I just spent one month in Mexico, the first week by myself and the following 3 weeks with friends. Was I scared to go there by myself ? Yes! Would I do it again? Absolutely! From Tulum to Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido, we stuck to main tourist paths, and still got to experience a lot of the mexican culture while enjoying a beautiful holiday destination. I fell in love with Mexico. Here are my best (and worst) experience in Mexico.
Let’s start with TULUM:
Paradise destination, Tulum is the perfect trendy spot for spreading envious photos on Instagram… I mean I did it too, let’s just be honest about it. But it’s also because there’s no filter needed there. It is just stunning. But beauty has a price. And most hotels are not cheap. That’s if you are looking for the top luxury experience by the ocean, eating the best food, feet in the pool (because well, you know, sometimes you need a break from the ocean right?…)
I didn’t spend my money in luxury accommodations, but I did enjoy the great restaurants and went to a few of the cool beach clubs. I was very happy to stay at my hotel in town, en el pueblo, closer to my spanish school (best way to learn ever!), riding my bicycle like I belonged there… Give me a bike and I feel at home very fast apparently.
Food wise, you get to experience different cuisines, from Thai to Italian to Fusion, and Mexican of course. Difficult to choose from all the places I went to but I would recommend without hesitation Mezzanine for their delicious Asian menu, and LaZebra for the best tacos ever and cool bar on the beach. For the beach, I loved Coco Tulum for the relax atmosphere and great service.
Let’s move on to Oaxaca:
I loved the cool vibes of Oaxaca. Street-art, galleries, markets, nice coffee shops, cool roof tops with good music, and fresh air! The city benefits from the mountains near-by and offers a fresh breeze as well as a nice view. Close to many tours, we learnt a lot about the Mexican culture there. As we were traveling in late august, we had the pleasure to share the tours with Mexican travelers and had the tours given in Spanish (thank you Spanish lessons!). Full immersion :)
We then went south to Puerto Escondido:
Surf town and long beach, Puerto Escondido is a chilled spot to enjoy some sun and get a little adrenaline rush in the (dangerous) waves! Relaxed and quiet (a little too quiet when we were there), we loved that it wasn’t too developed. We also had the chance to experience Bioluminescence at night, in a pond near-by. Remember the Avatar movie, when they touch the plants and it all gets bright blue? Well we had the same “connection” with the water. I know it sounds crazy. But it was crazy!!!
The food was okay, nothing special, although we really made the best of the delicious breakfast at Dan’s Café Deluxe.
We then headed back north to Merida:
Our first impression of Merida was that the city was quite dead… But let the night come (and the heat drop a bit!) and here you are dancing on latino rhythms! Quiet streets and busy bars, you are also very close to Mayan ruins (Chichen Itza was impressive but too busy, we loved Uxmal) and Cenotes (water holes and caves). So, it is a great city to go explore during the day and learn some salsa moves at night. Ok, be aware that you’ll never stop sweating.
We didn’t find Merida to be the best food destination, but we had some of the best ceviche at the Peruvian restaurant Cevicheria. We didn’t get any luck with breakfast, although we enjoyed the very local atmosphere of the Cafeteria Pop.
Playa Del Carmen and a last trip to Tulum:
To finish our trip to Mexico, we couldn’t miss a few good dives…and a party! Playa del Carmen was the perfect place to do both. Busy and made for tourism, Playa feels like a little Miami, with loads of shops, bars and clubs. But, it is also a great diving destination, with many cenotes around (and thus amazing cave divings) and Cozumel island not far (one of the best diving spots in the world). I don’t have many pictures to share… but here is a very important piece of advice: don’t forget your relief cream for mosquito bites. It’s forbidden to wear any repellent (or sunscreen) when diving… and I’ve never seen so many mosquitoes attacking (yes attacking!) us before and after our dives in the jungle.
To forget about the itch, we were happy to find great cocktails, food and music at night. I also had the best birthday dinner at the Frida Kahlo restaurant, where the service was unbelievable and the waiter offered us a cup of Mezcal with grilled ants as a digestive!
We ended our trip in Tulum, far from the noise and craziness of Playa, and closer to paradise…with the best moon rise ever seen.