Playa del Carmen Off The Beaten Path Tips by whitneyone Top 5 Page for this destination
Playa del Carmen Off The Beaten Path: 32 reviews and 38 photos
View from the Temple
You have to take a boat here. And you can catch one just inside the ruins at Myuil, south of Tulum. 25 dollars a person a guide will take you though the huge lagoons and narrow canals used by the Maya to tranport goods about a zillion years ago.
It's a small boat. We did see a crocodile. Maybe he was guarding a temple..ONLY ACCESSIBLE BY BOAT!
Beauty on the beach
The further south you drive, the less popuated it becomes. Yet you would hardly know this due to the huge facades on the highway announcing that you have reached another sprawling development. In Akumal there are a lot of houses, a few hotels and one of the nicest beaches between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum.
The water was warm, the people were all so HAPPY. There was a family, a couple and two sons aged possibly 6-10 who simply snuggled with each other as they stared at the ocean. No ice chests, no towels, no fighting, just the four of them together. They must have sat like that,changing positions for an hour. It was one of the nicest things I have ever seen. Maybe they were always like that, but I owe some of it o the beach.
The castle at Coba
Everyone goes to Chichen Itza and climbs the Castillo. How about Coba, where you can climb an even TALLER one?
Coba has not been as fully restored as Chichen Itza nor has it been cleared of all jungle yet so you take paths (oh please rent a bike to do this) to each area. In the end you can climb the tallest castle in the Yucatan.
A spanish ship sank in this area over a hundred years ago and some people still search for beads and gems and find them. Do not go expecting to discover a bounty. I found one bead and one gem.
This beach is directly across the highway from the Aktun Chen Cenote but is hard to get to due to the HUGE hotel that wants you to buy a day pass to walk though the lobby. You can walk around it, but it's quite a walk.
Here's the stair case you climb to the top, and with more difficulty to the bottom. With a little bit more difficulty if you have a fear of heights or falling. I have both! Yet with the help of that rope down the middle, I made it.
Chances are excellent you can too!
Beauty and the Croc
It's a beautiful lagoon, in the north end of Akumel and is much smaller than Xel-Ha, and much cheaper. About 6 bucks a person. Don't expect food and lockers to store your things. The only place to lounge is on the rocks, although there are a few benches too. What a bad time to be without a water camera.
Lots of fish, especially around the staircases to the water There are a few islands too. We were watching an Egret on one of the small islands, when my boyfriend noticed, and pointed out to me, what he believed to be an iguana. UM, it wasn't an iguana...it was a 4 foot long CROCODILE. The bird made a slow exit and we were transfixed, with awe and with trepidation. How could there be a CROCODILE not 15 feet away from us?? Not wanting to turn our backs, we told the few other swimmers about it, and no one wanted to get as close as we did. The croc sometimes bared his teeth, sometimes closed his mouth, but never moved. Lucky for us. We just have to believe that this is not an every day event at Yal-Ku but please be aware of it. Upon telling the managers, they spoke among themselves, asked its size and then told us that he never bothered anybody. I have a hard time believing anyone has trained a croc...this is no way ruined my day, it was quite exiting, but we did get out of the water after another 10 minutes of nervous snorkeling.
Update August 2005..
We have heard of one other person who saw a croc right around the same time as we did.
It has been reported that it was relocated
Mayan Canal at Sian Ka'an
Part of the guided tour of Sian Ka'an is swimming in the canals. you take these Mayan canals from one lagoon to another.
By now you know that we saw a crocodile.
then we stopped at the temple a couple of minutes later. Before we got back in the boat our guide told us we could swim. LOL. Hadn't we just seen a croc? He told us now that it was getting overcast the croc would stay in the reeds and we would be downstream.
I don't know why this all sounded so REASONABLE on vacation. So In we went.
You would not think there was a current, but there was...the guide turned off the motor and guided the boat right behind us with a pole, which i am sure doubles as a croc smacker...just in case.
It really was amazing until my nerves/better judgement got to me after about 10 minutes.
The temple on an island
Here's the temple. You can't see it in the photo, but after our encouter with the crocodile we were amazed to see that that carving on the temple was of a crocodile!
Here is our guide for our trip around the Sian Kaan Biosphere. What do you think, 18? His english was very limited, so is our spanish, but we still got some info. this is our boat pulling away from the temple in the lagoon.
Boats at Akumal
After 9 days of great seafood and mayan and mexican food, we had a hankering for some good old fashioned Hamburgers. LOL-HA on the beach at Akumal were INCREDIBLE.
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