A personal estimation and experience report of my stay in Quintanan Roo, Mexico. The information in this post deal only about the half island Yucatan. I think, it might differ to other regions in Mexico. Mexico is the second country in central america I have visited and it gave me an interesting insight of what else is possible in the world. I will talk about the food, transportation, human and the places I visitied.
As european in Mexico
As european it can be really inexpensive in Mexico, if you know what to look for. The income of a mexican is around 400 Peso a day, which is much already. It would be 17.39 € with an exchange rate of 1 € = 23 Peso (January 2018) !!! Like everyhwere, you can spend a lot of money if you are in touristic areas for example. But there is not the local life like I want to experience. I want to see how the locals live and what they eat.
You can go around by taxi, collectivo or ADO (bus) inside and outside the cities. For example in Playa del Carmen the collectivo cost 9 Peso and in Cancun 10 Peso never mind how long the ride is. I never felt unsave driving with the locals. The half island Yucatan is and seems to me pretty save, even if already 3 people got shot in Tulum this year. Mostly of these people deal with the wrong business or need to die because of the envy of others. Even while hitch hiking I never had a bad feeling. For example in Tulum, the beach is 3 km away and one road is going there so going by stop was the only possibility for me.
Tasting the mexican way
Previously I was a little afraid about my stomach/intestine because they are very sensible for hot food and bacterias in reason of lacked hygiene. But I was okay so far. Maybe Cuba prepared me well. One of my favourite food were tortas (sandwiches). You can get them with pastor, pork, conchinita or other meat. Adding some onions/tomatoes and a hot sauce. Ah and do not forget the lime. Here an example. This torta cost around 1.17 € and I ate a lot of them 😀
Mostly the foodtrucks sell tortas, tacos and much more. Be careful and check if the foodtruck is not too dirty and okay. Then you can enjoy your order.
In the beginning I was still sceptical and careful as I arrived in Mexico. After I spent more time in this country and had contact with the locals my feelings changed. It made me happy how friendly and happy the most mexicans are. Not rarely you say “hola” to each other in the streets if you pass by. I often connect with each other by making eye contact. Mexicans are very helpful in a direct way or if you ask for help. Because I was in a mayan area I could see real mayan people. Especially in Punta Allen live a lot of them. When I was hitch hiking mostly mexican people picked me up.
My four destinations
36 days are behind me in the country of unlimited possibilites. For me it is Mexcio definitely (in comparison to the countrys I have already visited) because you can make you dreams come true here. Many people I met did so. Among other things I met Mika, who moved to Tulum 18 years ago and opened up a restaurant there. A new friend Julia who moved to Tulum as well and gives yoga sessions. Saber, an egypt guy who lived in Amsterdam and in Playa del Carmen now to build a pizza foodtruck. I could name more amazing people.
During my time in Mexico I did not see many places but that is ok. I realised that it is ok to stay longer if it is possible. This happened in Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Punta Allen. And it was amazing. The time in Mexcio was limited for me but I will come back and stay longer. I do not know any other country where you get 180 days of visa for free.
I was told about many places I have not seen yet but I will go for them the next time. These are e.g. Bacalar, Oaxaca, Isla Holbox, Merida, San Cristobal.. Mexico is so huge that 180 days are not enough to explore everything.
A few words to the places I visited. The slideshows give you a better impression of the different places (:
Playa del Carmen
In Playa I was one week and in the first nights at the hostel Kaban (Calle 44 Norte). There are two streets of the same name in Playa and of course I was in the wrong one at first. However I got to know Saber as I aksed him for the way. Instead we got in touch and he showed me one of the yummy torta places in town (Cochiloco Calle 44 / 5ta). It was my first snack after Cuba and it felt like heaven.
As I was back in the hostel I got to know some people (also Slavek) I went to two cenotes with. A cenote is like a natural water hole and they are connected somehow. The first was Cristalino and the second Ik–Kil. The last was much more exciting with a deep of 50 meters and you should not lose anything.
The last day I stayed with Saber to help him with his foodtruck. In Mexico you have a lot of such vehicles or cars that sell stuff in the streets. It can by food, gas or water. Every vehicle has its own song and for Sabers foodtruck I defaced the famous tequila song by The Champs. Instead of “tequila” a sexy voice says now “pizza”!
On the way back to Cancun I stayed with Slavek and his friends. We were at the beach again and I can recommend Punta Esmaralda or Blue Beach instead of the beaches direct in front of the big hotels.
Tulum…this was the most spiritual place I have visited. Everybody seemed to be confused. Tulum means to me Ayahuasca, yoga, meditation and infinite love healing. I took part in such a healing session. It is about detaching from all the negative things in your body. Because I did it the very first time, I could not relax 100% but it was interesting to expereicne this. It is about the breath in general. My head was hurting anyway and I was a little bit confused after it.
In the meanwhile I was one week in Punta Allen. What I have experienced there you can read in this article. After this I was one and a half week in Tulum and lived with Mika. I slept in my hammock. I would prefer this a bed while travelling. Really nice that thing. What I want to mention, the ride back from Punta Allen took me four hours on the load of a truck. I sat in the sun on some ropes. I did not realise how long it took me but the ride next to the ocean let my mind open infinitely.
During the time in Tulum Julia showed my another beautiful cenote. Much love and thank you at this point 😉 We also went to a friends place inside the jungle and drove to another cenote, that was a cave. Incredible that something like this exist.
My last days belonged to Cancun. There I was at the beach and the Mercado 23. This is what I can recommend to see, because there you can buy everything but cheap. Vendors buy their stuff like candy, souvenirs or whatever there and sell it at the beach or wherever to the tourits.
Yeah, I am a tourist as well but because of the people I met I did not feel like this (:
The time in mexico was mystic and unbelievable relaxed. If I learnt something, how fast plans can change. Actually I wanted to go to Bacalar but instead I could visit this wonderful cave cenote. Then you should not mourn after your plan, even if you wanted to follow it and instead enjoy and live the present moment (;
Mexico, I will come back! Eventually I have a few hundred peso left over ^^.