I got a message from a person who read my article and the person said "I went to cenote diving with the diving shop instructor that you recommended."
I was really happy that I could get this kind of message and it made me more motivative to keep writing blogs. Thank you so much!
I am going to write about two cities that I visited in Mexico. Those are Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
In previous articles, I wrote this two city's names many times. But I have not really written about how they are exactly. Recently it is getting popular in Japan to travel these cities for honeymoon, I hope to provide some information about them.
What kind of city do you imagine when you hear the word of "Cancun"? I think many people think of the cityscape like a resort city where many expensive hotels stand in a row beside the beautiful Caribbean ocean.
The meaning of "Cancun" is the nest of a snake. Can means a snake and Cun means a nest. As people in Maya worship the snake god, Kukulkan, snake is something very important for them at the time of the Mayan civillization. It might seem suprising. haha.
I went to Cancun stopping by Dallas from Narita airport. I used American airlines on my round trip but I can not say their service is good.
It took about 15-16 hours. It was one of the longest flights I have ever had and I was exhausted. But I was really impressed and happy when I saw a part of the Peninsula de Yucatan and Carebbean ocean from the plane.
After the long flight, the first place I went to was the hotel. Because I was tired? No. Actually, I left the hotel right after I put my luggage beause I wanted to see how beautiful the Caribbean sea is.
I stayed the same hotel which is located a little bit away from the resort hotels area when I was in Cancun. I will write about the hotel in more detail late later.
This is the one of the pictures that I could finally take after a long time looking for the public beach. I took a taxi to get to this beach after all.
It was difficult to look for a public beach because there are mostly private beaches in front of hotels.
Since I imagined that the beach in Cancun is like Waikiki beach in Hawaii where everyone can swim, I was a little bit disappointed.
A picture from the sky. The parts where the colors are thick are seaweed.
If you want to enjoy staying at the beach, you can consider staying at a higher-priced beachfronthotel or just look for a hotel located near a public beach.
I stayed at Hotel Ikaro Suites. The cost is about $40 per night. As I mentioned before, it was a little bit away from the resort hotels area.
Inside is like this, it was very spacious. It was only me but there were three beds. I can recommend this hotel to people who travel with family to book this hotel. Also there is a pool and some children were playing.
Airconditioner works well so I had a comfortable night. I was always outside during daytime.
There is no problem except for two things. One is the shower. It has only cold water. Although the weather was pretty hot when I traveled, the water was pretty cold. If hot shower is important to you, you better look for other hotels.
And the other thing is there are many ants inside the room. So if you eat inside of the room you need to be careful and make sure that no food will be left.
■ Restaurant & Food
What kind of food do you imagine when you think about Mexican food? That must be Tacos!
I tried some different kind of Tacos! Eating real tacos in Mexico made me so happy! My favorite restaurant is Food & Fun. Their food and service are really good! I often went there and I highly recommend it.
These make me want to eat Tacos again.
There are some food stands in a row outside at night like in Japanese festival events. There were many people and it was busy.
Drinks are also good! You can try some Mexican beers.
Since Mexico is the birthplace of Corona, there are many Corona special stores like the convenience stores in Japan.
Of course people must try tequila here.
If you want to go to Playa Del Carmen, you can take a bus. But I usually take the taxi of a diving shop because public transportation is sometimes delayed and I did not want to be late for my diving appointment. It takes about an hour from Cancun to Playa Del Carmen.
If you like to run, there is a good running course as well.
I ran every morning.
That is all I can share about Cancun! Next is Playa Del Carmen.
In Chichen Itza, there are big main heritages around the area. But in Tulum, if you watch the video, you can find out there are similar-looking buildings are sprinkled. Therefor it looks like the houses where people used to live.
This building is called "Grand Palace". There is a drawing of a god under the roof and it looks like the god is adventing .
This is "Central temple". It is at the top of the cliff so that it can see around the whole Tulum city. It is the most popular building in Tulum city.
