My First Trip to Mexico! (PT 1/5)

I recently traveled to Mexico for my very first time, and since I work for Vacation Express it was only natural for me to document my experiences visiting one of our most popular destinations. So here you have it, the first of a five-part series about my Mexican vacation!

The Atlanta to Cancun charter flights hadn’t yet begun (May 21, people!) so my travel partner and I booked our flights on American Airlines, arranged a shared transfer to Playa del Carmen with Nexus Tours and found accommodations at a boutique hotel in Playa del Carmen for two nights before we would finish out the rest of our vacation in style at the all-inclusive Great Parnassus Resort & Spa in Cancun.

IMG_20160513_104457_724In a twist of irony, this world-traveler and Vacation Express employee is afraid of airplanes. My love of traveling, however, will always trump that fear. With my new, regulation-sized carry-on packed and passport on hand, I took a gratuitous shot of our brochure since it looked so nice displayed in the ray of sunlight before I left my apartment for the airport. Also, please admire how I packed 5-nights and 6-days into that little bag! Jealous? Check out some of our packing tips here!

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First order of business upon arrival: locate our Nexus Tours representative for our transfer to the hotel. I have used Nexus Tours before in the Dominican Republic, so I already knew that it would be easy to find them despite the crowds. Sure enough, we were able to find our orange-clad representative, Jennifer, within minutes. I really can’t say enough warm things about the people who work for Nexus Tours, but over the next few posts, I sure will try to find a way. Since we were using a shared transfer and needed to wait for the additional passengers to arrive, Jennifer was kind enough to show us the beer cart in front of where the transfer vans park. Before you know it, we were settled into our van, beers in hand, and on our way to Playa del Carmen!

In case you’re wondering what a shared transfer is like, it’s actually really fun! Even though we were all going to different hotels there was a sense of camaraderie. Our driver even told us that if we wanted, he could stop at a convenience store on the side of the road for snacks and drinks (we opted to continue on with the drive)! Since we were all going to the southern part of Riviera Maya, it was going to be between a one and two-hour drive for all involved. I can’t speak for everyone involved since we were the first stop at an hour in, but the drive flew by!

Our experience with the Nexus Tours rep was just the beginning of us getting to know the incredible Mexican hospitality… and that night was the night I learned just how much I love Mexican food.

After checking in, we decided to go to a bar called Luna Blue for some before dinner drinks. While we were there, we chatted with the bartender and some locals to determine where the best place to eat would be. The result was unanimous- a restaurant just outside the tourist zone called El Fogon.20160407_224530-edited

20160407_230422It was clear once we arrived at El Fogon that it was a very popular spot for the locals and tourists alike. And after ordering and receiving our food, we understood why. One of the more popular tacos in Playa del Carmen is al pastor, which is a spit-roasted pork topped with a pineapple wedge and wrapped in corn tortillas. It’s so simple and so delicious! I also ordered a Taco Loco because… well, it sounded good and it had a fun name. I don’t even think words can describe it. Just take a look at this picture and know that the burrito you see is actually the Taco Loco. And yes, that is a piece of bacon draped over it. To say the least, I have been craving this meal ever since I finished eating it.

 

As you might imagine, we were stuffed and after a long day of travel, we finished our meal, walked back to the hotel, and got in bed. Little did we know what to expect the next day…

 

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