Note: This post may seem a little negative, and that's probably because it is. This part of the world was A LOT more touristy than we expected and resultantly we didn't love all of it. We still had an awesome time here, we were just a little surprised at how "Americanized" it all was.
I'm going to be honest right off the bat here and say that this was far from our favorite place on the trip. Basically picture a main strip littered with shops and restaurants door to door all with at least 1 person out the front calling out to you every time you walk past to eat there or buy their stuff and you get an idea of what it's like. Kind of like Kuta in Bali or some of the touristy Islands in Thailand plenty of people back home would have been to.
That being said, we stayed at a good little hostel close to the beach and close to the bus depot. The beach wasn't too bad to swim in either once you got past the ever present salesmen without any sales skills. However if you think you'll get a quiet little spot on the beach to yourself think again. And we went there in the super low season.
None the less the water is clear and blue and the climate is great... It just wasn't our cup of tea.
One day we hired a car with our 2 new buddies Rhys and Bonnie (hey gang), and drove to the ruins at Chichen Itza. The main pyramid "El Castillo" here was beautiful, and we arrived super early and hence were able to get some snaps of it from different angles without a million other people in the shots.
Apart from El Castillo though we were a little let down with the site at Chichen Itza. With the volume of tourists through here every day I completely understand why the sites have been closed to people climbing them. However, the hundreds of locals with stalls everywhere harassing you to buy the same crappy nick-nacks that are available all over the peninsula really cheapened the place.
Back in the car, and we took a short 15 minute drive down the road to the cenote of Ik-Kil. We got here quite early and got to really appreciate the spot. We had a great time swimming around with the little cat fish in the huge deep hole before the fake waterfalls got turned on and the hordes of people leaving Chichen Itza after us arrived.
That night we had a few cheeky bevvies at the hostel and hit a few bars later on, taking full advantage of the "Ladies Night, girls get free drinks" situation. This for the most part is what people come to Cancun and Playa del Carmen for. For us however one big night out in Playa was more than enough, and we were happy to head onwards to the next spot.
Next stop, Tulum (again, I know but we stayed there for more than an afternoon this time.)