Posts tagged Mexico beaches.

Isla Holbox

Fortunately, we have more than blurry underwater photos to remember our time in Holbox. I finally got around to downloading our real photos and at least half are just of the turquoise water. The photos really don’t do it justice, but it was so beautiful that we spent hours by the pool just staring into the blue horizon. From our hotel you could walk almost a kilometer into the water before it even reached your waist.



The above-water photos with the whale sharks are not of us; since we were always in the water together we weren’t able to get any photos of each other. But, they are of people who were on our boat and hopefully give you an idea of how close we were able to get! 



I’ve been so spoiled by Mexico. The more time we spend in Quintana Roo the more I am convinced that you would have to look long and hard to find another place with such clear water and beautiful beaches.

 

On the way back from our whale shark excursion we found these pink flamingoes. I was so happy because I really wanted to see flamingoes while we were on the island but I wasn’t sure my stomach could have handled a second boat excursion to find them.



We were pleasantly surprised by the hotels and the vibe on the island – I was expecting larger resorts full of gringos, but we found eco-friendly hotels that mostly catered to Mexican families. That is not to say it was cheap - there are certainly more affordable destinations in Quintana Roo.  

 


Holbox isn’t the easiest Mexican beach destination to get to. We had a 2 hour ride on a bumpy road from Cancun, then a ferry ride to the island itself. To top it off, the whale sharks were still a 3 hour boat ride out from the island. It’s definitely not the easiest weekend getaway from the US, or even from Mexico City. But if you have 5 days or more and are looking to really unplug, I highly recommend it. Even better if you visit from June to September and are able to fit in a swim with the sharks.

 

 

See the rest of my photos from Holbox here

Escape to Bahía de la Luna

Its only been a few weeks since our weekend getaway to the beach in Oaxaca, but looking at these pictures makes me ready to jump on a plane and go back again this weekend. You can get bogged down in the debate as to whether the best beaches in Mexico are on the Carribbean or on the Pacific coast. Personally, I think they are just different. I love the turquoise waters and white sand in Tulum, but the Pacific coast offers dramatic coastlines and gorgeous sunsets. You really can’t go wrong, if you ask me.         

We had never been to Oaxaca before and knew we wanted to stay near Puerto Ángel rather than in Huatulco or Puerto Escondido.  Other than that, we had pretty much no idea where to go. I don’t know how we found Bahía de la Luna, but I’m sure glad we did.

Hotel Bahía de la Luna sits on playa La Boquilla, a quiet horseshoe-shaped beach on Oaxaca’s coast. The cabanas are rustic but comfortable, and are situated right on the beach. The restaurant serves fresh, local cuisine. Every afternoon the chef stopped by our palapa to tell us what she was preparing for dinner and offer us a few choices. We were the only guests on our last night there, so she told us the ingredients she had for dinner and a few options she was considering and asked which we would prefer. The food was amazing and the staff were friendly and accommodating. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to decompress for a few days. 

We passed our days sitting under a palapa watching snorkelers putter around the bay and dogs run in and out of the waves. I even went swimming [I almost never swim at the beach, especially in the choppy, cold Pacific]. Something about the deep still water in the bay makes you want to float in it for hours.       

I almost didn’t write this post because I wanted to keep the secret all to myself, but I thought that it was only right to share this gem.  Let’s just not all go at once, ok?

HOW TO GET THERE

Interjet offers reasonable and well-timed flights from DF to Huatulco [we left home on a Friday morning and were on the beach that afternoon].  The flight is less than an hour and features stunning views as you fly over Itza and Popo.  We rented a car and drove about an hour to Bahía de la Luna.  It’s not actually very far from the airport, but once you turn off the main road you have a pretty steep, slow go down a dirt road through a little comunidad to get to the bottom of the hill and to the beach.  You might want to arrange your rental ahead of time, Hertz is the only company we saw operating out of the tiny airport and they ran out of cars halfway through a A319 full of Chilangos looking to get to the beach.       

LA PLAYA Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN

This installment of Mexico City in the Movies is a bit of a stretch because most of the featured film takes place on the road to and on the beaches of Oaxaca.  But the story starts in Mexico City, and the characters are so distinctly chilango, that I think it counts.  Until recently, I hadn’t seen Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También for probably ten years.  I saw it after it came out in 2001 and thought it was a great film.  I’m pretty sure it was the first movie I saw with Gael García Bernal, my favorite Mexican actor, and it spurred my interest in other Mexican films.  However, when I watched it the first time I hadn’t yet lived in Mexico City.  I hadn’t even visited Mexico City.

Watching it again, it was like I was seeing the movie through different eyes.  The slang [no manches, guey], the traffic, random scenes like when the abuela dances in the back of a taquería, male friendships far more complex than any marriage, it’s all just so….tipico.

