Cancun Day 1 - Arriving
When our flight landed at around 1:15 pm, it was raining out. Urggg...but as my husband said I always bring rain wherever I land! So we were well expected for rain LOL. However, we were not expected for a long wait in the airport to go through customs and immigration!! I guess it was Friday and many flights landed around the same time as us. After one hour of wait, we finally went through all but the weirdest part was after the customs and immigration, there were personnel randomly searched people's purse and bags. And then within 100 feet away, there were what people in forums called "sharks" and we were the small fishes. A huge crowd of local business people trying to pull you to buy timeshares, park tickets, tours, etc. It was overwhelming! I did my homework so I know I have to just walk through without showing any interest and keep saying "no thank you"! I have prearranged airport transfer from Charlie Drew (http://www.charliedrewcancun.com/), it was $55 roundtrip for 2 people. Out of the whole crowd, I spotted our driver with my name written on a board!
From the airport to the hotel, it was a pretty long ride around 25 minutes. The first 10 minutes or so, I didn't see any sign of "Cancun" but empty lands, then followed by buildings that are still constructing, and then resorts!! On the left side is the lagoon while the right side of the Kukulkan Boulevard is where all the hotels located aka the Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera). This Boulevard is 14 miles long and filled with hotels!! I finally felt it was Cancun when passing by all those resorts. We stayed at the Westin Lagunamar which is like half way of the Kukulkan Boulevard right next to the La Isla Mall. We paid the driver the full $55 amount, he said that's the policy to return pick up. When we arrived at our hotel, Charlie was right there to greet us! He gave us a booklet with maps around the tourist areas and parks which was extremely helpful! He even printed the confirmation of the tours we booked through him as well for a good discount. He told us the logistics of hotel pickups and where to meet etc for our tour tomorrow :)
Check-in was a breeze and since the Westin Lagunamar is more like a condo type with multiple buildings, we had to walk to our building which wasn't bad. There was construction going on and we were aware of that so it didn't bother us at all. Our room was a studio and it was spacious; with a sitting area, kitchen, and what I like most about it was our room has a washer and dryer and even laundry detergent! It was very convenient to have because I am sure our clothes will be dirty after a day in the park!
Our studio room with sitting area :)
Comfortable bed as usual in Westin property:
Kitchen with everything you need:
After unpacking, we walked across the street to La Isla Mall to just relax, shop, and have our dinner. The mall is pretty new with many expensive shops!
We picked a restaurant inside the mall called Baby Lobster; we were interested in their Surf and Turf special. Many restaurants accepted both USD and Pesos but better deal to pay with Pesos because the rate that the restaurant charge is around 1 USD = 10 or 11 Pesos whereas the exchange rate was 1 USD = 14 Pesos when we were there. The restaurant was right across from the picture above, so right next to the water which also means bug but the restaurant bought us insect repellent spray so was fine!
Our Surf and Turf, it was more than enough for 2 people! Steak and chicken kabobs weren't overcook so they were good but were just a little bit salty.
After our full full dinner, we walked around the mall and the busy street filled with tourists. There was a convenient store nearby so we bought items for breakfast and water! For those of you who haven't knew about this.....water is not drinkable in Cancun! Be very careful, do not drink tap water, no matter where you go, buy bottled water! That include ice so pay extra attention to if your drink contains ice!
Common convenient store chain: OXXO in Cancun:
We walked back to our hotel so we can have plenty of rest for tomorrow's full day adventure!
Hotel exterior at night: