Quintana Roo: The good and the meh
1. Hotel Casa Ticul – eternally sunshiney staff, comfy beds, free wifi and cable TV, Mexi breakfast with espresso coffee and very quiet rooms which is a major blessing in a town that loves blasting music into the wee small hours, even on school nights. They also have a water cooler so you can refill your drink bottle – gold star effort.
2. Mayan/Toltec ruins – Chichen Itza, Tulum and Coba were all definitely worth checking out. Ranging in age from 2500 BC to 950 AD, these ruins still bear some of the original stone carvings and paintwork. You can climb the pyramid at Coba which is knee-tremblingly high and at Chichen Itza you can marvel at the acoustics in the great ball court (when you clap, it echoes back like a bird’s cry). Make sure you go on a guided tour because otherwise you won’t know what you’re looking at … Mmm … Old rocks … Mmm … Fascinating. Also, there are iguanas everywhere at Tulum. Iguanas!
3. The Carribean – meaning ‘cannibal’, the beaches are ultra blue, powder white perfection and most of them have sun-lounger service for maximum laziness and drunkenness.
4. Cenotes (chenot-ays) aka caves – you can go swimming in fresh water springs in limestone caves in the middle of the jungle. It’s a little bit Blue Lagoon but without the incest or menstrual blood. That movie scarred me for life.
1. Cozumel – An island off the coast of Playa del Carmen. We caught the ferry over on a Sunday afternoon so, to be fair, it could have been the timing or the crappy weather that made Cozumel so lacklustre. Nonetheless, it was as boring as ordering a Shirley Temple at the Hotel California. Only go if you want to snorkel or dive (ie don’t go on an overcast Sunday).
2. The shopping – You want HOW MUCH for that?! Tacky tourist tat interspersed with beautiful, local artisan pieces at prices that will make you hightail it out of there like someone set fire to your credit card.
3. The touts – ‘Hola amigos! Come into my shop/restaurant/massage parlour/tattoo shop’ a cajillion times whenever you venture down the lively end of 5th avenue. No, gracias, nooooooo!
Tell me, fellow wanderers, what do you like about Quintana Roo state? Or even Mexico at large?