mexico | merida

merida was our second stop in our trip to mexico. we stayed in a small hacienda – hacienda vip – with only four rooms and very centrally located, near the plaza mayor – cute, don’t you think?

after checking-in and walking to the main square, we had dinner at chaya maya, a restaurant close by, specialized in yucatecan cuisine, and recommended by our hacienda. on the second night we went for street food and dinner was even more successful!

on our first day in merida we decided to drive to uxmal – it is considered one of the most important archaeological sites of mayan culture, together with chicken itza and tikal (which we missed). besides the pyramids, i specially liked the ballcourt for playing the mesoamerican ballgame.

it was not crowded at all so we spent almost a whole day relaxing at the ruins!

back in merida we wondered through the streets, with some tourists and many locals, we visited the san ildefonso cathedral and the cathedral of merida.

we ate delicious quesadillas at the plaza mayor, and had ice pops at janitzo on the other side of the square – the mango one was da best! we then walked though 60th street, closed it for pedestrians at night, where i bought mexican bracelets and colorful embroidered shirts.

on our last day before leaving we decided to have breakfast at the market, where we had the best mexican food of our trip.

we started with fresh fruit, followed by pork tacos – having pork for breakfast is so not me, but i TRULY enjoyed it and would have these again in a heartbeat.

we spent our morning taking pictures, talking to vendors and wishing we had a market half the size of this one in turks and caicos. i don’t know about you, but spending time in markets really fulfills me – specially the food ones – the colors, the smells, the flavors, the variety, and the culture that it represents!

before leaving the market, and to finalize our breakfast, we had cheese empanadas and polcanes. polcanes are typical from yucatan and were a true discovery for us. made from deep fried corn dough topped with shredded pork, beans, tomato sauce and cabbage – i’m salivating here!

it was time to leave merida and drive to tulum for the last leg of our trip, so we decided to make a stop in izamal – just a small detour, and totally worth it.

izamal, just an hour away. it is sometimes called the yellow city, as most buildings are painted in yellow. what really took us there was the monastery of saint anthony of padua – also in yellow, it’s stunning!

can you tell it was pouring and so hard to take pictures?! here’s 2 minutes with no rain…

read the first part of our mexico trip right here.

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mexico | valladolid

after our little get away to havana we went on for a few more days in the yucatan. our main objective was to absorve as much history and culture, visit the mayan ruins, have great mexican food and some rest and relax too.

our first stop in mexico was valladolid, just over 150km from cancun airport. since we got there at night it didn’t allow us much to do. we checked in at the breathtaking coqui coqui and headed out for dinner. we were recommended by the hotel to try conato 1910, a cozy restaurant close to the main square. we walked to the restaurant, it was quiet and decorated with huge paintings of frida kahlo. the food was delicious and perfect for our first night taco fix.

the next day we wanted to explore the town a little bit, so we got the bicycles that the hotel have assigned for guest and started by visiting the beautiful convent of san bernardino de siena and the cathedral of san gervasio on the main square.

we then headed to the cenote zaci, there are loads around the yucatan and this one is almost in the centre of town. as we were not properly equipped we didn’t give it a go, but james was ready to jump in!

wherever we go, we always like visiting the local market, i think it tells us a lot about the local culture, how people eat and what fresh products they have available. since we don’t have a local market in turks and caicos, we were kind of craving one, the smells and the atmosphere of it.

the market wasn’t very big, but busy and a lot of action going on around it. we ended up having lunch there – nibbling some freshly cut mango, buying corn tortillas cooked on the spot and eating delicious grilled chicken.

valladolid was the perfect place to start our trip, the town is small, we easily parked our car and walked (and cycled – hence the lack of pictures…) everywhere. we definitely want to go back and only wished we could’ve stayed longer.

we then headed to chichen itza and finally visit the mayan ruins – chichen itza was a large pre-columbian city built by the mayan civilization and it’s about a 40 minute drive from valladolid in the direction of merida.

getting there is pretty easy, the parking was easy and there are plenty of guides available at the entrance. there were loads of souvenir shops and and food stalls, but we sensed some rain coming, so we ran to the site and made the most of it.

everybody recommended going early in the morning to prevent the crowds, but since june is low seasons, it wasn’t too busy and nice to visit.

the site is amazing, we spent a whole afternoon walking around and taking pictures – no wonder it is a unesco world heritage site. it’s been on my bucket list to visit at least since in 2007 it won the title of  one of the seven wonders of the world in a ceremony in lisbon!

after a long day with lots of sightseeing we headed to merida, our next stop, about an 1h30 away – check back for more on this trip soon!

howdy from mexico

hello friends! i just popped in to say a quick hello from mexico.

we rented a car and have been on a mini road trip around yucatan, and now relaxing on the beach in tulum for a couple of days before heading back to provo. it’s my first time in mexico, so i’m all excited about the mayan ruins, the food (i could eat tacos every day!), the markets, the cute churches in every little village and the friendly people, i am loving this culture and couldn’t be happier.

hope you guys are having an awesome weekend too!

off we go

hey friends, we’re off for a loooong week vacation. we’re staying in miami for one night and tomorrow we’re heading to havana for a few days before traveling to tulum. this year we thought we should explore countries nearby, although we did have a hard time finding out how to get to cuba from here – but we’re finally making it!

i have a few posts lined up for next week, and follow me on instragam and facebook  for daily updates on my cuba and mexico trip!

check out this gorgeous pictures of cuba by jose villa, aren’t they breathtaking? i can’t wait to get there!

see more images on jose villa’s blog