10 of my favourite Mexican photos

Having just returned from my honeymoon to Mexico and Belize I have a wealth of photographs to choose from.

In this post I have chosen ten of my favourite photos from our week in Mexico. We visited Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Chichen Itza, and Chetumal. The latter for the Maya Museum which was, sadly, closed for refurbishment. I’m told that place would have provided a great visitor experience but alas, the closure of popular museums at the exact time I plan to visit is becoming a theme of my travel!

So, here we go, in no particular order:


The beautifully shaped corners of the main pyramid, Kukulkan, at Chichen Itza, Mexico

I was gobsmacked when I walked into the main square of Chichen Itza. The dimensions of the pyramid of Kukulkan felt damn-near perfect to my eyes. We were there early in the day, before more than perhaps 20 visitors had entered this legendary site, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Consequently it felt like magic. These beautiful curves on the corner of the main pyramid entranced me. Everything about the site amazed me as it just kept going – you turn a corner and there’s a wealth of structures you weren’t expecting. We followed the suggested loop around the whole area in about 3 hours. Pretty much the moment we started to head for the exit the crowds became oppressive and the sun even more so. It was a privilege to see such a magnificent ancient city in such a fashion and I took so many photographs here that I will devote another whole post to those rather than spamming this post.


Sunrise over the Carribean Sea, seen through palm trees on Tulum beach, Mexico

On the day we went to Chichen Itza we had to get up at 5:30AM. The sight of the Caribbean sunrise that greeted me from our balcony overlooking Tulum beach was phenomenal and speaks for itself here.


The iconic view of Tulum's ruins on cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Mexico

This is almost always the iconic view of the Mayan ruins of Tulum, on the east coast of the Yucatan peninsular. The site was established because the cliffs comprised one of the highest points in the area and the sheltered bays were perfect for trade and defence. Again we got here early and had it pretty much to ourselves for a short while. Here though the place was becoming crowded by 9:30 and people swimming in the beach off the ruins told me they felt like zoo specimens…


The carved stone relief depicting a human face on the corner of a Mayan temple at Tulum, Mexico

This is the second photograph from the Tulum ruins. Carvings like this cover the corners of one temple and could easily be missed if you spend all your time straining to see the original painted petroglyphs adorning the roped-off interior. I found their integrity, given the hurricane batterings of the past millennium to by fascinating.


An iguana with a smug facial expression resting on the baking hot rocks of the Mayan ruins at Tulum, Mexico

I call this guy Smuguana. He’s just so pleased with himself! The baking hot ruins of Tulum (again) provide this iguana with the perfect place to People watch.


A colourfully painted boat, upside down, on the beach in Tulum, Mexico

I found almost everything about Tulum and its beach to be brilliant. The weather was slightly lacking in gentility at times but that’s not entirely Tulum’s fault. This boat sums up the relaxed nature of this stretch of perfect beach which is replete with massage parlours and yoga classes.


Driftwood on Tulum beach, Mexico

A nice sea-sculpted lump of wood on a beach. Can’t be beaten. Tulum again…


A female canoeist, dressed in traditional Mayan costume, climbing from her vessel at Playa del Carmen

As I said before our first destination in Mexico was Playa del Carmen. One morning we went to the beach for breakfast and discovered a huge Mayan festival going on. Many canoes full of people in traditional Mayan dress were racing to beach themselves first, before performing elaborate dances amidst ritualised clouds of incense. It was an intense scene and the thronging crowd enjoyed the spectacle. As did we from our breakfast table. This woman reflects the norm for the dress of the participants.


A portrait of a performer taking part in a Mayan festival on the beach at Playa del Carmen, the top half of his head covered with a skeleton mask and the rest of his body marked with black and white dyes

This attire was not the norm. Just one canoe-full of these guys arrived and their purpose, clearly, was to try and terrify the hell out of the other performers and the scores of children in the audience. They were phenomenal. Lithe and energetic as they thumped around the stage. After the performances several of them milled around and, excellent sports as they are, allowed photographs to be taken at close quarters. I moved fast to get my own snaps and I’m very glad I did.


Gaddafiachi, a mariachi accordion player bearing a spooky facial resemblence to the late Libyan dictator.

Still in Playa del Carmen I spotted Colonel Gaddafi, back from the dead, playing the accordion in a mariachi band. Excellent! Gaddafiachi I christened him.

I have several hundred images from the Mexican phase of my trip and obviously I can’t post them all. Next up I’ll do my top 10 photographs from Belize, which will be equally difficult as I was there for twice the time (top 15 as it turned out).

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