Quintana Roo, Mexico

A few months ago I traveled to Cancun Mexico, a place that I think gets highly misunderstood as only a college spring break location.

Though I’m not arguing the fact that it is very popular in the spring time to college spring breakers and has a strip that is like a Mexican Vegas, Cancun has so much more to offer.

Cancun has a lot of history, in fact, Cancun, I’ve learned actually means the snake nest in Mayan. The snake was a god to the Mayans and all the most popular Mayan ruins are along that area, but there are even small ruins that can be found on the beaches of Cancun if you go out and find them.

There are tons of beautiful cenotes (underground rivers), ruins and jungles within this area and though this is the most expensive region in Mexico, compared to the US dollar, it is still relatively inexpensive.

Just be sure to learn your currency transfer well, because locals will try to make you pay more if they think they can. Keep in mind, you will pay more in more touristy areas rather than local areas. I prefer the local areas, not only because it’s cheaper, but because you can get more authentic food and a more authentic experience.

And no, not every part in Cancun is touristy, though it is still better off than other places in Mexico.

We stayed in a private room at a hotel downtown called The Selina, which I highly recommend. It has tons of art and is also a hostel, so you find yourself meeting lots of young travelers. They also have an awesome nightlife open to the public with a pool with events going on every night and yoga every evening on the top level during sunset.

We stayed for 6 nights and only paid $140! The room was small but had it’s own bathroom, air-conditioning and a chiche style to it.

We booked most of our tours through Expedia, which we wanted to book them online because we weren’t sure if we should feel 100% safe booking them through all the thousands of booths trying to sell adventures on the street.

The first place we went to see was one of the famous seven wonders of the world, Chichen Itza in the Yucatan.

We booked an extra early tour, we woke up at 4am and left our meeting point around 4:30. By the time we were there and settled in, it was perfect temperature. Let me tell you, if you want to tour this place, you MUST book an early access if you don’t want to be extreme heat.

Chichen Itza, Yucatan

This place has some incredible history, so although you get here without booking a tour, I would recommend a tour guide to give you the low down on the deep history that goes into this area because it is amazing.

We booked with Amigo tours and they were phenomenal!

We drove by some villages in the Yucatan that gave you some perspective on the poverty in Mexico that can go unseen to tourists and it was baffling but we were happy to have experienced it.

We also stopped by a local shaman and traditional Mayan shop, where the locals made everything by hand at the the shop. We were told, places like this is where you want to spend your money, to really support what is made locally.

The next place we visited was Isle De Mujeres, a small island off the coast of Cancun. We took a caravan with all inclusive drinks and snorkeling, it was spectacular. These are the bright blue waters you see all over Instagram.

This is the perfect way to capture the beauty of the Caribbean while in Cancun and is incredibly relaxing 🙂

The island was full of restaurants and shops and a plentiful variety of delicious tequila tastings! They take tequila tastings serious in Mexico, and they truly taste better than anything I’ve had in the U. S!

I definitely recommend it.

The last tour we booked was the the Mayan Ruins in Tulum, these ruins are right on the beach and are absolutely incredible, not as massive as Chichen Itza, but it is the perfect thing to see to continue the history of the Mayans.

This place is also extremely hot and has very little shade, I would recommend doing an early morning tour if possible to this place!

Before entering the area of the ruins, I had the chance to hold a spider monkey! These monkeys normally come out in this area in early morning, but he was so freaking cute! His name was Ricky!

We did visit one cenote while traveling back from these ruins, it was Cenote Jaguar. Though I wish we would have came back and visited many more, it gives a good excuse to go back, as there are so many!

I also have stories of these adventures on my Instagram @shawntelle.marie.

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