Mexico 2013, Part 1: Flying into Cancun!


The Mask and Beetle Juice!

Here we gooooo - the first post in my Mexico trip recap! Not too many pretty pictures in this post since I was in the airport for most of the day ^^ Our first day in Mexico was pretty low-key because we arrived in the evening and had to wake up early the next day.

My first glimpse of Mexico! The ocean becomes one with the sky :)

I love flying and I was amazed by how blue the waters around Mexico were even from thousands of miles up.

Approaching the Cancun International Airport (CUN).
What I read during my trip. A great 'travel' book because it's full of short articles/stories that are perfect for 1-2 hour plane rides.

The Mosquito Palace. Oh, my bad, the Sotavento Hotel & Yacht Club. I'm a little torn about how I feel about this place. On one hand, it was one of the cheapest deals around. On the other hand, I'd gladly have paid double to sleep without suffocating under a sheet to avoid mosquitoes and a bathroom that didn't smell like mold.

Lobby of Sotavento Hotel & Yacht Club

Here's my quick review of the place:

- Super cheap: $46-ish/night

- Free breakfast (delicious OJ!)

- Free bottled water

- There is AC

- Free wifi in lobby and restaurant

- Awesome location. Located right in the Hotel Zone and only 2 blocks-ish (a 2 minute walk) to the R-1/R-2 bus stops, which take you everywhere. It's also only a 2 minute walk to the Barcelo Costa Cancun, a bigger hotel that you can use as a reference point for tour drop off/pick ups.

- Pretty clean for what it's worth!

- The pool is small but quite pretty.

- There is a convenience store (OXXO), located in 5 minutes walking distance.

- They are pretty generous about making local calls for free at the front desk. FYI the phone in your room doesn't work.

- As the name says, people do actually dock their yachts in the lagoon behind this hotel.
- The friggin mosquitoes.... On the first night, I got bitten 4-5x on the face alone. By the end of the trip, despite my best efforts (cocooning myself in a sheet every night), I had about 11 bites on my face -__-

- Other than the OJ, breakfast food was always cereal, white bread, old tortilla chips, refried beans and one glorious day, pancakes.

- The AC has two settings: Humid Sauna or Arctic. Humid Sauna (aka anything other than AC at full blast), leaves the room damp and sticky. In this setting, my swim suit didn't dry out for two days. Arctic is freezing, but it's the only setting that keeps the room from being a wet cave.

- Crazy ass birds that swoop in to steal food off your plate the second your back is turned. I kid you not.

- Bathroom smelled like mold :\ Plus mosquitoes dive bomb any piece of naked flash that isn't under a stream of water xD

- Sheets and blankets that are as old as time and covered with somewhat suspicious looking stains.

Other notes: You can get a key to the safe in your room and a hairdryer from the front desk if you need it.

Overall, I think it's a good bargain for anyone who just wants a place to stow their stuff and can bring their own mosquito net. But anyone who is picky about bathrooms and wants a place to relax comfortably should definitely look elsewhere. Personally, I would've been happy to pay a bit more to sleep without being nibbled by mosquitoes.

That evening we took the R-1/R-2 bus downtown to eat dinner at Mextreme (we got a coupon from the front desk) and do tourist-y things like take pictures in front of Coco Bongo, a show/club that I will definitely be posting about later :)

A big guitar in front of the Hard Rock Cafe.

The area Julie and I hung out was pretty nice, though rather Americanized in many ways. There was a Baskin Robbins, a Starbucks, Hooters...

This is the exact street Julie and I were on most of the time! But as you can see, Google hasn't updated their images since June 2009 and a lot of things have changed since then. It's more developed and a lot busier now. It's a pretty fun place to hang out at night; there are lots of clubs, places to eat, and you can browse souvenirs at the Coral Negro market. It's also quite safe, even at night and easy to navigate, which is saying something because I have absolutely NO sense of direction ^_^


  1. ahhh cheap hotels... I was looking up Barcello Coasta and it cost $140/night to stay, no wonder that security guard was pissed that we sat on their chairs haha. and that chichen itza temple I actually used a filter plus lens distortion on photoshop to achieve the shaded fisheye effect, those fisheye lens are too expensive for just one special effect in my opinion!


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