All posts filed under: Ruins

Why Touristy Riviera Maya is a Must-See Paradise

First, head to the beach, the glistening beach, with its fine sand and its lapping, deliciously warm, blue-green waves and the occasional half-buried boulder that hides a massive iguana blissfully unconcerned with all the foot traffic around him. The beaches here, every bit as “Caribbean” as their Caribbean neighbors, almost single-handedly makes the trip worth every penny and every hour sitting in an enclosed space thousands of feet above ground. Later, spread out and explore – the beach will be there when you get back. Upon closer look, you’ll realize there’s more to this popular vacation destination than its beaches and the overwhelming number of resorts. Mysterious cenotes – some too deep to reach the bottom, inlets, and lagoons offer unique swimming opportunities. Well-preserved Mayan ruins, built around 1200 A.D. atop a cliff in Tulum, transport visitors back to a once glorious time. Exotic wildlife, both on land and underwater, present a chance to interact with nature. Aquatic and cultural theme parks like Xel-Ha and Xcaret provide fun recreation for both kids and adults. And then …

Remnants

Here’s the deal: relics of an almost forgotten time only remembered through Hollywood’s very loosely-adapted Western classics, rotted and rusted – typewriters, cash registers, p.o. boxes, horse-drawn carriages – are littered all over, amidst whatever skeletons are left of this old silver-mining town and the considerably cheaper, wild western version of Disneyworld (cotton candy, fake gold panning, coin-pressing machines, the works!) on what used to be Calico’s downtown/red light district/main street. There are only 9 residents left in this town today but everyday from 9 to 5, tour buses and SUVs pile into its dirt parking lot and tourists from China to France walk its streets to “experience” how life was like in the wild wild west. It’s got the markings of a tourist trap but if you step outside the traffic, whether to the northeast where an abandoned hotel was carved on the sides of the rocks or to the northwest where the old schoolhouse stand, you can almost feel the ghosts of the past, whispering tales and anecdotes about miners, cowboys, Chinese immigrants, …