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Trip report May 2018

Lancaster, United...
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106 posts
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Trip report May 2018

I had a lot of help and advice from this forum both before and during my trip to the Yucatan, so I thought I might pay back and add my trip report as a Mexico first timer, for anybody else planning a trip

We travelled with Thomas Cook (separate review) to ABBWR( separate review) from 18th May till 2nd June.

The hotel was fantastic and a great fit for us. Beautiful beach with breathtaking snorkelling yards from our room. Man I miss seeing turtles every day! Food fairly good, though as usual, a tad tiring after two weeks. The staff couldn't do enough for you and it felt very personal and welcoming. For more about resort, see my other review.

We went of several excursions:

Akumal Monkey Sanctuary-We paid online the day before, got a discount and a taxi there and back for 500 pesos (a bit steep I think but glad we didn't walk in the heat) We loved our trip there. Please see my review for details.

Xel-ha- booked through resort. Fairly pricey when we realised we could have done it cheaper DIY but again loved our day here and would come back if we came again

Sian Ka'an VIP boat trip- again booked through resort and very pricey. Didn't realise how pricey till we got the credit card bill, back home. We enjoyed our day and were glad we didn't do the jeep tour. We saw lots of wildlife (dolphins, big turtles, eagles and crocs) but feel, for the price and the long arduous day that it wasn't really worth it.

Chichen Itza/Xcajum cenote/Vallodolid-this was a VIP tour in a small mini-van with no other pick-ups which cut travelling time, to and from Chichen to around 2 hours, which for an extra 10 dollars each was definitely worth it. Chichen was incredible and incredibly hot. Xcajum was an absolute joy. Just as impressive as the other major cenote in the area but practically empty. Only a short stop in Vallodolid but loved it. Would go back if we came again. Found a wonderful restaurant, serving the BEST cocktails I've ever had! Good to cool you down in 40c!

A few things that I wondered about before I came and seem to be common questions:

Safety: while it's true it's no rural English village (what I'm used to) it wasn't the culture shock I was expecting. We made a few unescorted trips out and were unlucky to have a couple incidents. In the Oxxo on Akumal Beach, we tried to buy some crisps and snacks and the woman behind the counter took my money then pretended I never gave her it and made me pay twice. Another time we got a taxi to La Buena Vida but decided to walk back and there was a police car that had stopped some tourists and one was in handcuffs with a black eye. Don't know what had happened there! In our two weeks that was the only time we were even uneasy. The resort felt safer than my own home and all our trips out were smooth! I'm not ignorant, I suffer from anxiety and am somebody who is constantly alert and I wouldn't tell people they definitely ARE safe but I wouldn't hesitate and in fact am eager to return!

Weather: They are right. It WILL say rain and thunderstorms all day everyday but it won't. Whilst we were there the start of Storm Alberto ruined a good 3 days. Huffy other half had a dull birthday sampling all the cocktails on the menu as it poured down all day 👌

We were a little down by day three of rain (especially as it was so nice back home) but it cleared up perfectly for the rest of the stay and I would visit that time of year again.

Stomach issues- yes, both of us. For two weeks solid. Lost a stone. Did all the pro-biotics beforehand, laid off the coconut and too much booze ect. Didn't see any bad hygiene methods and ate in lots of places with guest friends we met, not sharing our experiencs.Guess just one of those things. Maybe I will be immune for next time.

Mosquitos- yes, bloody loads. Nothing worked either. Got bites so bad I could bend my leg at one point. Ended up covering up. So what, it's the jungle. It's to be expected.

Overall I had one of the most incredible experiences of my life. This area has such an abundance of wildlife, scenery, culture, history and just generally fantastic things to do, I could have spent a year there and not been bored. I completely fell in love.

I would urge anybody who loves wildlife and adventure or indeed anybody who loves parties and fun (a friend was staying in Playacar in a cheap party hotel and loved it, though thats not me!) To go and experience this wonderful part of the world.

Happy to answer any questions too!

8 replies to this topic
Lancaster, United...
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106 posts
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1. Re: Trip report May 2018

Oh I forgot about the other pressing issue everyone seems concerned with. Sargassum. Yes it was very bad some days. Other days not at all. When it was bad, the team on the beach did an incredible job cleaning it up. The unsung heroes of our holiday, I think.

I don't think it impacted on our time there at all. We snorkelled every day we were in resort and even on the bad days just waded past it and the water was great.

I am a string swimmer and a few days it was a bit tough. I would recommend life jackets for those who aren't string swimmers.

Orlando, Florida
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2. Re: Trip report May 2018

Thanks for the trip report. Can you share the name of the restaurant in Valladolid please? Always looking for new eats there. Thanks.

Fort Worth, Texas
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3. Re: Trip report May 2018

Thanks so much for the review! My family is heading down there this Saturday to spend a week, although we have a house rented on Half Moon Bay with a large group of people.

My only question is, how was the seaweed/sargassum? I've seen conflicted reports on how bad it is, and while I won't let it ruin my trip, I'm hoping it's not too terrible overall. Everyone in our group is looking forward to doing a lot of snorkeling.

I'm also wondering what happened with the tourist by La Buena Vida. Ironically the house we rented is pretty close to there.

Thanks again! Glad you had a wonderful time. My wife and I LOVE Akumal and this is our first time taking our son. We are really looking forward to it.

EDIT: I just saw your update about the seaweed. You can disregard my question.

Edited: June 13, 2018, 3:02 am
Birmingham, United...
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4. Re: Trip report May 2018

Hi Sllea. Thanks for the review.

Did you see any restrictions, near the hotel, in regards snorkel fins ?

Cheers

Lancaster, United...
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5. Re: Trip report May 2018

Short fins are allowed. No long fins.

I did see people standing on the coral, which INFURIATED me! It's obvious this bay had much more coral alive too which is sad, so I understand the ban!

Yes, don't worry about seaweed! Just wade through it! Sea will be wonderful to snorkel! Though I did notice it was worse nearer to HMB (piles at La Buena Vida) so might be worth heading nearer ABBWR!

Very jealous of you all going!

Missing it very much!

Vancouver
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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6. Re: Trip report May 2018

Great report

We often tell (repeated in top questions) that tours can be done DIY via taxi, colectivo, or non resort options

Birmingham, United...
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7. Re: Trip report May 2018

Thx again. May I ask which shorts fins you have and if you bought them in the UK, where from ? Or did the hotel provide short fins ( I've read you can use the hotel equipment ) for an hour ( I can not see top question on my phone ).

I've seen the US Trek travel fins on UK Amazon at a pretty decent price. Could anyone recommend a pair ? Can I purchase a decent pair from Akumal town ?

Edited: June 14, 2018, 2:14 pm
Lancaster, United...
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8. Re: Trip report May 2018

A kind fellow traveller on the FB group gave us two sets as he was leaving. I didn't use the fins much tbh as I'm quite a strong swimmer and wasn't used to them.

We did use the onsite Dive shop a few times, mainly as they had lifejackets and they came in useful for the yellow flag days we had most day (good for a rest!)

You can hire free for an hour each day and then $3 for 24 hours. They were very helpful and the snorkels were better than the ones we were given

Didn't bring anything from UK just for luggage purposes but would definitely invest if (hopefully when!) We visit again.

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