After leaving the jungle in Palenque we started on the long trip to Playa del Carmen. We had a few days before Ash’s parents were flying in and meeting us there, so we hopped in the truck and headed to the Gulf of Mexico side of the peninsula. After an 8 hour driving day to Chichen-Itza (where we camped in a hotel parking lot… epic) and another 2 1/2 hours the next day from Chichen-Itza to the Mayan Riviera we were ready for some sand, surf, and relaxation on the beach. We settled in at a beachside camping area south of Playa del Carmen for a couple of days before moving to a condo in Playacar with Ash’s parents. Check out the awesome campground at KM 265 (Lat: 20.471316 Lon: -87.258846)
We felt very lucky to be able to see some more family on our trip, and had a blast with Ash’s parents for the week. We soaked up the sun and walked into Playa del Carmen, went to Isla Mujeres and ripped around the island on a golf cart Mario Andretti style after eating delicious seafood by the beach, went kayaking in the Caribbean, and biked around town. Richard made an interesting and chewy drink concoction out of coconuts and tequila (Richard: “And rum!”). We celebrated Pat and Ken’s 36th wedding anniversary with drinks and delicious Thai food at Babe’s. Mega was a short drive away so groceries were easy to come by, while eating ice cream from the Michoacan ice cream shop downstairs. Playa del Carmen definitely made life easy for us after many months on the road.
It was an interesting contrast for us as we had a fantastic time with Ash’s parents and enjoyed the beach, but at the same time we found Playa to be overrun with tourists, very expensive, and had very limited and very pricey options for camping. Obviously the Mayan Riviera is a tourist zone catering to all-inclusive hotels and tours, so the infrastructure for overlanders is not very developed. That being said, we had a wonderful time with family and enjoyed the beach and food during our stay!
Now it’s Ash’s turn for a haircut! We decided to head over to Isla Mujeres for the day. First things first.. caffeinated bus ride to Cancun. Next step: Board the ferry! #nailedit Once we made it to the island we came across some monkeys.Walking the streets of Isla Mujeres. Lunch at Valezquez Restaurant.Somebody liked their lunch!“Keep it down back there kids!”Rollin’ The next day we took a couple of kayaks out for a spin… On our way out of town we stopped by the ruins of Tulum. Here’s the prettied up shot without the tourists.