Although I was hoping I would eventually end up travelling around Mexico – at some point while in Guatemala, I realised that it probably wouldn’t happen this time around. I still had a few last stops planned for Guatemala when one evening, I sat down with and contemplated my remaining funds.
And it became very clear. I just had to head back. There was no way I could push it for any longer without ending up sleeping on the street. So I checked all the possible flights back to Europe. Mostly Poland and Spain to realise that it will be much more complicated than I thought. Basically, there was no way I could go back without taking gruelling 40 hours, four stops flight with a change in States. I panicked. Damn. I’m screwed!
And then I thought – let’s check Mexico. And here I found a direct flight from Cancun to Madrid! So I had no other choice than to go to Mexico! Oops!
I cut my Guatemalan trip short and planned a bus journey from Panajachel (Lake Atitlan) to San Cristobal de las Casas in Mexico. You can read all about border crossing in this article. It was a memorable experience, for sure!
So here I am, in Mexico. I am so glad that I was ‘forced’ to reroute. It is a wonderful country.
But it’s nothing new, isn’t it?
People love this country for resort holidays, turquoise beaches of Cancun and Tulum and glorious weather. But also Mexico is a fantastic backpacking destination.
I love the travellers I meet here. I have made friends from day one. Mexico has a strong backpacking culture, with fantastic hostels, although the closer you get to Cancun, the more touristy it gets.
Unfortunately, I had only 20 days until my flight – and even though for many this would be plenty of time – for me, it feels like I am only brushing over this country. I travel slow. I like to stay for longer in one place, get to know the people, culture, go off the beaten path. This is the way I really discover the country. So 20 days is very little in my books.
But I stayed for nine days in San Cristobal, and it was a fantastic choice. San Cristobal is a truly magical town. I could imagine myself staying there for months – and for a place with no water access (beach or lake) and cold temperatures at night – it would typically be unimaginable for me. But this town has totally stolen my heart. I just felt happy there. I will definitely return!
So slowly, I am making my way towards Cancun and trying to experience and see as much as I can along the way. So I can take you with me on the trip. I am obviously writing about my experiences and findings throughout this journey.
I am currently in the charming town of Valladolid and just returned from a fantastic bike trip to my first ever cenote.
Mexico is famous for its cenotes, and I have never experienced anything like this in my life.
What are cenotes? ….
A cenote is a natural deep-water well fed by underground rivers and rainwater. They are formed as a result of the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater. Cenotes can be experienced in abundance on the Mexican Yucatan peninsula. It is not possible anywhere else in the world. There are all very different, given their age and location. Some are completely open, and other need to be accessed by walking down into the cave. This is a highly surreal and beautiful wonder of nature.
Mayans were using the cave cenotes as a stage for some of their rituals and ceremonies. For Ancient Mayans, they were not only the water source but also were considered the entrance to the underworld. I totally understand it. As I walked into my first ever cenote, the first thought that crossed my mind was that – this is the temple of nature. It felt sacred, surreal and beautiful.
This journey just keeps on giving. I wonder – when am I going to stop and say – I can’t be any more surprised.
I leave one place totally mesmerised, thinking it just cannot get better. But it does. Every single time! It is a truly incredible and beautiful world, and living in constant awe of it is the best way to live.
And now I’m sitting in my quirky hostel writing this small update – partly grateful that I had this opportunity but also sad that I will be leaving soon.
But Mexico – you will see more of me! I promise!
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