Cenote Diving in Playa del Carmen

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One of the principal reasons we decided to base ourselves in Playa del Carmen for a month was to take advantage of the Mayan Riviera’s excellent cavern diving opportunities. Due to the unique geology of the Yucatan peninsula and the huge number of cenotes and cavern systems that dot the region, the stretch between Playa del Carmen and Tulum is the world’s leading cave and cavern diving destination. As one local dive instructor told us, this is pretty much the only place in the world where a cave diving instructor can build a full-time cave diving career.

You may be asking yourself what the distinction between cave and cavern diving is. Cave diving is a more technical specialty which involves particular certifications and equipment, and requires the diver to master a set of skills such as laying guide lines and navigating at an extended distance from a cave entrance. Cavern diving usually follows pre-laid lines and requires divers to stay within a certain distance of cave entrances. We’ve experimented with caverns and extended swim-throughs in other destinations such as Sipadan and Komodo, but the dives here take cavern diving to a WHOLE new level » Continue reading this post »

A Mad Dash to Germany

Thomas' family

Nomadic life has its ups and downs. One problem is that when there is a family emergency, we are often on the wrong part of the planet (although that is always the case for us because we can’t live in Germany and the U.S.A. at the same time.)

So when we discovered that Thomas’ dad was being rushed in for a bypass, Thomas had to catch a last minute Aeroflot flight via Moscow to Germany (when you’re in a rush, you take what you can get.) Due to delays in scheduling the bypass, Thomas ended up staying in Germany for almost a month. Luckily, he was able to stay with his sister Sabine and family, so he had the opportunity for some long overdue quality family time.

Coincidentally, » Continue reading this post »

Nomads of Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen

We won’t claim Playa del Carmen is an undiscovered gem known only to a few. It’s not. The once pristine backpacker hideout has exploded into a sprawling city which in some ways rivals Cancun in terms of tourist overload. Expat housing developments, malls, posh restaurants and designer shops have replaced the solitary dune-backed beaches of yore. There’s even a huge Walmart!!!

So why does the town pop up over and over again on so many travel blogs from Wandering Earl to Never Ending Voyage to Travel with Bender? The answer to that question is that the town » Continue reading this post »

Sometimes a Cigar…

Sometimes a cigar...

…isn’t just a cigar. Sometimes, it’s an entire adventure. Happy April Fool’s day. This one is a bit of an inside joke. ;-)

Ek Balam

Prior to visiting the Yucatan, I had never heard of Ek Balam. Overshadowed by its famous brother Chichen Itza, this small archaeological site north of Valladolid gets only a fraction of the visitors. But this is exactly what makes it so attractive. Explorers at heart can move around the Mayan ruins without hordes of tourists and without any annoying barriers. Honestly, I can’t think of a better day than » Continue reading this post »