Once Upon A Time in the Yucatán

July 16, 2016 • Travel Stories

Hi I’m still here! This is an overdue post about my family trip to the Yucatán Peninsula! We spent the beginning of July there and I’ve been back since the 4th, but immediately after returning I started my summer class, and that same day I struck a sudden high fever. I was so sick that I couldn’t get out of my bed for more than two days straight. People probably thought that I came down with some terrifying food poisoning since I was in Mexico. I was scared I had some contagious Mexican disease, though I didn’t even get one mosquito bite. It seems like somehow I caught a really bad case of the flu. It took a week for me to be able to make it through a whole day and only yesterday was I able to speak again.

I’m doing a lot better now though so I’m catching up on my life! Most of these photos were taken on my DSLR but some are from my phone.

On the first day, we flew to Cancún and our hotel was The Royal Caribbean, which is an Americanized resort with a private beach! I’ve never seen beaches this beautiful in the USA before.

Our resort’s private beach with little straw huts!

We had a room with a view of the ocean, and it was a suite so I got the living room to myself! Living that close to the ocean meant the temperatures were nice and cool once the sun went down, but it was loud listening to the high tides at night.

A beautiful and peaceful sunset

The day after we arrived, we took a bus three hours inland to Chichén Itzá, a famous tourist destination in the middle of the jungle. We first stopped by the Hubiku Cenote, which is a natural sinkhole in a cave, and was also a nice natural air conditioning.

Hubiku Cenote

Most of the fellow tourists went swimming but I was afraid the water would be cold was more interested in the Mayan village the cenote is located in. There was a Maya boy taking photos with the tourists and he definitely had a great time scaring me with his weapons.

Mayan queen being kidnapped!

The little Mayan huts from back in the day are so cute! They provide amazing shade from the sun – it’s completely dark inside there.

Little Mayan hut

The main attraction though, is the Temple of Kukulkan. This is one of the seven wonders of the world! Because somehow, in a world without technology, the Mayans were able to build this temple to align with the sun at the equinox. Twice a year at the equinoxes, the sunset casts a dark shadow on the left side of the temple, exactly outlining its shape. How did the Mayans calculate that?

El Castillo aka Temple of Kukulkan!

If you’ve seen The Road to El Dorado you might be familiar with this ring. It’s like the Mayan version of basketball! Pok-a-tok is a ball game similar to basketball where you shoot a rubber ball through these rings. The winning team has the “privilege” of being sacrificed to the gods.

A pok-a-tok ring

After our tour, we stopped by Valladolid on the way home. Valladolid is a Spanish colonial town that still looks like it is in the 1700s. There’s a majestic cathedral in the middle of the town as well! I think I would have liked to stay here for a day to explore a colonial life.

Cathedral of San Gervasio

The third day we stayed in Cancún because we were so exhausted by the heat and the walking. So we just spent the day shopping at one of the beachside malls. They had a lot of American brands that were about 5x as expensive as they are here, so we mainly stuck to trying tacos and beers, both of which are super cheap. I tried a daiquiri for the first time and have a new favorite cocktail! We screamed when we found a worm in our Mezcal tequila, only to learn it is supposed to be bug juice. No thanks.

Cancún harbor

On the last day, we went on another Mayan ruins tour, this time in Tulum, which is by the sea. The tour guide said this place was kind of like a vacation destination for the upperclass Mayans but I didn’t catch the rest because I was too busy staring at the view!

Tulum ruins

A city overlooking the sea? That’s just amazing! It must have been nice to be a Maya if you get to live somewhere this beautiful.

Mayan ruins by the sea!

Everyone just wanted to go swimming to get away from the heat. It was really hard to get good photos of the cliff and ocean because the waves were so strong, so I just took it from the cliff.

What a beautiful cliff overlooking a beautiful beach.

I didn’t go swimming, but that might have been a mistake because the waves were strong enough to soak me and I didn’t have a change of clothes. I bought a new dress and changed before leaving on the heavily-aired conditioned bus, but maybe that’s how I got sick.

Have you been to Mexico?

Subscribe to my Newsletter

Want new blog posts and what I'm designing delivered to your inbox once a month? Sign up here!

Write a Comment

8 Comments to "Once Upon A Time in the Yucatán"

Michelle wrote on 16th July 2016 at 5:12 AM

Glad you had a good time. 😀 The picture are gorgeous!


Sue wrote on 19th July 2016 at 11:23 AM

Such beautiful pictures 😀 Looks like you and your family had a blast. It’s too bad you got sick after the trip, but glad you’re better. I’ve never been to Mexico but would like to someday.Those beaches really do look like they are among the world’s best. That Mayan temple’s pretty awesome. Yeah no clue how they calculated its positioning.

“I didn’t go swimming, but that might have been a mistake because the waves were strong enough to soak me and I didn’t have a change of clothes.”

Do you mean you did go swimming? That was the only thing that confused me.


Liv Reply:

I think if I had gone swimming in a swimsuit then dried off and put my clothes back on I wouldn’t have gotten sick.


Georgie wrote on 21st July 2016 at 1:08 AM

Sounds like you had a lovely time. I love the photo of you with the Maya boy. 😀

I don’t often like swimming, as sometimes I think it’s a bother, but I like getting in the water. If there are too many tourists I will usually avoid a certain area as well though.

The ruins look really interesting, the Cathedral reminds me of the Notre Dame in Paris, haha.

I like that you wrote in depth about the things you saw. It’s good to have that kind of information, not just pretty pictures!


Tara wrote on 23rd July 2016 at 2:22 AM

Oh, wow! It sounds like a lovely trip! Your photos are all beautiful, and it’s making me want to visit the Yucatan Peninsula . . . though I’m really not a fan of tropical weather, nor am I a beach person, so I am not sure I’ll ever make it there LOL

I’m sorry to hear you got sick after the trip, though! That sounds like a horrid bug. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better!


Liv Reply:

Visit in the winter!!! 🙂 It will prob be like our summers.


Cat wrote on 25th July 2016 at 12:51 AM

Oh wow, the beach and water there looks beautiful! I love that sunset photo you took 🙂 I’m also amazed at the Temple of Kukulkan and how they were able to build that back then – both the size and how it aligns with the sun at the equinox. It looks sooo big. I think that’s really cool that you were able to see that and other Mayan ruins. If I went, those are the things I’d be really interested in!

That sounds like a fun trip, though that sucks you were sick right after coming back. I’m glad you’re doing a lot better now!


Raisa wrote on 26th July 2016 at 10:26 PM

Your trip looks so awesome!! I love all your pictures. 😀 I’m sorry you got so sick after coming back though! I’m glad you’re feeling better now. At least you had a good time on vacation!

I’ve never been to Mexico but I definitely want to go!


To Top