What’s crazier than going to Cancun for spring break? Going to Cancun for spring break with a total stranger.
Okay, maybe I exaggerate a little. We’d met once at an event and we’d been talking afterwards, but that was that.
Now the trip was technically during “reading week” – the more scholarly term of spring break for us Canadian university students – and since it was just the two of us, we went for more of a relaxed route rather than the “party it up” kinda spring break vacay deal.
The trip lasted six days five nights and despite all the awkwardness of constantly being asked if we were on a honeymoon, it was definitely the most unforgettable reading week I’ve ever had.
Beginning with the first night, we checked in at Holiday Inn Express upon our arrival. Our flight was late in the evening so we didn’t want to check in right away at our fancy resort and waste those couple hundred dollars.
We caught a cab and went up the strip to the CoCo Bongo/Señor Frogs area where we grabbed quick bites from Carlos’n Charlie’s.
Mexicans are so so soooo friendly. Neither of us spoke Spanish (except for hola, señor/señorita, gracias, and tacos) and the waiters weren’t exactly good at English either, but they were just so full of energy that the language barrier seemed completely minute.
I had the grilled chicken tacos and these were my first tacos ever and they were THE best. I can now say this because I’ve tried other tacos elsewhere and nothing compares to what I’ve had here. As you can see, Mexican food doesn’t really photograph well, but it was absolutely delicious. And yes, of course I had to have a margarita as well.
The waiters also pulled a prank on us by offering us a complimentary dish. But when I opened it, there was a fake spider inside. (-__-)
The next morning, we proceeded to check-in at our heavenly resort: NIZUC Resort & Spa.
It’s a five-star resort that opened back in March 2013 so relatively new still. A lot of people will come to Cancun and do an all-inclusive package sort of deal with food and drinks included in the hotel fees, but Nizuc does not offer that. Although the prices are more expensive, the quality of the food and drinks you get is definitely worth the money. You’ll see why in a sec.
Now Holiday Inn offered complimentary breakfast, but you know us girls, we take our time to get ready hence I didn’t have time to enjoy breakfast. That said, first thing I did after we checked-in, eat. Breakfast is important alright.
Breakfast at Nizuc was buffet style, but I have a small appetite so I only went for one round, but even then I grabbed more food than I could finish. My friend had told me that breakfast was complimentary so although he already ate back at Holiday Inn, he still grabbed some papayas and fruits.
Turned out that breakfast was NOT complimentary. And it actually cost almost about $50 CAD per person. Haha, PSYCH! Few pieces of papaya for $50! I’m only laughing now because it’s just funny when you look back and think about these things, but we were both shocked speechless in the moment of. We knew breakfast at a five-star resort would be expensive, but we didn’t think it’d be THIS pricey. No doubt the most expensive breakfast I’ve ever had.
There were four different residential buildings and mine was the Tzalam. It was the furthest of them all in relation to where most of the activities and amenities were located, but there was a restaurant/lounge and bar as well as pool right next door so this location wasn’t too bad. Not to mention, everything was fairly close together and there were butlers who drove guests around in golf carts. So for those with golden feet, let this not be one of your worries.
I quite liked the room! I always feel that hotels have the softest beds and pillows. Gotta find out where they buy their supplies man ’cause I just sleep like a baby in these.
We settled down a bit and somewhat walked around the resort then quickly headed out to explore Cancun!
First stop El Rey Ruins – Las Ruinas del Rey.
This place is famous for housing iguanas.
Next stop was the Dolphin Beach – Playa Delfines.
I was in awe. Never in my life had I seen water so clear and so green. The crescendo of the approcahing waves gradually crashing against the white sand shore was like music to my ears and I could just sit here all afternoon…
… But we didn’t; went straight to the mall after.
Then we hopped on the bus and headed for Market 28 – Mercado 28.
At Market 28, you’ll find yourself enwrapped in rich Mexican culture with handcrafted souvenirs, exquisite jewelry, traditional clothing items, cool funky Mexican hats, and the list goes on.
When I got back to my room, I discovered a cute little message and a mini chocolate gift (d’aww). Then I got changed quickly and hit up the beach and pool.
Dinner took place at Terra Nostra, which was right beside my residence. (Thank goodness I didn’t have to walk too far in my ridiculously skyrocket high high heels.)
And like I always say, no meal can ever be complete without dessert.
When I returned to my room, there was another cute little box on my table and inside were some Mexican sweets.
