Summer Adventure in the Yucatan Peninsula

Summer Adventure in the Yucatan Peninsula

Tyge and I set off to the Yucatan Peninsula to spend some time with cousins and what was intended to be a few of days of relaxing on the beach…. Our trip turned into an exploration of Mayan civilization, discovery of whale sharks, a visual architecture and interior design Paradise, and an underground world of cenotes below thick layer of limestone that is the bedrock of this area!

We stayed in a town called Playa del Carmen that sits between Cancun and Tulum.  It is a smaller town and the Belmond hotel (our home for a few days) is nestled there between the beach and jungle so we were able to experience the best of both worlds.  The accommodations and staff were top notch and we were treated like royalty.  Everyone clearly wanted us to have an unforgettable experience and directed us to have a better understanding of their little slice of heaven. 

The adventure started in Chichen Itza, which is considered a Wonder of the World. It is a complex of Mayan ruins with a massive pyramid called the Temple of Kukulcan.  Every inch of this temple was thought through mathematically and astrologically.  It is a geometrical wonder and is a display of how carefully the Mayans payed attention to and documented the world around them. 

This ancient city thrived from around 600AD to the 1200’s and we highly recommend it for anyone’s bucket list! 

The next day we set out on a motor boat for nearly two hours in the rough open ocean to find the elusive whale sharks. They come up from the depths for just a few months out of the year to feed.  They can be found where the Gulf of Mexico and the Carribean meet.  Nearly everyone on our boat was sea sick, but the journey was worth our while as we were able to snorkel next to these gentle giants and the massive Manta ray frolicking about.   

Off to Tulum to see what all of the hoopla is about.  I have been hearing a lot about this town lately and what an extraordinary and spiritual place it is.  We went to visit for the day and now I understand why people love it so much.  We only scratched the surface, but the hotels, restaurants and shops we wandered through were exceptional. The architecture is very organic and incorporating the natural world into the design is done in a very artful and grounding way.    

The most impressionable place we visited was Nomade where we had lunch on the beach.  We sat on oversized Moroccan pillows planted in the sand at a massive raw wood table. There was a gentleman on the beach wafting burning Copal (a local herb) to clear the air.  The menu was built around what came from the sea that day – grouper, snapper and lobster.  Everything was so fresh and bbq’d to perfection.  Oh and don’t forget the roasted corn!!! 

Our guide Mario who took us to his favorites spots and he happens to be a professional scuba diver who spends much of his time in the tunnels that connect the cenotes. He explained that they are all connected and end up in the Blue Hole off the coast of Belize. Stories of his harrowing journey through the stalactites and stalagmites in underwater tunnels did not compel us to go there so we just enjoyed our time swimming, canoeing and jumping off of cliffs into the most picture perfect emerald-blue waters. 

Summer Adventures in the Yucatan Peninsula | chateausonoma.com Summer Adventures in the Yucatan Peninsula | chateausonoma.com

Tyge and I highly recommend checking out this part of the world if you haven’t already. It is just a 6 hour direct flight from San Francisco and well worth the journey. The Mayan people are so kind and a real example of how important it is to live simply so we can really take in the wonders around us and appreciate this beautiful life we have been given. 

Con amor,  Sarah 

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