BW Vacations in Playa del Carmen, Quinta Roo, Yucatan, Mexico!

Earlier this year, my oldest son decided to purchase the house which he has rented for the past three years.  Because he works 20 days on a tugboat and only home for 10, he needed a little help navigating everything, so of course, I was happy to help him out.  After the closing while riding together to his newly purchased home, he asked, “Mom, have you ever thought about going to Mexico?”  I paused, thinking, and he continued, “Would you like to go?”  

Well, you could’ve knocked me over with a feather.  He proceeded to tell me how he had purchased amap-yucatan-state four-night stay at a resort spa in Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan and never took the trip because he and the woman he was seeing at the time broke up.  Maybe that’s too much info, and he’ll fuss me for sharing that, but he explained how the purchase was still valid and ended with, “How about we plan it for September?  I’ll take care of the tickets, the planning, everything. All you have to do is say yes and pack your bags!” I was dumbfounded, speechless, which y’all know doesn’t happen very often.

And just like that, it was decided that we would make the trip,  Of course, with so many obligations at home, I began to fret about who would hold down the fort while I was away. But I have great kids, and they assured me that I should go and not worry, because they would take care of everything.

lobby-beach-viewjpgHe absolutely did plan everything, down to shuttles to and from the Cancun airport and a full-day excursion for the day after our arrival. On a Friday afternoon, we stepped out of the shuttle into the open-air reception area of Le Reve`Hotel, and I thought I was in another world.  They greeted us with a cool towel for freshening up, followed by a cool and refreshing orange-juice based drink.  How lovely!  But then I turned around, and this site took my breath away!  This is the view from the registration desk.  I pinched myself at this point!

pool-at-Le-ReveLe Reve` is not one of the big, high-rise resort hotels, rather it is a smaller boutique hotel, that is clean, beautiful, comfortable, and tastefully decorated.  The staff are friendly accommodating, even when they didn’t understand English!  They served us in our rooms, in the restaurant, and on the beach.  This place made us feel like royalty, no lie, but it did take some getting used to!  I’ve never experienced such treatment before, and I can’t say one negative thing about our stay there.  It was marvelous, relaxing, and enjoyable, just as a true vacation should be!

beach-at-la-reveI couldn’t wait to get down to that beach and see the gorgeous Caribbean, with its varying shades of water, from Coke-bottled colored green all the way to deep azure blue.  Even the clouds were different from those we see here.  It was overcast, so I’m very disappointed the colors aren’t captured in these photos. There was an 80% chance of rain predicted our entire stay, but there’s just no way a little rain would put a damper on our adventures!


After we walked the beach a short ways to the south, it didn’t take this girl long to find her spot!  As we sat on the beach, we could see Cozumel off in the distance and more storm clouds moving in. It began raining late that night, but the locals were very happy to see the rain.  Turns out, their rainy season, the months prior to our arrival, weren’t so rainy.  Better late than never, as they say.  David and I vowed again that the rain would not slow us down.


We dined in late Friday night, taking advantage of our all-inclusive stay, which offered just about anything we cared to eat or drink the entire time, night or day.  Oh boy, guess I won’t be losing any weight on this trip!  We met and made a new friend in Roberto, our well-trained, friendly waiter.  The caliber of the service really impressed us at the Merlot Restaurant. Below is just a sampling of some of the gourmet meals prepared for us.

Before I go any further with this story, let me clarify that my son did not tell me what we would be doing.  He planned the entire excursion without my knowledge, so I was in for some major surprises! But you know that BW loves adventure, right?  So, here we go!

A van picked us up bright and early (7:30) on a rainy Saturday morning, and dropped us off in Mayan-ruins-1Tulum, Mexico, where we took a guided tour of the Mayan Ruins after donning plastic ponchos. It’s a good thing we had a knowledgeable guide, because I had not done any homework and would not have appreciated the history behind the stone structures, their placement, and their necessity for navigation. I’ve not yet had time to verify all the history Martin shared with us, but he made it very clear that the Mayans did not participate in human sacrifice.  That didn’t come until much later after they were invaded and taken over by the Spanish, who then instituted their religion of the serpent.  You’re getting the short version, but maybe a later post will come bearing that rich history.  