Also the location of Tulum city is so good, you can see the Caribbean sea behind the heritages. The wind was really strong but the emerald green ocean is really beautiful. Since there is also a beach behind the heritage, it is so popular among sightseers.
This standing on the cliff is called "Wind temple". It is said that this building protects the beautiful Tulum beach.
The reason why the location of Tulum city is just by the sea is that Tulum city's role was a port city for Coba city. It is said that Obsidian was especially mainly traded here.
Some beach near the city is still protected for sea turtles to give birth.
There are so many Iguanas. I found more here than in Chichen Itza.
In Chichen Itza, each building is big and really powerful and that is attractive to people. In Tulum, buildings are less powerful comparing with Chichen Itza since it prospered as a port city, the combinations of heritages and the beautiful Caribbean sea is so marvelous. You can enjoy sightseeing and the resort!
If you go to Playa Del Carmen, Tulum could be the place you have to visit.
There are all I can share about the Mayan civillization and heritages.
Chichen Itza is one of the heritages of Maya's civilization.
Chichen Itza means "at the mouth of the well of the Itza" and it is the symbol of Maya's sacrifices civilization.
After it was registered as a world heritage in 1988, it has been visited by so many people like during that time when I visited.
It is located just in the middle of the Yucatan peninsula.
You can apply for a tour going to Chichen Itza in Cancun or Playa Del Carmen.
I was asked to join a tour many times by touts when I walked on streets and they all have the tour going to Chichen Itza.
So you don't need to book a tour in advence. However, since the prices are different, you should check some shops and compare.
I went to Chichen Itza from Cancun by a bus and I remember it probably took about 3 hours.
We went to a souvenir shop and had lunch there on the way to Chichen Itza.
All stuff were exactly like Mexico.
Do you know what this is?
At first, I thought it is just a wall with many faces carved on it but the tour guide said these each face is Maya's hieroglyph.
We can guess the same face has the same meaning. I thought it was awesome that someone carved exactly the same face.
■ A pyramid which symbolizes Maya's civilization, El Castillo
The first thing that you see in Chichen Itza is this.
This is the most famous pyramid named El Castillo. It is said that it worships Kukulcan, the Maya's supreme god.
It was my first time to see a pyramid in my life. The weather is perfect and also the scene is so great, isn’t it?
A building behind Castillo is Temple de los Guerreros.
There are 91 steps on the staires on each of the four sides around Castillo. When we include the last one step to the God temple, the total number of steps is 365, corresponding to the days of a year.
The god Kukulkan is like a sneak with wings.
It is a little bit hard to see but there are heads of Kukulkan under the stairs on the lower right corner of this picture.
Actually the suprising thing about this pyramid is the way that Kukulkan appears during equinox. The position of the sun creates a shadow in the corner of pyramid which looks like the shadow body of Kukulkan. It seems like Kukulcan comes out of the pyramid. This is known as Kukulkan's advent.
We can notice the fine design of the people who lived in this era are.
If you are interested, look up the Kukulkan's advent.
■ Temple de los Guerreros
Next is Temple de los Guerreros.
Chacmool is lying at the upper entrance of temple.
As I already explained on my previous article about cenotes, it symbolizes the dead warriors and brings offerings such as sacrifices to god.
A thousand stone pillars surround the temple. Becase of this, it is called "Group of the Thousand Columns". I don't know if there are exactly a thousand pillars.
There are so many wild iguanas everywhere.
■ Playing Field
It is said people offered sacrifices so that they could get the blessing of the sun in the Mayan civilization.
In their civilization, being sacrificed was a very honorable thing and people decided who will be sacrificed by playing ball game.
I think you are wondering what king of game they played. It is said that the game was like soccer and basketball put together and split in half. It is a one-game match in which players are not allowed to use hands to shoot a ball into a basket hoop. The ball was made of rare tube.
I guess that winner became sacrificed since it was a very honorable thing. It was very wonderful that as I was standing on the playing field that prospered in the Mayan era, I imagined for a while how people played the game during that era.
Next time, I am going to write about Tulum heritage!