PLACE #45 – Tulum, Mexico

Mexico 2015 by Sveta Fedarava 11

Mexico 2015 by Sveta Fedarava 2

On May 16, 2015 two of my really close friends tied the knot on the beautiful beach of Grand Bahia Principe Tulum resort in Mexico. Myself and most of my dear friends were invited to this destination wedding. In total there were over 80 guests that gathered to witness the ceremony and at least half of them were young-spirited and fun-loving friends whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for many many years. The ceremony was very beautiful and heartfelt with touching speeches, beautiful bride and handsome groom, mariachi band, and even a piñata.

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We all flew into Cancun, Mexico a few days before the wedding and had the beautiful beaches of Grand Bahia Principe Tulum resort to ourselves. This was an all-inclusive vacation and given the fact that I was surrounded by my friends it was hard to stay away from the sandy beaches, swim-up bar in the pool, mojitos and endless tequila shots. The resort was a pretty standard “all inclusive” resort with good food and even a few decent restaurants.  The diversity of the wildlife at the resort was very intriguing to me – racoons, lizards, birds, limurs and even crocodiles.

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Most of the time we stayed at the resort except for two separate trips outside of the resort – one to the famous club  Coco Bongo, and one to visit Mayan Riviera – Chichén Itzá Pyramids.

Coco Bongo

Coco Bongo is the most amazing club I’ve ever been to. It’s actually a mix of a night club and a performance show filled with enigmatic performances by Michael Jackson, Freddy Mercury,  Tina Turner, and even the King of Rock himself (they were obviously look-alikes). We went as a large group and we all had a great time. Overall it was one of the best “clubbing” experiences I’ve had in a really long time.

Even the decor of the club was unusual and very cool – there were 3 or maybe even 4 different levels, some of the higher levels had tables and couches, so people could sit back and enjoy the show. During some of the performances thousands of balloons would be thrown into the audience, during other performances soap bubbles would fill the dance floor – the audience was engaged through the entire evening in one way or another.

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Chichén Itzá and  Sinkhole Ik Kil Yucatan excursion was our second trip outside of the resort. We rented out 3 vans and drove through the rural parts of Mayan Riviera directly to the Chichen Itza Pyramids. Driving through the local villages and towns was quite a different experience because you get to see how Mexico really is outside of the resort.

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We drove for about 3 hours and finally arrived to the pyramids. I always wanted to see Chichén Itzá because I’m quite familiar with the history of this place and the Mayan culture – I’ve always been fascinated with the pyramids and finally seeing them with my own eyes and being there was such a great experience.

See more Chichen Itza photos on my Flickr page

El Castillo dominates the center of the Chichen Itza archaeological site. This pyramid is also known as the Temple of Kukulcan (Feathered Serpent), which is the dominant deity in the Mayan culture. We spent a few hours walking through the ancient city with the tour guide who educated us about Mayan culture and their superior  engineering skills that were able to create such engineering marvels as the Temple of Kukulcan.

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On our way back to the resort we made a stop at the Sinkhole Ik Kil Yucatan, also known as a cenote, which was a personal favourite of mine. This sinkhole was about 40 meters deep and was also open to the sky. People were able to come all the way down and take a swim in the chilly waters (which was quite refreshing considering the fact that it was around 35 degrees celsius outside). We spent about an hour in the deep blue waters of this majestic cenote before we had to be on our way back.

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As we drove back to the resort, we made one last stop at a small roadside hut where we enjoyed delicious coconuts. A tiny roadside restaurant across the street had amazing empanadas, but since there were so many of us (about 20 people) the restaurant ran out of ingredients for empanadas, which were made from scratch by the way, and the gracious hostess offered us local fruits instead. I’m not sure what we had, but it was delicious.

Overall, the day was busy and filled with excitement.

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Mexico was a very fun and relaxing vacation. I loved the sandy beaches and the warm ocean waters, the wedding was a highlight, seeing Mayan pyramids was a treat and great company throughout the entire trip was the cherry on top.

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