Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Havana, Part 2 | Cuba

     So first of all, check out part 1 of my Havana trip for my first impressions of the city if you haven't yet. We spent four days there in total, at the end of our 3 week Mexico and Cuba adventure, so this post will cover days 3 and 4 of La Habana, to use its proper name. The first couple of days included a walking tour around all the major squares and sights of Old Havana, and then a relaxed day of mostly eating and drinking our way around again, making the most of the many roof terraces and outdoor seating areas under the Caribbean sun! Day three promised to be another scorcher, while day four was reserved for indoor activities in the gloomier weather.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Havana, Part 1 | Cuba

     The final destination of our 3 week Mexico and Cuba trip was Havana - or La Habana, as it's properly called - the Cuban capital. We spent 4 days there, so I'm splitting this post into two parts, rather than one gigantic one, each part featuring two of our days there. Havana was an interesting one for us, as our normal approach to seeing new cities is to check out all the significant historic sights - but Havana actually has relatively few of these. Instead, it's more about just exploring, taking it slow, and soaking in the atmosphere, which it took us a day or so to get the hang of!

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Trinidad | Cuba

     So we might have finished our time in Mexico, but that wasn't the end of our trip last month! After two weeks, finishing up in Playa del Carmen, we caught a short flight from Cancun over to Cuba, to spend another week there. Of course, one week isn't long enough to see everything the island has to offer, so we had to be selective about how to use our time there. Our flights were in and out of Havana, so as well as a few nights there, we decided we had enough time to see one other town - we could have maybe squeezed in two, but this was supposed to be the relaxing, rejuvenating portion of our holiday! - and after some research and recommendations from friends, we settled on two nights in Trinidad to start with.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Chichen Itza & Playa del Carmen | Mexico

     Playa del Carmen is an interesting one to write about. I nearly wasn't going to bother at all, since I wrote about it last time I was there, and there's honestly not that much to see and do. It's a beach town, all full of hotels and restaurants, shops and bars. However, it's a popular base for exploring more of the Maya Riviera, especially Chichen Itza, one of Mexico's most famous pyramids and one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. Initially I thought about including that in my Merida post, and finishing Mexico with that, but I realised it was just going to be so long. Plus, although Playa del Carmen was by no means my favourite place on the trip, it was interesting to compare it to how it was on my last trip, which was almost 5 years ago now.

El Castillo pyramid, Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Merida | Mexico

     Arriving in Merida late the night before after the long drive from Palenque, and only venturing out the hotel for food, didn't exactly let us see much of the town right away! But that theme did sort of continue throughout our time there. Merida wasn't a town that we immediately liked, like Oaxaca or Mexico City, but that doesn't mean we didn't enjoy it in the end. It was at a disadvantage, being quite late in the trip, as we had reached a point of near-exhaustion during our time here. However, it's a town that grows on you: on the surface, it seemed like just another colonial town, with perhaps less to see than other we'd been to, but a good gateway for the rest of Yucatan state. But once you start exploring, there's actually a lot of fun, quirky, hidden places - you just have to look for them!

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Palenque | Mexico

     To put it bluntly, Palenque is a pain in the arse to get to. It's a long drive from whichever other location you're coming from, and there's really not all that much to see there. This post cover two days out of our trip, and at least half of each day was given over to driving to and from Palenque. So why bother going at all? Simply put, the pyramids. They're located a short drive out of the town itself, tucked away in the tropical jungles, and are magnificent examples of an ancient Maya city state. We only stayed one night in Palenque town, as there's nothing else there to see, but we did make some stops on the way there, to break up such long driving days.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

San Cristobal de las Casas | Mexico

     When most people think of Mexico, they probably think of either dusty, rocky desert landscapes peppered with cacti, or tropical ocean coastlines. What you probably don't think of is having to wear extra layers of clothing, under the drizzle and misty clouds floating atop mountain ranges! But that's exactly what San Cristobal de las Casas, a small town hidden away in the heights of the Chiapas Highlands. There were still plenty of cobblestoned streets and colourful buildings to be found, bustling with locals and backpackers alike, and there's a large indigenous population, as well as an Argentinian influence, as its fairly similar to their climate. It's definitely a smaller town than any other we'd been to so far, so it's a popular base for exploring more of Chiapas state.

Sumidero Canyon, Chiapas State, Mexico

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