Mayan Culture Adventure

Jungle in Mexico
Jungle in Mexico

Now that we are married and back to normal life, I am finally able to share with you our adventurous excursion in the Mayan village while in Mexico on our honeymoon.

We were so excited to explore Mexico in our one short week we had on our honeymoon, so we went on an excursion to learn about the historic Mayan culture and get outside of our resort for a bit. Camera in-hand and backpack loaded up, we were ready for a full day of adventure and that’s exactly what we got!

The excursion started early at 8 am. We loaded up on a bus and off we went. There were a few other groups with us on the tour. A family of 5, a family of 4, another newlywed couple and us. The bus filled quickly and J and I had to sit up front with the guide. (The best seat on the bus if you ask me!) We had a front row view of everything!

As we drove outside of our resort in route to our 1st stop, I noticed that the lifestyle in Mexico was very different that I had ever seen before. The tour guide explained that just because the areas looked run-down or neglected, these people were business men and very well off. He pointed out their nicer cars and explained that those with cars were fortunate and that the price of gas consumed a large portion of their monthly income, therefore owning a car was a luxury and sometimes considered a status symbol.

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I also noticed that many of the small towns we passed through were advocates of local business. Many families owned fruit stands or handmade shops, selling hammocks and hand-painted bowls. I loved that.

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The specific Mayan village we were headed to was known for their harvest of honey! They jarred the honey and sold it at their own little stand.

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We continued on through the villages until we reached this small two-way street that twisted and winded us further into the Mexican jungle. We arrived at a little house where we unloaded and began hiking down a narrow path. One thing that they told us was that the jungle was very dangerous and we weren’t allowed to bring anything with us. This was mainly because we needed to keep focused and pay attention to our surroundings while hiking, so I wasn’t able to capture any pictures on this part of the excursion.

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The guide showed us down the path and explained that nature in Mexico was a little different than in America. For example, he pointed out a tree and explained that if we touched the bark of the tree it could cause 3rd degree burns on our skin. Ekk! Needless to say, we kept our hands to ourselves!

We finally made it to an opening in the jungle where they shared with us a Mayan tradition and then took us to our next location – the underground caves.

Now, I’m not going to lie to you, I was a little terrified inside. This cavern was about 70 feet underground. We were strapped into a pulley system where we repelled down into the crystal-clear water inside the cave. Once we made it down, it was fun! We watched as the rest of the group repelled down and listened to the sounds of the bats flying around above us. The water was chilly, but it was exhilarating to experience such a thing! They hooked us back up and pulled us out of the cave one by one and off we went to the next stop – Ziplines!

I was really excited about the zipline part of the adventure! This was one of J’s bucket list items and we were thrilled to be able to cross this off his list in such a memorable location! There were two ziplines that carried us across the jungle and a beautiful lagoon.

Once we reached the lagoon, we all paired up into canoes a floated across the lagoon to a local Mayan house where we would have lunch.

Lunch was a traditional style Mayan meal fixed special for us by the women of the Mayan community. By this time we were starving and would eat anything! Until they announced what was on the menu…at that point, J and I looked at each other and said, ‘let’s do this’. We were excited to try some new things! They served us chicken, rice, spaghetti, tortillas, and wait for it……iguana…..and poison ivy plant tortillas….AND poison ivy koolaid.  Yes, you read that right! Poison Ivy. There was a huge live, growing, poison ivy plant right outside of the house that they used to cook those to-die-for tortillas and that refreshing, bright green koolaid. The guide explained that once the plant was cooked, the poison was no longer existent. I was just curious how they picked the plant without getting covered up with poison ivy, right?! It was all delicious and we were full, but there was more to see!

Off we went back down the long and winding jungle road until the guide made a very sudden halt in the middle of the road. Now this was a slam on the breaks kind of stop. He threw the bus into reverse and backed us up about 20 feet. He jumped out of the driver seat as fast as he could and ran to the front of the bus. Everyone was in shock and was wondering what in the world was going on. Me – I was getting my camera out as fast as humanly possible to capture the moment. Naturally, we all piled out of the bus as fast as we could and he greeted us with a wild tarantula. THAT’S RIGHT – A BIG OLE’ HAIRY, WILD, JUNGLE SPIDER.

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He had this thing crawling on his hands and arms. Our eyes were as big as saucers and my heart was beating out of my chest. The guide passed the spider off to the boys and they let it crawl on them and then the next person. I basically opted out with the excuse of taking the awesome photos. (whew!) I told J he should hold it so I could get his picture. (wink wink) And he did! I was like, ‘whoa, that’s my husband holding a tarantula!’ We released the spider back into the jungle and off we went.

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Our next stop – the Coba pyramid. Coba is one of the most historic Mayan ruins in Mexico, it’s name meaning ‘waters stirred by wind’. The temple reaches about 137 feet high and is the only temple in the area that you can climb all 120 steps to the top! The guide told us that there are plans to close the temple soon so that visitors will no longer be able to climb, but rather just come to see. We consider ourselves lucky to have experienced the climb before they shut it down.

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There was a small dirt road system that led to several different parts of the ruins and the community offered bicycle taxi’s to avoid having to walk the 3 miles to get to Coba. We elected for the taxi and I’m not ashamed – it was fun!

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We made it to Coba and it was breathtaking. We began the hard grueling climb to the top together. The steps were large and steep and once we reached the top it was very crowded. We soaked in the view for a few minutes and made our way back down. We hopped back on our little bicycle taxi and he took us to view all the other locations on our way back to the starting point.

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After the Coba adventure, we explored some of the nearby local shops and restaurant while waiting on the other members of our group. My favorite was this little cafe where they served us the most authentic and delicious guacamole, salsa and a beer. Maybe we were just really hot and tired, but that was the best guac, salsa and beer we had ever had in our lives.

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And that was the conclusion of our big Mexico adventure. Needless to say we are itching to book our next big trip in hopes of many more adventures as good as this one!

Have you been on an adventure lately? We are looking for suggestions on where we should go next and would love to hear your recommendations! Let me know in the comments below!

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I’m partying over here too!

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