Coba

SPOILER ALERT: If you are one of those people who cherishes the fact that you climbed the tallest Mayan pyramid at Coba, don’t read this post.

Climbing Coba's Ixmoja

Those pesky tour operators do love their superlatives, don’t they? Yes, many visitors to Coba are told that they are going to climb the “world’s highest pyramid”, “the highest Mayan pyramid”, “the highest Mayan pyramid in Mexico”, “the highest pyramid on the Yucatan Peninsula”… I think you get the concept. (It might be the highest pyramid in the state of Quintana Roo if that makes anybody feel better.)

Coba is a beautiful Mayan site located between Tulum and Valladolid which should require no marketing manipulations to convince visitors to come. A sprawling set of ruins with multiple pyramids, weather-worn stelae, ball courts and a lovely jungle setting filled with birds and reptiles, Coba just feels more Continue…

Cenote Diving in Playa del Carmen

Play video to be wowed

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…

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…

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…

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. 😉