Chichen Itza and Valladolid

posted on: Monday, February 1, 2016

One more little post on Mexico today to remember this trip by. These photos are from the day we took a private tour out to Chichen Itza. Looking back, we probably could have rented a car and done the trip ourselves but we weren't sure how the roads were, or how difficult it would have been to find on our own since it was about a two hour drive from Tulum. That said, going on the tour was awesome. It was private, so it was just Josh and I, a driver and a guide who picked us up from our hotel in a very nice, comfortable commercial van. The owner of the company, Jay, was actually our driver that day and he has the tour timed perfectly to get you to sights before any of the crowds get there. He's also an expat from Santa Fe, so we had fun chatting with him and hearing about his life in Mexico.  Our tour guide, Roberto, was a proverbial fountain of knowledge about Chichen Itza, and Mexico as a whole, and I learned SO much about the history of the Mayans that I would have never been able to understand if we'd gone without a guide.

obligatory big arms
...and look! a picture of Josh and I in the same photo! thanks, Roberto!

After Chichen Itza we headed over to what is probably the most famous and arguably the most beautiful cenote in the Yucatan; Cenote Ik Kil. Seeing photos of this place before we left for Mexico is what really got me excited for this trip. It is unreal. Jay got us there right as visiting hours began and to my utter disbelief we had this entire place to ourselves. We could not have had better luck throughout this whole trip avoiding crowds and getting a really private, personalized experience at each place we visited. We were able to swim around in this beautiful place, completely undisturbed. It was a moment I will never forget.

And finally, on our way back to Tulum we stopped in the city of Valladolid to see some of the breathtaking Spanish colonial architecture. I'd emailed Jay when we booked the tour and asked if we could stop here and visit the Coqui Coqui since we would be so close. He graciously made arrangements to meet my request and Josh and I were able to soak in the beautiful architecture and enjoy a very memorable and delicious cup of tea in the Café de los Frailes before returning to Tulum. It was a perfect day.
I couldn't think of a much better place to spend a few nights away celebrating nine years of marriage. This country, at least what we were able to see of it in our short time there, exceeded our expectations in just about every way. I hope to return again and again.


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