Day 3: Playa del Carmen – Chichen Itza – Merida

Sunday, March 31st, 2019

Day 02 of Mayan Discovery (by G Adventures)

06:20 am wake up call. I pack everything into luggage, don’t forget something, double check, downstairs, the bus ‘Queen Alejandra’ has seen better days, but it seems ok. Yesterdays missing couple joins the group, they waited 1h30 to leave the plane after a 10 hours flight, because the parking lot in CUN was still occupied by another plance. Welcome to latin america.

I run up the street to get some sandwiches in the next OXXO supermarket. Coca light, they have some sandwiches, pastry, everything better than an empty stomach.

Coffee offered at the hotel is still not an option, no cups. Anyway, I would not use the liquid in the coffee maker to water any plant.

We put our luggage in the trunk of Queen Alejandra, GCEO always sits in front and finally we board the Benz without breakfast, coffee or other essential morning treatment.

Today’s itinerary by G-adventures:

“Travel to Mérida, stopping en route for a guided tour of Chichén Itzá. Enjoy an orientation walk of Mérida. Stop for a guided tour of the popular Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá. Explore this famous site, known for its huge stepped pyramids and elaborate stone carvings. Continue on to Mérida, the capital of the Yucatán State. Follow your CEO on an orientation walk to get the lay of the land.

Private Vehicle Playa del Carmen – Chichén-Itzá 2h-2h30m 190km
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Chichén Itzá Guided tour 2h
Spend the afternoon with a local expert and learn about the history of Chichén Itzá and the beliefs and rituals that defined this ancient Mayan civilization. This dramatic site includes a 30m (98 ft) high temple, known as the Pyramid of Kukulcan, famous for its balustrade of 91 stairs up each of the four sides, a ball court with a grandstand, and towering walls. Visit the highlights of the site including the famous Castillo, the ball court, the cenote, and the Nunnery. Stop for a guided tour of the popular Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá. Explore this famous site, known for its huge stepped pyramids and elaborate stone carvings.

Private Vehicle Chichén-Itzá – Mérida 1h15m-2h 130km
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle. Continue on to Mérida, the capital of the Yucatán State.

Orientation Walk 30m-1h
Enjoy a brief walk with your CEO. She will give you some tips on finding things like supermarkets, main squares, and ATMs. For more specific or in-depth information, an official guided tour is recommended. Follow your CEO on an orientation walk to get the lay of the land.”

We drive good, endless straight road through the dryness to chichen itza. The driver uses double glasses for the special danger preview.

In chichen itza they use modern digital entrance check technology – in the end they trust established mechanics and to a hole in every entrance ticket and ignore the QR codes.

Our guide, Felipe blue eyes, does a world class tour, very funny and a lot of wisdom. The cenote there is not worth the steps, a lot of shops, but very impressive buildings, acoustics, … . In the end, Angkor Wat, Rome, Jerusalem have impressed myself a lot more, but it was worth it.

Of course we did the clapping, Felipe first, single and then all together, to get a demonstration of the acoustics. First it looks weird, a lot of tourists go to the bottom of the pyramid while clapping rhytmical in their hand … but as soon as you did it yourself on the right point, it is fascinating.

After hot Chichen Itza we decide to go optional to Izamal, the yellow city, and stop there for 1h30 to climb another Maya pyramid within this village. We walk the yellow city’s Covent, the church and get an ice cream. Unfortunately the market is closed because of Sunday.

The girls in the group run to top up their data packages. To many pictures from chichen itza.

Unfortunately the market is closed and there is only one coffee (more ice cream place) on the main plaza. We buy ice cream and wait in the heat for our group to go.

We drive on to Merida. While we drive, Lola creates a Whatsapp group and puts a lot of information into it. She explains how the trip will run. She offers all options with estimated price, we decide if we go (not everybody has to do everything), she collects the money and pays. If more go, price (especially for the transport gets cheaper). She opens a Tipp Kiddy, where everybody can join. She calculates a joining price, and tipps then the drivers, hotels, … for everybody. Same with water, Lola collects USD 3 if you want to join in and provides in the hotels large water tanks for refill for the ones who joined. If the money gets to less, she recollects. Practical. I take everything.

As we arrive, we get our rooms in hotel reforma. First room we get, smells horrible like a toilet chemical, has two huge beds in it, but no space onn the floor for our luggage, no window, only the door to the inside. We change room to a 4th floor nicer room in the backside building with a hammock. A lot less noisy, but to carry up the luggage into 4th floor. Worth it.

I jump into the pool to refresh. Then shower.

We meet in the lobby at 07:00 PM with Lola. She does a quick orientation walk to the main plaza, which is 5 min from the hotel. There Lola orders this weird waffel-banana-cheese-caramel thing (Marquesitas), shows us ATMs. Lola recommends to do a free walking tour next day at 9:00 am and shows where it will begin.

We go for dinner to a restaurant close by the hotel. The girls go to the market, rest joins.

Food is good. Lola finishes the left over. After that we follow Lola to her favorite ice cream place and get an ice cream there. I like how this tour starts – options, I can choose – a lot of information from the front seat – including possibility to discuss todays issues and a food afficinado, who guarantees all time possibility for lots of good food. We walk back to the hotel and sleep. Finally.

Accommodation: Hotel Reforma

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