Playa Del Carmen, Cenotes, & Tulum Ruins

the spontaneous trip crew

Playa del Carmen was an impromptu girls trip attached to the front end of a wedding I was attending. 

It was really thrown together that week, mass text invites were sent, and flights and hotels booked the day before. The benefit of having so many friends in the industry kicked in and it worked out perfectly. 

Shenna and I arrived and checked into our little boutique hotel on 5th Ave in Playa del Carmen. 5th ave is full of boutiques, restaurants, and bars. It’s all one block from the beach as well. I really liked the area, and would totally go back for a few days visit! We intended to have a nice dinner and early night, and wait for the girls to get in the next day for the eventful stuff. Obviously that’s when the craziest nights happen, and I blame it on the promoters walking us from the street straight into VIPs in a couple of different clubs. A sexy New Zealander and his accent helped convince me, and Shenna was stuck. We danced the night away and felt like hell the next day. VIP & all you can drink = cheap booze and a terrible hangover.

Breakfast and hair of the dog on the beach helped, and we were back in commission by the time the other girls arrived. We treated ourselves to $17 70 minute massages literally on the beach that day. I meannnnn, it doesn’t get much better than that.

That evening we went to one of the coolest restaurants I’ve ever been, Alux restaurant. It’s not far from 5th Ave and cabs are readily available to and from. This restaurant is built underground in a cavern. There’s even a room you can dine in next to a cenote. The food was decent and in the medium piece range. The experience is where it’s at though. We toured the other rooms after dining in the main bar and restaurant area and it’s all beautiful and very memorable. If you get a chance & are in the area, go! 

one of the private dining rooms 

The next day we toured Tulum ruins. We ended up booking a tour for $45 each that included transportation, a guide, and also a trip to the Grand Cenote. Bus options are also available on ADO buses, and would have been more efficient. I enjoy hearing stories and the history though, and was thankful for our mediocre guide. The ruins are very lackluster compared to the ones I have visited in Belize and Guatemala. These ruins are only a small enclosed area primarily used for priests and doctors, and contained just a few buildings and temples. I find the Mayan culture interesting, specifically their architecture and the detail. The main temple at this site was designed so that the sun would shine through a small window at each seasons solstice and hit one of the smaller buildings behind it illuminating a specific part of it. It would only work 4 times a year at the specific solstice. The building also supposedly whistles loudly when the winds are hurricane strong. The main temple is closest to the Caribbean sea built on a cliff. The most impressive thing about this site is the backdrop and contrast of the ruins against the sea.

Now the Cenote we enjoyed immensely. Cenotes are holes where limestone has collapsed above freshwater streams. There are hundreds throughout the area. The Grand Cenote was exposed to the sky in a large area, but you could also swim through one of the openings under the cavern into another opening. We loved the cenote! It was a beautiful blue, a muddy sand like bottom, and vines and plants growing down from the rocks overhead. Not to mention the stalagmite in the cave parts. Beautiful and a lot of fun to be able to free swim through. 

That evening we ate at a beach bar, and just enjoyed each others company. I’m very thankful for that chill night before my wedding weekend began. 

The girls headed to the airport and I left for El Dorado Royale Resort for a wedding. The resort was beautiful, but spending time with an amazing group of people for 4 nights was by far the best part. I know the groom from college, and have known the bride since they started officially dating. They’re both fun loving & good people so I knew the group that they would bring to their wedding would be the same. I wasn’t disappointed, it was an epic long weekend and a beautiful wedding. 

I’m still in recovery from how epic it was, as well as from Montezuma’s revenge that seemed to hit a solid 25% of the guests… but, it was still well worth it to see 2 of my favorite people tie the knot!

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