Friday, September 30, 2011

Cancun Part 7

Cancun Day 8 - Xel-Ha!

I booked an all-inclusive Xel-Ha tour with Charlie Drew again for a great price $87 per person. We went through the same drill again: hotel pick up around 7:10 am, dropped off at Plaza la Fiesta, got our ticket, broad the bus and directly to Xel-Ha. 

We arrived Xel-Ha at 10:40 and was told to meet back here at 5 pm: 

Xel-Ha is an ecological natural water park so in order to protect its environment and animals, the park only allows chemical-free sunscreens. Our tour guide also sells those as well as the park (more expensive inside the park). However, I did my research, ordered online, and bought with us! I ordered from Amazon, just search for Biodegradable Sunscreen. All bags were searched so do not sneak in with chemical sunscreen! Once we went through bag search, we entered the huge natural water park! 

First, we had our yummy lunch in one of the dining facilities. Xel-Ha is an all inclusive park so food and drinks are included!! At first we thought the food will be like theme park food but we were so wrong! The selection of food was excellent and food quality was really good. After lunch, we went to the lockers to reserve a locker and change and then off to FUN!!!

The surrounding was beautiful!

One of the many water activities in the park:

The park was huge and many things to do!


We were snorkeling here and there and then rest, took photos, then back to snorkeling! 

We spent at least 3 hours snorkeling around the park. We saw many fishes and the water visibility was okay (not as clear as other Caribbean snorkeling sites). We went back to the locker room to get shower and change and then spend the rest of the time relaxing in this beautiful area!

Very nice lamp made with coconut, too bad the style didn't match our room or else we'll buy one home. We saw this in Isla Mujeres too, not sure which priced better.

I played with the band too, first time in my life that I felt tall hahaha!

Huge iguanas were everywhere and we discovered they ran really fast!!

Another beautiful view of the park!

At last, we have like 45 minutes before our meeting time so we relaxed in the Hammock Island!

I was so tired after 3 hours of fun and snorkeling and then relax with this beautiful surrounding...this is what I called vacation!!!

We had a really fun day in Xel-Ha! Hubby is not a theme-park fan but after visiting Xel-Ha, he wanted to visit the other Eco Parks (Xcaret, Xplor, etc) lolll but too bad this is our last day in Cancun so maybe next time!

We got back to our hotel around 7 pm and headed across the street to La Isla Mall for dinner because we wanted to be close by and we ran out of pesos haha! We ate in Baby Lobster again and paid with USD. This time we ordered fish and seafood spaghetti, both were just okay.

After the quick dinner, we headed back to our hotel, shower, pack, and laundry! I really like our room with washer and dryer and laundry detergent. What's better to have all cleaned clothes back home after vacation!!!

The next day, we checked out and the same driver who picked up from the airport was waiting outside the lobby for us! The ride to the airport was smooth and quick but the line for immigration and security was long so be sure to get to the airport early! When we were in the airport waiting to board the plane, I took my camera out to view our wonderful vacation pictures and found camera's screen broke!!! Fortunately it was only the screen display broke (blinking blue lines), the pictures were save! Plus, we always save a copy in our laptop every night! And very fortunately that it broke after our vacation! Guess it's time for a new camera...a new DSLR camera!!

On our flight back home, I already miss all the fun we had, vacation always went by too fast! We both liked Cancun, lots to do, it has both history (Mayan ruins) and fun (Eco Parks). Shopping: not quite so good, we liked souvenir shopping in Aruba more. Food: many good quality and reasonable priced restaurants to choose from! Beach: different shades of turquoise, very beautiful water color, however, the current was strong most of the time, the sand not powdery soft. It was very different than Aruba, hubby liked the water color in Cancun more, I liked the calm beach in Aruba more, so really hard to decide which one is better. Both were excellent vacation spots in the Caribbeans :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cancun Part 6

Cancun Day 6&7 - Shopping and Beach!

Our 6th day in Cancun was purely a shopping and beach day! I looked at the map and pinpointed out all the shopping/souvenir areas in the hotel zone. First, we visited the near-by Plaza Kukulcan. This is an indoor mall, much more like malls we have in the US, with many luxury brand stores as well as many silver jewelry stores. It has two levels but the 2nd level seemed rather empty and with a small food court. The beautiful glass dome in the mall:

There were mostly silver jewelry stores in this mall, one after another. Price was okay, if you don't like bargain I recommend to get it here than Mercado 28. After checking out different stores in this mall, we left and went up to Forum by the Sea, another mall.

Forum by the Sea has more people but I felt like it has more restaurants than souvenir shops. There was Hard Rock Cafe and other chain restaurants. Right across from Forum was another small souvenir "mall"  called Mercado Coral Negro. The stores inside were all local owned souvenir stores. Here, we got some t-shirts and earrings as souvenirs. You can bargain a bit here as well even though price is marked. 

We spent a few hours checking out those three malls and then went back to the hotel to spend some time on the beach! We passed by this beautiful apartment complex on our way to the bus stop. Surprisingly, people who walked out from this apartment complex were mostly Americans! Must be their retirement home, we wish we could do that when we retired!

After 6 days in Cancun, we were busy visiting Mayan Ruins that we didn't really had a chance to relax in our hotel! Our hotel facilities and grounds were very beautiful, well maintained! I really liked the purple-colored plants outlined the path, it really stands out with the turquoise water and blue sky in the background! 

The bar and the infinity pool; the atmosphere felt very different than the early morning we saw with no people in the pool!

The big infinity pool with the beautiful turquoise ocean on the back!

Felt like they are connected!


The beach flag was yellow, mostly red when we were there! The beach was beautiful but the current was too strong for beginner swimmers!

Beach chairs were available in the hotel:

Hotels and resorts along the beach!

This is a private-owned property, not a hotel!!! I wonder how many rooms it has!! This is what I called "dream house"!

More photos of the hotel:

We spent a great day relaxing in our hotel with beautiful views!

Dinner - we took the bus down to Savio's located in km 15. We chose to sit outside, right in front of the lagoon hoping to see sunset but no luck again! Huge cloud blocked the sunset again! The back area was very relaxing decorated with ball lights like floating stars at night.

Hubby ordered mussels again, he said he likes mussels in Cancun after he tried in Fred's. The mussels were once again, full plate and very fresh. After he finished the whole plate, he said Fred's was better.

Fried bread like Chinese scallion pancake:

I ordered the Shrimp Scampi, I liked this more than Fred's seafood pasta:

Hubby ordered some seafood casserole, it was delicious!

Overall, Savio's food quality was really good and the price was reasonable!

The next day was another shopping and beach day. We got up early and saw the sunrise :)

We decided to go back to Mercado 28 because that place was huge and last time we were there, we had to get back to our hotel for our photoshoot so we haven't finish navigating this place yet. This time we headed back and aimed to find the shop that we bought the seashell-stone mask but took us a long time to find it! It was like a maze and we had no address whatsoever to go with! After spending hours going in stores as we passed by, we finally ended up finding the store LOL! I was pretty sure that we visited major of the stores in this maze after at least 3 hours!!!

After souvenir shopping was done, we went back to the hotel to relax and for dinner, hubby wanted to go back to Fred's for the mussels again!!! This time we ordered the mussels plus the crab cake, paella, and red snapper. Food was very good again, definitely our favorite restaurant in Cancun!