Travel/ USA & Caribbean

Five Things I Wish I’d Done in Mexico

I’ve been to Mexico once before but you wouldn’t guess it from my blog. The only time I’ve shown any photos from my trip was when I wrote my thoughts on all-inclusive holidays and basically that’s because the only part of Mexico I really saw was the hotel beach.

While I’m not completely slating those type of holidays, not seeing more of the country is something I’ve always regretted and so I decided to write a whole new bucket list of things I wish I’d seen in Mexico! Hopefully one day I’ll get to go back and experience some of these amazing things to see and do…

Five Things I Wish I'd Done in Mexico

Try out a luxury villa

During my last trip, we stayed at 5* Grand Sirenis Resort in Rivera Maya and while it was really lovely, I’d quite like to try something different next time around. The idea of relaxing in a luxury villa sounds pretty heavenly – maybe a quirky retreat or something super private with a beautiful pool? In Mexico houses to rent range from affordable to eye-wateringly expensive so the destination can cater to backpackers and luxury holidaymakers alike.

The benefits of staying in a hotel are pretty decent: the staff can help you out with any information you might need to help you enjoy your stay and lots of the time, everything you need is within a short walking distance. But staying a villa would force me to fend for myself a bit more and get out of that lazy relaxation at least once a day where it’s time for dinner – Mexican food is always getting off the sun lounger for! Cheesy quesadillas, burritos packed full of beans and goodness…well, I might have to head off to Las Iguanas after this for the second best thing!

Chichen Itza

Credit: Unsplash

Gaze up at Chichen Itza

Visiting the largest archaeological city of the Maya civilization would be an unbelievable experience but for some reason, I just couldn’t summon up the will to tear myself away from the pool to visit on my Mexican holiday back in 2015. It’s definitely one of my biggest regrets from the trip as the Kukulkan Pyramid was crowned one of the Seven New Wonders of the World!

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula (around a 2.5 hour drive from Cancun), it looks like there’s so much to see in the complex itself and some tours include visits to local villages as well. They used to put on a light show each evening at sunset but there’s little information on it after 2016 so let’s assume that it no longer goes ahead! However, if you’re interested in some festivities, celebrations do take place there during the spring and autumn equinox where the days and nights are completely balanced.

Explore Xel-Ha

While this is undoubtedly a busy and touristy activity, a day out here just looks like so much fun! From snorkelling, swimming and river tubing through the calming lagoons and grottos to zip lining and cliff jumping, I can imagine it being the perfect activity for groups of friends or a family to enjoy.

Personally, I’m the less adventurous type so you’d find me luxuriating in the water and trying to spot as much marine life as possible. Put me anywhere with a beautiful stretch of turquoise water and you’ll struggle to make me get out – unless you’re stood on the edge waving a portion of chips at me anyway! Aaaand I’m back onto food again. Sorry guys, I definitely need to go and feed my rumbling stomach once this is done.

Cenote Ik-Kil

Credit: Pixabay

Swim at Cenote Ik-Kil

Once used by the Mayans to make human sacrifices to the rain gods, my reason for wanting to visit Cenote Ik-Kil is much less bloodthirsty. If you’re an Instagram addict like me, you’ll almost certainly have seen this stunning pool that lies surrounded by rocks, complete with trickling waterfalls and dangling Tarzan-like vines. It’s pretty close to the ruins of Chichen Itza so the two could probably be combined in a day trip – a swim would definitely go down a treat after a few hours looking around the ruined city!

It’s a massive 40 metres deep which makes my feet get that funny tingling feeling to think about but I can imagine the feeling of the cool water on my skin just from looking at the unbelievable photos of this destination but when I visited Mexico last, I’d never even heard of it! Hopefully one day I’ll have the chance to descend the 26-metre staircase and bathe in what has to be one of the most stunning natural pools on Earth – although I’m open to finding others, of course 😉

Experience the nightlife in Cancun

I don’t think there’s a single person I know who would describe me as a party animal. My ideal Friday night is fully pyjama-d up with a takeaway and a blanket. But it’s rare when I can motivate myself to actually get dolled up after a long week and head out on the town so with this in mind, it’s quite surprising that nightlife even makes it onto the list. However, there’s just something about the Mexican reputation that makes it somewhat irresistible – there must be a reason that Cancun is a legendary Spring Break destination, right!?

Top of my list is Coco Bongos for the sheer, mind-melting exuberance: friends who have visited tell me stories about Spiderman sailing above them while a non-stop rotation of performers keeps the show fresh all night. But on a quieter night, I’d be quite happy skipping the tequila shots in favour of a relaxed bar with some live Latin music and great conversation.

With these five activities on my Mexico bucket list, I reckon I could happily go back and explore to make my next visit much more worthwhile than my first. Of course, there will still be time for some beach relaxation (cocktail in hand, of course) but the idea of actually getting to see some of Mexico is so exciting that I almost want to get on Skyscanner right now…who’s with me?

Have you ever been to Mexico? If there’s an amazing attraction you think I should add to my list, let me know in the comments!

Laura x

Post written in collaboration with Luxury Retreats but wanderlust and wishlist are both COMPLETELY my own. Now, who wants to come with?

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Things I Wish I'd Done in Mexico

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  • Reply
    February 3, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    I’m not a beach holiday kind of person (too easily bored :P), but I’d not really considered Mexico before – this has completely changed my mind! I *need* to swim at Cenote Ik-Kil; what an amazing location!

    • Reply
      February 3, 2018 at 6:50 pm

      Aww that’s great to hear that you’d want to visit now! It looks amazing doesn’t it 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    February 3, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    I have loved all of the trips I took to Mexico. We have been to Chichen Itza and Xel-Ha and loved both places. We went to Chichen Itza when you could still climb to the top. I hear you can’t do that anymore. My favorite place though was Chankanaab National Park, on Cozumel. Such a great place. Lots of things to do and great snorkeling.

    • Reply
      February 3, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      Oh wow, that is incredible that you went to the top! I’ll put that National Park on my list too 🙂 thanks! xx

  • Reply
    February 3, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Everybody has different expectations when going to a trip. I have friends who have stayed at a resort in Mexico and they have enjoyed resting and doing nothing in particular. My approach is different. When I visited the Yucatan Peninsula, we were on the road every day and had a blast visiting Mayan ruins, cenotes and colonial towns. I want to do it again!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    I’m hoping to go to Mérida in March. I definitely want to see Chichén Itzá. While I really want to visit cenote Ik-Kil, I don’t think my kids would be comfortable there just yet. However, I live in Mexico right now, so maybe I can visit again when my kids are a little older!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    I wish I did all this too! There’s just so much to do and see in Mexico hat I just haven’t gotten around to it yet! Oh well next time right??

  • Reply
    My Ticklefeet
    February 3, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Sounds pretty much what I would say! lol Although I did see Chichen Itza and went to Coco Bongo (It’s AHmazing!!), I wish I had gone to the cenotes and seen Tulum as well 🙂

  • Reply
    March 5, 2018 at 4:15 am

    Laura, this brings back SO many memories for me! My husband and I honeymooned in Cancun almost five years ago and we visited both Chichen Itza and Cenote Ik-Kil. Both locations are breathtaking and this makes me want to go back so badly. If you ever have the opportunity to travel to Cancun again, you need to see these places for sure! Thank you for reminding me of these beautiful places.

    • Reply
      March 6, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      Aww I’m so glad that you liked it! I’m definitely going next time 🙂 xx

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