Before moving on, I have to tell you about that first photo of the tall tree.  This tree is hollow, but very big around and bright green.  These trees are called the Tree of Life because they always grow on top of an underground freshwater supply or small river called “cenotes” (si-no-tays). With saltwater all round, finding ample freshwater sources was crucial to the Mayan’s survival within the walls of their temple stronghold.  We actually rapped on the tree and heard the sound echo through the trunk. Pretty cool.  

After our tour of the ruins, it was time to get fitted for flippers, life jackets, and wet suits.  Say what? Our guide for the remainder of the day would be a young man named Daniel, who spoke very good English, for which I was very, very thankful.  Another van was waiting to take us to our next destination into the Selma Maya to do something I never dreamed in a million years that I would do. So, I leave you with this cliff hanger, because duty calls and I must leave my desk to drive into town to take care of some very pressing business.  

Meanwhile, scroll and stroll through the photos, leave comments, share your own stories, and ask questions. I’ll be back here later to chat with you more.  By the way, if anyone knows the name of the tree with the orange flowers and small white fruits, please tell me.  Martin told me in Spanish, but with the rain, I had no way to write it down, and even though I repeated it to myself a dozen times, the name did not stick.  I’ve searched the internet and asked many folks, but no one seems to know for certain. Martin told us that they make a candy from the fruit, but I couldn’t find any of that candy because I could not name the fruit.  Sad, I know.  I wanted to bring some home with me.

More later!


My apologies for the first email notification, which contained an error.  The glitch was corrected, which then generated the second email.  Again, so sorry.

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  1. Ah, I was close. I was working this morning and suddenly thought, “A fishing trip to Baja!” Well, I had it pretty close. This is just wonderful. I’ll give it another read tonight, and in the meantime, I’ve sent off an inquiry about that fruit. What a wonderful experience for you. I do have a funny story to share, but I’ll save that for later. Back to work!

    1. Well, this one isn’t a flowery, journalistic, essay, or travel writer piece. It’s just me relaying what we did, and I still have one more to go after Part 2. The bad thing about vacation when you work for yourself, is that you have double the work to do when you get back home, so I’m seriously playing catch up and aggravated as all get out that it has taken me almost a week to post up stories and photos. Sheesh!

  2. Wonderful pictures and story line! I don’t know what that white fruit is. I even did some searching online and haven’t come up with anything either. The fruit probably isn’t always white which would make it harder to figure out. I hope someone will be able to tell you what it was. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story!

  3. What a wonderful story and what a wonderful son.
    Will share my story about my oldest son.. Prior to heart surgery last year I gave him power of attorney and went over the financials with him for the very first time.. Now,every time I sneeze he’s signing a do not resuscitate order.

  4. This place is like a diamond in the jungle I was on a diving trip W/ friends & by chance discovered it. FANTASTIC!

    1. Did you go to the same cenotes we went to ? We saw the “divers guide wire” underwater as we went along . . . but we stopped at those dark holes in the cave wall because we were just snorkeling.

  5. I really enjoyed the story. Your son reminds me of my kids they would do something like that. i know he derived more pleasure from seeing you enjoy yourself!.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Louise, and I was proud when he bragged on me at our family gathering the day after our return. We bored the entire family with out photos and stories. It reminds me that life is short, and we should seize every moment, and that those things on my Life List need to get done in the years I have left on this earth. Time won’t stand still for me to just think about doing them. This is a trip I would never have planned and gone on for myself, so I am very thankful for his willingness and determination and generosity!

    1. It really is beautiful, Susan! I love the beach, but even the jungle was pretty, in its own way.