We planned our trip to the beach in Oaxaca at the suggestion of a Mexican friend whose wife is from the state.  He told us that outside of Puerto Angel you could find quiet beaches and cabanas like you used to be able to find in Tulum years ago.  Perfect, we thought.  

As we sat on the quiet — almost empty — stretch of sand that is Playa la Boquilla, all I could think was…this really looks like the beach from Y Tu Mamá También.  Then, as if we were in the movie itself, a long-haired snorkeling guide bearing tourists from nearby Huatulco in a shabby dingy pulled up to the beach, deposited his clients in the crystal clear water, and sidled up next to us under our palapa with a cold beer.  After he realized the hard sell on snorkeling was going nowhere, we settled into a much more tranquilo conversation about the local beaches and he informed us that, in fact, the beach known as Boca del Cielo from the movie was just a bay or two over.  As he told it, there are still plenty of playas virgenes along the coast west of Huatulco that are perfect for camping, swimming, and snorkeling.   

We never made it into Huatulco, which is just as well, as it tends more towards the resort model.  But I can tell you that Playa la Boquilla was perfect.  And for any Mexico City residents that haven’t seen Y Tu Mamá También since living in the DF I highly recommend a re-watch.  And don’t worry, there is more info on where we stayed in Oaxaca and how to get there coming soon.  

All movie stills via blue-ray.com

Oaxaca Recap in the Works

Our short getaway to Oaxaca last weekend now seems like a distant memory, but it was just too good to let it fade away without proper documentation.  Fear not, I have photos to download and a Mexico City in the Movies post in the works that extends to the beaches of Oaxaca [anyone know which movie?].  In the meantime, here is an instagram snap of paradise for your Thursday afternoon.

Speaking of which, I am a bit down in the dumps about not having a fun beach trip lined up for this weekend.  We will be sticking around DF - anyone have any suggestions for something new and fun to do in the city?   

You Can Find Me…



on the beach in Oaxaca



Friends, I feel like February has chewed me up and spit me out [and I’m not even done with my work travel for the month].  I’ve been on the road from DC to Monterey to San Francisco to Chicago to Miami and back to Mexico City and, as a result, this little blog has been quiet.  Fortunately, my loving husband has planned us a little getaway to Oaxaca.  We have more trips to Oaxaca planned this year, hopefully one during la guelaguetza, but this time we are skipping the city and hitting the beach.  Click through the polyvore above to see what I’ve packed.  I intend on taking pictures with a camera that isn’t my iphone, reading this book, running, eating fish and sleeping in.  And as a bonus, you have my recap of our trip to look forward to in the next week or so.  What are you doing this weekend? 

Ringing in 2012 in Tulum

This was my third visit to Tulum — a beautiful place situated south of the Riviera Maya — and I was worried that this time maybe it would be different.  I was worried that it wouldn’t be as perfect as the first time I went, before I even lived in Mexico. A good friend and I went for a bit of peace and quiet one January and fell in love.  We returned a year later and brought more friends with us.  This year I returned, again with friends, remembering how it felt to wake up in a new year on a beach with sand like sugar and turquoise water.    

I was relieved to find that, while a bit more scene-y than in past years, Tulum is still just as beautiful and relaxing as I remember.  The week between Christmas and the new year is the highest of high season in Tulum, so expect to pay more that time of year [although still much less than in more developed resort towns].  For the first couple of days the beach felt a little more crowded than I remembered, but after New Year’s Eve things started to return to normal.    

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Tulum on Film



Happy Friday!  We are back from the beach and settling into the realities of 2012.  I am spending the first weekend of the new year packing away Christmas, getting rid of 50 things in our Mexico City apartment [DC house you are next!], working on my 2011 year in review [I know, I know, I’m behind], making resolutions and running.

It is great to be back home, but it’s hard not to miss the beach.  We enjoyed a totally relaxing holiday in Tulum with good friends.  I didn’t see a jaguar, but I did finally make it to Chichen Itza to kick off Mundo Maya 2012 [more on that later].  I have lots of posts on our trip lined up for next week and we are already planning our return next New Year.  In the meantime, have a good weekend and enjoy Tulum on Film 

Bienvenido 2012

Happy New Year

Tulum photo source


A New Year's Eve Holiday
If you are reading this I am already on the sunny Yucatan.  We’re spending New Year’s Eve in Tulum again this year, and I’ve been looking forward to it for months.  I even broke tradition and purchased two new Vix swim suits - the first suits I’ve bought since our honeymoon in 2008!  On my agenda this year: finally make it to Chichen Itza and find a jaguar.  Will be in touch with my progress.  Happy Friday!  

Happy Weekend