Mexico. Done.

My Mexican journey comes to an end. I am now in Chetumal, a few kilometres from the border with Belize, where I plan to go tomorrow.

I hope I won't have problems with crossing the border. First time I have to go to the border, having absolutely no idea what is waiting for me there. I have never met such complicated and confusing immigration rules towards the citizens of Russia, as in Belize. But I am optimistic as always. Later I'll write about everything that will happen there. To be honest, after talking to all the travelers I've met on my way here, I'm not even sure I want to stop in Belize. All of them say that it's unreasonably expensive and it is absolutely nothing special there. Anyway, the only way to get to my next destination - Guatemala, is through Belize, so I'll make this decision tomorrow.

I have spent 8 days in Mexico on this route: Cancun - Playa del Carmen - Chichen Itza - Tulum - Bacalar - Chetumal. I have also visited a couple of cenotes (later I'll explain what it is).

One of the most pleasant experiences for me personally is the ability to stay in the country continuously for 180 days without a visa. Just in case I will specify that I have a Russian passport and a valid touristic visa to USA (B1/B2). So I just flew in without warning and got a stamp on arrival at the airport. Holders of a Russian passport without the US visa are requested to contact the Embassy of Mexico in advance for permission to enter the country, get it by email, print out for presentation at passport control and safely fly to Mexico for the same 180 days. Unfortunately I can't consult the holders of other documents with 100% reliability.

One of the discoveries: street food is almost always great. Food in restaurants is almost always disgusting. In general, Mexican food I've had in other countries seems to me much tastier than Mexican food in Mexico. As I was expecting something incredible in terms of food (I'm a huge fan of Mexican food), I was left a little disappointed.

I'm done with tequila and mezcal for several months. Had too many degustations. And of course they like to experiment with their "national treasure" for the amusement of tourists. They have coconut tequila, pomegranate tequila (well, a bunch of different fruits), and flavored almonds, and peanut butter, and with any taste, actually. It's not really a tequila any more. The strength and taste reminiscent of liqueur.

Now about the place. I didn't like Cancun immediately. Too touristic, too noisy, only hotels and parties everywhere. But the beaches and the sea are great.

I spent my only day in Cancun and quickly escaped from there to Playa del Carmen. This is like a very small Cancun. Quieter, cheaper, heartier. It's a small town, walking distance to any place. Overall I liked the town and decided to settle there for as much as 4 nights.

From there I went to Chichen Itza and Tulum - monuments of the Mayan era. Iconic places that you must visit, if you are in Mexico. Still, the culture of the Mayan people is, in my opinion, a very intriguing and interesting. But of course, everyone decides for themselves whether they want to wander the digs in the heat or not.

To get to these places, you can buy a tour or take a public bus. I prefer the second option, but sometimes tours are more convenient and economical, as include visits to several places and the route is already laid out in detail.

I should also mention about cenotes. A cenote is a natural well created where a cave ceiling has collapsed. Cenotes were considered sacred by the Mayan people. They used them for water and religious ceremonies. Impressive and you can find them only in Mexico and some Caribbean islands.

After I arrived to Bacalar from Playa del Carmen, it seemed like another dimension. The peace and quiet. Instead of hotels there are hostels and camps, travelers instead of tourists. The lagoon of seven colors instead of the sea. I just wanted to live in a tent or in the trailer, although I had never done it before. It is small and very intimate village where everyone knows each other. Thought my mood was a bit spoiled by the parties for the whole night which didn't let me sleep well.

Most likely, I'll come back to Mexico. But it will be a very different regions of this large and beautiful country.

SPECTER photography


Inna Nikitina