Ceviche is made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices so it is obviously served cold and it’s similar to what I would call a seafood salad. It was very zesty and tangy and the octopus was especially chewy, yet not in that plasticky sense. The portion was small, but I don’t eat a lot when I wake up so it was fine by me. I believe this was around 250 pesos (~$20) if my memory serves me right.
Following that, I headed straight for the beach! And I brought my laptop too so I could work one some school club designs and blog too as I soaked up the sun and enjoyed this beautiful weather alongside with my boozy cocktail.
Hello sausage legs.
Sun ray in my face, lovely.
Dinner time came about and we dined at Romona.
Look at that foam!!!!!!!
This was the Tamal, duck foie gras served with roasted corn foam and fresh fruit chutney (445 pesos/$35 CAD). The foie gras was delicious. It was grilled crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside. But look at that foam! I suspect it was some kind of an egg white mixture but it actually didn’t taste like anything much. Five stars for the presentation nonetheless!
The roasted corn on the bottom tasted like Asian rice cakes and the figs on the side added a touch of sweetness to this dish. Overall an A+ without a doubt.
For dessert, I had the Raspberry Savarin with frozen merengue, cream citric mascarpone with red berries and rosemary ice cream. What a perfect way to end to an amazing dinner.
We got up nice and early the next day to catch the Chichén Itzá tour.
Obligatory tourist pic.
Where do I even begin…
Wow! Just wow.
Remember when you’d go on field trips with your school and there’d always be this boring tour guide who’d just go on and on about boring facts? Well, that was how I imagined this tour to be. But boy was I wrong.
Our tour guide was super energetic and he had a great sense of humour to keep us all awake. In fact, I was completely intrigued by his description of the architectural makeup and history of these ruins that I wasn’t even feeling tired from waking up at 4 or 5 in the morning!
Every little detail of the Chichén Itzá was intricately designed to reflect the Mayan calendar. And I obviously don’t remember the entire speech about the history and artifacts now, but in the moment of, I was just thoroughly amazed and taken aback by how intelligent the Mayans were in terms of their architectural designs.
Seven wonders of the world, one down and six more to go!
This was a drink made from a plant called Chaya. Super cold and refreshing, perfect for the hot summery weather.
Just a quick note, food and transportation to all these different attraction sights were all included in our guided tour package which we signed up for back at our resort. We didn’t plan this before coming to Cancun and we literally booked this tour a day or two before coming. The price was roughly $100-$120 CAD so not that bad. (Not to mention we got free Coronas!)
This cenote is about 40 meters deep. It was sacred to the Mayans and they used it for both relaxation as well as ritual services. Now it’s just a popular attraction sight where tourists can dive off and swim.
When we got back to the hotel, it was sunset already and there was just beauty in each and every corner.
Dinner took place at La Punta Grill & Lounge. (Makes you think just how big the resort is eh?)
Next morning came around and I just chillaxed in my room with room service breakfast. What can I say, I just be living the good life.
Breakfast like a champ.
Okay, I swear it was just me alone in my room and me alone for breakfast, but I ordered enough food for like three-four people. When I looked at the menu, everything looked so good and I just couldn’t decide between waffles or french toast or french toast or sausage and eggs. In the end I could only finish the sausage and eggs and I was already full, phew! I have a big appetite for my eyes, not my stomach apparently.
And I know kids are starving in Africa, so I left a note asking room service to not clear my leftovers (got my lunch and dinner all covered ya know?) and I went out on my beach bunny adventures again.
This was the adult beach (just how many beaches were there!?) and the water here was absolutely beautiful. The gradient of the emerald green and the indigo blue was simply gorgeous.
Oh hello seaweed hair.
Here’s to another lazy afternoon of tanning and napping under the sun.
And no matter how many times I come here, the view just never ceases to amaze me.
I actually left my flip flops by some log that was a little away from the shoreline and when we were leaving, I came back but my shoes were gone! We looked everywhere and even in the garbage bin but it was just nowhere to be found. Flip flop thieves? Watch out for them in Cancun.
We headed back to the resort and this being our last night here, we walked around one last time inhaling in this beauty.
Thumbs up for hotel slippers!
Our flight back home had an eight-hour layover so we ventured out and about Arizona, which you can read all about here: ≪Layover in Phoenix≫. Also don’t forget to check out my vlog!
As much as this was a super awkward honeymoon-like non-honeymoon trip, it was absolutely memorable and I can’t wait to be back in Cancun again. Michele from A Taste for Travel has some additional suggestions for romantic things to do in Cancun that I highly recommend you to check out as well. Other than that, don’t forget to subscribe for my newsletters and I’ll see you in the next post!