Water Enthusiast 2007 Trip Report
The group of water aerobics and water enthusiasts returned for their second trip to the Maya Riviera and the Yucatan. Many of the group members joined us last year although we had a few new people who came after hearing what a great time we all had in 2006. Many of the people were from Mount Pleasant, SC but we also had people from Quebec, Massachusetts, Oregon and Florida.
Many of the members did the entire 10 day trip, but others opted for just a portion. They started on Halloween. They arrived at the new Terminal 3 at the Cancun airport. The flight was smooth and there were no problems getting through immigration and customs. Their vans were waiting for them as they arrived. We made a quick stop at Soriana, a favorite grocery store in Playa Del Carmen, to stock-up on supplies.
When we arrived in Akumal those who had been there before were excited to show the new people around the property, and especially the gorgeous bay. We got settled and everyone quickly changed into their suits to take a dip in the pool or bay. Then we gathered in the courtyard for a welcome margarita before heading to Lol Ha Beach Bar for appetizers and happy hour. Some people were exhausted from traveling all day and called it an early night while others went over to Akumal pueblo to see the Day of the Dead display at the school. There we feasted on home-made tamales. The students did a magnificent job setting up their alters. After a visit to the school we headed to La Buena Vida, the beach bar on Half Moon Bay. La Buena Vida is known for throwing some of the best Halloween Parties and this year was not disappointing. The costumes alone were worth seeing and the music was excellent for dancing.
Day of the Dead at Telesecundaria, Akumal
November 1st and 2nd are holidays in Mexico, the Day of the Dead is celebrated for two days, one called the Day of the Souls and the other the Day of the Saints. This is a time when many families return to their homes and pay homage to their family members who have passed on. It was very interesting for our group to learn more about this holiday and how different it is from our Halloween, which is all about costumes, trick or treating and commercialism.
The first day, November 1st, our group got up and went to breakfast either at Lol Ha or Turtle Bay. Susan had her water aerobics class at 9AM. We spent the day just enjoying Akumal, the bay, the stores and the pool. Later that afternoon many of us headed to Yal Ku lagoon for snorkeling. Another group headed to Xcaret to enjoy the dinner night show. Those who stayed in Akumal chose to either eat at La Cueva del Pescador or Lol Ha.
The second day a large group headed to Sian Ka'an with Alberto, who is related to Pastor, who was our guide last year. This year the group included the tour of Muyil Ruins and the jungle walk to the lagoon the canal experience they did last year. They had a marvelous time and were thrilled with all they learned about Maya history, the local fauna and flora and just the magnificent day. They came back exhausted!
A smaller group also went to Sian Ka'an but we drove down the beach road and entered the biosphere near CeSiak. I had been invited by Ron, one of the owners of Xamach Dos to come and visit his property. We had a nice visit with Ron, Cammie and Michelle. We also were allowed to see an ancient cemetery and witness how the graves were decorated for the holiday. It was an amazing afternoon and we stopped at Zamas and had lunch on the beach in Tulum.
That evening we went to Happy Hour at Lol-Ha where they were having a contest for the Robin best tropical shirt. It was fun to see all the locals enjoying themselves. Most of us opted to eat right there at the beach bar.
Day three we had a leisurely breakfast and headed to the library to meet Maggie and some of the young people, who practiced their English with us.
We then enjoyed a personal tour of the newly renovated Casa Romero, its 4 neighboring town houses and Casa Delphin. The owners David and Nancy Poor couldn't have been more generous and welcoming. They have done an amazing job and the properties used alone or together would be perfect for groups. They are located on Yal Ku lagoon and have the most spectacular views from their roof-top pools yes roof-top pools! The main home, Casa Romero has a gorgeous infinity pool. All the properties have their own private entrances into Yal Ku Lagoon and we were lucky enough to be able to enjoy some snorkeling while we were there.
We headed back to the hotel and had a water aerobics class in the pool. That evening we had our own little cocktail party with apps and blended drinks in our courtyard.
Day four we got up early and headed to Xel- Ha the one place that everyone wanted to return to. It was a fantastic day of floating down the river, all you can eat and drink and snorkeling galore. Oh, and don't forget the shopping. We arrived at 8:30 and stayed until 6. It was a great day for everyone.
Day five was a relaxing morning at Akumal. Some chose to get up early and head to Xel- Ha Ruins to do a little birdwatching, others signed up for massages, and the rest shopped, snorkeled and just relaxed under a palm tree and read. Later that afternoon we hopped on the colectivos and headed to Playa del Carmen for shopping and drinks and dinner. We wandered 5th Avenue and enjoyed the lights and the sounds of the busy pedestrian market. We dined at Babes. We opted for Taxis as our mode of transportation home.
Mom and Daughter strolling down 5th Avenue, Playa del Carmen
Day six we got up in the morning and had breakfast and said our goodbyes to Jo and Louise, who had to head home early. We then headed with Lety over to visit the school and see the new library, which several of our group has helped fund. Everyone was so excited to see some of the familiar faces from last year's visit. We have all promised to write each other. It would be great for everyone if pen pals were formed. The rest of the day people just did their own thing.
Day seven another relaxing morning. We said our goodbyes to Vicki and Judy, who flew out late that morning.
The word got out two days earlier that Little Juan gave the best massages in the world. That was all it took, we had him booked for the entire day! Word is that is worth the trip just to have one of Little Juan's massages. Everyone wanted to know if he would come visit us in the states because they didn't think they could wait a year! I already have instructions to book massages at the beginning and end of next year's trip.
Early that evening several of us headed to Bahia Principe to do some more shopping. It was an early evening since we were heading to Valladolid the next day.
Click here to read part two Yucatan Mexico Valladolid, Chichen Itza and Izamal.
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Meet some of the characters that went on this trip:
Denise our Bookworm
Gibson our Photographer Extrodinare
Jean and Gibson
Jo, Mom to most of us
Lorraine and Jean our taste testers
Lydia and Vicki
Susan our Water Aerobics Instructor
Walter and Linnea
Louise, Jo's daughter
Lydia and Jo
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