I absolutely hate cold weather.  Being a true G.R.I.T.S. (girl raised in the south) hailing from South Carolina, anything below 65 degrees Fahrenheit is practically a blizzard to me.  So as soon as the cool air rolls in, I start thinking of ways I can roll out. Recently, it’s become an annual tradition for me to visit Mexico in December.  I’ve done it the last couple of years and am gearing up to go again in about 12 more days, but I figured I’d share my last adventure in Mexico with you before I do it again…

Your first question might be, “why Mexico?” and that’s a fair question to ask.  There are a number of places I could choose to visit other than the taco capital of the world, but I have a few reasons:

  1. Like I said, the main reason I’m ditching the Carolinas in December is to escape the cold, so while temperatures at home are around 40 degrees, in Mexico the average temperature is in the 80’s!  So I get to trade in my boots and turtlenecks for sandals and swimsuits!
  2. I love the beach and Mexico has some of the most beautiful blue waters and sugar white sands you can see on this continent!  I’ve been several times and am always amazed by the grandeur that is the Caribbean Sea (or the Gulf of Mexico depending on which part of eastern Mexico you’re visiting).  The sea waters tend to be warmer than the Atlantic and it’s always crystal clear.
  3. Most importantly: It’s very inexpensive…dare I say cheap! My favorite website to use when traveling to any Carribbean country is www.cheapcaribbean.com.  This website helps to locate all-inclusive vacations (meaning everything is included: flights, meals, drinks, and stay) at very affordable costs.  I tend to visit Mexico every year for less than $500! Yeah, you read that right… LESS than $500 for a 4 day, 3 night international vacation! Not only that, the accommodations are always incredible.  Don’t think that because the price tag is so low that the resorts are anything less than impeccable. For this trip we stayed at the Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort and Spa and we were impressed from the moment we arrived until we sadly checked out 5 days later.
  4. Last, but certainly not least….It’s the taco capital of the world!!!!! Enough said…

Your next question might be, “so what do you do when you’re in Mexico?” which is another fair question.

Honestly, it all depends. This particular trip was designed for relaxation, so I spent about half a day in the resort’s spa.  There were several different types of pools, saunas, and relaxation rooms that had me in pure bliss and I got a massage that nearly had me proposing to the massage therapist.  I laid out on the beach while cabana boys brought me pretty drinks and salty snacks, and I took naps in the sand while listening to the waves crashing against the shore. It was wonderful.  I didn’t have a care in the world and I was so relaxed that anxiety had no power over me at all.

So I definitely achieved my goal of relaxing…but  I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add in a little adventure… So my travel buddy (Sarah) and I also went cave diving in the cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula. A cenote (pronounced say-NO-tay) is a natural sinkhole created where a cave ceiling has collapsed.  Cenotes were the only source of water in the jungle for the Mayan civilization and are considered sacred by the Mayan people. The Mayans considered cenotes to be an entrance to their underworld where their gods live and their spirits reside after death.  So we spent a day traveling through these pitch-black caves, in chilly waters to explore this ancient phenomenon. We repelled 40 feet into some of the deepest parts of the cenote and using only the flashlights on our helmets got to see some of the most gorgeous water and underwater rock formations that I’ve ever seen with my own eyes.  I’m not sure I’ll ever have the desire to cave dive again, but it was a great experience.

So here’s a tip for my thrifty travelers:

Another thing we did was a timeshare tour.  If you’re unfamiliar with what that is, a timeshare tour is essentially a 4 hour sales pitch where a salesman pulls out all of the stops to get you to invest in vacation properties.  You’ll watch sales presentations, possibly visit luxury suites and they may even treat you to expensive meals. You may be asking, “why on earth we would subject ourselves to that?” but these tours generally come with some really swanky gifts and, if you’ve got time to spare, those gifts are usually worth the 4 hour sacrifice.  The gift we received this time, were the spa treatments I discussed earlier. Needless to say, it was definitely worth it. I do want caution you though, these are very good sales people, so unless you’re truly looking to purchase timeshare property, practice saying “no” beforehand. I also suggest only doing this if you truly have the time available in your trip, it’s not worth it you’ve got other vacation plans.  However, if you’ve got the time and you’re trying to make the most of your vacation on a thrifty budget, doing something like this during vacation could be very profitable!

So that’s it…that’s why I have made Mexico an annual tradition.  Who knows, maybe one day I’ll change the destination to some other tropical paradise…but for now Mexico here I come!