Category Archives: Mexico

Day Trip in Nogales, Mexico

Looking for a break from the Phoenix summer heat, I needed a road trip.  Several of my friends headed North this weekend for Sedona, Flagstaff, and Payson.  We headed South to Mexico!

With some US cash in our pockets, passports (or Global Entry cards), iced coffee, and a full tank of gas we were on our way.

Nogales, Mexico fence in the background
Border fence in the background, from the Nogales, Mexico side

Total drive time was under 2 hours each way!  We paid $4 for parking on the US side of the fence (quite literally a fence dividing the countries) and walked through the International pedestrian border crossing.   The crossing for cars in either direction was slow moving and packed.  Mexico auto insurance must be purchased to drive across the border.  Walking was so much easier and faster to cross the border and getting around town.  Comfy sport sandals were a great footwear choice due to the many stairs and all of the walking. Continue reading Day Trip in Nogales, Mexico

Cancun Mexico

Mexico has a bad reputation for crime and violence, it is all over the news.  Yet, there are some beautiful and safe parts of Mexico, like Cancun.  It is on the eastern tip of Mexico, sitting on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.  It is well protected from most of the hurricanes and enjoys gorgeous weather year round.  There is no need to drive across the border, Cancun is easily accessible from most major airports.

Hyatt Zilara Resort
Hyatt Zilara Resort beach

Cancun boasts beautiful beaches, the northern section of the Great Maya Reef, Mayan ruins and museums, art, spa activities, shopping, nightlife, and friendly locals.  Far less expensive than the Mediterranean cities, Cancun is a great value for the vacation budget.

The Hotel Zone offers spectacular views from the variety of resorts represented by the major brands.

Many are all-inclusive food & drink resorts and a few are no children under 16 allowed, like Hyatt’s Zilara Resort.

AquaworldAquaworld resides within the hotel zone offering boat tour & fishing excursions, SCUBA certification & dives.  The Hard Rock, JW Marriot, and Paradise resorts are close walking distance to Aquaworld.  Other hotels are a short bus or taxi ride down the street.  Like most of the locals in Cancun, the instructors and crew speak multiple languages including English.  I spent half my vacation getting SCUBA certified and a couple more dives, because the reef is stunning. Continue reading Cancun Mexico

Mayans in Cancun, Mexico

The most well-known Mayan ruins and archaeological sites are in the interior of Mexico and Central America which can be difficult to visit, often requiring long car or bus rides.  The nearest airport to Chichen Itza is Cancun and then it is still several hours travel by car.  There are two noteworthy Mayan sites located within Cancun.

El Rey
El Rey
El Rey
El Rey

El Rey is located along the Hotel Zone of Cancun, tucked away behind large trees and a small sign.  For 43 pesos (per person) this hidden gem is an old Mayan village for exploration.  The area surrounding the structures is cut back leaving very little shade.  The site opens at 8 AM for the coolest temperatures.  There are plenty of signs in both Spanish and English translation.

View of modern hotel in the distance at the El Rey site
View of modern hotel in the distance at the El Rey site

The entire site takes less than an hour to walk and take a few photos.

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The Mayan Museum, Museo Maya de Cancun, is just down the street from the El Rey site.  The museum opens at 9 am, one hour later than El Rey, allowing for a full morning of Mayan history. At a mere 57 pesos, the entrance fee is one of the best bargains in Cancun!

Continue reading Mayans in Cancun, Mexico

Chichen Itza Travel Guide

Art, Museums, History, Science, Natural Wonders, and Archaeology are a few of my favorite things!  So what could be better than an archaeological site full of art, culture, science, an ancient pyramid, an astronomical observatory, and more located in a jungle? That was my motivation to spend the day at Chichen Itza Mayan archaeological site.

Continue reading Chichen Itza Travel Guide