Occasionally the Road Trip Queens take to the sky, especially when the Caribbean is calling! My family decided to end the summer in Cancun, Mexico and man, it felt like THE trip of a lifetime. From releasing baby sea turtles, to swimming with dolphins, traveling to Chichen-Itza, and exploring a cenote, we had the adventure of all adventures this summer!
We’ve been to several different destinations in Mexico and have traveled to/from the Cancun airport, but we had never stayed in Cancun for vacation. Let me tell you, if you haven’t been GO! I can’t really even accurately describe the water, it’s other-worldly. The people were kind, the scenery was beautiful, and we always felt safe at our resort and on our excursions.
We stayed at Reflect Cancun Resort & Spa and it did not disappoint. The food was good, the drinks were better! We loved the different ceviche options at the pool.
On our first night, we stumbled upon a group that was releasing hundreds of baby sea turtles. We were invited to help in the release and to date, it’s one of the most memorable experiences I have ever been so fortunate to be a part of. Of course, I left my camera in the room so sadly I don’t have any photos of this awesome animal encounter. This was my favorite part of our trip!
On our second day in Cancun, we decided to just hang out at the resort. We played on the beach, swam in the ocean, explored the property, and relaxed by the pool. We never ran out of food options and had the breakfast buffet, lunch and snacks by the pool, and enjoyed the dinner buffet. We also booked our excursions on this day right at our hotel. We knew we wanted to visit ancient ruins, and Chichen-Itza was highly recommended by the hotel staff. They offered a package that included a bus ride, a light breakfast, lunch, a guided tour of Chichen-Itza, and a fun stop to swim in a cenote. We also booked an hour of swimming with dolphins at the hotel next door. It was so nice and easy to be able to talk to hotel staff and pick the best excursions for our time and budget.
Day Trip Chichen-Itza
Chichen-Itza is one of the new seven wonders of the world and a must-see if you’re in Mexico. My boys are very interested in ancient ruins, so we knew Mexico would be a great place to check out Mayan Ruins. Chichen-Itza is about a 2 hour drive from Cancun. We booked this excursion at our hotel and it included roundtrip transportation on a huge air-conditioned bus (with a bathroom) and fun entertainment with our tour guides. We also had a light breakfast, a delicious Mexican lunch buffet, and swimming in a cenote included in this excursion package. The tour starts very early in the morning, we were picked up directly at our hotel and didn’t return until 7-8 pm. The tour guides had a short presentation on the Mayan culture, Mayan artifacts were passed around, and we learned a little about the ruins – one of the guides was also Mayan! The guides escorted us around Chichen-Itza and explained all of the different sights and ruins and what they were thought to be so long ago. Then we had a chance to explore on our own. The only downside of this adventure was the heat! It was extremely sunny and hot at the end of July! Be sure to take sunscreen & water and wear a hat & sunglasses.
We ended the trip with a quick stop to explore a cenote! The water was freezing, so it was very refreshing after being out in the heat at the ruins. There were bathrooms and a changing room with lockers, so we were able to quickly get changed, grab life jackets, and then head down to the cenote, which is basically an underground sinkhole with water. The cenote we explore is called Cenote Ik Kil. Jake and I swam, but Jereme and Jett were able to jump off a ledge inside the cenote. This is one of Jett’s favorite highlights of the trip!
Swimming with Dolphins
As you might know, my family is full of animal lovers! So any time we can experience an animal encounter, we do it! We were able to book a Swimming with Dolphins adventure and it was held at the hotel next door to ours. I really liked this tour because we got a behind the scenes look at how these dolphins are cared for, and I swear they’re living their best life! We were paired with a sweet mom and son on this adventure, so it felt very personalized being in a small group. The dolphin trainers explained what our encounter would be like and went over some rules to protect the dolphins and ourselves while we were in the water with them. Then the dolphins swam out and we had the best time! They did some tricks, posed for a few pics with us, and then it was time for the dolphin ride along as the dolphins pulled us through the water with their dorsal fins. I was a little nervous at first and wondered what would happen if I missed the fins when they swam by. But then, my 5-year-old did it beautifully and the nerves melted away. By far this was the boys best memory in Mexico!
The rest of our trip was spent at the resort! The boys especially enjoyed the pool canoes and the bartenders making them fruity drinks!
*BIG TIP* if you tip the waiters & the bartenders, even a small amount, they will take amazing care of you! We never had an empty cup or had to wait for someone to take our poolside food order. We felt really special!
If you’re interested in planning a trip to Mexico & need any ideas, please reach out! I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.
We used the fabulous travel agent, Alexa Spahr. She comes highly recommended and has helped us book a couple of trips to Mexico. She really works with your budget and travel dates & it has always been such a smooth and easy process with her help. You can contact Alexa via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to check out her website www.travelwithalexa.com.