So I was going over my social media calendar today, realizing how much I am already struggling to find content to post every day (it has only been a month!). I started going through our travel stuff since that is usually pretty entertaining, and I was SHOCKED to see I hadn't posted anything about our day in Costa Maya, Mexico!!
The port was part of a cruise, but like most of our destinations in Central America we felt like we were able to make every minute count.
We had no plan, but after getting off the boat and getting past the gates we quickly found a tour group called Toucan Tours. We decided on a full day excursion that took us through town into Pineapple Village, through the Chacchoben Ruins, and then to the beach and shopping.
Everything was amazing! We sat up front in the shuttle with the driver and with our limited Spanish and his limited English we were able to learn so much about him and the area. Carlos told us all about his family and life- we enjoyed every minute!
Our first stop was at Pineapple Village on the way to the ruins. This is an area on the side of the road where women of the village sell fresh pineapple. Carlos bought enough pineapple and fresh tortilla for everyone on our tour to try. He also provided us with chili powder to put on the pineapple, a common (and delicious!) way to enjoy the treat in that area.
Next we walked through the Chachhoben ruins. Matt is normally the more enthusiastic of the two of us when it comes to historical areas, but it was really amazing. We had such a beautiful day, and the guide Ishmael taught us not only about the ruins themselves but even about the plants and trees growing around them. We learned about the "killer trees" (pictured here), as well as the meaning behind the name Chiclets (the maker of Chiclets used gum found in the trees in Mexico and used the Mayan words for "mouth" and "chew" to create "Chiclet").
After a long day of walking through the ruins, we ended up at the beach where there were local restaurants, shops, and even snorkeling (just $5 to rent the gear!). We ended up sitting by the ocean eating some amazing guacamole and sipping on margaritas. It was such a relaxing way to enjoy the beautiful beach.
Even with all the gorgeous sites and the history of the area, our favorite part of the entire day was speaking with Carlos, the driver. Whenever we travel we always seem lucky enough to find some wonderful person who is willing to teach us about their country and even share personal aspects of their lives. That is what we look for when we travel, and finding that insight during a one day stop on a cruise is rare. Yet everywhere we stopped in Central America- we found it.