After days of careful planning, we were on our way to our Mexico adventure. We were based in the Cancún Hotel Zone for this trip, which meant we’d come back there to sleep every night. We also wanted to experience authentic culture and see the locals. So, we’d venture out the hotel zone during the days.
- Day One (Wednesday) On our way to Cancún
- Day Two (Thursday) Our visit of Chichén Itzá
- Day Three (Friday) A relaxing day in Hotel Zone
- Day Four (Saturday) The big day at Xcaret
- Day Five (Sunday) Cultural Encounters
- Day Six (Monday) Last Activities in Hotel Zone
- Day Seven (Tuesday) Xcaret Encore and Tulum
- Day Eight (Wednesday) Heading back home
Early in the mooring, we got everything packed. We had to take one last look of the view from our room window and snap several more pictures before we lock the room door. Before we drove back to the car rental place, Mr. Adventurer asked front desk about the Mexico book in our room that listed for $15 USD. There’s no new copy, they sold him our room copy for $150 pesos or about $10 USD.
Our trip back home was uneventful. When we got home, it’s almost 10:30 PM. The trip was nice, but no place is better than home.
Financial Implications: Would’ve cost $4,510, Actual Cost $2,410.54
- Airfare: would’ve cost $1,000+, cost us $0
- Hotel: would’ve cost at least $149 X 7 = $1,043, cost us $0
- Car rental: would’ve cost $300, cost us $200 USD
- Car parking near airport: $30 USD
- Mexican government fee: $80 USD x 5 = $400 USD
- Xcerat Plus Admissions: $438.6 USD ($54.83 x 2 for kids and $109.65 x 3 for adults)
- Swimming with dolphins at Primax at Delphinus Xcaret: $558 USD or $111.6 USD each
- Swimming with dolphins photo package: $285 USD
- Xcerat Misc: $316 pesos or $21.07 USD
- Gas: $910 pesos or $60.7 USD
- Food shopping: $900.46 + $300 + $288.09 + $300 + $200 + $160 + $116 + $40 + $550 = $2854.55 pesos or $190 USD
- Chicen Itza Admissions:$152 x 3 pesos (small kids free) or $30.4 USD
- Chicen Itza Toll: $588 pesos or $39.2 USD
- Chicen Itza Parking: $35 pesos or $2.34 USD
- Chicen Itza shaved ices for kids: $200 pesos or $13.34 USD
- Tulum Admissions: $64 pesos x 2 (kids free) or $8.54 USD
- Tulum Parking: $50 pesos or $3.34 USD
- Museo Maya de Cancún Museum tickets: $120 pesos or $8 USD
- Bus tickets: $200 pesos or $13.34 USD
- Five stamps: $70 pesos (face value was 11.5 pesos X 5) or $4.67 USD
- Souvenir: 6 postcards for $38 pesos, three T-Shirts for $220 pesos, a silver bracelet for $220 pesos, quartz pyramid $100 pesos, and Mayan calendar $10 USD. Total about $50 USD.
- Book: $150 pesos or $10 USD
- Dinner at Parque de las Palapas: 240 pesos or $16 USD
- Kids play at Parque de las Palapas: $120 pesos or $8 USD
- Dinner in Hotel Zone: $240 pesos or $16 USD
- Misc. shuttle driver, hotel house keeper and valet parking tips: $60 pesos or $4 USD
- The gas station is Pemex and the gas price is government controlled. Every gas station has the same gas price. You get full service at gas station and it’s included in the price.
- Pemex is the second largest in Latin America after Brazil’s Petrobras.
- The places we’d been to were clean. There were some very old places/houses, but they were taken care of by their people, they didn’t look rundown.
- This trip changed my perception of Mexico. It’s not a country only with drug dealers and people trying to cross our borders, but some hard working good people. Everything has two sides.
- Tourism is the fourth largest source of foreign exchange and the fifth-biggest source of revenue for Mexico.
- The stuff they were selling for $13 pesos could be bought for $1 USD. Even though the exchange rate was 1 to 15.
- Most visitors to Mexico are from the States.
- Mexico is the eighth most visited country in the world.
- The service sector is the largest component of Mexican GDP at 70.5%+, and 58%+ of the labor force is in the service sector.
- People in the greater Cancún area appeared affluent, also most people have a smart phone in hands.
- The economy of Mexico is the 15th largest in the world in nominal terms and the 11th largest by purchasing power parity, according to the International Monetary Fund.
- The Mexican people were much shorter than the Americans. Most of the males were about my height or shorter and most of the females were much shorter than me. To confirm my opinion, I looked up the 2012 census data: The average Mexican man stands 5 feet 4 1/2 inches tall, while the median figures for Mexican women are 5 feet 2 inches.
- There are three silver mines in Mexico, therefore, most of their jewelries were made of silver.
- Pastries were very cheap there.
- The architecture design was very open to utilize natural sun lights, breeze. Very airy.
- At main tourist attractions, all business vendors can speak English for business transactions, and some can speak a little Chinese and Japanese to attract tourists to buy their stuff. They are adaptive businessmen.
- People were nice and friendly, including small business people, even though they try to trick you to spend money. You need to be street smart and a good negotiator, a quality to survive in any environments.
- Had we known more Español, we’d learn more from local people.
- I wound’t mind living there for a while, but the sunburn is an issue. Even though we applied copious amount of sunscreen, everyone still shed a layer of skin after we went back home.
Our next oversee’s adventure will be in Europe years down the road. And I’m starting to plan for it already. But before that, we’ll visit Chicago, Illinois in June and St. Louis, Missouri during July fourth’s long weekend.