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  Part I Christmas Vacation, 2000 - Pictures from Yucatán Penisula, Mexico
 Part I - Cancun, Chichen Itza, Coba, Cozumel, Merida
 Part II - Izamal, Tulum, Uxmal, Xcalak 
  Cancún view all
We stayed only two nights in Cancun, but had enough time to take these amazing photographs which show some of what you can expect to see in Cancun. We stayed at a fantastic hotel, Villa Tacul, surrounded by acres of palm trees and armadillos. Prices are negotiable, and it appears you can get much better deals if you show up without reservations and personally negotiate a rate. We spent our only day at another great resort, Melia Cancun. Unlike most of the less classy resorts, this hotel does not make its guests wear wrist bands. They have two enormous pools, the best beach front in Cancun, and terrific dining facilities.
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  Chichen Itza view all
Arrive early to experience Chichen Itza without the tour bus crowds from Cancun. By 11:00am the pyramid was completely covered with tourists scrambling up to the top. Chichen Itza covers a large area and by staying on side trails you can avoid much of the large tour crowds. The ruins are in remarkable condition and are quite impressive. The most agressive merchants in all of Mexico can be found in the market at the entrance to the site. Walk through this market for an experience you won't forget (although you might want to).
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  Coba view all
The ruins of Coba are not often visited by the Cancun crowd, and therefore are much less crowded than other major ruins in the Yucatan. A climb to the top of the main pyramid is well worth the effort.
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  Cozumel view all
Although this island is supposed to be home to the best diving in the world, we certainly did not see much of it. Our dream to dive off the beautiful white sand beaches of Cozumel did not materialize. As you can see our dive was on a cloudy, windy day in the middle of a crowded harbor. Needless to say, visibility was drastically reduced (about 15 feet).
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  Mérida view all
From what I read on the Internet before traveling to Merida, compared with our actual experience, I conclude that this town is highly overrated. We stayed in what was purportedly "The best B&B in Mexico," but it turned out to be an extreme dissapointment. Hostile hotel owners, creepy decor (plants everywhere, candles, birdcages, dark paintings), and overpriced rooms make Casa Mexilio a place to avoid. Also make sure to avoid New Year's Eve dinner at La Bella Epoca. We paid $23 each for a dinner no better than something from Denny's, topped off by chocolate cake that tasted much worse than any supermarket cake you have ever had. My best day in Merida was spent avoiding the town by reading all day on the roof of our hotel.
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 Part II - Izamal, Tulum, Uxmal, Xcalak 

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© 2001 John M. Thompson, all rights reserved