A Bad Wrap
Travel poses inherent dangers, we all know that. Our society is changing everywhere. Going grocery shopping or seeing a movie or going to school has new dangers. I used to live in the suburbs outside Detroit and was educated in Detroit's Cass Corridor, now politely renamed to Midtown in its gentrification. I used to walk these streets and rarely felt unsafe, though they had warned us and there were those purple/blue lights to indicate emergency phones. I would hate to think if you were in that kind of emergency what would happen if you tried to use one of those. My point being, danger can be found anywhere at anytime, even in our own back yard. But we must overcome, prevail and travel.
So, what I really want to tell you about is how great I have found Mexico to be. Not just in one location, but the country as a whole. I have traveled to Mexico numerous times, mostly for pleasure but a few times for business as well. It has a diverse range of landscapes, cosmopolitan cities, vibrant art communities and industrious business parks. (Whomever came up with "business park" was definitely on a marketing team.)
Cancun has changed a lot. The first time I traveled there was in 1986, it was an incredible journey to a new county. I traveled with my mother, grandfather, step-father, and step-brother. (You can read more about that in the blog "So I am worth $44.18). It was really a coming of age story on this trip. It was the first time I got really drunk. Yes, I was underage and yes, I prayed to the porcelain Gods on more than one occasion. But since that time, I have returned at least a dozen or so times. Everything is different from the beaches, which depending on the time of year may have sargassum seaweed, to the chain restaurants and shops. But in the stretch of coastline from Cancun to Tulum are tons of beaches and little towns like Puerto Morelos, that are still a little bit sleepy but have all the modern day amenities. Or if you prefer more vibrancy and urban beats, Playa del Carmen won't disappoint.
My new favorite spot is on the pacific side of the country, north of Cabo San Lucas called Todos Santos. This quiet town still has all the quaint restaurants and beaches that haven't been discovered by the hoards, but enough modern finds to make it an easy destination. Driving is simple and safe, just make sure you have insurance and probably smart not to drive after dark - just like most places when traveling. Some of my favorite places are the art galleries. They seem to carry unique art that I haven't seen in all of the typical tourist shops. Wandering into all the little shops and even the grocery stores are interesting to me finding little treasures everywhere. There are many activities to do such as ATV rides, fishing, scuba, surfing, hiking etc.
We also took several day trips north. Going just past Le Paz is a wonderful shallow water refuge called Cabo Pulmo National Park. This was a great find, the shallow water covers an expansive area to discover little creatures, shells, and just walk across during low tides. The water was ankle deep in most places, sand bars and deeper water could be found too. The bay opens to the ocean with dramatic hills and even cliffs and rocky outcroppings on the sides. There are not many amenities here, so pack water and snacks for the day. If you are lucky enough to get a beach palapa, you will have shade, otherwise a lot of sunscreen is needed too.
If travel by car is too much, then try Cabo San Lucas or San José del Cabo. The former is much more touristic and has the obligatory Hard Rock Cafe, Senior Frogs and Sammy Hagar's Cabo Wabo. It also has the famous El Arco (the arch). The ladder is more of an art town with mom & pop shops, cafes and restaurants. Walking is easy and there are numerous places to explore. The downside of San José is it is not directly on the water, it requires a taxi, Uber or Lyft to get to the beach which is as easy as any major US town.
In January of 2018, a wanderlust mix of us (a Korean, two Canadians, my husband and I), ventured on a new adventure renting a van and traveling from Cancun, Mexico down through the country and crossed the boarder into Belize. It was an amazing trip and we encountered few hiccups. We had no issues buying gasoline, grocery shopping, finding places to stay that were beautiful, or even crossing boarders. We enjoyed numerous beaches and prided ourselves on finding the best food at each new location. If you like Mexican food, there is none better than the real thing. Mexico has become a popular place to take an RV, mini camper down the Baja peninsula. Here there are many beaches and vistas to have all to yourself. This type of travel does require a 4x4 and all of the knowledge such as deflating your tires for driving in sand so as not to get stuck miles away from anyone. But even just road tripping on paved roads has become a wonderful way to enjoy this country. I hope you don't miss out exploring Mexico in whatever manner you choose.