Each year growing up, my mother would take me and my sister to her little hometown deep in Mexico. To be immersed in the culture, land, and history of my heritage was always so special, and it was during those trips that my love for travel and culture began growing. It's no wonder then, that when John and I were presented with the chance to visit this lovely country last month we jumped at the opportunity. This time the destination wasn’t a tiny obscure town in the middle of nowhere, but beautiful, bustling, coastal Cancun. And although enjoying the impossibly gorgeous beaches and indulging in authentic Mexican dishes was so much fun, speaking Spanish again was really the best. Diving back into this language brought forth a flood of precious memories from past trips with my mother that made the overall experience that much better.
Now though I in particular have many memories tied to Mexico because of my past, it’s actually a pretty magical place to make memories for any one—Cancun especially. John and I first visited Cancun several years ago, and visions of electric turquoise waves, deep inviting cenotes, and towering ancient ruins are still fresh in our minds. But best of all, we remember standing at the edge of the water at sunset on a lone dock with glasses of champagne in hand, renewing our vows to one another on the day of our first anniversary. And that’s what Cancun is capable of—it’s romantic, serene, breath-taking, and one of the best places in the world to make memories like that.
For our latest trip to this seaside gem, we stayed at the wonderful Finest Resort and basked each day in sun rays we thought didn’t exist anymore (for most of each year in Seattle, the sun transforms into a mere myth). We stayed in a comfortable room with its own pool out back, a jacuzzi, and a comfy hammock to swing in. The whole place was just what John and I needed to have a relaxing and comfortable trip.
We certainly took our time to rest, but we also made sure to get out and visit ancient sites, Mayan temples, and coastal towns. So if any of you are visiting Cancun soon, I've included some tips below to help make the most of out your trip.
First, fly Alaska Airlines. I know there are a lot of airline carriers out there, but this flight was one of the most comfortable and accommodating flights I have been on in a long time. They recently introduced a wonderful direct flight to Cancun from Seattle, which fantastic because in just 6 hours we were soaking up that warm Mexican sun. Plus, they offer in-flight wifi and texting which is always a nice bonus because that allows me to keep in touch with everything going on back on the ground :)
Second, get out of the resort. Don't get me wrong, staying at the resort is a wonderful thing, but there is so much more to see and experience beyond the walls of your hotel. I highly recommend Chichen Itza and Tulum—two ancient sites beautifully preserved from a thousand years ago. Heading to either of these spots will include a lengthy drive, but it is totally worth it. Also, if you do make it out to Tulum, I suggest stopping in the nearby city of Playa Del Carmen. It is a cute beachside town that is perfect for shopping, walking around, or for enjoying some authentic Mexican food.
Third, make sure to try some authentic Mexican food. Take some time out of your resort to drive along the coast and visit big cities and small towns. And don’t avoid the hole-in-the-wall restaurants—they’re likely the best around.
And Lastly, bring A LOT of bug spray. Seems like a small tip, but the difference between having this on hand and not is the difference between a good vacation and bad one. Keep the mosquitos away and enjoy yourself!
Here are a few other food spots that we we didn't get a chance to check out.
Many thanks to Alaska Air for sending John and I on this incredible trip. This was a sponsored post and as always, all opinions are my own.