. We did a really neat water rafting ride that starts like you’re on a river rafting slides and takes you out near the ocean. We snorkeled, zip lined, dined, and relaxed in hammocks. There was dolphin excursions and lots of other add-ons you could do. We loved it.

We did this trip as a couple, but I can’t wait to take my kids back there someday. All the activities we did were super family friendly. What a beautiful place to make family memories!

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Hillary HessComment