We adored the long stretch of palm trees, fairy dust sand and beachside restaurants serving up margaritas on the rocks, but we craved a bit of adventure so...
After a few days of soaking up the beach town vibes of Tulum, we ventured east to explore some more of the Yucatan Peninsula. We set off with a rented car, fresh mangoes (and chili), sunscreen and excited spirits. Our first stop was the impressive Maya temple complex of Chichen Itza, named one of the "New 7 wonders of the world" and yes, it’s every bit as magnificent as everyone raves about. “Chichen Itza” meaning “at the edge of the wall at Itzaes”, is said to be named for the two cenotes in it’s proximity. It is not fully understood exactly how the Mayas created such vast temples, but one thing is certain; you can feel the magic here even hundreds of years later.
After leaving the 90 degree sun and crowds at Chichen Itza behind we decided to take a little stop in the colonial town of Valladolid. One of the highlights of this charming town was the large cenote only blocks away from the town square.
Cenotes are freshwater pools created by underground rivers that collapse sections of the limestone bedrock. Dipping in the divine waters of the freshwater pool was a much needed rejuvenation after walking around Chichen Itza in the hot sun. There was an entry fee of a couple dollars, which helps maintain the cleanliness of the grounds and pay for staff. The cenote is gorgeous with vines and trickling water falling over the cliff into the pool. I had a little surprise when tiny cute fish started nibbling at my toes.
Mexico is known for various handmade crafts depending on the region you visit. Valladolid is known for leatherwork, and we discovered various stalls selling belts, purses, shoes, sandals, backpacks, keychains, wallets and other leather goods. You can expect to pay $8-$15 USD for a good pair of leather sandals or a purse. I bought a cute little pair of neautral colored shoes that I live in now. Valladolid is well worth going to if only for a stroll around the plaza, a look at the charming architecture and a quick shopping trip.
The leaher shoes I got along with some perfecfly ripe mangoes.
I adore exploring and this year I went to Quintana Roo & the Yucatán twice! Have you been to Mexico? I need some new beaches to enjoy and new places to wander. Comment below with any recommendations you have!
With love and grace,