Is it possible to do an affordable Cancun trip during a 3 day holiday weekend? I thought it wouldn't be, but we somehow made it work for our Labor Day vacation! After a bit of research, Dave and I along with two close friends found an excellent hotel deal on Expedia.com at the Grand Oasis Cancun All Inclusive Resort. And yes, by all inclusive, this meant we wouldn't have to pay for dining, alcoholic drinks, and other fun resort activities. Unbelievable right? We took a red-eye flight via Aeromexico and after one Mexico City layover + eight hours later, we finally arrived in beautiful Cancun!
,We were unfortunately greeted by heavy rain and strong winds (see those wet cabanas above) on our first day. I was worried our group wouldn't have the chance to relax on the beach at all this weekend because of the weather, but thankfully it all cleared up by the next day and that's when we embarked on our bus tour to Cenote Ik Kil and Chichen Itza. There are many cenotes, or watering holes, in the area, but Ik Kil is perhaps the most breathtaking of them all. Both locals and tourists enjoy swimming in its natural, clear water to cool off from the scorching heat as well as take in the wondrous scenery.
Fun fact: Cenote Ik Kil is sacred to the Mayans and the ancient Mayans used this place for both relaxation and ritual services. Oh, and I didn't use the wrong tense, the Mayans still exist!
Our group headed over to Chichen Itza, one of the largest well-preserved ancient Mayan cities visited by millions of people from around the world each year. Online travel advertisements tend to only showcase the famous El Castillo pyramid, but these ruins are much more than that. As our guide carefully explained to us the reason behind each carving and motif, it was almost as if we were being transported back in time and we became fully immersed in the city's historical past.
Another fun fact: The El Castillo pyramid was built with impressive acoustics. Clap your hands in front of the staircase (pictured below) and you will hear the chirping sound similar to a queztel, a bird species the Mayans greatly admired for its colorful plumage and mythical significance.
If you decide to visit Cancun and stay at an all inclusive resort, please remember to tip the hotel staff accordingly. This includes waiters, chefs, room cleaners, bartenders, and bell boys. Their starting base salary is quite low, so most of their income comes from tips. I usually gave about $1-3 each time. You can also tip in USD which makes things even more convenient! I noticed dishing out a few extra dollars for the employees helped elevate the quality of service our group received.
We hope to come back soon and for perhaps, a bit longer as there is so much to see and do. Let me know if you have been there before and what your experience was like. I would love to know.
Thank you very much for reading. Until next time!