Leaving Footprints In Mexico
Ever since I was a little boy, I have been fascinated by the ancient history of the great empires of the Mayans and Aztecs. I would spend hours reading any books I could get my hands on at my school’s library on their history and legends. I would lose myself in my own imagination trying to picture what life would have been like back then. Now years later, I found myself leaving my own footprints upon the same land they once walked on. We flew into the Mayan Rivera and started our journey at the beautiful Bahia Principe Tulum Resort.
Our first adventure lead us into the jungles of Coba and standing at the base of the Nohoch Mul Pyramid. Nohoch Mul translates to "great mound" in Yucatec Maya and it stands 42 meters tall. You need to climb 120 steps to get to the top to reach a breathtaking view of the surrounding jungle. You almost feel like a demigod at the top because of the splendour the view holds. Climbing the temple was probably the easiest part of this adventure because going down is rather tricky. Basically, we had to climb down on our tootsies step by step until we got to the bottom due to the wear of weather and time on the steep limestone steps. I would highly suggest that 2 hours is almost not enough time to properly explore Coba as there is so much to see besides the temple of Nohoch Mul.
Our second adventure of the trip was a short taxi ride from the resort to the ruins of Tulum. Where the Caribbean sea meets land, we walked though a small passageway within the high walls that surround the city. Once inside, my heart started to race at how well preserved many of the temples and structures still are. You can really picture how the city got its name, Zama which translates to "dawn” by the incredible eastern view from the coastline.
When you stay on the Mayan Riveria, you might not realize that when you dip your toes into the ocean you are looking out on the second largest coral reef in the world. I had to go scuba diving while I was in Mexico. The Reef was buzzing with so many different species, my favourite sight was getting to see some trumpet fish and a hermit crab the size of a dinner plate. I wish I could spend hours within this underwater kingdom but sadly your air tank does run out and you must return to the surface. I was so happy that the underwater camera man captured this beautiful sea turtle just moments after I resurfaced as I was sad that I missed it in person.
Our last adventure of the trip took is to the Great City of Chichen Itza which translates to "At the mouth of the well of the Itza." Before we arrived to the city, we made a stop at the cenote called Saamal. I have have always seen images of cenotes but they are even more magical in person. You really feel like you have entered the underworld when you climb down inside as when you look up all you can see are the roots of trees and stalactites. The air smells rich of minerals, the water so pure and unpolluted as unexplainable habitants of catfish swim by.
Now that we were cleansed by the Mayan Healer and the waters of the cenote, we were ready to walk among so much history at Chichen Itza. Our guide took us though the pokolpok (ball game) court and singing temple of the feathered serpent god Kukulkan, it’s really hard to wrap your head around how an ancient civilization could build such wonders. Despite the warm blessings from the rain god that came down upon us, you really could spend half a day going over all the marvellous structures. I now understand firsthand how Chichen Itza is one of the 7 new wonders of the world.
I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to visit such a beautiful country and learn in person about their ancient culture. I feel like I have only just began to start to discover Mexico and hope one day I can return to my footsteps and walk even deeper into its beauty.