The Bus From Cancun and a Few Hours in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico...Baby Lions? Really?
After an unexpectedly AWESOME time in Cancun (swimming with whale sharks, releasing baby turtles and 25 cent Hass avocados set a new high bar for me), our week at the Royal Sands Cancun was over. Good bye view from my balcony...
Good-bye mega-hotel with the insane army of ever friendly employees...(here they are mobilized to clean the already pristine beach in the morning...50 guys probably picking up dead baby turtles before the kids get up)
good-bye gym heavenly enough for me to go 7 days in a row. That beats my old record by about 4 days.
Anyway, it's time to catch the bus south. And since we are in one of the world's greatest areas (Yucatan/Belize), why not make a few stops on the way down home.
We took the city bus (still only $8.50 pesos ANYWHERE in Cancun) from the hotel to the ADO bus station. Once there, they have buses running to Playa Del Carmen every 15 minutes pretty much all day.
The ride is easy...just about an hour and only $48 pesos or $3 USD. Mexico's bus service is incredible in every way...a machine.
Playa del Carmen was a tiny fishing village not so long ago but due to its gorgeous beach and international restaurants and shops and amazing location, it has really exploded. The population is now listed at 150,000! Fifth Avenue is a pedestrian street that is certainly touristy but in many ways maintains a bunch of local and European charm. A good place to stop for a few hours.
Oh! Let me throw in a Yucatan map again so you can see what an easy trip this all is. Home base, San Pedro, Belize, is just below Xcalak, Mexico. (Gracias Lonely Planet for the map.)
On the second floor of the Playa bus station is a storage area for your bags. It's not incredibly cheap...but it sure is convenient.
The port where the turbo-ferries to Cozumel dock...
Some pharmacies are right in souvenir & tequila mega stores. Everything you need in one place! Though be careful with the Jose Cuervo and the mass relax.
There are quite a few new stores...Haagen Das seems to have taken over.
Or this MOST disturbing sight. Twice I saw guys with TINY baby lions (real lions!) selling you a chance to hold them or take a picture with them. Both cubs were exhausted, probably too young to be away from their moms and the "handlers" adamant that you didn't take your own pictures. (This guy was pissed.)
How can this be legal? The guy was actually saying that you should pay for the picture "for a good cause"...so that the baby could be returned to the zoo and raised properly.
Time to head south.
A one hour bus ride (only $34 pesos on budget local bus Mayab)...
and I'm in Tulum! At a very cute little hotel, VERY reasonably priced that I've been to a few times before: Secret Garden Tulum.
Off to my favorite beach in the world. I'll report back later...
Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos on San Pedro Scoop