Viva Mexico! As many of you may know, I spent several years living in the beautiful country of Mexico. In this travel memory, I will share with you some of the beautiful encounters I had during my stay.
Off the Beaten Path in Mexico
Similar to the Stewardess in Episode Two of the first season of The Stewardess’s Diary, I spent my time in Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. This area is home to some of the most beautiful beaches (Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and all of the Riviera Maya). Many of you are probably familiar with the beaches, so I’m going to show you some of the lesser-known parts of this area.
Pink Flamingos and Lakes
One of the most beautiful places (in my opinion) is Rio Lagartos, Yucatan. It is a small fishing village located at the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico. If you are looking for a less touristy place to visit, this is the place to go. When I was there, I and my two friends were the only visitors though Instagram has made the location better-known. The area surrounding Rio Lagartos is the home of the largest concentration of pink flamingos in Mexico.
Also in the Rio Lagartos area (about 30 miles away) is Las Coloradas, most commonly known for its pink lakes. While the lakes do look magical, there is no magic here. The pink color is from a combination of the chemicals used to extract salt from the ocean and the abundance of pink plankton, red algae, and brine shrimp. The pink flamingos are also brighter in this area due to their diet consisting of these.
Cenotes are found throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. They are natural sinkholes, caves, or caverns, that have filled with rain and groundwater. If you visit anything in this area, I highly recommend you add at least one cenote to the list. But due to their natural formation, they are all very different so you might want to visit them all! I promise you that each one is breathtaking. It’s also one of the best ways to cool off during the sweltering hot summer days.
Here are two different cenotes:
This is Cenote Ik Kil, located in the state of Yucatan. It is probably the most visited and well-known cenote. If you have ever gone on guided a tour to Chichen Itza, this is often one of the stops.
This is Cenote Zaci, located within the colonial city of Valladolid, also in the state of Yucatan.
Many of us enjoy a good story about the Caribbean pirates. In Bacalar, a lagoon in the southern edge of the Yucatan peninsula known for its beautiful turquoise and blue waters, the pirates were more than just a story featuring Johnny Depp. Here you can find Fort San Felipe that the Spanish built in 1733 to protect the colonists from the constant attacks.
You can see the cannons on the right aimed towards the water:
La Comida (The Food)
Of course, the most popular food in Mexico is the taco. Authentic Mexican tacos are not the same lettuce, tomato, and cheese-covered tacos that you find in chains in the north. Typically, they are just some sort of meat (pork, beef, fish) marinated with spices that vary depending on the region the taco preparer is from. Beyond the meat, the toppings are very basic to none. Some include cilantro, pickled or grilled onions, and pineapple. Then there’s always a side of lime and salsas. The salsas can range in spiciness from just a little hot to melt your whole insides hot, depending on your preference.
These are street pork tacos or carnitas. In the background, you see the selection of salsas, cilantro/onion mix, and limes. And of course, the common Mexican drink choice: Coca-Cola.
Be sure to leave room for dessert after eating your tacos!
And there’s no better dessert on the Yucatan Peninsula than a marquesita. What is a marquesita? Deliciousness is what it is. It is a crispy crepe, rolled up like a taquito, filled with Edam cheese and the toppings of your choice. The toppings can range from strawberry jam to lechera (like sweetened condensed milk) to bananas. My personal favorite is Edam cheese and Nutella. The sweet and salty combo is amazing.
Stay tuned for more travel memories.