01 September 2008

Quinto viaje del Stensrud's

Our travel begins July 15th. We depart from Portland,Oregon via Mexicana to Mexico City. Destination, Cancun International Airport! This is our fifth trip to Akumal and our first experience with Mexicana Airlines and the Mexico City airport. I must say after reading some leery posts we were skeptical about our arrival to MC (in truth, we were a little freaked out).

To our relief, the service Mexicana provided was impeccable! Our flights both to and from were on time and we had zero problemas finding our way around the airport. Hmmm... all that pre-trip stress for nothing!

Our daughter decided to go on this trip (last minute) and was able to get on all of our same flights, except the flight departing from Cancun to Mexico City; instead, she would be departing an hour ahead of us. While checking our bags, we inquired about the possibility of bumping her to our flight and to our surprise, the agent put all of us on her flight at no additional charge.

After arriving in Cancun and getting the green light with our baggage, we immediately found Easyway Car Rental waiting for us with their sign in hand. We highly recommend Easy Way, each time their service has been flawless with us.

We arrived to our final destination on Half Moon Bay and our favorite condo; Yool Caanal around 8:00 p.m. After falling in love with the white sandy beach and amazing views, we return to Yool Caanal and Half Moon Bay again and again. It’s our little slice of paradise and always feels like we are coming home to a familiar place.

As we sit on the balcony enjoying the view it seems like we never left. It must be that we keep the scenery etched in our minds while we’re away.

May I also add that booking our trip with Akumal Direct Reservations has been our choice year after year. We highly recommend their friendly staff and helpful services!

Now back to what we love about Yool Caanal...location, location, location! We like the garden entry; a garden setting wrapped in palms and a variety of blooming bushes and plants. The vivid plant life invites an assortment of butterflies and the stone pathway leads you away from the road to the building where there are five condominiums with wall-to-wall beach side windows. The condo presents a private location, on a less populated stretch of the bay. Not to mention the best snorkeling is directly out front of the building. On the upper balconies, you can actually see fish, turtles and rays swimming below.

After settling in, we head into town for a late dinner at Turtle Bay. It is customary that we eat at La Cueva del Pescador our first night; however they were getting ready to close.

This was our son’s first trip, the trip we promised him after his four-year stint in the Navy. He is well beyond that now and is in his third year of college in the dental field. A well deserved vacation to celebrate his many accomplishments…he gives Turtle Bay a two thumbs up!

It gives us pleasure to see family and friends enjoy the beauty of Akumal and surrounding area. You can see why people fall in love with this place! How cool is this heart shaped coral!

We spent a day at Xcacel beach riding the waves and a day on a Tulum beach in front of Zulums. A small entrance fee required at Xcacel, a protected turtle nesting ground. There is free parking just across the road from Zulum.

The ocean was a bit rough; hence tropical storm Dolly. Nevertheless, we didn’t let
the surf spoil our fun…it actually made for a better ride.

We also re-visited Xel-Ha and as usual opted for the AI, we stay all day so it’s worth it. We heard there were Manatees somewhere on the property and were anxious to get our first look. We found them in a fenced enclosure and the larger of the tree was quite friendly. We walked through a small un-marked gate entrance to greet the gentle giants, the friendly manatee seems eager to get some attention. We found that he/she liked a belly rub, as it would roll over seeming to enjoy the touch.

Some of our favorite eats and drinks were La Buena Vida, Lol-Ha, Turtle Bay and the Loncheria and of course down town Tulum. Unbelievably we did not fit in La Cueva del Pescador this trip, a first. We voted LBV for best drinks and our new favorite drink is a caipirinha made with limes, rum, fine sugar and/or sprite….very refreshing.

We bought grilled chicken in Akumal Pueblo and ate lunch at El Ultimo Maya, they were both yummy. In Tulum, we ate at Don Huacho’s twice and revisited past favorites La Nave, Charlies and Don Cafetos and of course Pizza Leos in Chemuyil.

We also paid our respects to an old favorite Oscar ye Lalos in the new location on the edge of 307. Noticeably the beach atmosphere is gone, hence “old favorite.” However, the new location is clean and very nice. We stopped for a few drinks and our complimentary tequila shot topped with jalapeƱo pepper.

Other outings included; Grand Cenote, Tulum Ruins, Muyil Ruins, Yalku Lagoon and Sian Ka’an guided boat tour. A first for Muyil and the Sian Ka’an boat excursion.

The ruins and the boat trip were a memorable experience. We floated in the lime stone canal using a life vest. The canal stretches for miles connecting to lagoons and eventually the ocean. The canal is bordered with mangroves and was once used by the Mayans to deliver goods. Beautiful, refreshing and peaceful….we had it all to ourselves.

A climb to the top of El Castillo and sacrificing your sister to the Mayan Gods…. Priceless!

This way to the beach…we found some interesting coral shapes….and beautiful Akumal skies.

We stopped to get some almond tequila off 307 at the restaurante and market place at mile marker 283. The building is bright yellow you can’t miss it. The tequila is tasty and they do offer samples of other flavors but we thought the almond was best. The flavored tequila comes in a plastic water bottle, no label and very rustic. We bought two and it has become quite a tasty conversation piece. There is a donkey tied behind the building that drinks coke from the bottle. Afterward we couldn’t help feeling sorry for the donkey.

The day has come and until next time, we will be dreaming of our favorite view from the Yool Caanal balcony...forever etched in our mind. Thanks again Akumal Direct Reservations for making each trip a memorable experience.
We are looking forward to visit number 6 !

Stensrud Photo Album


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