Al and Marsha's Journal
In January, 2003 Marsha and I traveled to the Mayan Riviera, South of Cancun to a wonderful all-inclusive resort called
Xpu Ha Palace (pr. Ish-poo-ha). We had decided that we wanted an all-inclusive holiday in the sun and on the recommendation
of a client, we looked into the area South of Playa Del Carmen, which itself is South of Cancun.
We have a strong preference for finding places which are a little out of the ordinary, and are not too partial to huge blocks of buildings plunked at the edge of the ocean. The whole Cancun area is chock a block with these. We looked on the internet, as we usually do at this stage, and came across this place. It is, in fact a part of a chain of hotels in this area all of which but this one are the exact type we don't much like.
The Xpu Ha Resort is actually on the site of a long standing, privately owned wild life sanctuary. When the chain purchased the place they wisely decided to maintain as much of its character as they could while turning into a first class resort. In our view they succeded admirably.
We did not keep a detailed journal during this trip (too busy lying on the beach soaking up rays, and sipping on something cool).
One of the reasons we wanted to be in this particular area at this time was that Kim, and her guy Ross, and her cousin Josh, and another friend were on a three month rickety van drive through Mexico to Belize (where they had the use of a terrific beach house) and other Central American countries. On our second day at Xpu Ha they arrived to spend the day with us and we had a great time.
The place was magnificent and as you will be able to see from the pictures below, as everything one would want in a tropical paradise.
We had ten days there, and enjoyed it thoroughly. We would recommend this resort to anyone who likes the slightly unusual.
We actually didn't spend our whole time at the beach. On cloudy days we went touristing to places such as Tulum, and ancient Mayan ruin on the coast (see pictures), Playa Del Carmen, a little town about twenty miles North, full to the top with tourist stuff, but interesting, and to a "theme" park called Xcaret (pr. Ish-car-ay) at which we spent a whole day.
The place was filled with interesting stuff all built around the Mayan heritage of the area. They have a sea turtle breeding program and during January they release the ones which are ready to fend for themselves. We happened upon the scene as they were releasing that day's quota. Two features which stood out were a floating, in the water ride (in the water, with bathing suit and lifejacket, not on a boat) through about a mile and a half of mostly underground river and the evening performance in a stadium of magnificent presentations of Mexican history and culture. This was very much like the evening show at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii.
All in all, we had a great rest and enjoyed our first experience in Mexico, and also the all-inclusive concept. As usual, we talk about going back to Mexico, but next maybe Cabo San Lucas.
Enjoy the pictures:
The Resort and Beaches
The view from our balcony
Circles of two unit Pallapas in a circle facing outward
The main beach with one of the three dining rooms at right
Our balcony, with its tropical comforts
The bedroom, including a 'sculpted' towel in the shape of a
different animal each day. There is a double jacuzzi in the room.
Marsha taking in the view
It's exhausting standing around looking at the view!
The main beach
The beach in front of our unit
Tulum - the ancient Mayan City ruin just South of Xpu Ha
Xcaret - the Mayan Theme park near Xpu Ha
The Sea Turtle release - if you squint you can see the little dark blob in the water - the recently released one.
The "Native" Dancers after a spirited performance
A Reconstructed Mayan Village built over a Stream
The Spectacular Evening Display of Mexico's History and Culture
The Tourist Town of Playa Del Carmen
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