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Last month I joined a group of friends for a week-long trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico! The 12 of us rented an AMAZING Airbnb house and spent a week in the sun exploring, relaxing, eating, drinking, and perfecting our burns!

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I really liked my friend Katrina’s post about the trip, so in the spirit of imitation as flattery (we had similar highlights!), here are my favourite things about the trip.

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Tulum:

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I really wanted to visit the Tulum ruins because they’re on a cliff overlooking the turquoise sea, wuttt! K and I managed to get there early and avoid major crowds and the heat. The site was beautiful, but the beach (Playa Paraiso) slightly south of there was PARADISE.

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Possibly the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen. We played in the waves with our boogie board, lay on the beach, and spent a couple hours with our toes in the sand at a beach-side grill’s happy hour! There was a CAMPSITE there! If I go back to the Yucatan Peninsula I’d want to try staying there for sure!

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Puerto Morelos:

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I loved this smaller town! Another place I’d like to go back to and potential stay in if I went back. It was colourful and quiet, but also tourist-friendly and easily accessible.

We were only there for an afternoon/evening, but had fun at happy hour (it was a fuzzy evening haha), eating tons of empanadas, and swimming in the dark because of all the time we spent eating empanadas! We even got to see some bioluminescence, and Rosemarie described what the beach looked like in daylight, so we didn’t miss out 😛

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Iguanas!!!

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Our backyard was like a nature documentary. I woke up early one morning and sat out by the pool, where I  saw loads of colourful birds, a coati and (I think) an agouti. There were geckos all over. We also saw iguanas!!! This was number one on my wildlife checklist for Mexico and some came through our backyard! There were also loads at the cenotes and Tulum.

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FOOD:

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Ohmygod. Mexican food in my mouth all the time. Tacos everyday. Everything was good. And *bonus*: I took Dukoral so I didn’t get sick at all! El Fogon was a definite favourite; we got take out one night (some of my friends got it twice!) AND visited the restaurant another night; chorizo and al pastor tacos were delish! I also tried horchata (sweet rice milk) for the first time and it was another fave.

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Mega-relaxation:

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I’ve learned to relax since sucking at in Boracay! I read an entire book, drank beer and margs on the beach, and spent lots of time doing verrrry little. And becoming a lobster.

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Hammocks:

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This is its own category because… one day K and I tried set up two hammocks side by side, tied to the same two palms. As soon as we sat down, we realized that we were getting closer to the ground. We looked up and realized just in time that one of the palm trees was falling over! Oops… #badtourists #toomanytacos After figuring out that there was nothing we could do, we collected our stuff and quickly ran away to find better hammocks trees, with deep roots!

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This girl:

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(Not…me… obviously.)

Time on the beach, in the ocean, and tandem hammock-ing with my awesome girlfriend… just the best 😀

 

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The crew:

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I was a little reluctant to go on a trip with a big group but it was so much fun! We had a nice balance of doing things all together and in smaller groups/couples/etc., and it was great to reunite at the house most evenings for drinks, games, and shenanigans in the pool! Plus, it was so cool to spend time with old friends (from high school!) and their partners, and fun people who I met on arrival.

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The house:

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It was just perfect – lots of bedrooms providing lots of privacy, a backyard pool, a gazebo, a huge kitchen, daily cleaning, and it was only about a 15 minute walk to the town/beach.

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Honourable mentions:

Cenotes:

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These limestone sinkholes/natural swimming holes are beautiful! Some are completely open, some partially covered, and some almost fully covered, like caves.

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We went to a park with 4 different cenotes which was a great, easy way to do it. Lots of hammocks, lots of iguanas, lots of fun (Louis C.K. was even there!), but the water was suuuuper cold! Think Ontario lake cold!

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Turtles:

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We saw sea turtles!!! We went snorkelling in Akumal and saw several big turtles, as well as a barracuda, some squid and plenty of cool fish. Then we spent a really fun day hanging out at the beach, with lots of beer and freshly picked coconut 😀 I did find the entrance to Akumal Bay very commercial (you can’t walk onto the beach without being approached about guides and snorkelling options), but I think the slightly-contrived experience was in the turtles’ best interest! Tourists aren’t allowed to snorkel out wherever they want, and there are rules about keeping your distance from the turtles, wearing biodegradable sunscreen (not enforced!), and more, which is great!

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It was an amazing trip!

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