Dizzy Swallows

The Yucatan Part I: Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza

The Yucatan Part I: Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza

March 24th, 2015 1 Comment

Hello my lovelies! This year for our joint birthday celebration, we sneaked away for a week on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Our first stop was the rather touristy, Playa del Carmen on the Caribbean Sea (which, incidentally, we never did swim in there). We were lucky enough to find the sweetest little boutique hotel called Hotel la Semilla at what I can only describe as the good edge of town (quiet, pleasant, away from the crowds of Quinta Avenida, Fith Avenue). This little haven honestly made the whole experience of Playa for us, and turned out to be our favorite accommodations of the trip.

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We did a lot of walking around the bustling little town, seeking out the best tacos and looking in vain for any shops not selling the same ubiquitous souvenirs. A notable meal was in one of the oldest restaurants in Playa, La Cueva del Chango, conveniently located just next door to Semilla. Oozing character and with lush, jungly outdoor seating, the delicious mole and achiote came as almost an after thought to the delightful experience. We most enjoyed our time in Playa, however, tucked away in our beautiful, airy room, decompressing and slipping into the slower pace of vacation.

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And for me, it was a good time to have fun with all the unique little touches, especially the antique mirror…

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After Playa, we drove inland to the charming little city of Valladolid. As a location, this was probably our favorite. A perfect stopping off point to the ruins of Chichen Itza, Valladolid is all beautiful pastel buildings and arched walkways, enticing visitors to stumble on charming, hidden squares, and discover its many architectural treasures.

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Bright and early on the the morning of Jacob’s birthday, we set out for Chichen Itza. Arriving at 9am, we had the pleasure of beating most of the crowds and the extreme heat of the day, though 15 minutes in we were already hopping from shade patch to shade patch. The ruins themselves were beautiful, strongly reminding me of our time at Angkor Wat, though Chichen’s hard angels and blocky facades are much more imposing than the curvaceous Angkor.

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I very much enjoyed the bas-relief carvings, and the humorous “big nose” faces found on many a corner. I also adored seeing Chichen’s population of iguanas coming out to greet the sun, each with its own perfectly chosen position atop the various monuments, king-like with head raised, haughtily surveying the masses below.

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To be continued…with a very special surprise in the next installment!

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One Response to “The Yucatan Part I: Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza”

  1. Steve says:

    Awesome! Beautiful photos! Thank you for the descriptive text; made your trip come alive for me (living vicariously).

    See you soon! Love and hugs, dad